Max Graham: "My taste inevitably changes"
There’s at least one New Year’s resolution that Max Graham has fulfilled. He gave us the musical journey that is ‘Cycles 4’, the latest edition of his beloved compilation series. But there’s quite a few other things ahead for fans of his open-minded and ever-developing sound. What about a new album, the follow-up to ‘Radio’? Or his big move to Amsterdam, making sure that the European fans will witness much more of his famed DJ skills? Turn up the volume on ‘Cycles 4’ and enjoy this Max Graham update.
Hey Max! Since it’s never too late to do so: happy new year! Did you enjoy the holiday season? Had a fun NYE gig?
Max:”NYE was amazing, I played in Montreal at a brand new venue owned by good friends called ‘New City Gas’. You can check out some great pictures here.”
2013 brings you at least one big change - you’re moving to Amsterdam! What attracts you to the Dutch capital so much?
Max:”Location is perfect for my increasing European schedule, I love the culture, everyone speaks English and Armada is there of course! Haha!”
You’ve done a lot of moving in your life, having lived in Spain, New York, LA, Ottawa, Vancouver, Montreal…and now Amsterdam! Do changes like these influence your sound – would you say you NEED change to stay inspired?
Max:”Yes, I love changing things up and discovering new things even down to the daily coffee and the trip to the airport. Montreal has been ten years now and I still love it but it’s time for a change.”
This year also brought you the release of Cycles 4! Does it still carry the same formula as the first edition, back in 2008?
Max:”Well the formula is ‘music I love’ and that definitely changes over time just like the clothes you wear, TV you watch etc. I guarantee no one is wearing the same outfits they wore in 2008 so even though it’s my taste that inevitably changes.”
It’s one of the few compilations out there that really supports unknown names and talents. Is that one of the conditions of a new Cycles?
Max:”Well, just like Cycles Radio (www.cyclesradio.com) I’m always trying to keep it fresh. It’s too easy to show up to a gig and play the easy crowd pleasers that everyone else has played before but that’s not why I became a DJ. I get more satisfaction having someone ask me ‘what is this!’ with a big smile on their face than say ‘yeaay he played that song that’s been on the radio for months’ and I’ve seen with the radio show that that’s appreciated. The same extends to the CD. There is so much amazing music out there that finding it is very rewarding for me and I love being able to bring new songs and artists to people through the CD.
Which talents and new names should we keep an eye on for 2013, in your opinion?
Max:”Well Johan Malmgren is blowing up, Juventa and Estiva are really coming into their own also. I think Steve Haines is a dark horse, he’s making amazing stuff and with one or two hits people will start to take notice.”
Besides the prog vs trance sound, what are the main differences between CD 1 and CD 2? Or should we listen to it in one go - as one big musical journey?
Max:”CD 1 was meant to be smoother, more emotional, sweeter if you will. Based less on energy and more on melody. CD two is more dancy, more percussion and bassline based. I would prefer a two hour mix but it’s still the format to split them up.”
You told us that where you’re weaker in the studio you’re stronger in the DJ booth. Is that why the compilation features only one remix of yours – and no Graham originals?
Max:”Well yes it takes me a while to finish a track. I’m never happy and am constantly throwing things away and starting over. I didn’t want to rush anything for the CD. Lots coming for 2013 though.”
In the middle of packing and moving, you’re also still working on the follow up to your ‘Radio’ album. How far along are you? And what can you reveal so far?
Max:”All in good time but still under wraps for now.”
Re*Brand hasn’t had a release in a few weeks. What does the label have in stores for 2013?
Max:”With Cycles 4 we’ve been holding back but a new Protoculture and Johan Malmgren are finished and ready to go plus a couple of my own.”
Now that you’re going to be living in Central Europe, what will that mean for your career gig-wise? Got lots of trips planned for the coming months?
Max:”Yeah lots of summer festivals, can’t wait to take a train to a gig instead of the plane haha!”
Then last but not least: what’s your new year’s resolution for 2013? (you know we will hold you to it!!!)
Get ‘Cycles 4’ on iTunes now!