For this edition we've sat down with Maximono, the brilliant fresh electronic duo from Germany and England who have recently finished their US tour.
They sat down with us to give us an insight into their world and their journey thus far.
Maximono is a project formed by Sebastian and Nick formed in 2013. They first disturbed the scene with their 'no rules' remix and now are touring around the world sharing their style of music. With a D&B background, the two have evolved into a well of well produced hard line electronic music.
Sebastian, Nick, thank you for both having a chat with us.
Give us an insight into what you were doing prior to Maximono, how you got into the industry and how you two came together to create this project.
We met many years ago through the drum & bass scene. I was running a label called "Phunkfiction Recordings" and released Nicks first album under his old moniker "Lomax“. During this time we simply became really good friends, did some shows in Germany and enjoyed hanging out.
Over the years we were always looking for something special where we could collaborate on and we always knew that it wouldn’t be drum & bass. Nick is still part of a very successful drum & bass project called "LOADSTAR“ which is signed to Andy C’s Ram Records and gets him touring the world.
Back in 2010 I was also doing a drum & bass project called "TRIAD" with a friend from Cologne and we started experimenting with house music a bit and did a couple of deep house remixes for acts like Omar, Mousse T. and some others.
After finishing the Triad project i wanted to keep doing House music as I found it very inspiring switching from 170bpm down to the 120’s and the gigs were a lot of fun too. After almost two decades in one genre it was just about time to move on for me.
One day Nick and i got together in his studio in London and we locked ourselves away for a long weekend just to play around and have some fun. We came up with about 10 ideas for house tracks. It was the most inspiring and productive time ever and we recognized that we created something new which is worth investing a lot more time on.
The sound was totally different from anything we had done previously but it worked quite well on the floor. Some big DJs started spinning and signing the music so that’s where the story began.
You’re currently both living in different cities, how are you collaborating now and what have been the challenges around that?
Over the past three years we’ve developed a workflow that we are happy with. We get together in the studio regularly (every 2-3 months) for a couple of days to get vibed up and write a lot of ideas. After that we start working on rolling out the strongest ones and sending the arrangements back and forth until they’re finished.
It’s always been an essential part writing the ideas together as we found out that there’s some sort of magic happening when we’re locked away in the studio together. In these times of quick internet connections and great communication tools there’s not really a challenge being in different countries to finish the music afterwards as soon as the vibe is there.
Maximono has been making waves within the industry over the last several years, was there a point in time where you knew Maximono brokethrough? Tell us about it.
Both of us are very critical of our own stuff but also ambitious but we wouldn’t say we’ve had our 'breakthrough’ moment yet. Of course there were times when acts like Claude vonStroke or Amine Edge & DANCE started supporting us and signed our tracks to their labels (Dirtybird, CUFF etc) where we realized that we’re heading in the right direction.
But it’s still underground music and we’ve never taken it too serious and put too much pressure on ourselves, as long as we are having fun. Of course the highest goal for a musician is to be respected and recognized so we’d love to call it a breakthrough one day, but we’ll keep following the idea that we can just hang out, have a laugh and write tunes with no pressure!
Explain to us your style of music and how it has evolved over the years. You don’t generally stick to one sub genre of electronic music. We can see you exploring and testing new sounds, tell us a bit about that.
We both have a broad musical background going from classical music to anything funky, groovy and soulful. Also Drum&Bass and Jungle is one big melting pot of a genre and we were always open to any kind of good music.
So it feels natural to us to just bring in all these influences like Funk, Hip Hop, Breakbeats, Jungle, Drum&Bass and lots more into our music. I guess that’s a big part of why we’re loving it so much when we write new ideas.
After doing the same genre for two decades we had to break out and do something where no one expects a certain sound and we don’t have to stick to any genre limitations. That’s why our track "Don’t give a fuck style" speaks for what we’re doing.
The Dirtybird Campout must be a big deal to you guys. Explain to us what it is and what it means to you.
Very true, the Campout is something special for us. When Dirtybird put the event on in 2015 they didn't really know about us but Justin Martin was playing our track "Don’t Give A Fuck Style“ back then. He dropped it during his set and the crowd went nuts! We had no clue about the festival and we woke up back in europe with loads of text messages, emails etc where people told us the track killed it at Campout.
I guess that’s how the Dirtybird crew got to know us and asked us to work on a release for them. In 2016, a year later, we were invited to play and it was one of the best experiences and vibes ever.
It was the first show on our US Tour with Billy Kenny and throughout all 20 shows of the tour we met people that saw us perform at campout. The Dirtybird family (acts and fans) is something very very special and strong and we’re proud to be part of it.
It started with a local event back in my hometown Hannover (Germany). We’ve created it to be able to play this new bassline driven house sound that infected us and the scene started picking it up quickly.
For the second or third event we decided to book a UK act. As we were always playing that track called "Funque" by a kid called Billy Kenny and it became kind of a This Ain’t Bristol anthem we decided to get him over.
He enjoyed Hannover and the crew so much that he moved over from the UK shortly after. After the first few events and with Billy living in the same city we decided to make the next step and transforming the club night into a record label and then into kind of a lifestyle brand after.
Through my time running a drum&bass label i knew how that stuff worked. It’s important to know that there’s a lot more people involved than just Billy and me. There’s Phil doing all the artworks and layout, Benski running the events and doing the promo and some other guys helping in the background.
So This Ain’t Bristol is a collective of people sharing the same vision and passion for good vibes house music.
We haven’t officially collaborated yet apart from working with the some of the artists on both sides. But that’s something we could definitely imagine doing in the future. There’s not really a competition between us as the market is more than big enough for two good house labels.
We have the deepest respect for what they do of course. During the US Tour i started realizing that it’s way more than just a label, it’s a big movement of likeminded music heads. Dirtybird started their thing over 10 years ago and kept working on it very very hard. So compared to that we’re still in the very earyl stages and wouldn't compare ourselves to them.
The US tour last october/november was an absolute blast. We started it without any big expectations and without having a clue about how many people would turn up to the shows. It was amazing finding out how well our music goes down over there and how enthusiastic the people are about it.
We couldn't believe how close they were following our music. All 20 shows went down far better than anyone could have expected including our booking agent Chad, which we have to big up here. He did an amazing job sorting out all these shows and we can’t wait to go back this summer.
We’re currently working on lots of new music for Dirtybird and This Ain’t Bristol and also some new stuff for Tchami’s Confession label. Apart from that we’ve started some very interesting collaborations of which we can’t really talk at this stage so stay tuned for that!
As we said earlier the main thing for us is to keep it all fun and interesting and we will simply let the future come and see what it holds for us. We can’t wait to travel to a lot more countries and cultures and reach as many people as possible with out music. Plans for our Australia debut are in the making and we hope to come out as soon as possible. Exciting times!
The origin of an artist has never played any role for us. Music is an international and multicultural thing without any borders. So it doesn't really matter if an artist comes from America, Australia or wherever.
There’s so many talented people out there right now, it’s crazy. We really enjoy people like Kyle Watson, Josh Brown, Ardalan and of course artists from other genres as well. Through This Ain’t Bristol we get sent so many fresh music from so many fresh acts, it’s absolutely crazy!
No one ever became successful by sounding like someone else. take your time to develop your own sound, be very critical and stick to your inspiration.
Thanks a lot for having us. Was great speaking to you and it would be a pleasure meeting you in person when we come out for our first Australia tour.
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