Live Flames
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Interview: Max Middleton

Fotos: Tixie Doo

Mick: Max Middleton is the contrary of Juan,

he doesn't speak much and it's hard to try to know much.


But he was pleased as I was do the interview, as he was taking some rest after the show....


Hello Max...Thanks for the show tonight...
Hello... Oh, you've enjoyed it?

Sure, I really enjoyed the interaction between between all of you.
There was a lot of things we had never done. I had never done them before, that's why I've some notes here (on the table). But that was the first time for me. Anyway it should be better tomorrow...

When and why did you start to play the piano?
Why? Well I just liked the piano?

Did you hear someone play?
Mmmm, I can't remember what happened. I just liked music and my teacher at school asked my mother to buy me a piano. So that was it, then I had a piano.

Did you ever play another instrument?
No, just the piano. I'd like to have played bass. But no, I have never played anything else.

What are your main influences?...
On piano? Old jazz players really. People like Errol Garner, Albert Hammons a Boogie-player, Bill Evans... Oh I love Keith Jarrett, you know, there's so many...

Your playing is always recognisable on every record that you've played on. What do you think is the reason for that? I can always say: Oh that Max playing on it...
Can you? People tell that to me, but I don't know. Even I can't recognise myself ! Seriously, One time somebody played me something, I said :"Who is that playing?"'cause I sort of thought he's similar to me. And they told me : "it's you" and I had seriously not realized. So I don't really know what I do.

It's just you, the way you are...

Fotos: Philippe

Ok, now we come to Snowy, when did you meet him?
I've crossed path with Snowy a lot of times. We've been on maybe somebody else's record. He's been asked to play, and I've been asked to play but it's only recently we've played together. I like Snowy, I like his playing, we seem to get on OK, so... all the musicians in the band I think get on Ok, and that's quite important to Snowy. Apart from, you know, being sympathetic, when you play, between all the musicians, there's a quite nice atmosphere.

What is the difference in playing with Snowy, compared to playing with people like, let's say Jeff Beck, Or Mick Taylor? Does he tell you what to play?.
No, none of them tell me what to play. Mick Taylor or Jeff Beck never say anything. I just play something to fit in with them, that's it. But they are all different guitarists... They are all good, I think...

On the «Live Flames» album, you are credited on two songs, «Wintersong» and «Whiteflames Blues», which both have your melodic touch. How were these songs created?
Well, I think «Wintersong» is just an improvisation. There's a melody that Snowy played me which I just used as a starting point. You know I like to have a melody to play around or improvise with. So how «Wintersong» started, and everyday it is different. It all depends on if the sound is good or on how I am feeling, it will be different every night.

And «Whiteflames Blues»?
I don't know, that just came about, you know...

So will you have a part in the writing of the next «White Flames» album?
Not really, It just happen then, it's not necessary.

On your website, It is said that you are about to work on a new solo album...
Yes, maybe in a couple of weeks, I want to go to France to do it. I have got no ideas what to play but I'll go down there, just play and find some ideas. I did one record, I think about a year ago, my first record of mine ( «Land of Secrets»). I'll try another one, I don't know what to do either. Anyway We'll see...

Well thank you Max.

[ MR| MM| TD| Ph | RS ]

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