Making Movies | Middle-American Latin Rock

prof_making-movies_sm.jpg"It is definitely an interesting experience to create something with the hope that people are going to find meaning and value in it,"






As an artist there is an interesting dichotomy of knowing the humbling and embarrassing truth of your own flaws while believing in yourself enough to create art. That air of self-importance is necessary for art’s own existence. "It is definitely an interesting experience to create something with the hope that people are going to find meaning and value in it," explains Enrique Chi, singer/songwriter for Kansas City’s Making Movies.

But maybe people will find value in it. Making Movies is arguably the only indie band in the Midwest writing songs in both English and Spanish. Their debut record Tierra Firme contains a story based on both their personal history and the rich history of the Caribbean part of the world. The founding members of the band, brothers Enrique and Diego Chi, were born in Santiago, Panama, moving to the Midwest in their youth. I recently sat down with Enrique to discuss everything from working with Matt Pryor on Tierra Firme, the overwhelming price of gas and the state of the music industry in general.


If you could describe the sound of your band as a mixture of "Band A" and "Band B," what would you fill in the blanks with?

Hmm… I think every band hates that question. A drunken 40-year-old cougar at a dive bar in Chicago told me that we sound like a mix between Lenny Kravitz and Queens of the Stone Age. Ha. I’d say we’re a mix of the Police and Santana.

What inspired the songs on Tierra Firme?

It was inspired by personal emotions and experiences, along with my country’s heritage. The record is definitely based around the idea of conquest in Latin culture. 

With a gallon of gas costing as much as a Big Mac Value Meal, has your approach to touring changed at all? Have you thought about riding your Schwinn to the next gig?

Honestly, yeah. I ride my bike all around Kansas City. In fact, on our tour we realized it was cheaper to fly to Miami than to drive there, so we booked some flights and are borrowing gear. 

You’ve actually acquired quite a bit of experience in the business side of this "crumbling" industry. Talk about what you’ve done and what you’ve learned.

I worked with Alex Brahl, who managed the Get Up Kids during the height of their success; I helped him manage Straylight Run, the New Amsterdams and some other projects. I guess I’ve learned a lot. I realize how much hard work this business requires.

How has your involvement in the business side of the music industry changed the way you approach the day-to-day operations of your own band?

I think I approach it with more organization than most musicians. I wake up at 8 a.m. and I’m in my home office by 9; I guess that’s not very musician-like. 

What’s your view of record labels right now? Are they necessary? Do bands need one? Do you guys want one?

I think record labels are still necessary as marketing vehicles for bands, but the way to make music financially successful has definitely changed and will continue to change.

Through your work with Brahl Management, you established a relationship with Matt Pryor [Get Up Kids/ New Amsterdams lead singer]. What was it like to have his input on your songs? How much did he contribute to the end product?

Matt was super cool to work with. He basically helped with pre-production and the initial tracking efforts. He helped whittle the songs down and make them tighter, more focused. 

What do you hope to achieve with your releases over the next year? What’s the goal for your band?

The goal is to get the music out to as many people, both English speaking and Spanish. I would also love to tour Latin America.

You guys are coming to St. Louis soon. What’s your favorite thing about playing here?

Learning cool new games to play on the road, like "your team" and hip insults like "loser pussy."


Making Movies are appearing at Cicero’s August 8, promoting the recent release of Tierra Firme (now available on iTunes). The band plans on unveiling their work in three installments, each of which will contain versions of the songs in Spanish and English.

So if you’ve got a penchant for Police-style, Latin-infused pop rock, then be sure to dust off that Spanish I textbook from freshmen year, grab your maracas and come indulge in the sultry sounds of Making Movies. | Carl Hines

Carl Hines interned with Making Movies frontman Enrique Chi’s record label, Appeal Records (then Curb Appeal Records) while in college.

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