Belgium solo artist Maxime Solemn has combined some interesting genres, taking the use of metalcore and violin to create a genre unlike any other one he calls violincore. He recently released a new song and video to accompany it called "Fight The Light". This tune being the only follow-up to his debut EP release, with further plans on releasing more new music and so much more is in-store, you just wait and see, what Maxime himself had to say below!
1. Why did you want to take Maxime Solemn and have it be a solo artist project, as opposed to being a full fledged band or group?
Maxime: I have always been someone who enjoys working creatively on his own. I have a really specific vision and find it hard to cope with people who want to change it. Of course, you have to work together with people to create beauty, but I like to be in charge of the final creation. Apart from that, I used to be in bands, but those never really worked well. One irresponsible member or two personalities that don't blend, can easily ruin a whole band. So I prefer to stay solo and responsible for myself.
2. How did you come to get your namesake, Maxime Solemn, does it have a meaning behind it?
Maxime: Back when I started doing music, I called my project "Solemn Judgment". But after learning a lot about business and marketing, I realized that this wasn't a smart name, so I wanted to revert to my own name, while still keeping a part of that original name. So I took the "Solemn" part and added it to my first name. I think keeping a part of my "identity" of when I started out, is important for me to remember what I used to be like. Everyone is horrible at one point. Everyone starts somewhere and gradually gets better. Keeping that as a reminder, feels like a great thing to do.
3. Where are you based out of and what is your music scene like there? Are there any local artists/bands you could recommend?
Maxime: I am from Belgium. Our music scene is nowhere near as engaging as America's or even the UK's scene. Regardless, there are some solid bands in Belgium that really deserve a nice and big crowd. Set Things Right and Spoil Engine would probably be my main picks.
4. How would you describe your style?
Maxime: I like to identify my sound as "Violincore". Metalcore has always been my favorite genre, whereas orchestral music and film music were the close second. I didn't really know any bands that fused these, so I wanted to do it myself. So I'd say my style can be described as the aggression of metalcore, combined with the melodic aspect of film music and violins.
5. What's your take on your EP "This Is The Reckoning" as a whole?
Maxime: In one word: Experimentation. I think almost every song on that EP sounds different from each other, but they all contribute to my "finalized style" which can be heard on Reckoning and is further evolved on "Fight The Light".
6. Besides that release you went and released a new song and video for "Fight The Light". Can you discuss the song and video? How did you get your violin and bow to "light-up"?
Maxime: The song, Fight The Light, is all about people who want to fight the light that burns within creative minds. They want to fight their burning passion, if you will. I'm sure everyone who wants to do something creatively, has had people tell them that they can't or that they aren't good enough. I believe these negative people have lost their light and now want to darken others' out of frustration. As for the video, I got really inspired by Transformers. I've always been a fan of "epic" and "larger than life" productions. So I wanted to make a music video that simulated that, on a lower budget. This can be seen in the color grading, lens flares and added effects. As for my violin and bow; I basically bought EL wire from amazon and taped it on my cheapest violin. It wasn't all that hard to do actually, haha.
7. Are you signed or an unsigned artist? What should labels/zines/promoters know about your band? Why should they be interested in it?
Maxime: I am currently unsigned. I think the most important thing is that I "stay real". I see so many bands lie to the camera and sell stories, for the sake of sales. It's kind of disgusting to me. They glorify depression. They glorify drugs. They glorify so many things that I think shouldn't be glorified. They know that people with problems become blind consumers, so they talk them further into it. People with problems need to be helped, instead of stimulated.
8. What plans do you have for the future?
Maxime: I'm currently focusing on this new release and see where that takes me. I'm also working on my directing and more songs.
9. Where can we listen to your music and where can we buy your stuff?
Maxime: My newest song can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45hYeKyjNnw and my music can be bought pretty much anywhere. I'm on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play and all that good stuff. Apart from that, I also have a merch/CD store: www.solemnmerch.bigcartel.com.
10. What is it you'd like a listener to remember the most when hearing your music for the first time?
Maxime: I want people to believe in themselves. The majority of my lyrics are usually motivational or compassionate towards people who want to make themselves better, stronger, smarter, more creative, etc.. I want people to drop the negativity and get working on their goals and dreams.