Max Brand is his name and rocking through great music is his game. Max is a very soulful artist that keeps entrenching his sound into the musical fabric of Toronto for over 20 years now. We started this conversation about the lack of attention the Toronto music scene is going through. It is pretty dry out there, but Max was not sad when one day last month the car he was in car broke down on the way to a gig. It was the night the Tragically Hip had their final show and Max got to watch it on TV.
MB- I am sure the place I was going to play was empty that night anyway.
This was a fine gem of history for Canadians and the music scene. This is why BT Toronto exists. Music needs to exist in this fine city once again. Max totally understands this and wants to move forward again and make his mark.
BT- Where is your sound going?
MB- Gosh, I don’t know, it’s like doing a Springsteen show or a Rolling Stone show, even Cheap Trick.
BT- What is going through your mind as you get on stage?
MB- I just want to put on a good show where people are enjoying themselves and I want to give them a country song or even a blues song.
BT- Do you do the same set or do you mix it up?
MB- I tend to keep things the same, but will throw a different song to keep things interesting.
BT- Like what?
MB- I would do something like a Taylor Swift song to keep things intriguing , or the Meghan Trainor song, “It’s all about that Bass”. I listen to bands from the 50’s up to bands like the Ramones or Teenage Head. There was an aura of heaviness around them, but knew how to have fun as well. I really like the stuff I was doing back in 1994 at places like The Silver Dollar. I also like doing open mikes. I can try some new and jump around on stage. I like doing open mikes around town.
BT- As an artist how long have you been out on the scene?
MB- I started around 1990 and did the oldies. Before that I use to hang out with this girl and Karoke at a place called Studebakers on Don Mills. Then I started reading this book on the top 1000 singles of all time, and I fell in love with the early Rock and Roll that has that fuzz tone to it.
BT- When I saw you with that soulful sound; I saw that you could expand in many different directions.
MB- I was into the sound from 1964-68, the Stax sound. It was the last of the great wall of raw sound of music. When the hippy sound was growing, labels like Columbia or Atlantic, they didn’t understand how the situation worked. Motown was pushing black music into a mainstream white audience.
MB- Getting back to what I would like to do now, I would like to have a real Country band with real Country instruments. It’s going to take a long time to write the songs and give it an authentic sound.
BT- Where would you like to play tomorrow?
MB- I would like to go to Chicago, like Buddy Guy’s club. Right now I will be going to a Golf Club in Kleinberg to play with a band and hopefully, we will be doing songs like “Mustang Sally”, and Kansas City”. This band has a great horn section.
BT- I am happy to have this conversation with you, but when you are on stage you are a different animal.
MB- Growing up and watching different shows helped me understand how to be on stage. Watching raw Rock and Roll helped me know what to do. Guys like Chris Farley gave me my stage craft.
BT- Yes! That is a great description of how you are on stage.
Max Brand stays humble after putting on a high energy show, by just being happy, knowing his audience just witnessed a very special performance.
Come see him perform at the Copper Creek Golf Club 11191 Highway 27, Maple, Ontario on October 5th. This is truly a worthy event.