The last months the name Max Enix has been been heard many times. The talented artist and his debut album, “Far From Home”, are in the spotlight of the worldwide heavy metal community, because Max managed to release something spectacular, a music miracle, which starts from the realms of progressive/symphonic metal and moves towards strange soundscapes that mesmerize the listener. It is usually said that Max Enix’s music is a wonderful kind of film-score metal! I couldn’t agree more! Myth of Rock talked with Max, who gave really awesome, interesting answers to Dimitris Zacharopoulos. Enter the fantastic world of Max Enix, my friends!
Give us a short biography of yours.
Max Enix, 38 years old in a few days’ time, singer, songwriter, composer, art director and more! I’ve worked in a number of fields (real estate, commerce, alternative medicine, more private areas etc…) which have allowed me to see how society works! But my main passion has always been music, singing, composing as well as listening to and spotting talent! I started singing quite young in a choir! My grandmother was a famous opera singer before the Second World War! Then I continued singing regularly at home before taking a few singing lessons much later with a vocal coach! My first instrument was an electric guitar, which I received at the age of 16 (thinking I was Luca Turilli, but not with the same level). Then, at 19, I bought my first keyboard and composed over 450 improvisations, most of them quite epic and sometimes even exceeding an hour’s listening time (including interpretations of books and very long chapters)! All of this is self-taught, and I’ve always felt that there’s a similarity with Hans Zimmer, who is also self-taught (without formal education) ! Logic takes us from point A to point B, as Einstein say, but imagination and creativity take us everywhere (without limits)! I released an album under Constellia called “Secret Garden” (co-composition which was a sort of draft or basis for the future) and I wanted to take a much more ambitious step with “Far From Home” (main composer) a double album released on 9 June 2023! New albums are in the pipeline, as well as various other projects! A lot of ambitious ideas should see the light of day in the next few years!
Can you take us through the creative process behind “Far From Home”? How did the idea for a double album with such diverse influences come about?
I composed this double album at home on the keyboard in about 6 months (main strings/most of the pianos, giving rhythmic indications, vocal lines for the guests and myself etc.)! I could have done it a lot quicker, but I had too many things to do at the same time! Then, once I’d received the orchestrations and Thomas Kubler had completed some of the rearrangements, I called in musicians who adapted/arranged their instrumental parts to the music! I had to readapt my vocal lines to the orchestrations because some of them didn’t fit any more! Then some of them were changed again once the orchestra had been finalised and once the guests had finalised their vocal parts! Bringing all these people together on a double album and calling in an orchestra is no easy task! In any case, I wanted to write a strong story (concept) and draw my inspiration from it! So I followed the story and set it to music, which explains the many influences, styles of music and variations (it’s a journey), then tried to find the best proportions for everyone and how best to blend everything together! Some people helped me to rectify things that didn’t fit sometimes! It’s all a team effort to get everything in sync!
Where was the album recorded? Who did the production? The mixing and the mastering? Please describe the whole production process!
The double album was partly recorded in Budapest (Orchestra), at the Pangos studio (Russ) in Alsace and at various locations where the guests featured on the album were present! As explained, I’m the art director and financed the entire project! The fantastic mix (very difficult with all the elements) was done by David Castillo (Katatonia, etc…) and the mastering by Tony Lindgren! As explained in part! 1 Composition at home + ideas on how to fit everything together (music and everything around it). 2 Receipt of orchestrations and some additional arrangements. 3 Reception of the instrumental parts from the musicians (adapt to the music)! 4 Studio to fine-tune things (the vocal lines for the guests and myself, which I sang in full), sometimes starting from scratch and rectifying certain parts that didn’t fit all the elements. 5 Incorporating the guests before finalising the vocal lines. 6 Incorporating the orchestra into the whole (Edit)! 7 Mixing and mastering! Not to mention coordinating the music videos (I came up with the ideas based on the story) and the illustrations for the double album (an example of what I wanted to draw in a hurry, etc.)! There are so many elements! For future albums (without an orchestra or to see for film music) I’ll work differently! 1 Composition first, then 2 reception of the orchestrations, 3 Definitive vocal lines except for the few guests, 4 Rhythmic elements, 5 Guitars (rhythmic/leads/solos) and Bass, 6 Mix and mastering, etc…
Collaborating with the Budapest Orchestra and a range of guest musicians is no small feat. How did these collaborations come up? How do they enhance the overall musical experience of the album?
