Maxdmyz is a London based 5-piece band consisting of Twister (vocals), Roger (guitars), Jay (drums), A’Zedd (bass guitar) and Vortex (keyboards). The band is now well established on the UK scene having built its reputation over the years with stunning live performances and recording some of the most innovative and original alternative metal ever to come out of the UK music scene. Some of the band’s highlights include past collaboration with Eminem and also its last EP; the critically acclaimed ‘Cosmic Hearse’. The band’s influences are wide and varied, from Lou Reed and Black Sabbath, to Squarepusher, Pantera and 80’s electro pop – but what truly marks this band out is its musicianship and compositional excellence and the breadth and variety of its output.
How would you describe your music? Jay (drummer): A distinctive mix of death metal, thrash, industrial, classic rock and goth – imagine a heady blend of Cult, Type O, Rammstein, Pantera and Amon Amarth, and you’ll be somewhere near it.
Tell us about how the history of the band? Twister (singer): We formed around 2000 and we’ve had a number of incarnations in terms of personnel – and the music has changed over the years from experimental drum’n’bass type stuff with big Stormtroopers of Death guitars to what we have today.
What are you influences/musical heroes? Vortex (keys): I guess you mean musical influences, right? As a band, I think the list is just too long, includes almost everything and no one influence weighs especially – I think I can speak for all the guys on that score. We’re voracious and omnivorous in the way we listen to music of all genres and from all links on the food chain – it all goes in via the ears, get processed and comes out via the heart – usually as a new Maxdmyz tune. As for heroes, there aren’t any – or not anymore, at least – the Stranglers got it in one!
What inspires you? A’Zedd (bassist): A drop of dew on a flower, an immense artwork, a smile or a scowl you might get from a passing stranger on a bus or the London Underground, a half-remembered conversation recalled between sleep and waking, a poem, a painful memory, a great hook or riff you might hear, reading the biography of a smacked-up jazz musician – inspiration can come from anywhere and, this week, these are the places it’s come from.
Do you write on the road, or do you prefer to write in the studio? Roger (guitarist): I know Twister pens the odd lyric or two in motion, and you’ll sometimes find me at the bus strumming my old Ibanez – but to be honest with you all our best work is done in rehearsals – that’s where it all really comes together.
What is your favourite song to perform live? Roger: ‘Grieve’.
Vortex: ‘Ex Deo’.
A’Zedd: ‘Cosmic Hearse’.
Jay: ‘Hate Injustice’.
What would be your dream tour to be a part of? Jay: Aerosmith, Origin, Cindi Lauper – in the unlikely event that ever happened, we’d headline of course.
What are you current thoughts on the music industry? Twister: Yeah, probably someone is creaming off the money – as has always happened, with musicians at the foot of the pile – but social media have bought massive benefits to bands like mine, as long as you’re not concerned too much about the bottom line – there’s a wonderful democratic flatness to the internet – you visit a page, it could be Maxdmyz or Katy Perry or whoever, you listen, like buy or rob – but the point is that all these acts are present in the same way and available to a huge international audience for judgement and appreciation on what feels like a level playing field. On the other hand though, I’d say the industry seems to be regressing. Lennon’s first gig was with the Quarrymen at a garden fete playing covers. That’s what bands used to do – maybe throwing in the odd original. We’re back now to a situation where tribute bands get more coverage and success than most original performers, and even major mainstream acts now increasingly have to present themselves as an adjunct to an event – maybe not a garden fete, but the launch of a new iPad or a range of Nike trainers. And yeah, we do make money – just not much.
What is the funniest/weirdest experience you have had on tour? Twister: Christ, there are so many – normally to do with fucked-up fans doing weird shit under the influence of even weirder drugs – I think the strangest was when two women had sex on stage behind the band while we were playing at Imperial College – for once, it wasn’t part of the act – and none of us could work out why the audience was getting so worked up (that was the strange part) – I suppose in retrospect it was neither weird nor funny – just noteworthy – sorry for not answering the question.
What are your future plans? Roger: We have an EP out in early October and several gigs coming up in England and France – visit www.maxdmyz.uk for details.