Meet Max, the man who will be spinning the sweet sounds to go along with the sweet snaps at our CONTACT Photography Exhibit Closing on May 31st at the LGS Toronto! Max is a music journalist, DJ and publicist who loves to shoot analogue. Find out everything you need to know about Max and see his photos after the jump!
First of all tell us a bit about yourself. What do you do? What are your interests?
My name is Max. I’m 26 years old. My life basically revolves around music. I’m a music journalist, DJ, and publicist. I manage a band in Brooklyn called Fast Times and help the record label Cascine on certain projects. When I’m not working, I like to hit up record stores, read books, eat pizza, talk about eating pizza, work on dj mixes and take photographs.
How often have you been shooting analogue?
Maybe 2-3 times a month. I don’t have as much time for it as I would like, but I’m definitely making a habit of just carrying my camera around with me. Even if it’s not for anything specific, I think it’s always good to have on you in case something cool happens and you wanna get it on film.
What is your favourite analogue camera and why?
I have so many favorites. I really love old vintage 35mm cameras. They just have so much character and it’s always really fun going to shops and seeing how many different kinds I come across. I own about 6 analog cameras and I’m always building my collection. I go to thrift stores a few times a week just to see what I can find.
What is your favourite thing about using film cameras?
Something about the grainy quality, the way certain colors blend depending on the exposure, lighting, etc. I just love that look. I’m always experimenting with new film and trying to get different looks. Ilford is my go-to for black and white. I’ve taken some really beautiful photos with the XP2 film. It’s perfect. Film cameras excite me mostly because you never know what you’re gonna get until you develop your film. I’m always really stoked to go pick up prints.
Where in the city is your ideal spot for taking photos and why?
Toronto is always full of surprises. If there’s something awesome happening, I’m usually there with my camera. The city really never disappoints. For me, regardless of where I am, it’s all about finding the right setting.
My New York trips always inspire me to go to different places and shoot. Last time I was there, I went to this party called WestGay at a bar called WestWay. It was next level. Some of the most beautiful people and fiercest queens were there and I couldn’t put my camera down. The shots were all really awesome because all the drag queens were super colorful and the lighting was perfect.
I’m all over the place during festival season or at big events. Some of my favorite photos are from my time at CMJ last year. Such an amazing week of live music and meeting new friends. I generally do a lot of nightlife and concert photography, but lately I’ve been branching out a little bit. Hoping to do more portraits and bigger projects this year.
What inspires you in life?
Music is my passion. Definitely a huge source of inspiration in my life. Events like CMJ, SXSW are always such a treat for me because I get to travel to cover artists from all over the world and make connections with really interesting people, bloggers, label reps, ect.
I’m always really inspired after a really good show or dj set. Jessie Ware was the last artist I saw. She’s so stunning. Almost cried at that show, not gonna lie.
I’m part of this blog collective called Portals. Being in a collective with a bunch of different bloggers is cool because everyone has their own unique voice and we’re all very supporting of each other’s work. Everyone in the collective does a lot of interesting stuff outside their blogs and it’s always really inspiring to vibe with them and hear about their new projects.
I think just being in this industry is inspiring. I have my hand in so many different pots right now that I find myself constantly inspired by new artist, labels, and different people that come into my life as a result of the work I do.
How did you get into Dj-ing?
I started dj-ing in 2007. My first night was with my friend Brendan. He did an R.Kelly night called “Down Low”, which was fun while it lasted. Since then, I’ve been able to branch out and do a lot of really great gigs. I work a lot with Vice, AGO and last year I started doing in-store mixes for Aritzia, which is so much fun. Creating the atmosphere for a clothing store is really sweet. There’s a lot of communication between myself and the company, which allows me to create a mix of songs that matches their brand and clientele. I mostly dj a lot of deep house, italo, disco and smooth electronic music.
What are you listening to right now?
Right now, Pure Bathing Culture, Majical Cloudz, Octo Octa, Mozart’s Sister, Selebrities, Chrome Sparks, Beacon and pretty much anything that’s sent to my inbox. Oh and the new Ciara song has been on repeat since it came out. Love it.
Is there anything in music that you’re really excited about right now?
The Montreal scene is on fire right now. So much good music and energy coming from there this year. I’m loving everything that the label Arbutus is putting out. They’re doing really exciting things right now and I think it’s only gonna get better from here on out. The new Braids record should be amazing. They just sent us this new band called Cool World. So good!
What 3 records have you been playing a lot lately?
1. Arthur Russell – Calling Out Of Context
2. Co La – Moody Coup
3. Majical Cloudz – Impersonator
Anything we should look forward to in the future?
I’m working on my first book right now, which is super exciting. Still a long way from being done, but I’ll keep you posted. A lot of great dj gigs coming up during Pride and I’m already talking to some designers about doing mixes for Fashion Week. So yes, a lot of things in the works.
Where can we get all the goods on you and what you’re up to?