Maxim of The Prodigy

Interview with Maxim of the Prodigy

October 30, 2013 Sunset Marquis Hotel

Alex Lucero: First off, thanks for taking the time to talk to us.

Maxim: Thanks, man. It’s all good.


You’re doing a DJ set at Hard Day of the Dead. Can you tell us if this will be your first time doing a DJ set in the US?

Not the first DJ gig. It’ll probably be about my fourth.


What can we expectfrom your set at Hard Day of the Dead?

A guy behind (DJ) decks (laughs). I’m just going to be playing some of my music and just play a hard set, you know? I have a female MC as well to enhance the show, cause behind decks you can obviously do a limited amount of things beyond the decks, you know, it’s not a performance like if I was in Prodigy. If Prodigy was here, it’ll be with a live band, so I’m making the most of being behind a deck.  That’s why I brought along a female MC. She’s my voice, she’s a performance. So, you gotta check her out, really.Maxim


So you’re not doing any MC, at all? You’ll be letting her do all the work?

No, I only MC for The Prodigy.


Do you plan on doing more DJ sets around the US before you head out to do some Prodigy tour dates in the coming weeks?

Yeah, sure. I’m out here working on the DJ thing. I like the scene out here at the moment;  the dance scene is really taking off, especially the Hard festival. It’s the edgier side of the dance scene, and that’s what I’m about. I’m not really about the “glitzy” side of it, you know? I’m more about the harder music, the people that come to listen hard music, listen to tunes, and people who are into music. I want to come and play clubs, festivals, and yeah, be out here more often.


You’ve been in the electro-dance music scene since before it’s been popular and now it’s recently blown up in the past several years in the US. Why do you think it’s taken so long to become popular here in the states?

You know what? I don’t know.  Like you said, I’ve been in this scene for a long time and we’ve trying to bring live music over here, many times.  One, I think technology plays a big part. When radio stations were involved and record labels were getting involved trying to push music down kids throat . I think kids now days go out there and find out what they’re into and find their own thing. I think the scene has kind of grown through a lot of technology with websites and people doing the underground thing through soundcloud, Dj’s sharing music through beatport, and a lot of people doing their own thing on the street level and it grown like that. Kids tap in like that, which I think plays a big part. There are a lot of influences that play out in the UK and then play out over here. It’s funny, because people in the US don’t really know about the Detroit sound, where a lot of house music comes from, you know, and it’s right here in America. I suppose it’s good to know a bit of your history and the foundation of where things come from. We’re here now and kids are listening to trap, dubstep, house music, and whatever and there’re in it in a big way. I can’t point my finger on it on how it’s got so big, or why it’s getting so big. I think people are a bit opened minded when it comes to music and they’re willing to listen to different styles and they’ll listen to a hip-hop track, they’ll listen to an r&b track, they’ll listen to a trap track, they’ll listen to all different types of music, where years ago, I think it was very fragmented of just rock, hip-hop, you know, you didn’t cross pollinate and people didn’t go into it with different genres. Back in the UK, that was happening a lot at festivals; you’ll get a hip-hop act, a rock act, you get a dance act, and you’ll even get folk music, all under one roof. You don’t really get that here, and it’s starting to happen now.


Yeah, like Coachella is starting to head towards that direction.

Yeah, exactly, and I think that’s a good thing.


How are you and The Prodigy adapting to the evolution of Electronic Dance Music?

We have our own sound, you know, we create our own sound and do our own thing. We aren’t moving with the times, man, you know what I mean? The times are moving with us (laughs). We have our own thing, we do our own thing and we got our Prodigy sound, so we never bend out rules. We came out in the dance scene and we create our own thing, and our own foundation, I think people know that about us, you know? Of the whole dance scene in the 90’s, we were on top of our game and we are probably one of the last bands to last in that scene, but we’ve evolved, we’ve always stayed stagnant. We create our own style and that’s what we do, we create our own style. We have our Prodigy sound, and that Prodigy sound isn’t going to die. We’ll always stay true to our sound.


You guys headlined Download Festival last year during one of the most metal line ups we’ve seen in its 10 year history. How did it feel to be a headliner along with Metallica and Black Sabbath?

It’s a good buzz, man. It’s respect from fans, from bands, and from promoters. Obviously, the promoters who book us with these headliners know what we are about and know we have a big following with the ethics and have that we have hard edge, you know, and like I was saying, we come from dance music and we’re playing alongside Metallica. We can play a dance, because that’s the beauty of what we do: we play dance music , but it’s hard-edge dance music people in the rock genre who listen to rock music can appreciate the dynamics and the energy we bring to a show, and we rock more than some rock bands (laughs).Maxim2


I’ve seen some of your festivals and it’s outrageous! I’ve seen some of the Prodigy’s festivals (on YouTube) and I’ve seen people go crazier at one of your sets than they would at a metal show.


Yeah, exactly. We know the dynamics, and we know how to get that sound across. Sometimes bands or rock acts miss that, but we know the dynamics and bring the beats, and the bass, as well. We cover the whole spectrum around, and it’s not just guitars and thrashing your head, you know? We got the bass and the bottom end to carry and the top end as well, so, you know, we got the whole area covered and that’s why we can play in so many categories, and not many bands can do that, you know?