I contacted all the guests one by one on Facebook and through certain people! I then gave them the lyrics with the vocal lines and they took it from there, sometimes adapting certain words and intonations! I gave Niklas Kvarforth carte blanche, though, and he came up with some original vocal lines using the lyrics I’d written! They brought an undeniable variety to the whole and I wanted them to bring a specific colour to each passage and composition! In future albums there will be far fewer guests and I’ll be singing 80% of the vocal lines, which will be even more varied, powerful and emotional (sometimes even with certain effects to reinforce the avant-garde and futuristic side)!
Your roles as a composer, singer, art director, lyricist and actor showcase a multifaceted approach. How did you balance these different aspects during the creation of the album?
It all happens very naturally and spontaneously! The ideas just flow and flow! It’s sometimes mentally exhausting (and you have to do poses all the time), but it makes it possible to create beautiful things!
The fusion of progressive-symphonic-post rock/metal, film score, and various other influences is a unique aspect of “Far From Home”. How did you navigate blending these genres seamlessly?
Everything was built around the story I wrote! The melodies came immediately! I wanted to merge all these elements right from the start! And I write things coming of my mind in general! It’s guided!
Drawing inspiration from artists like Devin Townsend, Dream Theater, and Hans Zimmer, how did their influence manifest in the album, and how did you ensure it remained uniquely yours?
We all have influences! Every artist has their own influences! But I wanted to create a unique vision and an artistic universe of my own! Basically, my way of composing is pretty close to Hans Zimmer’s, and given that Devin Townsend is my favourite artist, you can probably tell that from certain instrumental and vocal parts! Then there’s Dream Theater, which rocked my teenage years, especially “Octavarium”, the 24-minute long song! They’re used to epic songs and I’ve always loved those! Even if my music is more accessible and less technical than Dream Theater’s, although some parts are really hard to play (especially on drums)!
The album seems to explore a wide range of themes, from the beauty of life to societal issues. Can you elaborate on the conceptual journey that “Far From Home” takes the listener on?
“Far From Home” represents the earthly existence and all that surrounds it! The actions of human beings! The oppositions, the different points of view! In a spiritual way too. The yin and the yang. Not everything is white, not everything is black. We must try to find a balance and constantly try to go beyond our condition. Gradually leave this human condition that shackles us to aspire to deeper and more cosmic interactions. To keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground, for our personal equilibrium. It is a kind of journey of the soul. I’ll let you discover the story in time and the 48-page booklet that goes with it. The album starts in prehistory with the tragedy that decimated the dinosaurs (meteorite). After that, the vegetation rebuilt itself progressively before arriving in our time. The story therefore takes place mainly in our time. A new tragedy similar to the extinction of the dinosaurs is foreseen at the end (meteorite preceded by the storm of the century). There is an apocalyptic and prophetic sense behind this. The representation of the meteorite could also be replaced by an atomic bomb or other for example (very topical with the current conflicts). It all depends on how you want to portray it. How will they prepare for this and how will it all end ? Is the end of humanity near? Is a miracle possible? Are there other connections in the universe (black or worm holes) ? I’ll let you discover all this in the double album that I advise you to listen to on headphones with the booklet in your hands ! The story may be transposed to the cinema as well (and film music) but all things in their own time!
The character Ethan gradually evolves in this story until he becomes old and sees the trials and tribulations of humanity, but also the beauty of the things around him! A golden door stands before him! He takes it and disappears! Where is he now? Is he dead? Is he in another dimension? Is his soul free? I’ll leave it to you to discover this original and orchestral album (complementary) and make up your own mind!
With a runtime of over two and a half hours, “Far From Home” is more than just a collection of tracks. How did you approach creating a cohesive and engaging experience over such an extended period?
Once again, it all came together very naturally with the story and the concept! But you’ll see that in the next two albums to come (which will accumulate the same listening time with the difference that there will be 20 or 21 songs) there will be epic songs as well as radio songs and they’ll be just as powerful and even more so without any particular story! I’ll let my ideas come to me and the lyrics will be very committed and tough or very poetic! It all depends! The aim is to keep this fusion of film music and rock, even metal, every time, but also to fuse other genres (broaden the spectrum)!
As an artist, what challenges did you face during the creation of “Far From Home,” and how did you overcome them to realize your artistic vision?
The challenge was to make sure that people didn’t get bored of the music while keeping it coherent and accessible despite the complexity of the whole thing! I could have made a completely prog album with lots of technical experimentation and so on (maybe in the future ?…) But I wanted to open the music up to something more ambitious that could bring different worlds together and appeal to music lovers in general! Those who like technical experimentation but also the more sensitive ears who don’t know this kind of music! The same goes for the future and future projects!
