Maxim Talks About Facing Challenges As a Solo Artist At Nocturnal Wonderland

September 10, 2014 -

Fadi AbuZaineh

I always make it a habit to get to festivals right as they start. I mean, how else are you going to catch all of the performances? On day 2 of Nocturnal Wonderland, we ventured over to the Bassrush stage to see someone dropping reggae music infused with drum n bass and trap, which was awesome to hear. Once I got a better look at the stage, I noticed it was none other than Maxim, who I've been curious to see all weekend. I also had the great opportunity to interview the recently-gone-solo artist, who is originally the lead vocalist for The Prodigy, an electronic group credited as being one of the pioneers of electronica, along with Fatboy Slim and The Chemical Brothers. With over 20 years spent making and playing music, I found it really awesome to meet someone with a lot of experience in the music scene. What he had to say in our interview was very real as well.

DB: How's it like to go from playing in a band like The Prodigy to going solo and doing a completely different thing?

Maxim: It's a challenge, man, you know what I mean? It's different, it's out of my comfort zone, but you know, that's what life is about isn't it? Stepping out of your comfort zone and doing something different. My comfort zone is being on stage with Liam and Keith with a mic in hand, and we've got the biggest tunes. So this is out of my comfort zone and a totally different thing. This is just me behind the decks, and of course I've got Cianna [Blaze], who wasn't feeling very well tonight, and that's why she didn't perform. But going back to what you were saying, it's a challenge. I love it, you know what I mean; just being in America is great.

DB: So you're from London, I heard deep house is the thing out there right now.

Maxim: Yeah I love how London is the kind of foundation for so many different things like the grime scene, jungle, drum n' bass, that's where a lot of scenes started from, ya know? I play trap music, but I mix it up with a bit of reggae influence, because that's where I come from, that's my background. But also, I'm trying to mix up more of a punk-y style, like Lucky Bitch, and Wolf, and those other tracks like Pull It Up, which are quite hard. It's kind of like the direction which I'm going, you know, that's the kind of vibe, hard trap.

DB: Are you playing any more big festivals, or is this your first one out here?

Maxim: Well I did Hard Festival and Voodoo Festival last November, and for me at the moment, I'm just focusing on the music. It's cool to come to festivals and and being on the bill, but I like to play in front of people. As good as it is coming here and playing this festival, playing in front of 50 people is not really my buzz. So I'd just like to focus more on my music, and hopefully come back out next year and put some music out with Cianna. We've got that EP coming out, then I'll put another EP out, and before the end of the year just put loads of music out. It's just gonna be free downloads because I want people to experience it and have it, you know. Rather than trying to charge people for it I'd rather them just have it.

I just want a lot of people to listen to that music so I can get some respect in the scene, and that takes time. People have got to understand what you're about, listen to your music, what direction you're going in. You can't just jump from The Prodigy and be like "yeah I'm in the scene!" and just play the number one slot. It's a whole building thing, and I realized that. That is the challenge of it, that's what I kind of like. If it was easy I could just be like "f*** it I don't wanna DJ anymore" and just quit tomorrow. But I like the challenge, I like DJ'ing, I like playing music, I like writing music, I like creating. That's what I'm about.

DB: Like you've mentioned, you may not be at the same level as the bigger guys, but the only way from here is up.

Maxim: Exactly, and I'm new to this scene, so it's a new venture. I've got a good team around me, a good agent to get me at festivals. But I don't want to be at festivals for the wrong reasons. I want people to book me for festivals for the right reasons, because of my music, not because I'm in Prodigy. That's why my whole thing is I want people to understand and say when they see me play is "Oh yeah he does Wolf, he does this, he does that, yeah he's got those tunes" not "oh he's part of that band" because I'm not playing those tunes. I'm not playing Prodigy music, if you want to see that go to a Prodigy show. I play my own music, which is Maxim, not Prodigy. So it's a time thing, and I'm just building it, you know.

We wrapped it up right after that, but I had a great time interviewing Maxim. He had a lot to say about the scene and going solo after being in a group for such a long time. We definitely hope to catch up with him again sometime soon. Check out his SoundCloud and keep an eye out for his new debut EP Animal Anger coming out soon!

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