Since 2009, the band Making Movies began making noise in their native town in Kansas City, MO and slowly but surely, that noise which combines son, afro-latin rhythms, jazz, psychedelic & experimental rock has taken the band all over the U.S. and after the release of their second album, A La Deriva, the critics are also taking notice.
Making Movies took their names from the title of British band, Dire Straits’ third Album, Making Movies. Making Movies is made up of two brothers of Panamanian decent, Enrique Chi on guitar and vocals and Diego Chi on bass; Juan-Carlos Chaurand from Guadalajara, México on percussions and keyboards and Kansas City native, Brendan Culp on drums.
Making Movies has been known for being a touring band and the band recently visited the west coast with several shows in the southland that left audiences in awe. Such has been the impact of their live performances and the quality of their music that Making Movies has been able to transcend musical and cultural barriers as is evidenced by the eclectic audiences that follow the band.
To learn more about the band, we spoke via telephone with singer Enrique Chi during a short break from their grueling touring schedule.
As I listen to the album, A La Deriva, I love getting lost the in the variety and richness of the sounds and even the odd combination of instruments and I asked Enrique how they came up with their sound, to which he replied: “When we first started, we didn’t know which musical direction we wanted to go. We began playing in the typical rock clubs with punk and alternative bands, but as we showed up to the clubs, we began to notice that all these bands sounded the same and it became very boring and predictable, so we decided that we didn’t want to end up like that. One day Brendan and I were at a club and they were playing salsa music and we started paying attention to the rhythms and the beats and we realized that some of those beats and rhythms are the same that one can find on a Bo Diddley guitar riff and with so many different instruments in a salsa band, we thought, ‘wouldn’t it be great if we could get that sound but with a four piece band?’”
In the music of Making Movies one can hear several musical influences going from classic rock to ranchera, salsa and other styles, to which Enrique indicated: “My father was big on classic rock, so I grew up listening to Pink Floyd, The Beatles and that music from the 60’and 70’s, but we all also grew up with all these music that’s already in our blood and DNA like the salsa, cumbias rancheras and rumba, which all come from Africa, just like the blues, which were the base for rock & roll, so it just feels natural to mix all these sounds together.”
The album A La Deriva, was produced by Steve Berlin from Los Lobos, I asked Enrique how this collaboration came about and he explained: “We opened up for Los Lobos and when we were on stage, Steve heard the music while in the dressing room and he thought it was the DJ, so he came out to investigate what the DJ was playing and then realized it was us on stage. After the show we sat down and he told us how much he was impressed by what he heard and asked if we were planning on recording and he said he would like to produce our next record and next thing we know, we are in his studio working on the album.”
Although the music of Making Movies can be a treat to listen to on headphones, it also translates very well on stage and I asked if while on stage they like to change things up and Enrique stated: “We love playing live and we love to improvise with the music and especially when you are on the road as much as we are, one has to make it fun and exciting and I think the audiences also feel that and they go on that ride with us and I also think that has helped us to have such an eclectic audience because it doesn’t matter if they are Latino, white, black or whatever, music is universal and when we play live we tap into all those influences, sounds and colors.
Making Movies can be followed on their official website at www.mkngmvs.com and they can also be followed on facebook. The album A La Deriva, can be downloaded at I-tunes and Amazon.com, where it can also be purchased in physical form and it can also be streamed at Spotify.