MDA

Maximono Interview @ MDA Wednesdays

Maximono Shares An Unexpected Passion

EXPERIENCE BY: KAGAN RICHARDSON

With years of experience as drum n bass producers, Nick Hill and Sebastian “Sebi” Wolters joined forces in 2013 as Maximono and have been taking the world by storm ever since. The duo has proven themselves within the house scene, having releases on This Ain’t Bristol, Cuff, Dirtybird, and Confession, to name a few.

Modern Disco Ambassadors has consistently hosted quality house music in Orange County for the past 10 years, so it was only natural that Maximono would eventually make their way to our Wednesday home at La Cave. That day was June 27, 2018, and the rave cave was completely flipped upside with Maximono’s unique brand of funky bass-heavy house music. MDA heavyweights Audiostache and Chef Boyarbeatz provided support and rounded out an amazing night.

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Before Maximono took the stage, I had the chance to sit down with Sebi and ask him some burning questions. Here is what he had to say:

Kagan: What goes into your preparations for a DJ set?
Sebi: First of all I look at where we’re gonna play, is it a festival or a small intimate venue, and how long the set is gonna be which can be anything from 45 minutes to 4 hours. Depending on that and how long ago I played there last, I’ll decide how the structure of the set will be. Then I’ll go through new music see what I can play from the label which is forthcoming or just being released. I try to set up a unique set for every gig I play. I get bored quickly and I couldn’t play the same set twice.
Kagan: How would you say your experiences as drum n bass producers influence your music today?
Sebi: It influences anything we do now because that’s basically where we both started our producing and DJing careers. Everything comes from there somehow. Jungle and drum n bass is such a melting pot of music in itself. You’ve got like hip hop, reggae, dub, whatever, it all goes into jungle and drum n bass. When you produce it, you’re already influenced by so many other styles. Nick and I are both not limited to one sound which I’m pretty sure you can hear in our productions as well, we’re just jumping from influence to influence. It’s just about the good vibe but it has to have funk and bass in it. We’ve both been in the drum n bass scene for about 20 years now which is from the very early days in ‘97 and ‘98 until. He’s more into it still, he’s still doing his Loadstar project. I just quit my drum n bass stuff. I did a drum n bass label so I quit that to just do the house stuff.
Kagan: As producers, who are your biggest inspirations?
Sebi: I would say, there’s a hip hop producer from Detroit named Apollo Brown. Just the art of sampling, like how he recreates music from old funk and soul records, that’s very inspiring. But also so many other electronic producers like stimming, a German guy. He’s a sound design nerd, I would say. Of course you’re always influenced by the people around you doing house music as well, that’s constantly inspiring us. People from the drum n bass scene, producers like Alix Perez who’s been collaborating with Eprom as well. Also guys like SpectraSoul.
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Kagan: What’s the most out of the ordinary thing in your studio?
Sebi: I’ve got a small noise synthesizer called a Thingamagoop 3000. It’s like a small thing that creates sounds from lights. You’ve got a small pocket lamp on top and that creates the noise from the light. It’s handmade somewhere in America and to order it you has to pay I think about $500 and they built it after like 200 people ordered it or something. I waited for it for about a year until it came but it’s really really cool, all these quirky weird noises. The wait was worth it because no one else really has it, at least no one from the scene has it so it’s a pretty unique thing. I’d also add a software tool too as we work so much with software these days. An absolute secret gem for us the Infected Mushroom Pusher by Waves which can be found on Splice.
Kagan: How did your collaboration with Malaa, Arsenic, come about?
Sebi: We were sending tracks back and forth from time to time and he sent me some of his stuff, I think it was before he got really big. Then we just kept going and we had one track almost finished where we thought we had about 20% missing and we were about to skip it and say no we won’t finish it. Then it was my idea to let him hear it and see what he thinks and he was all into it and said he could already hear the last 20% missing and I will add that. It’s funny because everyone in the forums said that’s a Malaa track, why is Maximono’s name on there. In the end it was a 50-50 thing, he edited more than we originally planned but we started the track and he finished it. I wish we could do another one now, we might be working on that.
