Max Raptor, fierce punkrock brought to you by four Midland, UK lads who are gaining popularity each minute. BBC's Radio One has already picked up on them and we at RMP Magazine couldn't stay behind with Auntie Beeb. Time to find out what Max Raptor has been up to lately, with a new album on their résumé and tons of stories to share about Swiss cheese and Premier League football for one.
- You’ve got a busy summer ahead: Hevy Fest, 2000 Trees, mainland shows and so on. Which show are you looking forward to the most?
2000 trees has always been amazing for us and there’s such a cool vibe at that festival. I suppose it's a real mix there so you get an awesome range of music lovers from all over the country. Hevy of course is a huge festival and we loved playing it a few years back and the line-up is insane: Shikari, The Bronx, Refused!
- We’ve travelled these past years from mainland Europe to Hevy Fest and are a bit disappointed about their location change. How do you (and the UK scene in general) feel about the relocation of the festival?
Well Hevy is now up in Derbyshire and it's a cool little spot; right in the hills, pretty beautiful place. It's great for us as it's just up the road from where we're all from. It's also just down the road from YNOT festival which is another cool festival and well-worth going to. As for the UK scene, we've definitely experienced loads of tours with great bands and there are pockets around the UK where you get an amazing music scene with some really passionate people behind them. I think it's pretty strong. We're on tour at the moment with All Us On Drugs and Press To Meco that are sick UK bands so at the moment with bands like Enter Shikari, Architects, Bad Sign, Bring Me The Horizon and Lonely The Brave it feels real good.
- In the past, you played some big shows: Download Festival, Reading & Leeds, Billy Talent, The Stranglers,… What’s the show that impressed you the most?
The Stranglers are definitely up there: they kept their original sound throughout their 30 years+ reign and still selling out and touring huge shows. That’s really inspirational. Billy talent were great and influenced us massively when we first started out as a band. Reading & Leeds and Download were all chaotic, great pits and some nuts fans going crazy to our first album. Hoping to play them again either this year or next!
- You recently toured mainland Europe for the first time, how did that go?
We played in Switzerland, just two dates but they were both so good. It really surprised us, we were expecting smallish crowds as it was our first time there but loads of people showed up and went crazy. Can't wait to get back
- The band will release their new album on April, 22 via Hassle Records. What can we expect?
We had a real concentration on getting the tracks sounding as live as possible so the crossover to live is almost the same. They're 12 tracks with some raucous punk rock ‘n’ roll, anthems and we're real proud of it. There are also some tracks where we have definitely progressed in our sound. One being “Old Romantics” which Radio One have been playing and the response has been great.
- How did the recording process go? Has the process changed or evolved as you guys get older?
We've always concentrated on tones and live recording and getting some brutal vocals down as you'd hear at our shows. I guess as we've gotten older it hasn't really changed. I think the writing process has changed. Pete (drummer) wrote a bunch of tracks for the album as well as Ben and Matt so it's really dynamic and takes a load of all of our influences.
- How was working with Jag Jago (ex-Ghost Of A Thousand) as producer?
He is just great, GOAT were also one of our influences when we were starting out. He's got some great ideas and has had some massive successes on albums he has worked on recently (Maccabees) so we're hoping for the same response for our new record. He's a good laugh too and we've got a really great bond as mates and as musicians which is really important.
- In what way is Hassle records different now than it was when you signed? Has your collaboration changed over the years?
They've been hugely supportive and everything's moved really quickly since we signed which is awesome. We want to get as much great music out there and Hassle has loads of cool ideas and enthusiasm. They're fiercely independent and well-respected in the industry and have released some top records over recent years (Lonely The Brave, Cancer Bats, Brand New, Alkaline Trio, Frank Iero, Alexisonfire).
- The band even made a soundtrack a couple of years back. Is there anything you haven’t done?
We’d love to tour the states and Japan…and sell thousands of records!
- We spotted a few food photos on your Instagram feed. Any foodies in the band? If so: what’s the best meal you received after a show?
[Laughs] The six slabs of Gruyere cheese we had as part of our rider in Bulle, Switzerland. Any local delicacies are always welcome on our rider. We don't want to just eat crisps. You get a real feel of a place when you're eating local dishes. It makes it more interesting than rocking up, playing, eating shit food and leaving. We like our food.
- Who has been a bigger influence for the band: David Bowie or Lemmy Kilmister?
You know they both had and still have so much to offer and that will be the case for decades to come. Bowie's amazing ability to adapt and change his style is incredible and no one will ever come close to that. Lemmy on the other hand, a man who stuck to his guns throughout his career and never wavered away from his rock ‘n’ roll sensibilities. They both didn't give a damn about what people thought about their image and that's how it should be.
- It’s the band’s 10-year anniversary this year. Any specific plans to celebrate this, except the tours and the new album?
Oh fuck, 10 years?? Is it? I think we really started taking it seriously as of 2009 and our first release wasn't until 2011 so we'll hold off until 2021 for our 10-year party.
- Looking back on those years, would you’ve changed something?
I think no; no regrets.
- Do you still think about those days? Are you still in touch with Barney Hall?
[Laughs] Yeah, from time to time we see him about. He's really tall now and we're always reminded of that day where we played in his bedroom off the back of a Facebook campaign. 4000 people tuned in online. So much fun. He's big into music now and sings for a band called Pale Cheeks.
- The Premier League has been insane: ManU and Chelsea are disappointing, Tottenham and Leicester are the revelations of the season. If I’m not mistaken, you’re from the Leicester area. Are you cheering for them to win the league?
We are from the area but I'm an Arsenal fan and we really need a trophy that isn't he FA Cup. But saying that, I'd be so happy if Leicester wins the League. It would be insane. On a par with Forest winning the European Cup or Blackburn winning the Premier League! It would be a great shakeup for the League.
- Is there anything else you’d like to say to our readers?
Just come down to a show when we're in Europe. It's our first time so you bring your punk spirit and we'll bring ours!