Two brothers and a handful of friends from high school and beyond. A band from Portland, Oregon.
Meet The Macks.
The Macks began in 2015 with vocalist Sam Fulwiler and brothers Ben Windheim on guitar and Josef Windheim on the drums.
Jacob Michael Perris joined the band in 2020 with his keyboard, and in 2021 Aidan Harrison began touring and recording with The Macks on the bass.
Formerly known as Lumbar Time Clock, the band re-named themselves after a near death experience with a Mack semi-truck.
“We were on tour, and Ben was driving. Sam was in the front seat, and I was in the back. All of a sudden, there was this huge gust of wind and it totally felt like we were spinning out of control,” Josef Windheim said. “Then, a truck just appeared in front of us head-on and all we saw was ‘Mack.’. The last thing that we remembered seeing when we thought we’re gonna die was just ‘Mack.’.”
Since then, the group has added two new members to the band, thus establishing a new start for who they wanted to be as a band and what they wanted to sound like.
The group wanted to maintain ambiguity when discussing their inspirations for the music, but they were eager to share how they felt about the music they have produced and the music that is in the works.
“I’m not going to name names, but part of what I think makes what we’re doing right now feel really good and special is that we individually throw our individual inspirations out there,” Harrison said. “And somehow, by grace, it works out really well.”
The Macks’ bassist, Aidan Harrison, has only been a part of the group since 2021, during the last few months of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the group touches on the uniqueness that both Harrison on the bass and Perris on the keys adds to the overall sound of the band.
Stage presence is a big aspect of what makes The Macks stand out from the rest. When asked about the importance of their stage presence, there was conversation about just going with the flow of the show and bringing an individual presence to the table each time.
“We’ve never had a discussion about how to be up there ever,” Harrison said. “For me as the bass player, I have a lot of fun and I have watched a lot of wonderful bass players stand very still. But for me, I’m having a blast.”
For lead vocalist Sam Filwiler, doing what he loves is what he knows best. He questions his vocal talent but combats it with an immense stage presence that, he thinks, seems to enchant the audience.
“I think when the band first started and as it’s continued, I don’t feel that strong vocally,” Fulwiler said. “So if I’m gonna suck, then I might as well give people something to look at.”
The addition of Jacob Michael Perris and his keyboard, as guitarist Ben Windheim discusses, has made a large contribution to the overall sound and production for the band. When asked about differences between past, present and future albums, the biggest difference was the addition of new members and the sound they bring with their instruments. Especially with the most recent album in March 2022 titled “Rabbit.”.
“The obvious difference is Jacob with the keys because we never had keys in the band before that, but we approached with much more production and songwriting in mind than in the past because we’ve been a live recording band before that,” Ben Windheim said. “And this one was very much a studio project in the middle of COVID, so it was all just for ourselves.”
The group said they learned a lot during the pandemic, as did many other musical groups. But for The Macks, they plan to use what they learned and carry that with them into future albums.
Speaking of future albums, The Macks have an album set to come out Dec.ember 2, 2022. They recently released their newest single titled “I Get My Shit Delivered,”, which hints at what listeners can expect with the new production.
As a band, The Macks have excelled in rhythm and in the quality of their music for great success in future releases and tours. There is much more to come from this musical group, but for these guys, post pandemic, it is only the beginning.
“We have the new lineup and that is very much a fresh start but there is a whole new era that is starting to take off and that’s where a lot of momentum is coming from,” Perris said.