Kagan: You’re both from Europe originally, but where do you both call home now?
Sebi: Nick is in London and I am in Hanover, Germany. That works really well even though we’re not playing that much in Europe. We’re always flying over here to play shows here. With the label in the background we’re doing more festival takeovers in Europe. Music is actually not my full-time job, I run a company back home in Hanover so I need to stay around the area to be able to still run the company.
Kagan: Could you tell us more about your company?
Sebi: That’s my second world I would say. It’s a constant fight between two worlds, one is the serious business world and the music world. It’s basically two hearts in my chest. It’s an IT security company, we developed a tool for companies to secure smartphones. We provide secure app stores for companies, we have a technology that automatically scans apps and tells you what they’re doing in the background. For example, if you install a new version of an app and it keeps sending your credit card details to a foreign server or whatever, our software will recognize that and tell the company to blacklist that app. Started it 6-7 years ago and it grew quite quickly. I think it’s a big market and is still growing. We’ve got a team of about 30 people back home and it’s going good. It was started by me and two friends who have already left the company so I am the CEO of the company.
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Kagan: How did you first get into cybersecurity?
Sebi: It was at my apprenticeship, I learned at a big German company called Siemens back around ‘99 and ‘00. After that I did a PR study at a university. Both of those worlds came together, IT and PR, and we started that just from a product idea. We never planned to do a cybersecurity company, we were just flicking around with ideas. One friend and I started a company which did sound design for brands, but we moved on from that and did digital consulting for brands. From there we developed a product idea. It wasn’t planned, but now it’s pretty serious and it’s quite a responsibility.
Kagan: What do you think of In N Out Burger?
Sebi: To be totally honest, I was a little disappointed because everyone was hyping it up so much. I have to say I am not really a big junk food fan at all. I try to eat healthy, but of course I tried it because everyone was saying you have to try In N Out Burger. It was a lot better than any fast food I’ve tried before, but it still wouldn’t be my favorite thing to do. There’s so many other good spots like Korean BBQ for example which I would always prefer, especially in LA.
Kagan: What can we look forward to from Maximono in the last half of 2018?
Sebi: We DJ’d a lot in the last six months and now we just started getting back on the production side. We’re working on a lot of new music, we just finished a couple of tracks with MARTEN HØRGER who just had a release on Confession. We don’t know where they’ll come out because they’re a bit different than what we’ve done before. A bit more dancefloor, a bit more straight in your face I would say. I don’t think they’ll necessarily come out on This Ain’t Bristol or Dirtybird, so we’re looking for other labels where they could fit. We’re also working on new original tracks so there will be a lot of new music throughout the year and of course still some great shows to play in the States. We’ve got Shambhala coming up, a few things in July, and then another tour in August around Shambhala. I’m pretty sure there will be another tour in October/November time, that’s usually when we come over to play some Halloween shows and such. It’s gonna be a good year hopefully!
Nick is also going to get married next month. I’ll be going there and celebrating my birthday which is the day of the wedding so it’s going to be an epic night in London. When he gets back from his honeymoon, we’ll be busy in the studio again.
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Immediately after the conclusion of this interview, Sebi headed for the stage, took over the decks, and captivated the MDA cave dwellers with an expert-level two hour set.

It was a true pleasure to host Sebi at La Cave. We have a lot to look forward to from Maximono!


Until next time Ambassadors.

Kagan Richardson

AKA DJ Moose Trax

All photos included in this article were taken by Modern Paparazzo Photography.

Fritz Carlton Interview @ MDA Wednesdays

Fritz Carlton Turned La Cave Upside Down!

EXPERIENCE BY: KAGAN RICHARDSON

It has been an amazing year so far at MDA Wednesday’s and we are thankful for all of our Ambassadors. So far we’ve seen the likes of Eli & Fur, Detlef, Chus & Ceballos, to name a few, and we can look forward to hosting amazing DJs such as Maximono, Wongo, and Amtrac.

