Maxxxwell Carlisle Shred's Through The Interview

Hailing from Los Angeles, California, Maxxxwell Carlisle plays full throttle shred guitar and fist-pumping, head-banging, high energy metal! With a musical background rooted in Classical, Jazz and Metal, Maxxxwell's playing style is aggressive, technical, and constantly riding the line between in-your-face and downright mind-numbing. He himself discusses his new EP and how he creates this unique style of music.

1. Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Maxxxwell Carlisle, and how long the band has been together.

Maxxxwell: I’m Maxxxwell Carlisle, a solo artist and I also play guitar in the classic speed metal band Hellion. With my solo band, which is just called, “Maxxxwell Carlisle”, I do all the writing and producing as well as a lot of the band’s management duties. I've had my solo band for about 5 years now. I'm all about fog machines, lasers and shredding!

2. Please tell us about the history of your band and its members.

Maxxxwell: Basically, in 2007 I moved from my hometown of Seattle, WA, to Los Angeles. I had a bunch of song ideas that I’d been kicking around for a while and really wanted to record an album that was just fun metal songs and really put my own stamp on them. I’m not a strong singer so I hired a guy somewhat randomly off of Craigslist and had him sing my vocal parts. I put the album together over the course of about a year and then released it, not really thinking too much about it at the time. The problem is though, that once I finish one thing, I start getting ideas for something else. It never stops. So that first album led to me wanting to step things up and the band just evolved from there.

4. Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?

Maxxxwell: The band is based out of LA, so obviously there’s a huge music scene there. Maybe the biggest in the world. That being said, I’m not a huge fan of the majority of the bands in LA. It’s a very trendy place and so many of the bands sound exactly the same. It’s refreshing when I hear something new.

5. What bands have influenced your band and its sound?

Maxxxwell: I draw my influences from a variety of classic metal bands and various shred guitarists. Bands like Judas Priest, Manowar, Loudness, Hammerfall, and guitarists like Chris Impellitteri, Michael Angelo Batio, Luca Turilli, Akira Takasaki, Jeff Loomis, Rusty Cooley, Tony Macalpine, Greg Howe…those are the groups and players who I consider to be the masters.

6. What lyrical theme do you guys use in your music? What message do you want to send?

Maxxxwell: I try to write classic bad ass metal lyrics, but with an overall positive message. Lots of songs about slaying your metaphorical enemies and overcoming challenges. Definitely confident lyrics that you can sing to yourself in the shower to get pumped up for a job interview or something. I have song titles like, “Marching with the Dragons”, and “Visions of Victory”. That says it all. Sometimes I also try to deliberately write vague lyrics that don’t have too much detail. That lets the listener put their own meaning to them. I avoid writing about current events. That’s the quickest way to date your songs.

7. What have you released so far and how were your releases received by the public/media?

Maxxxwell: I have released 4 solo albums so far. I’m working on the 5th write now. To be honest the first release was pretty much ignored. When I released the 2nd album, which was an instrumental album, I put a lot more work into promoting it. Plus I had a couple of great guest musicians, Michael Angelo Batio and Tina Guo, playing on it and that helped bring some attention to the release. With each consecutive album, the attention in my music increases. It’s great to see that and see my fan base grow.

8. Do you play live as well? How's your live activity so far?

Maxxxwell: One of the highlights of what I do is playing live. I love it. My live band has gone through some changes over the years. Currently Dave Chedrick is on drums. He’s played in some great metal bands like, Hirax and Deathriders. I've got Nick Laux on bass, who is a good friend of mine and a great player, and I’m working with two live vocalists, Michael Yancy and Caro Lion. They each sing different songs. Most of my focus with live shows has been on the West Coast, although we are working on setting up a mid-west tour right now.

9. What is your opinion on sites posting your guys material and other bands material?

Maxxxwell: In general I think that any publicity is good publicity, so I’m always happy to have sites posting stuff.

10. How do you guys feel about the classifications in metal? like deathcore, metalcore and other subgenres and how some get a negative rep.

Maxxxwell: A lot of bands don’t like labels, but I think being labeled is unavoidable to a certain extent. I don’t mind it. And yeah, some do get a bad rap… but I think it’s generally deserved. Stereotypes are based on reality.

11. What is your opinion on the current state of metal?

Maxxxwell: I think we’re in a strange place with metal and with the music scene in general. There’s no clear direction and a lot of artists and bands are struggling to find their footing with all the changes that have happened in the industry in the past 5 years or so. I think now, it’s more important than ever to try and stand out from the pack and do something unique. Technically speaking though…the production standards for an average band are up and there are some great musicians on the scene. That always makes for great listening.

12. What should labels/zines/promoters know about your band? Why should they be interested in it?

Maxxxwell: Well they should know that I’m doing my own thing and I’m not going to apologize for it. It’s fine if some people don’t “get” what I do. I love what I do… shredding and writing bad ass metal songs it what makes me happy. Also, my live band puts on a helluva show. We’re out there as entertainers more than artists, if that makes sense. If the crowd has a great time, then we have a great time. And we’re around for the long haul. I know I’ll still be doing this in 10, 20 years.

13. What plans do you have for the near future as a band?

Maxxxwell: Right now we are working on promoting the latest EP, “Full Metal Thunder”. We are also setting up a small tour in the mid-west for the end of this year. Next year we’re going to do a tour in Mexico and I’ll also being doing some major touring with Hellion then as well. I’m also working now on new material for the next album. There’s always something in the works about to be unleashed!

14. Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?

Maxxxwell: Easy. All of the Maxxxwell Carlisle music is available on iTunes, Amazon, and most of the major digital music providers. We have several music videos out on YouTube as well. Physical CDs can be purchased easily directly from the band at

15. What is it you’d like a listener to remember the most when hearing your music for the first time?

Maxxxwell: “Wow! That’s a bitch’n solo!”

16. Why should a metalhead buy your stuff?

Maxxxwell: Catchy metal songs that get stuck in your head. Killer guitar work. True Metal POWER!

17. Any final words of wisdom?

Maxxxwell: Do what you feel is right. Live the life that you want to and always remember that you’re capable of more than you think. And… always listen to METAL!

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