Bridging the Gap

Artist: Kevin Max
Published: 2006-05-11

As Kevin Max and I sat in the dining room of the legendary Stubbs restaurant and nightclub in Austin, Texas I warmed up instantly to the engaging former member of DC Talk. The night before I had been stage side as Max thrilled his audience at an outdoor concert in San Antonio located an hour down the highway. Max is well on his way to a breathtaking solo career with the release of The Imposter an album that his heavily influenced by the British bands that he listened to in his early days.

"I don't really present myself differently at venues anywhere. I pretty much do what I do. In an atmosphere where people know me more from DC Talk than as a solo artist I might throw in a couple of DC Talk songs for the kids. For instance last night (at the San Antonio concert) I decided to play one song (especially for) the DC Talk fans that were there. When I play the Viper Lounge I pretty well stick to the Kevin Max set list which is the majority of The Imposter and some of the songs from my first record (My Stereotrap)"

Max continues to say that he describes himself and his music as an alternative to what's on the market today for a variety of fans, "I think what I am doing now is a really interesting mix. On this tour we have done churches, clubs and theatres. It just seems to be the way this record is going." The album was put out by Northern Records, which makes records for both the Christian and general secular market. Max admits that he feels comfortable being a Christian who plays anywhere, he refuses to submit to the stereotypes, "That's what I am all about. I am at war against people who put up walls and put stereotypes on top of things and like to title everything and keep this protective surface around the bubble. I am all about bursting the bubble and letting people know, "You know what? Music is bigger than the Christian Church. Music is bigger than the Pagan Church. Music is bigger than people who don't want to go to church. Music is God authored and that in itself is a huge deal. God is universal. You cannot put a title on that."

Max talks about the influences of rock over the years and how originality today is just a variety of what's already been invented,"Groups like Radiohead, some people would consider it to be one of the bands that recreated a certain sound. Pink Floyd was before them and Moody Blues was before them (Pink Floyd). I think the only true originals were before the dawn of rock and roll, those people who were playing with Blues chords and were probably coming up with stuff that sounded odd to themselves."

Max has made many new Hollywood celebrities fans of his work while performing at The Viper Room, he says that it's where Los Angeles comes to see the showcase of new talent. From celebrities to A&R suits, to LA fans, they're all there because it's close to everything. "The times I play LA I get a lot of people asking me 'why aren't you bigger than you are?' I have to say, I am kind of an innocent to all of that. I just haven't gone out after the big huge record deal yet. I have been writing and biding my time creating the record that is going to be the one that I need to push all the way. When I made the Imposter I thought this could possibly be it but I feel like the Imposter is a bridge record from what I did in the Christian marketplace with Stereotype B to where I am going next. I am building blocks right now.

Max continues to say he would be happy to sign with a smaller rather than larger label, "I am not really interested in getting a big A&R show where all these record guys are coming out to check out my music because honestly I just wanted to sign with a smaller newer label to keep my fans interested. I want to gain more insight into my writing and my performing and then blow it all open."

Max is upfront when he plays any venue or speaks to anyone about what he's all about, "It is very cool when people can be upfront and honest about who they are. I tend to be too honest at times and I think that is where some of the rub from the conservative evangelical church is because they hide under a lot of pretense and let's face it a likeness that is just not very real. I always say faking sincerity is a sin. I think one of the biggest problems with Christian music is people are hiding behind this big (spectre) of self righteousness. That isn't God's spirit because God's spirit is a lot more interesting and a lot more dangerous."

For more information on Kevin Max, visit www.kevinmax.com.

Writer: Joe Montague




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