This past week continued the trend of excellence with Fritz Carlton taking over the night. Coming from Desert Hearts the weekend before, Max Huseby AKA Fritz Carlton had nearly lost his voice but that didn’t stop him from yelling and screaming along with the crowd. He worked the crowd to a fervor the moment he stepped behind the decks and curated his self-proclaimed “weirdo house” sounds. Credit is definitely due to Z_Ro and Mary Droppinz who took opening duties and played some stellar sets. Mary Droppinz also took the opportunity to honor MDA’s Jarin Love during her set which directly supported Fritz.

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Shazam failed me throughout the night but especially during Fritz’s set, so I am left to believe that he featured unreleased tracks from both Fritz Carlton and his altar ego, Houseboy. Just before he started, I had the opportunity to sit down with the mastermind behind the two identities.

Here is what he had to say:

Kagan: What is it like to be a part of the Desert Hearts family?
Max: Dude, it’s incredible. I’m from Seattle originally so I’m a transplant to the whole Southern California house and techno scene. I didn’t really have any sort of inclination as to what the whole desert party vibe was before I started going to Burning Man when I went to college a while back in SoCal.
Desert Hearts opened up my mind to an entirely different platform that I didn’t even conceive as being a possibility. The whole one family, one stage, one vibe, one love, it’s everything I loved about Burning Man. I’m eternally grateful for what they’ve provided to me.
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Kagan: When did you first get into DJing and producing?
Max: It was my freshman year of college, so I was 18. I discovered VirtualDJ and moombahton and Calvin Harris and all of that. I was a metal drummer from Seattle so I didn’t know about electronic music, it wasn’t my thing. So then when I discovered all of that in college and people weren’t down with me playing screamo in my dorm room, I had to switch it up. Then it was sophomore year when I dropped out of college and moved to San Francisco and I paved my own way teaching myself on Youtube.
Kagan: Can you tell us more about your background as a drummer?
Max: Since I was in third or fourth grade, I had been playing the drums. I loved rock n roll, I loved metal, and I played in multiple bands growing up. I did a couple supporting shows and tours up in the city when I was younger. At the end of the day, the first electronic music I ever fell in love with was Skrillex and that half-time vibe because it’s similar to metal.
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Kagan: How does it feel to have one of the best mustaches in dance music?
Max: I’ll tell you this, I don’t know what it feels like to have the best mustache in dance music, but this mustache on my face hasn’t been shaved in over 10 years. It’s been varied in shape and form, but I haven’t been clean shaven fully in over a decade. If you really want to see an amazing stache though, check out Joe Kleinman. Shout out Joe!
Kagan: What can you tell us about Houseboy?
Max: Oh man, Houseboy is my love. My last name is actually Huseby, a lot of people think that it’s McGee but that’s my middle name and I prefer to let people know that’s my last name for some reason. My real last name is Huseby and if you just add two o’s it makes Houseboy.
It’s what I love to make because when I started Fritz Carlton it was unabashed sonic exploration and now Fritz Carlton has an expected sound. Houseboy doesn’t, it’s all fair game. I sample vinyl, I get weird, disco, funky, it’s me. I’ve got an album in the works right now and I’m working on when I’m gonna release it, but it’s gonna be really special.
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Kagan: If you weren’t a DJ and producer, what do you think you would be doing today?
Max: Professional video gamer for sure. Twitch streaming, World of Warcraft, Counterstrike, all of those computer games. I wanted to be a video gamer, I mean, that’s all I had going for me before I discovered music. Straight up.

Max is certainly one of the most down-to-earth DJ’s I’ve met to date. You can tell just by being around him that his love for music and creativity knows no bounds. It was a pleasure to sit down with him and pick his brain!

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We have a lot to look forward to from Fritz Carlton and Houseboy, so stay tuned Ambassadors.

Until next time.

Kagan Richardson

AKA DJ Moose Trax

Thanks to Modern Paparazzo Photography for the photos.