Yeah, when you guys were announced as one of the headliners for Download last year, a lot of people from over here were surprised, you know, like “Uhh Prodigy with Metallica and Black Sabbath?” and you guys were the only electro band there playing and you fit right in.

Yeah, there isn’t a lot of electronic bands that play these festivals, like Download, other than us. We’d love to come over and play festivals and obviously, the dance scene is taking off, and we’d love to come and play the Hard festival. Hard seems like the festival to play out here for us where the harder edge kind of sound and we’ll sit right with that kind of crowd.


Maxim3Can we expect The Prodigy to do a tour like Mayhem Festival or any other festival here in the States like you did at Download and Rock am Ring? We only have these strict metal festivals over here, so do you think you guys will ever be a part of these metal bills?

Listen, the thing is with us, if anybody wants us, we’ll come.  If we play any metal festivals over here, we’ll tear it apart.


I think you guys rock hard at Mayhem if that happens.

Exactly, and we’ll show them how we do it in the UK, you know what I mean. Tell them to e-mail me and we’ll book it up! (laughs)


We’ll get one of those petitions for you guys to get added to the Mayhem line up!

Exactly! Get that petition out there! (laughs)


What direction is being taken for the new Prodigy album?

It’s hard to say, really. It’s kind of early, you know. We’re still writing and the thing is there are always changes and we’re always developing. It’s not finished, and there are tracks we might play now and in 6 months time they might not even be on the album, because you keep writing. I can’t really say too much on that, but all I can say is that when it’s out, don’t worry, it’s going to be heavy.


Is there any DVD/s that are coming out from the years past couple of festivals?maxim4

We did the Milton Keynes, I don’t know if you have that over here. We did a festival and we put the whole festival on there. We got all the bands together and put it together where there were 3 stages and 70,000 in the crowd, and this festival was our own crowd. It’s available on DVD and I think it’s called Worlds on Fire, yeah, and you should check that out. It’s a live DVD and it has live footage as well from where we played some small shows that we played In the US and some footage from some shows we played in Australia, South American, Brazil, and so forth. It’s a DVD packed with live footage.


Will we see any US tour dates in the coming year and when can we expect it if it happens?

Who knows, but we’d love to come over here.


So, it’s going back to what you said, as long as we want you playing here, you’ll come?

Exactly! We want to be here and take the music here. With the rest of the band, we’ve traveled the world 10 times over and we’ve been everywhere and taking the Prodigy music, worldwide. We’ve been embraced worldwide with fans in Japan, to Iceland, to Australia, to Germany, France, Brazil, you know, all over, and even down into Argentina. America is so vast, and to get your music out there and to get the people to listen to your music is a hard thing to do. Today, dance music is happening, so I think word of mouth is helping people know what’s going on. The thing with dance music is that people talk about things and people will know things like the Harlem Shake, where Skrillex is doing this, and Diplo is doing that, and they doing what difference artists are doing and they’ll know when tunes are coming out. I think the whole dance thing has changed in the US and we’d love to come back and play because we love it and we live and there are so many people to play to. This place is really one of the last places we have really played on that scale of level. For me, it’s an experience at the moment; being here and being part of the Dj scene at the moment and playing some of my tunes and playing some of The Prodigy tunes, and playing some hard-edge music and I love it. I’m definitely going to come back and hopefully and play some more.


Maxim5How is your Dj set different from a Prodigy show? Can we expect the same energy that we see at a Prodigy show?

You’re never going to get the same energy. Prodigy show is Prodigy music where me and Keith are up in the front doing vocals and Leeroy is behind Keyboards – that’s all energy on a different level. I’m not going to lie, there’s no where I can capture that kind of energy of our performance, as The Prodigy, standing behind decks (laughs). You know, you can drop the tunes, but the live aspect, you’re never going to achieve that through decks lights, and pyrotechnics. You’re never going to achieve that unless you’re part of the whole thing and the show and bringing that energy. When you give someone energy and the tunes rocking and you’re down in the front rocking out, it’s a totally different feeling than being behind decks. I’m bringing tunes which are hard, you know, but the Dj scene is a totally difference scene. I’m not theatrical; there’s no theatrics in my set and if you know hard music, than you can appreciate hard music. I’m not going to throw custard pies and be like “hey!” (to get the crowd pumped) and I’m not about custard pies, I’m about Hard music.  We’re about real music and bringing the vibe, and people who are into real music and real energy will be like “yeah, that’s a tune, that’s a bad tune,” and that’s what it’s all about. I like to get people involved and I even get people to come up on the stage and dance. There’s only so much energy you can do with the decks, unless you strap the decks and walk around like it’s a guitar, but no, I don’t do that (laughs).


Is there anything else that you would like to add before we leave?

Its good being in the US and it’s a good experience to see it from a different angel than seeing it from a band’s prospective; I’m seeing it through a Dj’s prospective. Come out and enjoy yourself and have fun at Hard!

Interview by: Alex Lucero