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Interview: Max the Sax is an explosive guy

Interview: Max the Sax is an explosive guy

Max the Sax is an explosive guy! You know him from the concerts of Parov Stelar, because he was years in his band. He played saxophone and danced like crazy on the stage.
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Max the Sax is an explosive guy! You know him from the concerts of Parov Stelar, because he was years in his band. He played saxophone and danced like crazy on the stage.

In the last two years, Max the Sax gives more priority to his solo appearances. A few weeks ago, he released his new single titled "Dance like you mean it".

Listen to this and read what he said to us a few days ago. It is worthwhile to meet this guy!

Dance or... smile like you mean it (The Killers song)? Please tell us a few words about your new single.

Max the Sax: If you’ll dance I think you’ll also smile like you mean it. Specifically on the song now, “Dance like you mean it” was created all by myself. I did the hookline of the saxophone, I combined it with a synthesizer, so you have one natural sax and one that is not natural in the final recording. This was the main thing. The vocals are from Ynnox, who’s a friend of mine from Austria  and we’ve had a very good cooperation on this one. For me in fact after house with saxophone and a lot of electronic music I made, maybe I was in the right thought to make now more music of the funk and pop directions.

So are you planning to release your first solo album?

Max the Sax: Yes. The plan is to spend a lot of time in the studio as soon as I get home to prepare it the best way as it’s going to be my debut album as a solo artist. It is planned to be released in 2018.

Max the Sax: Δε γίνεται τώρα να βγει «μαύρη» μουσική όπως το '50

Many people say that only the "black" music (RnB, funk etc) has been improved and has something to say in the last years. Do you agree with this approach?

Max the Sax: I think Funk and RnB or even blues, jazz and swing music were born by the black people and improved of course over the years even more. Still though it’s guaranteed to have this kind of blues feeling inside when you listen to a young guy who is singing the blues or recordings of B.B. King either, there’s actually a big difference in the sound between the two. I think maybe the old microphones were more dirty, the quality of sound and recording wasn’t always the best, so maybe there are even some mistakes of any amplifiers or maybe the membrane was not clear enough every now and then and this makes for me the most artistical thing of the music in the past. If you listen escpecially to Chess Records like Miles Davis in So What you can realise that. It was 1956 when Davis first recorded it and then they released a new version  and when you listen to this one now it seems like it’s a whole new production with a lot more quality. I don’t think people nowadays can make it the exact same way as they did it back in the day and also when you want to sound like Miles Davis, B.B. King, Charlie Parker,  John Coltrane, or Duke Ellington you have to live like they have lived. They were living in a hurry and a lot of stress and negative influences as well from the society around them. They were on drugs and alcohol most of the time and you know this is what they sound like, especially Charlie Parker who was on heroin since he was 14 years old because of an accident and he became allergic and then he was using heroin as a pain killer and after that of course he got addicted to it and used it even when he was playing live. Of course the strange thing is that other players thought really that the drugs would make them better  and that they had to use to play like Charlie Parker, but this isn’t the point. That’s totally bullshit. For me, I really enjoyed reading biographies of the old masters of these genres because it’s interesting how they felt in times when 100 kilometres was a ride like 3 or 4 hours because of the old cars and everything. It’s really interesting. I also use some original samples of Ray Charles in my set as well as one Stevie Wonder’s  version of Superstision. I love this nasty sound of the early days.

Max the Sax: Δε γίνεται τώρα να βγει «μαύρη» μουσική όπως το '50

New York, Sydney, Paris, Munich or Athens/Mykonos? What is the city that you would live, in order to get inspiration for a new album?

Max the Sax: I think I would go to Mykonos and chill. But then again I don’t know, maybe the wind is too much.

The video clip and the cover of "Dance like you mean it" single are very beautiful. Do you believe in the power of the image and video of music?

Max the Sax: Yes absolutely. To analyze the video a bit, we did the video along with my girlfriend Michaela. She’s the designer, she had the whole idea of the concept and we’ve been out in the streets of Munich, as she’s living there, and we spoke to the people, who were very friendly and kind and so we asked them to dance being as natural as they could. We had a small speaker and people from all around, no matter what age, colour, sex or profession, they were dancing to it freely and it was really funny. It was then combined by me in the studio and I really wanted to bring the summer feeling inside. That was really important in the whole idea. We also have some scenes inside from Bolivar Beach Club where you see the dancer on the beach bar. Furthermore in the start of it there is some footage from New York City because Michaela spent one year in America, as she’s working as a freelance graphic designer and she was working there back then. You see the video in a double exposure, so you have one picture and in the back layer a second one or even a third one. It makes a really nice effect. Thank Michaela Wiesinger for all the art.

Max the Sax: Δε γίνεται τώρα να βγει «μαύρη» μουσική όπως το '50

Would you like to share with us a special moment that you remember from one of your solo concerts or the ones you were with Parov Stelar? Something that you still remember and you can share it with us.

Max the Sax: Here’s a greek one from the time we were playing with Parov. We were playing in Ioannina and after the show we went with the whole band in a bus, a small one, like a nine sits bus. It was like 5 o’ clock in the morning when we saw the police were around looking. We were all really drunk, as well as the driver, who told us «guys go down» and everybody went down immediately so nobody could see that the car was full of people. And we were really afraid. When you’re after the show, really pushed, really drunk, on the higher level, having lots of fun and suddenly you have to be silent for 5 or 10 minutes, the time just don’t pass and this is a thing you can’t do easily. It was really crazy, and now actually funny to remember. It was a big shut up. “Shut up in Ioannina”.

Any plans for a new concert in Greece?

Max the Sax: Yes, actually there are some plans for a greek tour in Spring. April or maybe May. I’m going to have some shows in Athens, Thessaloniki, Volos, Ioannina, Patra and in the summer I will surely go to the islands.

Your favourite album from 2017?

Max the Sax: It was a big surprise for me when Calvin Harris came out this year with 'Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1' and of course I listened to it many times but I still find nice things among the track lines. Also I liked the work of Pharell Williams a lot. He is a big master. And as a sax player and producer I surely want to combine with this kind quality of production in my songs.

Thank you very much Max!

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