With the 2009 year just finished, sum up your past 12 months for us in a few words.
I opened an Apple Service Provider in Toronto, gotta put your dj money somewhere right? After a year of that i had the itch to return to the studio so I moved back to Montreal in the fall. I've been working with Jessica Riddle (Jacobs was her married name and she is no longer married) and have a few things ready for 2010.
What were your early musical influences when growing up, and what prompted you to pursue a career in DJing and producing?
Early ones were Emerson Lake and Palmer, Pink Floyd, basically anything with strange synth sounds. I got into djing through being a turntablist first, i was living in NYC in the mid eighties when Run DMC and LL Cool J were still just new york groups with dj's behind them. I fell in love with the scratching side of things. That progressed to djing hip hop, then top 40, then house.
In the eyes of the online community, you are viewed as being someone who has the ability to produce hits under varying production styles - from the melodies of Does She Know Yet to the aggressive nature of Crank. Do you feel it is important to not be confined to a singular style?
Well there's different ways to look at it, I love being diverse and the artist in me needs it. But some would say it's a mistake in an industry where the styles
are very defined. If you only make one style, say trance, then the trance scene gets behind you and supports you. If you're jumping around musically
with styles from house to electro to trance then it's harder to really be successful as a dj and producer. At the end of the day i make and play what turns me on and the success comes secondary. I would never just make one style to reach some peak of success of that makes sense, it would be boring to me.
So it's really personal choice as to follow one style or not. for me diversity has always been my thing.
Is a typical Max Graham DJ set reflective of these varying production styles?
Very much so, I love playing long sets for this reason, to open the room with softer house, pick it up into peak time stuff then land gently with melody. Much like a movie. Some DJ's play like the entire movie is one big chase scene, or one big love scene. i prefer to change it up over the course of my set to really give people a journey through the styles that turn me on. I've been lucky enough to find enough supporters of this style to keep me djing. :)
Your productions have been hugely supported by Markus Schulz on Global DJ Broadcast over the years. How did you first come into contact with Markus, and how has he influenced your career?
I don't remember how we met, we've been in contact for as long as I can remember though, i always loved Markus' lean toward melody and have always supported his productions.
Many will regard your defining moment as the release of I Know You're Gone, which appeared on Markus' Miami '05 compilation. When working on the track at the time, could you envisage how successful the track would go on to become?
I remember the moment i heard the Vocal, I tried for years to contact Jessica who had dropped out of the scene and finally found a managers phone number on some web site. I knew this was a bomb but we couldn't license it. So I made the bootleg that Armin and Markus played. The track should have been much bigger but the original copyright holders were not interested in a dance track so it never got a proper release.
You made your bow on Coldharbour Recordings through the Red imprint, putting together a fine remix for Marcus Schossow's Swedish Beatballs. Typically, how do you approach the task of remixing a track, and was there anything in particular about Swedish Beatballs that appealed to you?
I love remixing because the parts usually inspire me, in this case it was actually an original I was working on that kinda fit the parts i was sent, so i changed the key and rearranged it and it just worked so well as a remix i decided to give it to Markus. I gather it did pretty well.
Despite being born in London, you have resided in the Canadian city of Montreal for many years. The city is home to Stereo, a club which Markus has regarded as one of his all-time favorites to play. Why do you think the Stereo nightclub is so special?
Stereo is special because of the room and the sound, It's a breed of club that is music first. The sound fits that room perfectly and the club has always made that the priority.
In 2008 you released the first chapter of your Cycles compilation series on Armada. What can fans expect to hear on the second edition, due to come out this year?
It's due to come out but I truly want to finish an artist album first, there's too many comps out there and original music is what I want to do before I do another comp. I have lots of down tempo finished also, want to combine that with the dancier stuff on the album.
We welcome you back to Coldharbour Recordings in style with the upcoming release of Sun in the Winter. Can you give us some background information on the track, including how you came into contact with vocalist Neev Kennedy?
I heard this actually as part of a collection of demos, i listened to it probably ten times over and fell in love with her voice and how it's sung. I have trouble finding vocals that i don't find too cheesy or too obvious. This was perfectly in the middle, classy and serene and not too over the top.
And finally, aside from Cycles 2 and Sun in the Winter, what else can we look forward to from Max Graham in 2010?
Jessica Riddle and i have some bits coming and hopefully that elusive artists album
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