We catch up with Cornish based artist Max Rad to discuss his latest EP, life in Kernow, and much more!
The multi-instrumentalist, producer, and songwriter Max Rad has been making waves through Cornwall, Devon and beyond. His blend of chill beats and mellowed vocals is a daringly infectious combination that encapsulates those summer days on the coast. His latest EP ‘Point Me In The Right Direction’ solidified him as one of the most exciting Cornish exports in recent years, there’s plenty on offer across the four tracks.
Now, as we drift into 2022 Max has a variety of shows lined up including a support slot for Pattern Pusher at The Old Bakery this Friday. You can also catch him at the Spring Classic 2022 Festival at Woolacombe, Devon.
With such an exciting release and year ahead we were eager to chat to Max to find out more! We caught up to discuss the new EP, life in Cornwall, and much much more!
Kieran: Hey Max, thanks for taking the time to chat with us! How have things been?
Max: Thanks so much for having me. Things have been good! Busy working on a few different projects at the moment and also touring so there’s been lots happening!
Kieran: How’s life in Cornwall?
Max: Life is great! When the weather is good I reckon it’s the best place to be on earth!
Kieran: What does a day in the life as a Cornish artist look like?
Max: I have my studio at home, so I get up , head for a surf if I can (if it’s good), then lock myself away in the studio for the rest of the day. It’s pretty chilled to be fair! I try and get in the sea most days, or just go and have a look at it. Really clears the head!
Kieran: How does being located in Cornwall affect you as a musician?
Max: I think it gives me the space I kind of need to create – it’s a slower pace of life and I think that really suits being creative. You need to just allow yourself the time to make stuff, and Cornwall is great for that. That being said, I’m actually moving to Bristol in May as I have an opportunity there to get a proper studio – I’m sure I’ll be back to Cornwall though, but a change of scene is going to be exciting!
Kieran: Does the location ever affect your songwriting?
Max: Definitely, I think the places you’re in or visit really have an impact on you. It might not always be that direct in terms of influence, but it has an effect on you for sure.
Kieran: Do you ever feel being located in a rural location stump your growth as an artist?
Max: I don’t to be honest, but I do look at the people that grew up in places like London and feel a bit jealous that I wasn’t exposed to that amount of music, clubs, live shows and scenes and stuff that they were…. I grew up in Stroud in Gloucestershire which isn’t as rural as Cornwall, but it’s a similar kind of situation. Not having that exposure to new and interesting things can be a draw back, but what that can give you is freedom to do your own thing, at your own pace. I didn’t really have anyone else around me making music when I was growing up, I wasn’t really part of anything like that, so it was quite insular but that allowed me to just hone my craft and learn what makes me tick as a musician and a producer. Also, now , with everything being online, it doesn’t really matter where you live !
“I do look at the people that grew up in places like London and feel a bit jealous that I wasn’t exposed to that amount of music, clubs, live shows and scenes and stuff that they were“Max Rad
Kieran: You recently released your latest EP ‘Point Me In The Right Direction’, what was the influence behind this?
Max: This EP comes out of an album of tracks I’ve made, which I am releasing slowly over the next few months. I wrote it over the past year, down in Cornwall, it was a great way to escape the madness going on around surrounding Covid, so it is really dance music inspired (I think due to the lack of going out to clubs and stuff) and the music feels quite cathartic and hopeful, it was a way of processing everything and looking to the future with a bit more positivity, that’s how I saw it anyway!
Kieran: Can you talk us through how you created the EP and how you craft your music in general?
Max: I make everything myself, anywhere I can find to set up my stuff. The writing and the production happen kind of at the same time, I have a bunch of old analog synths and drum machines, and so when I start something I either sit at one of those or play my guitar until I get an idea of something that sounds interesting to me, then I’ll try and write a song around it and record as I go. I think that the magic of writing a song and recording it while it’s happening in real time, creates really beautiful recordings because you capture that energy and excitement of when something is new and fresh, so I try and do that as much as possible!
Kieran: How does your recorded music transfer into a live setting? What can people expect?
Max: It’s tough when the sounds are so electronic and I don’t have a band, so it’s taken a while to get a live set up that I’m really happy with! Now, I have a few samplers and a synth on stage, with my guitar, and I play on my own – the one man band – and to be honest it is just super fun to play these songs. I reimagine all of the songs in some way so they suit the live environment – I think recorded music and live music are totally different things ; I really love it when a live show is super exciting and energetic, so that’s what I try and bring to mine.
Kieran: Lastly, what’s on the horizon for 2022 and beyond?
Max: More music is coming. More live shows. It’s all go.