We had a chat with local band The Maximum Chill, about their music; inspiration; and more. Here’s what they had to say!
1. How would you describe your sound?
Personally, I would describe our sound as an amalgamation of almost every popular (and unpopular) style of music from the late 1800s up until present day, with “rock’n’roll” being the glue holding everything together. Something that makes our music sound the way it does is that it is composed out on sheet music prior to playing it so I can make the harmonies and melodies as complex or simple as possible, then distribute the parts to each player.
2. Who influences your music?
Frank Zappa, Mark Mothersbaugh, Brian Eno, Vivian Stanshall, Antonin Dvořák, Stefani Germanotti, Charles Mingus, Annie Clark, Igor Stravinsky to name a few. There is a list of over 100 people on the insert of our debut album who have influenced our music in some way.
3. What’s on the horizon for you music in 2019/2020?
A couple things actually:
A- We are embarking on at 7 date tour starting May 17th in Ottawa at Mavericks and then continuing to Hamilton and back to Montreal by May 25th.
B&C- Two new albums hopefully being recorded before the end of the year. One of them is going to be a baroque style opera which will be VERY far away from “the norm” of what people have come to expect from “indie/alternative” rock. The concept for that one is still to be determined, but leaning toward a “youth vs the world” kind of theme. The second album is mainly going to be freak-jazz/avant-garde instrumental non-sense. We hope that both those albums make us a lot of money.
D- The last thing, I swear. I want to do an all-ages pop-up rock venue for a month somewhere that will host two shows a night, 5 nights a week. Each night would showcase a different emerging artist and then we would go on after them. Musicians used to do similar residencies back in the 60s/70s and it sounded like a hell of a good time so I figure why not give it a go. It would be all ages and cheap so that it would be accessible for teenagers that don’t otherwise have an opportunity to see concerts until they’re 19.
4. What is your creative process?
Usually I start by writing down an idea for a melody or a lyric, or something that I recently learned music theory-wise, and try to compose a piece around that idea. I write out most parts by hand first because I feel that’s easier for me to edit than using Sibelius (please, for the love of God, someone make this program more user friendly). Once the music is composed we do a couple practices of the piece and I’ll tweak parts here and there as we go along until it’s complete. I also try to write for the personality and playstyle of whoever is in the band at the moment, which means the songs tend to change over time.
5. Where do you draw inspiration from?
A lot of my inspiration for our music comes from my own experience and what I enjoy when it comes to music. Lyric-wise, my lyrics are inspired by what is happening in the world around me. This could be headlines that keep popping up, things that piss me off, or weird antics that our friends/fans partake in. I also try to balance comedic songs with more serious ones so I guess my own writing influences itself in that regard.
6. How do you deal with nerves/stage fright before shows?
I used to get nerves, but that stopped a long time ago. I did a lot of improv acting in High School which helped me in converting that nervous energy into excitement. I get a huge thrill from performing now. I highly recommend taking a couple improv classes for those who do get nerves.
7. What is your favourite venue in Ottawa?
Avant-Garde bar for it’s vibe, The Rainbow Bistro for it’s stage.
8. What is the craziest thing you’ve seen at a show?
For our album release party at Avant-Garde bar in Oct 2018 our drummer, Luke, brought this giant, remote controlled, helium filled shark into the venue. The audience passed it around all night and we haven’t seen it since.
9. If you could play a show with any line up, who would you play with?
I think we would put on a really cool show with King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, and The Lennon-Claypool Delirum.
10. Any advice for new bands or musicians trying to get involved in the scene?
Go play as many shows as you possibly can, play music that you would want to listen to, and take control of your own success rather than waiting for someone to give it to you.
11. Any shout outs you want to make?
Thanks to all you freaks who have come to our shows this far. We can’t wait to continue rocking out with you.