INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN
In the time they have been together, London alternative metal five-piece Maxdmyz have gained both critical acclaim and a devout fan base with their avant-garde approach to their music and live shows.
With some new work coming out soon, and a gig in France next month, the band’s future is looking rather good.
I chatted to them about all things Maxdmyz.
How did the band get together?
PIETRO “TWISTER” VALENTE (VOCALS): I was at a creative loose end some years ago – and a mate of mine knew a guitarist who was looking to start a band.
Since then, Maxdmyz has been through many incarnations over the years, new members have been recruited as and when via friends of friends, some online advertising, chance meetings in clubs or bars.
The band has kind of come about organically and informally – by far the best way to do it.
How did the name Maxdmyz come about?
JAY TATNELL (DRUMS): This is a mystery – no-one knows as the geezer who came up with left years ago – if he’s reading this, can he send the answer to us on a postcard?
To someone discovering your music for the first time, how would you describe it?
ROGER KIRCHNER (GUITAR): Melodic, passionate, aggressive, inspiring, thought-provoking, heavy, light, heavy again, groovy, catchy – brilliant, moving – I’ll stop now – oh, yes, and heavy again and again.
What are the band’s musical influences?
AREK “A’ZEDD” ZDROJEWSKI (BASS): Hendrix, Slayer, Doors, Kate Bush, Type O, John Coltrane, The Beach Boys, Andrews Sisters – anything heavy and gutsy written over the last 50 years or so.
What is the band’s approach to songwriting?
MARKUS “VORTEX” PESONEN (KEYBOARDS): Extreme caution – no, seriously, gay abandon, spontaneity, joy, levity.
Let me start anew – we’re methodical, rigorous and at the same time flexible in the way we do things.
We let things flow though and in a way every song we do as its own rules and rhythm – literally and figuratively – some fall from you ready-made, others really need to be crafted and worked on.
Where does the inspiration come from for your lyrics?
TWISTER: Love, hate, lust, indifference, weltshcmerz, just the whole gamut of human emotion, which we all share – with me it comes out in words to music – Twister is just a part of me though, and sometimes not even that – every song gives voice literally to another facet of that fractured identity – it’s not inspiration, the lyrics come to me and then have to be sung – they’re born of necessity, compulsion almost.
What’s the experience for the band playing live?
ROGER: At its best, the most amazing thing after sex.
I struggle to find words to describe the high and deep satisfaction you get from doing a great gig – and even if I could – well, it just can’t get anywhere near conveying how great it is to make music together with people whom I not only respect musically but consider friends.
You have some stuff coming out soon. How was the process of recording it, from initial idea to completion?
VORTEX: Pretty smooth really – the ideas came to us often at the studio as we jammed and just fooled about – we just developed them without giving it much thought – if we were still messing with a riff or groove for more than 10 minutes we thought, hey, this might be a keeper.
At some point, Twister got off his ass and wrote a lyric or two, we then played them to our producer Ays Kura – the recording took a week or two – we’re currently at the pre-mix stage.
Next comes production – which Ays will be handling with a modicum of input here and there from the band.
What have you got lined up in the near future?
JAY: We’ve got gigs in London on 2 and 8 October at the Redrock Festival and the Albany Theatre (supporting Anta) respectively, and we’re playing at an industrial festival in Lille on 15 October – also appearing at Club Antichrist in January, which we are particularly looking forward to.
What is the long-term aim for the band?
A-ZEDD: To survive, educate, enlighten, entertain, learn – but above all to prevail.
We want to be doing this till the grave – and maybe beyond…