Photo Credit: Peter J. Nahin
Photo Credit: Peter J. Nahin

For my very first interview ever, i decided to talk to my friend Max Jewer.  He plays in a couple bands in town, and i totally dig what he does. I’ve seen one of his bands, The Minotaurs a couple times and i really like them. Check it out and thanks to Max for taking the time out to answer!

1. What is your full name?

Maxwell Arthur Jewer

2. Where are you from? Live now?

I’m originally from outside of Milton, WI but I live in downtown Madison now. I moved up here right after high school  with my band, and we lived in a house together for a couple years, which was a terrible idea. Never live with your band mates for more than a year!


3. What musical projects are you in and can you describe them?

I’m in 3 groups right now- I play gtr and sing in The Minotaurs, which is a sort of garage/punk band with Alex Reilly and Dan Ledger, bass and backup vox in Double Ewes (an electro-folk/pop trio), and I have a Hip Hop project called SPKRS with my good friend Seth. He raps and sings, and we both produce the beats together. It’s really nice to have different outlets for the different types of music I’m interested in. It helps me keep things focused in my own head, and hopefully keeps things more cohesive for people who hear the songs! This fall/winter has been crazy, because I’m actually working on recording projects for all 3 groups at the same time. It’s been sort of exhausting, but when I look around and see so much great music being produced around me I get really inspired to work as hard as possible


4. What are your musical influences and just influences in general?

Growing up, my parents raised me on great music- Bob Marley, King Crimson, Indian ragas, but all I really wanted to hear was Hip Hop. Coming from a small Midwest town, I didn’t really understand most of what they were talking about at the time, but the confidence and the beats really appealed to me for some reason. In 6th grade, I got a copy of Dr. Dre’s 2001, and I was hooked for. When I joined a band in high school, I started to expand my influences a little bit and discover artists on my own. I started listening to bands like The Living End, Arcade Fire, and TV On The Radio. For the last 5 years or so, I’ve been really into the Bay Area-inspired Psych Punk scene; groups like the Ty Segall Band, Thee Oh Sees, Ex-Cult, Metz. There’s so much stuff I’m into, and it changes day to day. I love artists who are completely true to themselves. When someone can take all the positive and negative parts of themselves and blow them up into a larger-than-life character, i.e. Tom Waits, Kanye West, or Father John Misty, I think it’s just the coolest. Here in Madison, I’ve been super inspired by Fire Retarded, Non Travellin’ Band, and everything you and Bobby have done with The Hussy. 


5. Favorite place to play in madison?

Hands down, it’s Mickey’s. The energy of having the crowd right up against you in that tiny room is next-level. Plus, if you get there early, you can get a plate of sexy fries before the show


6. Do you like pizza? If so, what kind?

I love pizza. Who doesn’t? I just had some Ian’s the other night after seeing Wood Chickens play a basement show downtown, and they had the most amazing slice I’ve probably ever had in my life. It was a cross between their Mac & Cheese and chicken quesadilla pizzas, with onions, peppers and tomatoes, and then covered with a thin flour tortilla. I’m getting really hungry just thinking about it.


7. Any words of wisdom???

I feel a little out of my depth handing out any kind of wisdom, but I’ve found that the best things in my life have come from genuinely trying to help out people around me without looking for some kind of favor in return. You can’t plan it, but you’ll always end up in a better place than where you started. The thing I love most about producing music for other people is trying to amplify whatever vision is inside of them, even if they don’t know what that is when we start. I’m happy to help someone record for free if I love their music. My other piece of advice would be to try and find a scene, like a group of people that are passionate about the same things you are. When people embrace and challenge you, it’s the difference between beating your head against the wall and breaking through it.


SPKRS- Causing Collisions (Official Video)


Ex-Cult – Cemetery Secretary

Tom Waits – The Piano Has Been Drinking – Live TV

Dr. Dre -what’s the difference