If you haven’t heard of MAKESHIFT SHELTERS, you may in fact be living under a rock. The emotionally-driven four-piece, which is based in both Washington, D.C. and New England, recently released their highly-anticipated debut album Something So Personal on Broken World Media. The full-length, 11-song record is “overflowing” with the emotion of each band member as vocalist Ella Boissonnault sings about her past experiences of disappointment and sorrow. Complimenting her stellar voice and helping to deliver each powerful punch is bassist Phil Edfors, guitarist Andrew Clark, and drummer Nate Patsfall. We discussed with the band how their past experiences, individually and as a band, made this record so powerful, whether the Illuminati was involved or not.

Since we last spoke in 2013, your band has released three EPs and, most recently, your first full-length record, as well as developed quite the reputation for yourselves in the local and national music scene. Looking back, what have been some keys to your success since then?

Ella: We’re very lucky to be friends with so many people in the scene, especially Phil and Andrew since they’ve been involved for so long. But all of our friends are super supportive and have really helped us to get where we are. Big shout outs to Derrick of Broken World.

Andrew: We decided from the very first day we were only going to do what we wanted. We were only going to write music that we thought was meaningful, and luckily, we were rewarded for that.

Phil: Patience — it’s really easy to get frustrated with things. Our record took a year to come out. We desperately wanted it to come out earlier, but if it did, it would have not made the same impact.

Prior to releasing this album, you released two new songs on an EP titled Overflowing, which was taken from the name of the rereleased song also included on your debut EP, The Cautious End of Things. What prompted the decision to release these songs early?

Phil: I think we mostly just wanted to maintain interest in our band. Also, since we have already released those songs on another release, it wouldn’t conflict with any PR schemes.

Ella: [I agree with Phil. We wanted to make] sure people are still paying attention.

Andrew: It has to do with the Illuminati.

Why did you choose to title your new record Something So Personal?

Phil: It’s a line from “Overflowing.” I think it just made sense; this is a deeply personal record.

Ella: This record has some of the most brutally honest lyrics I’ve ever written, and I want people to know that there are songs they can listen to [that] go along with the shit they’re feeling, on the bad days especially.

Andrew: “Overflowing” is probably the best example of what we’re about so it makes sense to use a line from it.


Can you explain what is going on with the two people on the album cover, give us some back story?

Ella: Our good friend Noorann Matties is a very talented photographer, and she was gracious enough to do our album artwork, so we gave her artistic license on this.

The blog Sad Ghost Music described your new album Something So Personal as “an album encompassing every feeling of a broken heart.” Is that something that you would agree with?

Ella: It’s a good review, but no, I try not to let other people’s bullshit break me in anyway; if anything, it’s about how pissed off I was at people for their incompetence.

Phil: I think love was created by the Disney Corporation in the 1930’s to suppress an uprising by the proletariat.

In an interview with DC Music Download, Ella said, “The majority of the album is about experiences.” In addition to the heartbreak and bad relationships discussed on the album, what are some other experiences you discuss on the album?

Ella: For the sake of privacy, I don’t have too much to add to this question. Basically I became very attached to someone who promised to be there and support me at a time when I really needed it, and he just decided to disappear. He was the inspiration behind a lot of the songs.


Having said that, what have been some of your most memorable experiences together as a band?

Andrew: On this most recent tour, we played at Creep Records in Philly, and they had our record in stock. It was so surreal; [I] still can’t believe it.

Ella: Totally agreed with Andrew. Also, when we decided to be a band, we were all fucked up at this dude’s house, and Andrew and Phil were like, “Sing in our band,” and I was like, “Hell yeah!” Since it actually happened, that’s a pretty good memory. I also like when Andrew got hammered and called every major label he could think of leaving them voicemails commanding them to sign us since we’re the best band in the world. Fingers crossed.

Phil: This recent tour with TAKING MEDS was my favorite week of my entire life. But I’d say maybe New Year’s Eve last year in Connecticut [when] we all got really shitty.

I know that Ella is currently living in Boston, and the band has mentioned plans to relocate to New Haven, Conn. Do you have a plan for when that will happen?

Andrew: It is hard enough for me to put matching socks on, let alone plan this.

Phil: I don’t think New Haven is happening anymore. But once our tour schedule chills out, Andrew and I are moving to New England. All my shit is in a storage unit, so we’re serious.

What are you most excited about in moving to New England, and what do you think you will miss most about living in the Washington, D.C. area?

Andrew: It’s the homeland. [I was] born in Maine [and] have tons of family [there]; it’s very nature.

Phil: I hate hot weather. So I can’t wait for New England weather. Also, seafood is better up there. The DMV is our home; I’ll miss all my friends and the places where I grew up.

What song on Something So Personal is the most personal to you individually and why?

Ella: “Darkest Nights,” hands down, because if the person it was written about hears it, they will know it is about them, and they will hear everything I never got to say

Andrew: “Overflowing” is one of the earliest songs we wrote, and since we had a bad P.A. system at practice, I couldn’t understand a word of what Ella was singing. So when we recorded The Cautious End of Things, that was my first time hearing the lyrics. I will never forget the feeling I had when I first heard Ella scream, “I’ll never get what gets you off, I’ll never get you.”

Phil: Probably “Grayest Places.” It’s a very, “Yo, I need to get out my hometown,” jam. Also, it’s so fun to play.

Is there a particular reason why you chose to go with the Russian nesting dolls as the merch design to go with this release?

Ella: Sophie McTear is very talented. Artistic silence again.

Andrew: It has to do with the Illuminati.

For more updates on MAKESHIFT SHELTERS, be sure to “like” their Facebook page, follow them on Twitter, and check out Something So Personal on Bandcamp.

Joe Fitzpatrick

Joe Fitzpatrick

As editor-in-chief, Joe is very passionate about promoting music and culture in Virginia and DC. A resident of Fairfax, Joe enjoys going to shows, checking out local breweries, and trying new foods with his girlfriend Alex.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *