Exclusive Interview: Max Chapman

Published On 30/03/2015 | News

Max Chapman has been around for a few years now and has established a good, solid rep in quite a short space of time. He’s entry into house music was pretty late by normal standards and in fact, he learned to produce through a friend with virtually no prior knowledge of making music – but not everyone should take a traditional path and Max’s entry point means he has a fresh perspective on the music. His label Resonance Records remains popular and consistent and he tours all over Europe and the UK.. we spoke to him recently about his career.

Hey Max, great to meet you! How are things in life right now for you?
Things are great! I’m really excited for the future, there’s some big things lined up that I’m so excited for. A residency at Sankeys Ibiza for Magna Carta this summer and fingers crossed also a London residency for them too. I have a bunch of releases coming out and can’t wait for everyone to here them!

How influential have your surroundings been on your musical taste?
To be honest, I cant say I’ve noticed anything over the past few months that’s really inspired me, but then I’ve had a really bad last 12 months, I lost my father in a motorbike accident, so I have kind of steered clear of partying, but I’m back in business now and feeling a lot better, ready to take on the world.

As for production, I suppose I’ve kind of just sat down in my studio and gone with the flow, although my good friends in the scene are always making brilliant music, in fact I actually play all my mates music, personally I think the likes of Leftwing & Kody, wAFF, Cera Alba, Denney etc, they are making really cool, big, moving electronic music.

So how would you describe your current sound? What equipment do you use to make most of your music?
I’m a huge Moog lover, I have a Sub Phatty, Little Phatty, Sub 37 and a Minitaur, I have heaps of other synths too, four Korg Synths, Novation Supernova and a Bass Station, and recently purchased a Yamaha DX7 and DX21. I also have two Roland Drum Machines. My drums are all Roland based, 808 or 909 depending on the style. So many people ask me this question. I have no idea what my sound is. I started off making deep house, then went housey, then went tech housey and then went tech house. If anyone asks I just say I play rolling techy house haha! There’s so many sub genres these days who knows!

When was the last time you were stopped in your tracks by a record, DJ set or party and can you explain what or who it was and why you liked it so much?
This has to be when Igluu showed me their track ‘How You Make It’ at an after party. I ended up signing it and it’s out now! It got lots of love including Radio 1 airplay a couple of times. They have a lot of cool music coming out so keep an eye out!

Who or what have been some of the key inspirations for you over the years and have they remained constant or changed?
I must say a constant inspiration is Jamie Jones, as a producer, DJ and businessman. He does everything so well and you would be silly not to look up to him. I also love Richy Ahmed’s quick mixing and aggressive style of DJing. He has always been a favourite of mine.

How long have you been producing? Who influenced you to start?
I first started producing early 2011 and had my first release in September that year. I literally made music all day every day and when I wasn’t at work I was making music. I went to visit a friend and had no idea he had a home studio in all the years I knew him. Once I saw the setup and realised you could make music from home I was mesmerized. I went home and bought everything he had and from that day have never been so passionate about anything.

How do things like the atmosphere, venue and sound system influence how you approach a set?
All three things are a huge factor. First and mostly the sound system has to be unreal. I can’t stand playing on rubbish sound. You would be so surprised how many parties you turn up to that have sound systems with absolutely no bottom end. All my music is driven by the lower frequencies, and some promoters just think of the money they are saving!

If you could own one track no other DJ could ever play, what would it be and why?
Nathan Fake – The Sky Was Pink (James Holden Remix) because it’s ridiculous! Oxia – Domino is a close second.

So tell us more about your newest release on Lost Records called ‘Danger’? What was your thinking behind the track and how did you go about making it in terms of your method in doing things?
There was no thinking to it! I just came across a sample that said Danger in it hahaha! Like I said earlier everything of late has just been from jamming in the studio and seeing what comes out.

What was it that made you chose the remixers you did, and how pleased were you with their productions?
Igluu are a great up and coming duo and I love what they are doing, and Christian Nielson is simply an amazing producer and he proved that with his mix.

What does 2015 have in store for Max Chapman? An album maybe? Or big tour schedule?
It’s funny you should say that, I actually wrote an album to come out this year but my sound has changed so much that I pulled it, although I’m having second thoughts, but we’ll see. I have another three EP’s out after Danger, and also four remixes throughout the year.

Max Chapman’s next release ‘Danger’ is out today – pick it up here.

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About The Author

Marcus Barnes is a renowned music journalist based in London. As well as manning the good ship Deep House London he contributes to Mixmag, The Independent, Resident Advisor, i-D and many more music outlets.