Catching Up with Max Green of Violent New Breed at Extreme Thing 2016
One of the standout bands to perform early on at Extreme Thing 2016 in Las Vegas was Violent New Breed. Fronted by Max Green from Escape The Fate / Falling In Reverse fame, Violent New Breed presented a thrilling performance of hard hitting rock and roll! The band recently completed a cross country tour with Drowning Pool and has just issued their debut Self-Titled EP.
Another band playing just a few paces away may have been very loud during our interview, but Max Green still got up and personal about Violent New Breed, heroin addiction, his first time onstage as a front man, keeping in touch with members of his bands from the past, and other topics of intrigue. Read on as we chat with Max Green of Violent New Breed at this year’s edition of Extreme Thing just right after their exhilarating set…
How did you tour with Drowning Pool go and what were some of the highlights?
The tour with Drowning Pool was actually really good. It was our first tour as a band. It was my first tour ever as a lead singer. I’ve toured extensively over the last 10 years as a bassist and a back up vocalist, but to make the transition to lead singer was.. um.. Let’s just say the first week and a half to 2 weeks were very interesting for me. You know, it was kind of like finding yourself and getting comfortable with yourself on stage, cause you’re up there and you’re baring it all. When you have an instrument, you have a shield to hide behind. So, I mean, it was really good we had a good response from the crowd. It was great. The guys with Drowning Pool are really nice. It was awesome. It was a good time. Some of the highlights were – it was crazy because some shows we’d play and no one would make a sound or move at all but at the end of the show we would walk away with $800 in merch sold. So it was good to feel like we were doing a good job out there selling it and people might not know it yet, but they like it. It’s cool.
Describe that first time you went on stage as a lead vocalist, how did you feel? Were you nervous?
You know what, I was nervous. Ever since I started touring, I always felt a certain kind of nervousness before going on stage, but going on as a lead singer is completely different. It’s kind of like being the quarterback on a football team because if anything goes wrong, you’re the one that everyone focuses on. I was really nervous going up there but when I got on stage and grabbed the microphone, I literally thought to myself that this is my time, this is my half hour tonight. This half hour belongs to me. It is my stage. So, I’m just going to do me and something snapped inside of me and I just kind of found that role of lead singer on stage and then when I got off stage, all that nervousness kinda hit me again. I was like, wow! Snap back to reality, it was nuts.
Select two songs from your EP, what inspired the lyrics?
Well, I’ll pick a song called, “Broken Soul,” and and other song called, “I will be there.” Broken soul is one of my favorites actually. The lyrics are very deep and very important to me. I dealt with addiction for a really long time. I was a heroin addict and an opiate addict for close to 10 years. So, the lyrics in that song describe how your body aches and shakes and your cold and just hating life. The chorus is “help me please, I’m begging on my knees. I need a miracle. Broken soul spinning out of control, I need a miracle right now.” Which is basically how you feel when you’re battling addition. Then, the other song that means a lot to me is a song called “I will be there” which was our intro song. We took an excerpt from one of my favorite moves called “Big Trouble in Little China.” I’ve always wanted to write a song from that movie so all of the lyrics are from that movie. So it’s a real heavy hitter from my childhood and just something that I’ve always wanted to do – like one of my personal fantasies I guess.
What can one expect from a Violent New Breed live show?
One thing you can expect from a Violent New Breed live show is balls to the wall. You’ll never know what to expect to be honest with you. It is different every night. We’re not one of those bands that goes on and rehearses what we say and do every single night. We’re not those type of people. We go out there and we play off the energy of the crowd. We have fun with them, we interact with the people and whatever goes and when we’re on the stage that’s our time and we make it ours and we make it an intimate evening with the audience.
Do you still keep in touch with any of the previous members of bands you were in?
Yeah, absolutely! I talked to Ronnie pretty frequently from Falling in Reverse. And still to a couple of the other members: Jackie and Ryan. Actually, from Escape the Fate, I’m going on stage today to play with them. I’m still good friends with those guys, Ronnie and everyone.
Wikipedia said you used to manage bands, do you still do that?
You know I have taken a couple of bands under my wing at some point. Mostly what I do is if I see a band that has potential, I will go and I will take them if they’re in the early enough stages to help mold them and give them a little direction and then pass them along to someone else. Good friends of my in a band called, “Get Scared” they’ve been signed for a few years. When I first worked with them I kept contact with them, point them in the right direction and it helped them get a manager and a label. I’ve done that with a few other bands. I don’t do that very often, but only when I see something that catches my ear. Like, oh my that sounds good, that could be great.
What advice would you give a band seeking a record deal?
So nowadays, it’s totally different from when I had gotten signed 10 years ago. Nowadays, it’s the more you can do on your own. A lot of labels now, if you’ve got a good sounding demo or EP you did on your own it’s going to sound cool but you’ve got to be able to back it up. That’s the thing nowadays. Because of technology, everyone can make a great sounding album in their home. There’s a lot of bands that get picked up and dropped real fast because they don’t have what it takes to back it up live and they don’t have what it takes to be a road dog / road warrior. Especially with downloading and the music industry and the record deals being as crazy as they are these days where the artists aren’t making as much money. Be smart. Do as much as you can on your own before you sign anything. Show them that you don’t need them, then work your deal.
Do you have any tours coming up?
Right now this is our last show that is confirmed on our calendar, but we have been talking with a couple of other bands and a couple of other festivals about doing something and jumping on some lineups. Nothing that I feel safe enough saying we’re actually going doing it since it’s still not 100% confirmed but there are things in the works.
Do you have any message for your fans that have been following you since Escape the Fate, Falling in Reverse until now?
Honestly, I’m just indebted and grateful because at the point in my life where I took a break in music when there was 4 or 5 years where I couldn’t even pick up a guitar and play. My fans still stuck with me and they are the reason that gave me that motivation to not give up and to be able to do what I’m doing nowadays. Right now I don’t have a record label. I don’t have that backing. It’s because of the love for them and their support I’m actually able to go out and tour and actually have fans come to the show without the help from big businesses and corporations. So I just say thank you. I am forever in debt to you because what I do isn’t for me anymore. It’s for you. So thank you.
Violent New Breed is: Max Green – Vocals / Guitar, Mikey Alfero – Lead Guitar, Brent Ashley – Bass / Vocal,s Glendon Crain – Drums / Vocals
(Interview by Ken Morton – Live Photos by Jack Lue)
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