We sat down with Max Lawrence to discuss his brand new track ‘Gasoline’ which comes out this Friday, growing up in suburbia and giga-litres of chai tea.
Max Lawrence is one of those artists that you’ll be glad to have known about before they got big, and trust us, it is going to happen soon.
We sat down with the artist on the rise to talk about everything that makes him the incredible musician that he is, from his dream rider to his career highlights and beyond.
Get to Know: Max Lawrence
How did your artist name come about?
It was a super easy choice that I didn’t have to agonise over, it’s my name!
How would you describe your music to your grandma?
I’d say “G-ma, it’s chaotic and existential pop, get into it. Here are some of my deepest, darkest feelings to a synthy groove, but I promise I’m okay, I swear. Don’t worry, I’ve also written some more hopeful, uplifting songs scored to pretty orchestral chamber-pop vibes, so it’s not all doom and gloom”
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Tell us about a few of your tracks; their titles and what they’re about?
‘Gasoline’ is my newest song, about our tendency as people existing under a capitalist structure to distract ourselves from dark thoughts through chasing money-driven careers and shiny new possessions, all the while being in denial, convincing ourselves that we’re happy in the end.
Honestly, the world is super confusing, especially right now in this pandemic, so I write songs to try and understand my place amongst all the beauty and the chaos of it all, and with ‘Gasoline’ I’m basically just questioning what the point of it all is, and what I want out of my life, and coming up with no answers except for this relentless compulsion I have to make art.
‘Chlorophyll’ is another of my songs, and the title of my debut EP, which kind of exists in stark contrast to ‘Gasoline’ in that it’s about healing through all that painful introspection, and taking time away from the noise of the world to go get lost in nature and to re-connect with our beautiful Earth once more. I’m a very sensory and receptive person, and I need time to observe nature to feel at peace with myself, and Chlorophyll is about cultivating that stillness by recognising we’re sewn into our natural world, not separate from it like we’re made to believe.
What do you love about your hometown?
I grew up in suburbia, which always felt like this little bubble that was removed from everything else. I used to love stealing furniture from the side of the road and create little houses within the trees and bushes of nature reserves. The suburb felt like all these perfect houses and roads, but within the trees, my friends and I made all these really odd, decayed places to hang out. We were all middle-class kids with nothing to do but light shit on fire and ride our bikes around the streets. There was this weird freedom to it which felt nice, and whenever I’m back there I feel the same.
Career highlight so far?
It would definitely be performing my music with a 10-piece chamber orchestra the ‘Forest Collective’ at the Abbotsford Convent for Midsumma festival in February. It’s always been a dream of mine to sing with an orchestra and I feel like my music really finds its wings with those organic textures. Another massive highlight would be playing Gaytimes Festival last year, which was a HUGE vibe.
Fave non-music hobby?
Outside of music I love painting, it’s a creative outlet where I just don’t care how the art turns out, I can just spew my subconscious onto a page with colours and lines, which makes me feel really present and calm. I also really love thrift shopping and creating a sick outfit that costs 10 bucks in total, head to toe.
What’s on your dream rider?
Giga-litres of chai tea, absolutely drowned in honey and lots and lots of gingerbread. If it’s spicy and sweet at the same time, I want it. In excess.
Dream music collaboration?
Oh god, so many. It would be a HUGE dream to work with Damon Albarn of Gorillaz, I just think that he brings such interesting and innovative music to the table, infusing so many different genres into such strong worlds. I’d also love to work with St Vincent, her artistry is so top-notch and I feel like writing together would just be so much fun, she’d keep it super real.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In 10 years I’d want to be making music or art full time and be able to support myself with it, I’d also LOVE to start my own fashion label, that would be sick. I also hope to have cultivated a community of artists, lovers and friends around me in which I can continue to celebrate life and create beautiful experiences with.
What’s your go-to karaoke song?
Okay, it’d probably have to be ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ by Queen, because holy shit what a banger and also I’d get to live my childhood fantasy of being Freddie Mercury. Either that or ‘Let it Go’ from Frozen in a stupid character voice, both are fun.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
“Don’t fit into their paradigm, expand your own”, some sage advice I picked up from a performance masterclass in New York a few years ago.
What’s one obsession you have that no one would guess after listening to your music?
I’m really obsessed with everything to do with drag and drag queens and think it’s such an amazing art form, they’re basically shiny, glamorous gender-bending clowns that exist in ridiculous fantasy worlds and are leading the fashion and makeup world into such next level places. I spend soooooo many hours just watching chaotic drag queen videos on youtube hahaha.