From: The Midlands, UK
Sounds like: 3 Colours Red’s cheeky younger brother, just after he’s been made to scrub his face clean.
Thrash Hits verdict: We can’t listen to Black Metal all the time, can we? Okay, we could, but the weather’s been pretty nice this week and keeping up tr00 kvlt grim appearances is a bit of a stretch at the moment. Sometimes we want to listen to something a bit less frostbitten, but not quite so dayglo sugarsweet as all those So-Cal pop punk soundcrimes. Step forward Max Raptor, to give us some classic summer Brit-rock
How did you meet?
“All met through school and the ashes of bands…the old bands were bad…Tom [Garrett, bass] aged 13 started a band called “Dood” and sung songs about fake ID and did a throat cover of ‘Sex on the Beach’…”
What made you want to start a band?
“There was no massive plan, it all just kind of started from a jam session, Matt [Stevenson, drums] usually played guitar but but JB [Wilcox] came along and Matt took the drums on and JB wrote the riffs… Just sick of the mundane really, needed something interesting and something we could take our anger out of…”
Where did you grow up? How do you think it’s affected your music?
“Ha ha ha….VILLAGES….claustrophobic, repetitive, nauseating are words to describe symptoms of an illness but we don’t reeeaaally feel like that about our growth places…The villages are fine, loads of pubs, loads of mates and it’s fine aslong as you get down to Birmingham or London on regular occasions to see the cars and the mobile phones. I suppose one way it’s affected the music is that the gigs are always amazing around here and that’s how it all started, just groups of mates coming to shows in the early days, they bring a friend, the friend brings a friend and everyone goes mental. It kept us going.”
What are your musical influences?
“Aaaarrrghhhh – okay…Well, JB’s into his 70’s stuff but also likes a bit of Haunts, The Ghost of a Thousand, Billy Talent, Alexisonfire. Wil – Jeff Buckley is a god, Audioslave, Fucked Up, Sikth, Mars Volta and The Shins. Matt – basically anything that’s loud, fast and thrashy,…Tom – sits in his house and listens to some weird stuff. We’ve all got a load of influences that kind of come across in our music.”
The Raptor in question…
Where did the name come from?
“Max Raptor…It’s based on character who contains the idea of “the older you get the more corrupt you become”. The suit represents the power and authority, and the Raptor head represents the ruthless blood hungry system. William Blake uses the concept through his works. We’ll be doing the same…There’s a darkness but in that there’s a positive and that’s how we want to sound.”
So far, what has been the best thing about being in a band?
“Dressing rooms on tour, riders are good but no celery – fucking celery….”
What bands do you consider as part of your scene or as your peers?
“Scene’s are weird things, bands come and go. We played a few times with Jumping Ships and a band called The Perils then back at home bands like The Myways…but we would say we’ve never been a scene band, there’s a lot of great electronic music out there and a lot of electronic shit out there and that goes the same for indie and rock and thrash and hardcore and whatever so it’s pointless trying to be part of something you don’t really want to be part of. We only mention the above bands because we enjoy playing with em and they’re great guys, if guys/girls are up for a laugh and aren’t wankers then everyone has a good night, it’s just when people think they’re curing cancer through the writing of guitar riffs, that’s what really pisses us off.”
Do you worry that you’re too heavy for “rock” fans, but not heavy enough for “metal” fans?
“Verrrrry nice question but surely a movement starts with a new sound and something original. It’s good that people question it. We’ve worked for 4 years on our sound and it’s beginning to show now, we thought 2 years ago we were ready and a year ago we thought we were ready…we weren’t. Now we reckon our sound is really coming through and we keep it heavy-ish but with little quirks. That’s what we like to play and that’s how we’re making tracks.”
Normally we’d say “fuck acoustic!”, but this is just plain creepy enough to be cool:
You went on tour with The Stranglers! How did you prepare?
“Loads of practice over and over again and found this studio near to us, left our stuff set up and just went up every night and got our set real tight. Also fitted a table into our van using upturned chair supports from the chairs we ripped out, this gave us motivation. Trips to the pub to discuss what would happen and how famous we would be after the tour…this caused excitement but we all knew we were making it up.”
What’s the best and funniest show you’ve played?
“Best show ever?? Newcastle o2 Academy with Billy Talent, June 2009. It was a string of shows out of the blue and a lot of the audience had been on our MySpace, learnt our lyrics and the crowd were amazing, sound was quality and we got to support one of our favourite bands. But our local show at The Star & Garter is a quality night, £3 and the place goes off.
“Funniest or crappest show… it’s both. In the first year of gigging, we played, for some reason at Oceana in Kingston. We drove 3 hours, parked up, loaded out, went on at 1am to a bunch of pissed up chavs who didn’t know what was going on. I think the room was themed aswell.. Horrible, think it was a shipwrecked theme. Great.”
What have you got planned for your album/the future?
“The album is coming and we’re planning it now. We’re writing loads and we’ll probably go down to Bath to record with our producer Sam Bell, future wise – obviously there’s this Summer’s festivals, we’ve got a tour coming up in July and try and we’ll try and fit in as much stuff before the end of the year. Maybe even some shows in Europe.”
Tell us a joke.
“What has two legs and bleeds?
“Half a dog.”
Max Raptor released their debut single, ‘The Great and The Good’ back in March on Naim Label. They’re playing a number of festivals across the UK this summer, including Download Festival on June 13. Go check out Max Raptor’s MySpace for further info.