INTERVIEW: MAKENZI DICKERMAN (BOUND AND QUARTERED)

Makenzi Dickerman (Bound and Quartered)

I normally don’t interview multiple people from the same band (unless I’m purposely interviewing full bands of course) but I cannot contain my excitement for the epic return of Southern Tier slammers, Bound and Quartered! They’re one of the heaviest, most exciting locals from Upstate New York I’ve heard in recent years, but they’re also amazing people. I had the privilege of playing multiple Central New York festivals with this band back in the summer of 2019, and I can say that their bassist, Makenzi, is yet another treasure all by herself. She brings a certain professionalism on and off stage that I’ve always appreciated. As someone who has been playing shows for over two decades now, I still think it’s rare to encounter a full band of professionals that put out a quality product while remaining consistently attentive and supportive of their fellow artists. Bound and Quartered bring an uncanny vibe to every show they either perform or patronize. Here’s Makenzi’s perspective on the return of BQ!

1. Congratulations on being back with Bound and Quartered! To kick this off, what would be your honest review of “The L” (new venue in Horseheads, NY) since you played your return show there with some bigger bands?

Thank you so much! It feels so good to be back! After getting the opportunity to play The L not once, but twice now, I can honestly say it’s one of my favorites and I’m happy to call it a home venue moving forward. The main room is gigantic, the stage is huge, they have the cleanest venue bathrooms you’ve ever seen and smelled, and they serve food and drinks there! You can tell they’ve put a lot of work into making the sound great as well. With how large the room is, a few sound people have expressed that it could use some more treatment, but I’m confident more improvements will be made over time. The staff there has been incredible to us and have already become good friends with us!

2. How has BQ’s music changed since the very beginning, if at all?

Our music is evolving to be more technical as we grow as musicians. We still have the same overall B&Q flavor that our fans enjoyed before, but thanks to two years of musical growth and two new members, we definitely have more spices in our palette.

3. When you guys all get together and chat about music, who are some of your common favorite bands in the BQ camp?

When we’re together, you can play a drinking game with how much we talk about Angelmaker, Rings Of Saturn, old Suicide Silence, and Job For A Cowboy. We all have individual tastes and talk about plenty of other artists across genres as well, but I would say those come up more often.

4. What’s the best advice you can give someone joining or starting a band for the first time? (go with your gut)

As someone who has a few different bands on their resume, the first piece of advice I have for someone starting to play music with other people: be willing to let a band go when it isn’t fun anymore. Someone may have expected some words on gear, or networking, which I have as well, but it’s important to realize how band relationships are a lot like marriages, even for the more casual arrangements. Sometimes a group of five people just wind up incompatible with each other, even when everyone individually is a good musician, and that’s okay. Band breakups are real, and they suck like romantic breakups do, but the scene ebbs and flows all the time as musicians find each other and try different things. We’ve seen some of the local favorites end their careers with each other after being together for years. Being happy with the people you’re working with is one of the most important parts of being in a band, and it really makes or breaks your potential.

5. When going through your playlists, who have you been listening to the most over the past couple months?

I have playlists for every day of the week that differ in mood and genre, but according to my On Repeat playlist I’ve been listening to a lot of Whitechapel, Bad Omens, Jinjer, Rusko, and Chase & Status lately. I’ve also found that I’ll often replay a War Of Ages song when they come on. I don’t even care that they’re a Christian Metalcore band, their riffs still fuck!

6. Talk about any gear you’ve been thinking about adding to your arsenal lately.

Dang, there’s so much on my wish list. I’ve been playing with the idea of updating my entire rig from my current Carvin BX stack to something else entirely, but for one, the BX is compact enough that I can manage to transport it completely on my own. It’s treated me so well over the years, too, so the sentimental person that I am clings to it. I’ve considered looking into Darkglass Electronics; I’ve heard good things about them. I’m well overdue for graduating my tone and assembling a pedalboard. I need way better EQ than what my Carvin head provides. I would like some “fun” pedals for my rig when I can invest in those too. For example, I would love some chorus, and some ballsier distortion. I haven’t landed on solid decisions on which pedals I would like specifically just yet, since there are so many options out there.

7. Did you start off as a bassist, or did you play other instruments first?

I actually started off as a guitarist. I first picked up a guitar when I was nine years old, I was learning Metallica covers at age ten. I played guitar in jazz band in high school, and the first metal band I ever tried to establish I was on guitar. I believe I first picked up the bass back in 2014 or 2015 just for fun. Over the years it became clear to me that there was a demand for bassists, and I’ve played bass in most of my projects now.

8. Who are your favorite bassists off the top of your head? (any genre, list 5-10)

Favorite bassists, off the top of my head:

– Nibbs (Saxon) holds a very special place in my heart. I got to meet the band in Pittsburgh years ago, this man heard I was picking up the bass, and immediately I became his little buddy. He was the first to sign my Yamaha TRBX, which I still have on display in my home.

-Tony Levin (King Crimson, Peter Gabriel)

-Eugene Abdukhanov (Jinjer)

-Brandon Michael “BooBoo” (Allegaeon)

-Clay Gober (Polyphia)

-This one may come as a little bit of a surprise, but I came to the point I had to look into who played those funky ass bass lines for Dua Lipa, and I need to include Matty Carroll in the list as well.

9. As a bass player, talk about the drummers you’ve worked with over the years who have really challenged and improved your playing.

I freaking love this question, not only because I get to shout out some of the drummers I’ve had the pleasure of working with in the past, but also because every drummer and musician in general brings some challenge to the table. I’ve had a couple that I simply didn’t see eye-to-eye with, but for the most part they have all shaped me as a bassist somehow. First, there’s my current drummer Cameron Chardeen, who has this passion and fire within him that drives all of us in Bound And Quartered forward to keep improving ourselves. He tried out not being 100% confident in his skills, and he kept practicing and focusing on improvement because B&Q was what he really wanted, and you could tell. Krys Chase (Damages) is still one of my favorites I’ve worked with. He was very supportive and encouraging when we had shows booked very shortly after I came along and had to hit the gas pedal to get their songs learned. Both Collin Folger (Wasted Space) and Justin LaMonto (Crystal Industry, Salient) challenged me stylistically. Collin had deep interest in Prog, and definitely required me to branch out of my normal style in order to mesh. Playing in Crystal Industry with the LaMonto brothers was definitely different, and a step out of my usual comfort zone, since I usually flock toward heavier metal projects and thus work more with metal drummers, but it was a good taste of something different.

10. Talk about any future plans (shows, recording, etc.) that BQ have planned that you’re allowed to discuss!

We have a couple shows scheduled in October post-release of this issue. We also have plans to hit the studio and FINALLY release some material, I’ve been biting at the bit and have been trying to crack the whip to get that in motion for after this run of shows. You can catch us at:

– 10/8 @ Mohawk Place, Buffalo NY

-10/22 @ F’n’A Rhythm and Booze, Waterloo NY

Photo: A Cullen Photo

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