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August 20, 2012 2:32 pm

Thoughtless Sounds, an Interview with Max Jared (INTERVIEW)

avatar by Erez Safar

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Max Jared.

Max Jared is that rare kind of artist whose music makes an immediate impact. With an innate talent for crafting memorable pop melodies, the Texas native grips listeners with socially conscious lyrics and a versatile acoustic sound. Vaunted hip-hop/dancehall label Shemspeed (full disclosure: Shemspeed is owned by author) is excited to announce that Max is the first artist to be signed to its soon to be launched folk and rock imprint, Soul Snack Records.

I interviewed Max Jared for The Algemeiner while he was on tour of Israel.

ES: Your music has a spiritual side to it, could you tell us a bit about the inspiration behind your music?
MJ: I am inspired by the wonderful spectrum of life that each of us experiences each day. Its Intricacies, quarks…. the positives and the struggles of this incredible roller-coaster. I am in love with the fact that in every moment, we could experience things that ground us, or even bring us down, and yet there always lies the potential for moments to be life-fulfilling, exciting, and a reminder of the blessing of our existence. My music has a spiritual side, because I am a Jew, and I write through a Jewish lens- the lens that ever moment is a blessing, and that its my responsibility to take those moments and use them to better the world.

ES: What attracted you to work with us (Shemspeed) and how do you see Soul Snack Records?
MJ: I was playing a gig in Jackson Mississippi (yes they like folk/rock music there!) and was introduced to a guy who interns for you guys (Shemspeed) up in New York. He said, “You gotta meet my boy, Erez.” I told him I was going on tour in NYC two months later, and while I was there, I met up with you to talk about collaborating. You and some people from Shemspeed  then came to one of my shows, and later asked me to jump on your CMJ showcase (a month later). The rest is history. A year later we’re launching Soul Snack Records and planning big releases!

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ES: Your CD Release party is a big mix of art, projections, dancing girls that fly, electronic DJs and you playing rock and folk, what’s the idea of the huge mix of music?
MJ: Well I like to throw a kick ass party of course! Ha! I want my concert goers to be full stimulated, and when I heard about The House of Yes (I was sold on the name alone), and the work they do with the Lady Circus, I thought it’d be a fun, artistic addition to the experience of my music. I also believe deeply in the emotional experience that music, and other art conveys. So my perspective is, bring people on a roller-coaster of emotions! It’ll be a fun experience of rock, folk, funk, pop, and more, bringing people on musical trek towards an exciting peek (that will last for 4 hours) with Kiss Slash Crooked Smile’s electronic DJ set.  Not a show to miss for sure!

ES: Who do you see as your target demographic?
MJ: I’m interested in connecting with change-makers. I want to build a network of social entrepreneurs, and young, enthusiastic leaders who are interested in celebrating life through my music, while being inspired to continue fighting to making positive change in their respective communities. If high-school kids like my jams, great. And If I can play a show at a University and pull hundreds of drunk co-eds- FUN! But I want my listeners to be the ones who listen, and the go out and act. I want my music to be a call to action.

ES: How do you see Judaism as playing a role in your song writing?
MJ: Judaism plays a huge role in my writing, because it shapes the way I view the world. My Judaism is the lens through which I interpret life, understand life, and struggle with life. As a writer, I find that I am writing about Jewish concepts, without using specifically Jewish words. I’ve written some songs in Hebrew, and have written a few melodies for our Liturgy, but most of my music reflects just raw life experiences. But that’s what Judaism is. Its understanding life experiences as a back and forth dialogue between you, God, and the world around you.

ES: What’s next in your career?
MJ: Fundraising and continued Advocacy! I am going to launch the new crowd-raising campaign (through Kickstarter) soon to raise money for my next album “Balance.” It will be a double album, with a side of rock songs, and a side of purely acoustic songs. So far there will be 22 songs on the next record, but as I continue to experience, and continue to reflect in song, that number may increase. I will also try to be sensitive to see how everyone responds to my first album, and its advocacy endeavors, and see what we need to adjust for next year’s push for change in our world. Each album will be a part of a campaign for social change. This year, our issue is Water Use around the world, and we’re raising funds to donate water sanitation units to communities in need. Next year, I think I’ll have a more interactive approach to choosing the issue. I want to include my listeners in the process of making the choice. Stay tuned to see what we do next!

Max’s debut album,”Thoughtless Sounds,” will be released via Soul Snack digitally (wearesoulsnack.com) on August 28th, with a worldwide physical release set for August 30th at the House of Yes in Brooklyn.

The CD Release and label launch party will feature Max Jared performing songs from his debut album as well as performances by aerialists from the Lady Circus and Sky Box and a special DJ set by Kiss Slash Crooked Smile. Doors open at 10pm with a $10 suggested donation that comes with the breakout Max Jared album!

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