Review Fix chats with singer/songwriter Max Lockwood, who discusses the release of his upcoming self-titled album, as well as his creative process and goals for the future.
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Review Fix: How did you get involved in music?
Max Lockwood: I started playing the cello when I was 10 years old, moved on to upright bass from there, and taught myself guitar, bass guitar, piano and other instruments along the way. I started writing songs when I was 13 and haven’t stopped. Music and songwriting became a touchstone and an emotional and creative outlet that really saved my life and gave me a sense of purpose as a young person. I started going to see a lot of live music and playing professionally in my teenage years, and always hope to give other people that feeling I get when I see a great show or am really touched by a song.
Review Fix: What’s your creative process like?
Lockwood: I try to imbue as many aspects of life as possible with a creative spirit, so that even when I’m not writing very actively, I’m still creating. So at different times my creativity may be focused on songwriting, finishing a recording project, studying tai chi, crafting a live show, working on a video, or maybe just having a unique interaction with the clerk at the grocery store.
Review Fix: What inspires you?
Lockwood: I’m continually inspired by the other musicians and creative people around me who I’m lucky enough to call colleagues and friends. Seeing all the great work they’re putting forth keeps me going.
Review Fix: What makes “Tried Love” a special track?
Lockwood: Tried Love is special because of all the collaborative energy that made it what it is. An older friend of mine named Ester gifted me a lap dulcimer, which inspired the writing of the song–sometimes a new instrument is hiding songs you wouldn’t have found without getting it in your hands–and then in the studio, Julian Allen took the song in a wonderful direction I didn’t expect with his drum part; Lindsay Lou and Sam Cooper brought the vocals out more beautifully than I could’ve hoped; Brandon Smith and Eric O’Daly added the special sauce with violin and tabla; and then May Erlewine helped me re-structure the chords in the verses to bring out the emotion that the lyrics were really asking for. With a little help from my friends, essentially.
Review Fix: How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard you?
Lockwood: Singer-songwriter, alternative folk and rock.
Review Fix: How are your live shows different from your studio work?
Lockwood: The experience of a live show is different than listening to a record, so I try and honor that and see myself as much as an entertainer as a songwriter when onstage. So while still putting the songs first, we try to liven things up and put on an energetic, engaging show for everyone in attendance. The audience is the reason we do what we do.
Review Fix: What makes Michigan music special?
Lockwood: The collaborative spirit in Michigan music is something truly special and unique. It’s a very supportive atmosphere, but also the high caliber of work that people are putting out encourages everyone else to grow and expand and push their creativity to new realms and new heights, making this a really powerful and energetic time for music in this state.
Review Fix: What are your goals for 2019?
Lockwood: I’ve got a great band that features members of my band Big Dudee Roo and another great Michigan act called The Appleseed Collective, so I’m excited to play a lot of shows, get the music out to people, and see where we can take this. I’ll also be playing a lot with The Insiders, my Tom Petty tribute band, and with other acts as well, particularly my friend and songwriting hero May Erlewine.
Review Fix: What’s next?
Lockwood: Get the album out and into people’s ears, get on the road with the band and see where we can take it!