Atlantic Records signee Max Frost released a new EP titled “Intoxication” a couple of weeks ago and it contains one of my current obsessions, “Withdrawal” - a catchy song where heartbreak lyrics, blues and soul, a brilliant use of the lo-fi vocal effect and ‘2015 realness’ all combine. This Austin, Texas native singer is an expert of making jazzy/soul-vibed records sound modern. Not for nothing did Rolling Stone magazine recently name Max one of the “10 Artists You Need To Know”.
Check out below an exclusive interview I recently had the opportunity to do with Max Frost. You will know a little bit more about this major talent after you’ve read it, and make sure to watch the music video for “Withdrawal” at the bottom too! I’m convinced this a song you’ll be obsessed with as well once you give it a listen. It’s so mesmerizing! And the lyrics are so real and relatable. Max's music is certainly a breath of fresh air amid everything's that's playing on radio right now.
1. Hey Max! Where are you answering this Q&A from and how’s your day been like thus far?
Today I'm in Phoenix! Day has been crazy, I was driving all day and now I'm about to play an in-store at Zia records then a show tonight at Valley Bar!
2. September 25th your new EP “Intoxication” dropped. Why the “Intoxication” title and how does this new project differ from 2013’s “Low High Low”?
'Intoxication' because all the songs personify non chemical things as a drug (love, money, death) and its better than 'Low High Low' because I've gotten stronger and more mature as a song writer and sound has found a stronger unity.
3. Back in the day you used to do everything when it came to your music; both lyrics and musical productions. But now, and for your new EP, you’ve delegated some of the “power” by collaborating with a group of talented people that included Benny Blanco, Nick Ruth, or Franc Tetaz. Was it difficult to you at first digesting musical suggestions from other people? And, how was the experience of writing and producing with these guys in the end?
It's always strange to open the door to outside minds. It challenges you. But you have a chance to gain a stronger definition from this if you really know what you're doing. You have to understand your identity at a deeper level if you're gonna let people in to build with you. Like an architects knowledge of the blueprint.
4. “I'm waiting on your phonecall baby, I'm shaking from the withdrawal”, you sing in the catchy hook of the EP’s lead single “Withdrawal”. What inspired this particular song and why did you choose it as the first single?
Losing love has been the most intense emotion I’ve ever felt. Its been like a drug. I wanted to play with that idea. I picked it as the first single cause it just felt like the perfect way to introduce the new songs.
5. How would you describe the "Withdrawal" music video that recently premiered on VEVO?
It's a VERY trippy video. It was the most difficult video I’ve ever made and also I think by far the best to date.
6. If you could describe in a few words the other 5 songs on the EP for those who might want to hear more from Max Frost, how would you do it?
It all goes deeper down the rabbit hole. Every song can stand on its own but connects to the others.
7. Your style seems to be; vocals with a lo-fi/distorted effect and vintage blues productions all blended in with a dash of “modern” lyrics. The combination and the result (your songs) are fabulous. How did you get to this sound/style of yours?
Thank you... It started with the Blues. I grew up playing different instruments in that style. I wrote songs that were sometimes in a soul genre and sometimes in a folky genre. When I started working with hip hop artists and producing beats my eyes opened. A lot of stuff I had learned along the way combined and the sound was born out of that.
8. I read in your official bio that in your beginnings you were suddenly asked by hip-hop artists to sing hooks on their songs and, quote, that it felt somewhat “uncomfortable” to you (they apparently wanted to incorporate your soulful modern sound to their songs). Why was that, and if, say, Drake or Eminem turned out be huge fans of your music and tomorrow begged you to record a hook for one of their new songs, would you gladly do it?
I just never saw myself as a person/artist who could pull off crossing genres like that. But it was the best that ever happened to me cause it gave the third dimension to my style.
I would KILL to work with either of those dudes. Especially Eminem.
9. You are signed to Atlantic Records. How exactly did they discover you and how was the whole signing process like? A sudden call one day?
I had a song blow up on Hype Machine that attracted a lot of attention. The conversation began then. It was a pretty old-school process compared to most things these days. I love the label and it seemed like a fit.
10. You have 2 EPs on your catalogue now. Will we have to wait long for your full-length debut album? What can you tell us about it?
There is full length coming, I'm still working on the material. I’m always trying to write better songs, it can be a long process. I'm optimistic there will be something out by 2016.
11. What would you say has been the ‘highlight’ of your career thus far?
Writing with Jeff Tweedy or meeting Quincy Jones.
12. What are Max Frost’s Top 5 songs of the moment?
'Apparently' by J Cole
'Dream'' on by Aerosmith
'Roxanne' by the Police
'Shorty wanna be a thug' by 2 Pac
'Runaway' by Kanye West
13. Now that you’re constantly on the road or doing promo in NYC or L.A, what are a few things that you seriously miss from your hometown of Austin, Texas?
Torchies tacos. Taco deli. My bed.
14. Thank you so much for your time, Max! Any last thing you’d like to share with our readers at Directlyrics.com?
Thanks for the thoughtful questions and interest.
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