Mad Maxx is ready for Jungala 2015, are you?
As an artist, in order to survive in this scene, you have to be consistent.”
Mad Maxx has been a firm favourite on South African psytrance dancefloors for some time now. Having performed a few times with his, now ex-partner Davina, as Sirius Isness and more recently as his solo project, you always know what you will get; banging daytime full-on psytrance to the… erm, Maxx?
I chatted to him briefly via cyberspace about staying true to yourself as an artist, going solo, who he’d like to remix and of course… South Africa!
You’ve had some formidable production partnerships over the years – Biodegradable (with Mekkanika & CPU), and perhaps your most successful one – Sirius Isness with Davina that lasted for some time. Was it daunting to first go out on your own as a solo producer or a natural progression that was way overdue?
Mad Maxx: Yes it’s always a bit daunting to go out and play the music you have been making alone for the first time, but I had been DJing alone for so long that it was just a natural progression. I never felt scared or insecure to do it on my own, and I believe that it’s an important part of an artist’s life, to do music alone.
With the onslaught of progressive trance over the past few years you have always stuck to your full-on guns with your Mad Maxx project. Did you ever consider doing some slower proggy stuff or is it ‘full-on till I die?’
Mad Maxx: Yeah I did a few slower tracks, but I always felt that doing prog would be doing the same but slower. For my tastes at least, I prefer to play a bit faster, but what counts for me in the end is the musical content, not the genre.
I also have a chill out project called “The Bohemian” and have been working on loads of different types of music which are non-related to trance.
I find much more pleasure in doing something completely different, than doing the same thing a few BPMs down, just to make ends meet.
For a veteran such as yourself – what, in your opinion, is the secret to longevity in the psy scene?
Mad Maxx: As an artist, in order to survive in this scene, you have to be consistent. It’s easy for an artist to go up fast and down just as fast. A lasting artist will always try to renew himself musically, but without disappointing his fan base. Also having a good crew behind is essential, as in belonging to a good label who will promote you properly.
But most importantly, is to always do what you love. If that is not the case, music will then become a burden and make the artist’s life miserable, which can lead to quitting.
In the late 90’s, early 2000’s – did you ever imagine the psy scene growing globally as much as it has and being so sustainable?
Mad Maxx: Yeah, I was imagining something of the sort of course. It was already getting big at that time. But let’s be realistic, we are still talking very small numbers compared to what’s out there.
What was it like growing up in France as a Californian – or were you so young that you actually thought you were French?
Mad Maxx: I grew up both in California and in France. I was completely conscious that I was both American and French. I spoke English and French at home, in either country.
What feels more like home to you? France or USA?
Mad Maxx: Neither, I live in Spain.
What track (any song, doesn’t have to be electronic) have you always fancied remixing?
Mad Maxx: The soundtrack of the Bruce Lee movie “ Game of Death” with samples from Bucket Heads’ guitar playing. (But it’s not an easy one!)
South Africa: You’ve been here several times and always seem to rock our dancefloors. If friends ask you about our country, and our parties, how do you describe the people, country and parties?
Mad Maxx: When asked, I always describe South Africa as having one of the healthiest and vibrant trance scenes in the world, with some of the most precious outdoor locations to party at. You guys are a lucky bunch.
You’ve haven’t played for PsynOpticz Productions in South Africa before. What are you looking forward to about Jungala Festival?
Mad Maxx: Yeah of course, I have heard a lot of great things about them, and I m also very excited to perform my new project with Space Tribe called “Mad Tribe”.