Maxdmyz are a five-piece metal band based in London. The band are well established on the UK scene, having built up a reputation for brilliant live performances and innovative and original alternative metal. They took the time to answer some of my questions; we spoke about dream tours, future goals and their influences.
Where did the band name come from?
Jay (drummer): I don’t know, and Twister won’t tell me – it’s the bloke he started the band with who came up with it – best ask him.
How did you all get together?
Vortex (keys): Mates of mates, an ad or two, impromptu conversations at clubs or gigs – Roger, for example, actually had seen us a number of times – when we needed to replace a guitarist, he climbed aboard. I’d also known Twister for a while before joining the band.
What inspired you to become a musician, and was that what you always wanted to do?
Twister (singer): I’m a singer – do I qualify as a musician? At any rate, I think it was my uncle – he would play old Italian folk songs to me on his piano accordion – I was really young – about 5 years of age. I would sing harmonies with my mother at bedtime when I was really young – and some of my earliest memories of my father are of him singing Neopolitan love songs – he had a wonderful baritone. It inspired me to play guitar, sing and to write – definitely. I’m a musician to my bones – and always will be.
What song would you recommend to someone who hasn’t heard your music before?
A’Zedd (bass): I think our last single, Grieve, would make as good a starting point as any. It contains most of the elements in proportion that characterize our music. Search for the video on YouTube.
What artists influence you as a band? Whom do you admire?
Roger (guitar): I think I know the guys well enough to speak on their behalf – Twister loves Type O; Jay, Cannibal Corpse; Vortex, Velvet Underground; A’Zedd, Deep Purple – there you go.
Is there anyone you’d like to collaborate with?
Roger: I’m sure this time I’m not speaking for the boys but for me, Lady Gaga – why the hell, not!
My Mum insists that in every interview I ask; what apps do you have on your phone and which one is your favourite?
Twister: What, all of them? No? Well, here are the highlights – Skymap, as I’m a keen amateur astronomer; Whatsapp, of course; Quicktranslator, which can translate words just by placing them in the viewfinder – can I stop now, I’m boring myself? My favourite apps are Compass – I always like to know where I’m going – and Memos, as I need to remind of what the fuck I should be doing when I get there. Hi, Mum!
Can we expect to see you playing shows in the UK anytime soon?
Jay: We’re taking a little bit of a break at the moment – although we have been extremely busy this year gig-wise. But on 7 January we’re playing Club Antichrist and on 27 January we’re playing Retribution Live with our old mates Die Kur in London.
Do you have any pre-show rituals?
A’Zedd: I don’t think any of us do particularly – although Twister does vocal warm-ups and meditates – I can be found on occasion doing the odd relaxation and finger exercises before I get to the stage.
What would you like to achieve through your music?
Vortex: Bring comfort to the senile and inspiration to the young – oh, and perhaps to reconcile the Russians and the Chinese – it’s such a big question, I’ve found myself going into standup mode. I think I’ve achieved all that I want to (although I want to go on achieving till I die) and that’s to play great gigs and write great music – I say this with all possible humility.
To you, what is the most important part of a song, and what do you think is the easiest and hardest part of a song to write?
Twister: The beginning, the middle and the end. Unless you’re doing something really abstract, or that’s brilliant but unlistenable like Scott Walker, there are some basic rules you need to follow. Repetition and hooks are key – if you’ll pardon the pun. Usually, inspiration comes easily – although squeezing out a middle eight or equivalent can be tricky. Structure is also often challenging – which bits need to repeat or come in, and where and why.
If you’re buying music, how would you do so: CD, vinyl or digital?
Jay: CDs – defo. I usually listen to music in my motor – and CDs are just simpler and less fiddly than MP3s.
What is the most challenging song to play live?
Roger: It depends whom you ask – Hate Injustice has got some really tough vocal passages – but for me it’s Cyanide and Grieve – they’re just so relentless and fatiguing for the hands. You’ve really got to get that balance between performance, passion and hutzpah – and basically staying in time and in tune – some of the stuff is quite technical so…
What’s your earliest musical memory?
A’Zedd: My Polish grandmother singing me lullabies at a very, very young age. I have a very vague memory of hearing All You Need is Love on the radio when I was tiny – but maybe I’m making that up – it was a long time ago.
What’s your fondest musical memory?
Twister: Watching Led Zeppelin more years ago than I care to remember – with a girl I was head over heels in love with – the moment when they lurched into Rock ‘n’ Roll is one I shall treasure forever. That and the first time I heard Bomber by Motorhead on the jukebox in my parent’s café.
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians?
Vortex: Nothing original here – listen, absorb, practice, learn – and then listen, absorb and practice some more – don’t be too proud to allow other people’s ideas to influence you – but ultimately it’s only your standard that matters – and don’t lie to yourself about how talented you are – work with what you’ve got – oh, and don’t destroy the ideal in pursuit of the good. That’s enough to be going on with.
Have you ever met an idol and freaked out about it?
Jay: I don’t really have idols and I’ve certainly never met anyone famous – unless you count the singer of Origin’s singer – he’s a great guy by the way – I do know people who have met their idols however – and it’s always been a disappointment – my native discretion forbids me from saying who the bands (and the friends) were.
What would be your dream tour?
A’Zedd: A string of tour dates with Lamb of God and Gojira – I’m a great admirer of them both. It would be brilliant just to be part of that vibe and that scene.
Where would you be, ideally, in 5 years?
Roger: That’s such a tough question – I don’t even know if I’ll be here – I mean, who does! I guess I’d just want to still be rocking and being creative. One of my great motivations always is to get better and better at writing and playing my guitar. So yeah in five years’ time I’d like to be a much better musician and composer – how’s that?
Give these guys a listen and follow them on social media to keep an eye out for new dates and new music.
For more interviews, reviews and news, sign up to the email list so you never miss a post.