What message or experience do you hope listeners take away from “Far From Home”?
I hope that at the end of the listening session people will realise that there are other possible alternatives and that they will reflect on the world we live in (corruption, conditioning, low spirits…)! The aim is to help people discover another way forward, which I hope will give ideas to new generations! To create a new future and a new artistic era!
“Far From Home” is released by WormHoleDeath Records. How did this co-operation come up?
I had several offers from very good labels, but the image that WormHoleDeath offered appealed to me! WormHoleDeath is an internationally recognised label with great media coverage and a passionate team (Carlo Bellotti, Natascia Pribac, etc…)! What’s more, we’re not forced to maintain an image and identity that isn’t our own, and that’s something I really appreciate! It’s a label with great values behind it, competent, serious and combative, and in my opinion it’s the ideal label for people who are starting out in music at a professional level, who want to make their dreams come true and open up even greater horizons later on! I sign artists/bands on this label too as head of A&R ! Others perspectives are coming…
You had planned a number of live shows, but you’ve cancelled them. Why did this happen? There won’t be any live shows from you in the future?
I cancelled some festivals for personal reasons! With the professional musicians accompanying me, it was just too expensive (rehearsals to pay for, fees, air travel, transport, accommodation, hotels… for each musician, which amounts to almost 3,000/4,000 euros per festival)! It was inconceivable or else with a production company! So I cancelled the festivals! What’s more, the conditions behind them weren’t clear to some people!
Finally, after several days of reflection, I’ve come up with an alternative that will make it all worthwhile! I’ll be alone on stage, singing (with a powerful, emotional voice) and putting on a show (with a background image on a giant screen, smoke, lights, great sound, stage act, etc.)! The result will be surprising, but will show off “Far From Home” compositions to their best advantage! Festivals will still be held! The Pannonian Rock Festival has already been maintained and others will be announced shortly for 2024 and 2025 (at least 5 big festivals in all)!
What’s more, in this configuration (lights, visuals, sounds, etc.), concerts/shows, and in particular tours, will be planned in Europe first, if possible by 2025, and then in 2026 in Asia, the US, etc. It’s all to be seen progressively! This time the entire double album will be played (2h40) with an intermission between the two albums where some compositions from the Orchestral album will be played to keep the atmosphere going! There will be plenty of surprises in store! You’ll be able to buy the albums, of course, but you’ll also be able to buy t-shirts featuring logos in several colours, some of the illustrations from the double album, as well as powerful messages and quotes! Mugs, cuddly toys and other goodies should also be available soon!
What future projects or endeavors can we expect from Max Enix? When should we expect a new album from you?
Numerous projects are in the pipeline, as well as collaborations (music, singing, cinema, etc.)! Two new albums will be released in 2026: “Beauty in Darkness” and “Ocean of Light”! They will symbolise yin and yang, and will complement each other! One will reveal the ugliness of human beings and the tragedies that go with it, and the other the beauty of human beings and what they’ve achieved! The melodies will be hard-hitting, highly emotional and gripping! The aim is to go even further than “Far From Home” in many respects, and to seek even greater transcendence, just like the future albums, which will be very different! Some orchestral extracts can already be heard on Facebook! The lyrics in “Beauty in Darkness” will be very committed, even crude (Parental Advisory content) = an apocalyptic side that will be reinforced by certain passages and 1 or 2 guests! “Ocean of Light” will be much lighter and brighter, with softer, sweeter and more poetic lyrics! The accompanying clips will be in the same vein, as will the surprising illustrations! The album covers have already been thought up, and they’ll be completely unexpected compared to “Far From Home”, believe me! To be continued… So many ideas at once…
Send a message to the fans!
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support! I will always do my utmost to offer you coherent, accomplished and transcendent works! I want you to get your money’s worth (albums, shows…) and leave the listening room with a smile on your face! Forgive me sometimes for saying things that may seem crude, but I’m true # Fake and always say what’s on my mind! I think that when you see the society in which we live it’s sometimes justified! I’d rather be hated for what I am than loved for what I’m not (as Kurt Cobain from Nirvana put it so well)! I’m not trying to please everyone but to unite people for a better world! Thank you for everything and for your time! I look forward to seeing you on stage! The more of us who fight to transform society and customs, the more the world will be able to breathe! Take care and thanks again for this interview! The Future is Here…