CERTAINLY no slouch when it comes to releasing a track or two, Max Chapman is one of those names we’re currently seeing left right and centre.
They’re not just any old tracks either; an overall Beatport number 1, a release on Hot Creations last year and his second Relief EP releasing this week. All are reasons why Max is currently one of the biggest new names in tech-house.
We caught up with Max to find out how it’s all coming along.
It’s fair to say that you’ve had one of the most impressive work rates as a producer over the years – what’s been the motivation behind getting each release out there?
The motivation is basically to get gigs. I learned very quickly that the less time I spend in the studio, the less gigs I’ll be doing, simple as that really.
To be able to get noticed these days it’s not necessarily about the gigs and people on the dance floor, it’s about the people downloading your music and to be honest I think that the main percentage of it is other DJs because they’re the real people who buy the music. Nowadays it’s getting a little bit better because you’ve got streaming but before I think that 90% of the sales were other DJs.
These days do you think that it’s more important for new artists to get stuck into producing and releasing music if they want to become successful and get noticed?
One hundred percent mate, I wish I could say it wasn’t but it’s a very, very, very tough game to get into. If you’re just a DJ you’re going to have to be pretty special.
And with that in mind how important would you say your own production has been towards your success, would you say it’s been a large part in what’s got you where you are today?
Yeah one hundred percent again, I mean my first ever gig came off of my first ever release. Don’t get me wrong I’d played locally in my town and a few bits and bobs like that, did some parties here and there, but nobody knew who I was.
I went travelling around Asia and Australia and literally just took a laptop with Ableton. I hardly even went out – while my mates were in clubs I was at home making music. It took me about two years of non stop making music every single night, week days and weekends, to get an EP together that got signed, all as one so it didn’t get knocked back, and it got premiered on Pete Tong’s radio show. I got my first gig from that because it was a Manchester based label and it was the main room in Sankey’s. That was my first proper gig.
So I got a pretty good first gig but if I hadn’t been making music there isn’t a way in hell I would ever have got a gig. Even then seven years ago it was that important so you can imagine what it’s like now.
Something you’ve done yourself is release across a wide variety of labels, would you say this has an importance to it when trying to get your name out there, as oppose to aiming for specific labels to release on?
If I could change it now, I wouldn’t have released on so many smaller labels but then at the same time I wouldn’t be where I am today without it so I can’t really give a true answer there.
I mean I’m only telling you what I was told the whole time, everyone was going to me “don’t release on these little labels” all the time non stop, but at the end of the day I did and I’ve got where I am today. It’s very hard for youngsters to be patient enough to get on a big label. I would just say do whatever you want to do really. At the end of the day if you’re eager to get the music out and for people to get playing it then do that, it hasn’t stopped me from doing anything. I must admit though that now there’s only a few labels that my manager would want me to release on. For my sound there’s probably about four or five labels that are worth releasing on.
Moving on to your sound itself, when you first began making music did it take you a while to really gel with a particular sound or was tech-house something you always knew you’d be creating?
No not at all. I mean I don’t really know how I got here, where it’s going to end up or how it started to be honest but I just go with whatever I’m feeling at the moment. My sound evolves all the time, sometimes it gets a bit groovy, then it gets tougher, then it goes back to groovier so you know it is what it is.
The thing that makes me laugh is, and I get this all the time especially from DJs that aren’t very busy, they always go “oh tech house is dead anyway make the most of it” but I mean you can probably ask Solardo’s bank account if tech house is dead, then we’ll see how dead it is haha!
You’ve set up the next question nicely with that. Tech house has been near the top of the popularity ladder for a while now, what do you make of the direction that the scene and the sound is heading in?
I think it’s just being born. I think It’s got a lot of life left in it as long as it’s not shit basically. I mean at the end of the day, the music that’s being released now commercially has sort of grooves and beats from six, seven, eight, even ten years ago. So compare that to the tech-house that’s around at the minute, the closest you’re gonna get is Calvin Harris’ new single, and that’s nowhere near what the decent modern tech house is. So yeah I think we’ve still got at least five to ten years before anyone stops buying tickets or stops going to festivals because of tech house, in-fact I’d probably say longer.
Finally, if you had to be part of another music scene right now which genre would you pick?
Pop music, because I’d be absolutely caked haha!