As the wintry clouds depart for bluer skies, itâ€™s a given thereâ€™ll be plenty of parties happening throughout Brisbane this spring. This time itâ€™s Max Graham and Bombs Away at Electric Playground for a Riverfire afterparty unlike any other.
Ladies and gentleman, first I'd like to introduce Canadian legend Max Graham. A turntablist since 15, heâ€™s a man with his finger on the pulse. And he blames his dad. â€œMy father forced me to take piano lessons early; of course I hated it and sometimes skipped it, but I'm quite glad as it formed the building blocks for what I do now. Even though being a DJ specifically doesn't involve making music, it really helps to have an ear for it when combining records live. Obviously the studio side of things has benefited greatly from my early training.â€
His love of trance has permeated his sound throughout his career, so much so that his recent â€˜Radioâ€™ LP on Armada Records was a bit of a hit. â€œWhen you've got guys like Tiesto and Armin championing it of course it's going to be big,â€ he says. â€œI've gone through phases where I've played other sounds but trance is like anything - it's about what your ears like at the end of the day. That being said, the trance fans are some of the most loyal and involved I've ever experienced and having twitter and #trancefamily has really been an amazing experience.â€
A passion and an obsession, Max's music is always changing given how much inspiration he gains from other producers. â€œI obviously incorporate life experience, but the music I'm making is constantly inspired by the music I'm playing. And I've always played what I love. I've never played anything I don't like for the sake of the crowd because that's not the way I see my role. Sure, I've changed my style over time but not gig to gig, unless it's specifically a classic set, for example.â€
Studio wise, the lad has been busy having just completed the remix for Grace - â€˜Not Over Yetâ€™ - which has debuted strongly with a number one spot on the Buzz Chart, Beatport and AudioJelly as well as being the number one seller on Armada's download site. Heâ€™s also released his new single, â€˜F.Y.C.â€™, with more to come soon. â€œI'm always about touring and production,â€ he says. â€œI'm even thinking about a move to Barcelona - I really fell in love with the city this summer.â€
Other than that, he doesn't mind the odd punter in the booth when heâ€™s playing because he reckons it gets too serious otherwise. â€œI wouldn't call it antics but I don't mind having a bit of fun up there. It makes for a better party, I think. And look, I haven't been to Australia for a few years so you can expect most of my productions plus lots of roller coaster progressive, trance and techno!â€
Which brings us to round two of this fight with Thomas Hart and Sketch - aka Bombs Away - who first made their name with the track â€˜Big Booty Bitchesâ€™ and have since hung around being cool and all that. Which isn't to detract from their hard work because these guys are here to work it hard.
Sketch explains: â€œOur philosophy would just be party the fuck out and if you can't find a toasted sandwich maker, just use a hair straightener, drop bombs, get krunk and train wrecked!â€
You get the picture. These guys are motivated by one thing it seems - and that's having a good time while they're here.
â€œWe're definitely about having some fun before we all die in 2012. The earthâ€™s crust displacement will always keep us on our toes. Vodka - and bitches - motivate us; we're going to keep playing our Mongolian steam electro with a bit of jazz step. When we play live, we love mixing it up with some old school rastafarian limbo wobble as well.â€
But it wasn't always fun and games, for the lads have done their time. Sketch continues: â€œInitially Thomas started out in hip hop, making tracks in his bedroom and then it just elevated from there. And I was into drum & bass and breaks before we caught up. It's actually an interesting story how we met and formed Bombs Away,â€ Sketch says, telling the story in third person.
â€œIt starts 23 years ago when Sketch was sitting at home innocently tearing the cardboard covers from his Cat In The Hat books using them to build ramps for his Lego cars, when all of a sudden his life was spun into chaos as his mother brought home a long haired genius robot baby named thomasaurous-atron, which we later shortened to just plain old Thomas Hart.â€
On a more serious note for a moment, though, the guys are working on a number of singles, collaborations and remixes with some really solid names. â€œWe have a new one with Marvin Priest which is coming along really well and we're about to drop a single with Kronic too. On the whole though, we are kind of following a few different paths with our music; on one side we are working on some radio friendly songs and we're also venturing deeper into other styles like dubstep and drum step but for us, there isn't really any pressure at all, we just do what we love.â€
And finding that the crowd is on side hasn't hurt them either. â€œDefinitely, it's great that crowds are really on board with all the different styles we've been dropping. Lately itâ€™s getting harder to even classify what we play so we say fuck genres, let's party! â€œWe're basically going to try push some boundaries because we know it's going to be rammed. It gives us room to really experiment so we know it's going to be a crazy show!â€
So come one, come all and cop a bit of spontaneity in your lives.
Max Graham + Bombs Away play a Riverfire afterparty at Electric Playground Sep 3.