An Interview With: Max Hixon

You may remember our features on British Vintage Artist Max Hixon’s single and album release. We recently caught up with Max to find out whats new…

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So can you tell us a bit about the Max Hixon story so far ?

Well I’ve been performing for a long time playing in function bands and solo around the UK and also aboard a cruise ship. I returned home from a contract and decided that I wanted to write some of my own original music after playing cover songs for so long.

I’d been lucky to of had some great Songwriting Tuition from BIMM in Manchester and a Berklee course online. I came up with about five new songs and dug out some of my earlier songwriting and recorded my own album.

I was then signed to Moondream Records who helped me to release the album and get established.I have since received a lot of praise and feedback from all over the music industry. Splinterwood Radio DJ, Stuart Everett has also been a huge help and has helped me get even more radio play including Splinterwood and the BBC Bernie Keith Show.

So What’s The Next Step ? 

Well I’ve learnt a lot from feedback and the my Lovesick Loverboy album. Im going to be trying out a few new sounds.

I intend to release more Singles & EP’s now rather than Albums which can take a long time to produce. I will also be playing with more “live” recording rather than multi-tracking.

The popularity of the Solo Guitar Singer has also  really risen in other genres and people have said they would like to see that in the Vintage scene.

As a Songwriter with your own original material could you tell us a bit about your songwriting process ?

I like to try out various different techniques all the time so my songs can sound different, sometimes is a melody first, sometimes a lyric or chords. I enjoy playing with chord sequences and I try to break away from the standard Rock N Roll or Rockabilly Sequences.

What artists are you listening to at the moment ? 

I’ve really enjoyed listening to Joe Jack Bands latest release. Always like a good Buddy Holly song or Dion. Pat Cappoci. Recently discovered John Lindberg Trio and the Ruby Records Releases are also pretty cool.

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An Interview With: Sharna-Mae And The Mayhems

Being one of the favourite bands of our blog, we were lucky to be able to have an interview with Sharna-Mae and The Mayhems. Heres what they had to say:

So how about you tell us all about how you got together as a band ?

It all started when James and I were at sixth form only a few years ago. He was heavily influenced by Johnny Cash and we performed as a duo as part of our music course. We entered music competitions with my younger brother, Scott and performed songs such as Tainted Love in a rockabilly style. We had known Danny for quite a while from being on the same music circuit and when he joined the band we couldn’t have got anyone better. We all get along really well and enjoy performing together.

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What made you interested in performing and writing in this style of music ?

We have all grown up with a variety of genres around us. It wasn’t until I was in my late teens I really fell in love with rockabilly, I had always been really into my musical theatre and country music. We love the energy rockabilly music gives and we enjoy playing it. When it came to writing our first album we just wrote the lyrics and music as it came out. We have quite a variety on the album from a slow country ballad, to upbeat rockabilly and an alternative track.

As a band with original songs, could you tell us a bit about your songwriting process?

As a band we wrote our songs together along with another song writer who has been in the industry for years. We had weekly song writing sessions and we always knew what we wanted to write about. A lot of emotions went into song writing because we either expressed events that had happened in our lives or situations in others.

Are you working on another album or release ?

We do have another album on the cards, it won’t be this year because we are focusing on other parts with the band but we are working on it.

What songs are you listening to at the moment ? ( just a few of your favourites that you have listened to recently )

We all listen to so many different artists. Danny our double bassist has been massively into Hillbilly music, he has even been gigging with another band in Europe. James and I have really been enjoying Chris Stapleton we love his songwriting as well as the harmonies on the album. Scott is currently in sixth form studying music so he listens to so many different genres each day.

Any upcoming gigs where our readers can go and watch you ?

We have so many exciting gigs this year, we have some brilliant festivals as well as playing in France and Amsterdam too in the Summer. Please check out our band pages on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for updates on our gigs.

Well thanks guys and gal ! Keep up the good work ! 

 

An Interview With: Lew Phillips

Many of you may remember pop singer/songwriter Lew Phillips from his time on Rhythm Bomb Records and Wild but there have been many changes and developments in Lew’s career as we catch up with him in this interview.

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So tell us a bit of the Lew Phillips story so far ?

I was born in a small town in the province of Quebec in Canada called Joliette. I started being interested in music around the age of 4 because of my great late grandpa. I grew up in this small town and been to high school, then I thought it was about time for me to move to a bigger city, so I moved to Montreal. In 2013 while I was still living at my parents house, I got signed by Wild Records in California and released a single called “Mister Colter”! Then I got signed by Rhythm Bomb Records in 2013 and released my first album “Self Titled” in 2014! I left Rhythm Bomb Records in 2015 when my contract with them expired because I had bigger ambitions, aspirations and dreams and was tired to play rock n roll. I wanted to explore Pop music and make my music much more complex.

How would you describe your Sound ? What influences do you have ?

I would say it’s kinda hard to explain. I am basically doing Pop music, but I get inspiration from many different things. I get inspired by music from the 40s like Frank Sinatra, the 50s Rock N Roll and Doo Wop Stuff, the 60s Pop music like the Beach Boys, Neil Sedaka, The Four Seasons, Jay and The Americans, The 60s Merseybeat stuff like The Beatles, Gerry and The Pacemakers, the Dave Clark 5,Peter and Gordon, Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas, 40s, 50s and 60s Latin music, 40s, 50s and 60s Cha Cha music, the 40s, 50s and 60s Mambo music, the 40s, 60s and 60s traditional Italian music, All the Phil Spector work as a producer in the 60s (the wall of sound area), the Motown of the 60s, soul music from the late 50s and early 60s, and nowadays artists like Leon Bridges, Raphael Saadiq, Nathaniel Rateliff and the Nightsweats, Whitney, Kevin Morby, Papooz and Sam Smith.

What are you working on right now ?

My second album which I’m actually recording. The album is going to be called “Orleans Avenue” because I’ve wrote all the songs on this street where I’m actually living right now. There will be 3 volumes Vol.1-2 and 3! But they will be separated volumes, it’s not a triple album, you can buy the volume 1 only if you want to for example.

There will be 13 new original and different songs on each volume. I’m pretty excited about it cause I’m producing the whole thing myself.

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As an artist who writes original music, could you explain your songwriting process ?

Yes I can! It used to be and come out only when I wasn’t expecting it, but later on I’ve started applied a technique from the famous Brill Buildings in New York rich consisted of locking yourself up in a cubicle from 10h00AM to 5h00PM trying to write one good song each day. And let me tell you, it really works!

What will be the next step for your music ?

Easy! Get signed by a good label in the music industry in Canada or the USA. There’s good independent labels on the Pop circuit like Mom+Pop Music, Dine Alone Records, Arts &Crafts, Secretly Canadian and the list goes on and on.

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How will your new album differ from your last ?

Like I said earlier there’s plenty of things which will differ from what I did earlier, but I guess the major thing is the switch from Rock N Roll aka underground music to Pop music aka commercial music (as seen by many underground music lovers).

What songs are you listening to at the moment ?

Puff! It’s pretty much hard to tell! I listen to do many stuff every day! I’m a sucker for Phil Spector’s genius and his famous Wall Of Sound! This guy is it! But I also listen to so many different stuff.

Well thanks so much Lew

We look forward to seeing your progress on: Orleans Avenue – Volume 1 

An old video made during Lew’s time in the UK: