Neko: Over the last year youve played quite a lot of
live shows. The year actually started when you started
touring for Always Outnumbered last October, which Liam
wrote pretty much on his own. At the time, was that more
difficult for you to kind of adapt to these new
materials, whereas maybe now where youre working all
together on new material.
Maxim: What do you mean, actually performing it?
Neko: Yeah when you look at the live show.
Maxim: Not really, no. Like Ive said in numerous
interviews it was important for us to go back in the
studio and reconstruct those tracks, but once we did
that it was totally cool. Ive always stood by that
point. Its important for Keith and myself to put our
personalities in the tracks rather than just tracks be
written and us not having any kind of connection to
them. Obviously it was a difficult period when that
album was written. The contact between us wasnt really
as close as it was on previous albums, being on the road
and whatever. So Liam was in the studio writing the
album on his own. I used to go down to the studio and
see what he was doing, but because we werent touring
during that period it didnt really grow with us, it
Neko: Do you think its easier or different now when
obviously youre in more contact now when Liam is
writing new stuff when youre actually straight there?
Maxim: Yeah its a lot easier now, thats what Im
saying. Once youre on the road, and once youre in the
flow its a lot easier, things just evolve slowly, do
you know what I mean? Whereas that album just kind of
appeared on my doorstep like heres 12 tracks.
Even though certain tracks I did see him develop in the
studio as Liam was writing them. But it was just like
formulated in a different way than it works best really.
And how it works best is when youre on the road and
youre touring and things just develop slowly and tunes
develop while youre trying them out in the set or
whatever. And then you add little bits and youre like,
oh that bit was good, lets try that bit again.
And thats the best way tunes develop really for me.
Neko: One of the tracks that has developed over the last
year is Back 2 Skool. You brought it back about a year
ago, and its changed quite a lot. At first it was just
you doing your vocals and now its become quite
different with Keith also, and its on the Their Law The
Singles album. Is this one of the tracks you think has
evolved quite a bit?
Maxim: Yeah, I mean that was like an intro track, wasnt
Maxim: I think it was at Reading or something.
Neko: Yeah it was the Leeds intro, thats what it was
Maxim: It was just like a small little intro, but it
kind of slams. And then we just introduced it slowly,
and I cant even remember how it actually got into the
set to tell you the truth. I think we were just using it
as a little link in the middle of the set but it kind of
dropped really well and obviously it developed into what
it is now. And even in the last couple of days we did, I
dont know if you noticed, on the end of Back 2 Skool
Liam slows the beats down now and were just working on
something different at the end there. So its still
Neko: Dead Ken Beats is another track youve been
playing live for about a year.
Maxim: Oh yeah.
Neko: Hows that one evolving?
Maxim: Its not! (laughs)
No, its kind of like thrown in the set, taken out.
Thrown in, taken out. Thrown in, taken out (laughs).
Its such a strong tune you know, but we cant really
find the right hook to go on it yet and it just needs
that one hook. Sometimes I think when you analyze tunes
too much, if you try too hard, and try and force a hook
on it, it never happens. Sometimes you just have to
leave it and let it develop itself.
Obviously I do some lyrics on there but theyre not
really the lyrics for that tune theyre just lyrics
which kind of fit on it at the moment, do you know what
I mean? But we need a strong hook on it really because
its a strong tune.
Neko: Do you think now that youre playing smaller
venues again its going to give you more of a chance to
experiment a bit more on stage than when youre doing
the big festivals?
Maxim: Yeah, its better. The first two shows did you
come to the first 2 shows? [Oslo and Copenhagen]
Neko: Yeah, I came to Copenhagen.
Maxim: Yeah, because I did see you, you were on the
right hand side wasnt you? Or I mean the stage left.
But yeah I love doing shows like that you know because
it is a totally different performance. And you dont
have to work too hard trying to cover the stage so
youve got more time to think and you can experiment and
mess around with the lyrics and the tunes and maybe try
different things out on the smaller stage. Even smaller
venues, like a 1,000. I love doing venues like that.
Plus, for me at the moment, I cant really move that
much because Ive done my leg in!
Neko: When did that happen? On this tour?
Maxim: Yeah, in Macedonia. I was having this massage,
and this guy was stretching me and I dont know what
hes done. He just snapped something in my leg (laughs).
It just started to swell up and it hasnt gotten any
So Ive just been struggling all this tour. The worst
thing will be if it gets to the point where I say, ok
maybe we shouldnt do these dates.
Neko: With the big UK tour coming up
Maxim: Yeah so its kind of like Ive got a couple weeks
literally hopefully to get better.
The thing with knees is
theres nothing you can do about them really. You just
have to let them rest. So who knows? But yeah you know,
performance wise I havent really been performing as Id
like to. So in a way being more static gives you more
thinking time. It gives you a chance to; you know,
experiment vocally and try different things out.
Do you think doing your own stuff has influenced the way
you do Prodigy? In the way you might have experimented
more with vocals, or something like that?
Maxim: Nah not at all (laughs). When I write lyrics or
when we do stuff with Prodigy its a totally different
thing than when I do my own stuff. But the actual
delivery is quite similar. I like to always use double
entendre lyrics, things with two different meanings and
I kind of brought some of that vibe into the Prodigy.
When you use less lyrics they have to be a bit more
obvious and a bit more instant. If youre writing a song
you dont have to make a point really straight away. But
when you got one line, two lines in a tune they have to
be instant. So I suppose its a bit harder really.
Neko: Is there any particular track in the current live
set that you enjoy the most, or kind of a favourite of
Maxim: Yeah, Spitfire. Spitfire is the ultimate track at
the moment. It sums up the band. Thats exactly where we
are; the sound, the vibe, you know? Its like every tune
has its moment and represents a time, and I think
Spitfire just kind of represents us in this particular
time. Just like when Firestarter was released, that was
us at that particular time.
Neko: Which other old tracks would you like to bring
Maxim: Umm well we cant bring back too many old tunes
because theyre too fast! (laughs) Were not going to be
able to keep up with them! (laughs) But theres quite a
few fillers you know like Benny Blanco, maybe things
like that. Were going to bring that back for the
Neko: Thats cool.
Maxim: Id say the singles tour is going be good once we
get all the tunes in and stuff. Doing the old tunes
umm dont know how were going to get Charly in
Neko: Liam said that as well actually.
Maxim: What, that he doesnt know how to get Charly in?
(laughs) Im thinking that Charly and Everybody In The
Place theyre just so fast! Start The Dance you know,
thats going to be quite easy to do. As you know we do a
bit of it already. Think well do a longer version. And
were going to bring in Break & Enter as well and
Jericho. So hopefully Jericho were going to do
But I wont be doing much (laughs).
Neko: Im always missing the good ones, arent I?
Maxim: Youre not coming tonight?
Neko: No, Im in London.
Maxim: Oh dear... well were hopefully going to do
Jericho tonight. But yeah I think its good to bring old
tunes back. But obviously the key is not to just bring
them back the way they are, but to freshen them up a
little bit. It makes it interesting for us as well.
Neko: What do you think about the tracks on the singles
album disc 2?
Maxim: Ahh disc 2. The live tracks and stuff Spitfire
Live. There was another Spitfire but Im not too sure.
When I listen to live tracks I always think, I can do
better or theres better live tracks out there. You
know what I mean? Im never happy with live tracks.
On recordings, I always listen to my own voice. I
suppose most artists are like that. But I always hear
myself on live tracks and think, ah we can do a
better recording than that. In a way it would have
been good to have something like Radio 1 kind of tracks
or versions on there, but obviously thats a lot later.
Bit too late for that. But that kind of version is just
a lot tighter. But no, Im quite happy with the tunes
that are on there really.
Neko: How do you feel about the remixes that have come
out as singles?
Maxim: The remixes the Pendulum mix and the
Neko: Yeah, and the Out Of Space one.
Maxim: I think the remixes are really good. I was
expecting something a bit different to what the Audio
Bullys did with the Out of Space mix, but my favorite
remix is the Pendulum one. Its a drum & bass style with
an electro feel. Pendulum are really good and I like
their latest single too. I think the video really fits
Neko: How did you enjoy the video?
It was good. It was cool because the whole idea was not
to be in it really. And it kind of came across right. It
was more like um obviously because its a remix tune
its not totally about us being in the video. The
concept of the whole tune cause you know the tune is
quite a like moving tune, Its kind of like a movie
soundtrack tune, I think. And it was important to have
something that represented that, whether it was a car
chase or whatever, and I think the director picked the
right thing there. Now I was glad I wasnt in it really.
It was the quickest video shoot Ive ever done (laughs).
Thats my acting debut as well not very good as you can
see (laughs). No its cool, Im really pleased with it.
Neko: What was in the bag?
Maxim: Whats in the bag?
Maxim: My bag?
Neko: No, the one at the end the prize.
Maxim: Oh dont you know?
Maxim: Its drugs (laughs).
Neko: Is it?
Maxim: I didnt even notice a bag at the end.
Neko: Everybodys wondering what was in the bag.
Maxim: Whatcha mean?
Neko: At the end you know when Sharkey runs up, she gets
a bag, its a prize.
Maxim: Yeah but its money, isnt it?
Neko: You dont know.
Neko: Its a mystery.
Maxim: Were gonna have a sequel. (laughs) To be
Neko: Ok looking forward to it. Just one last thing,
youre quite involved in the whole website stuff. Are
you quite involved in also the whole, you know, whats
on the website, and that kind of stuff?
Maxim: Kind of go through phases, you know. We all try
to get involved. You know were not really like website
people, are we? As far as technology goes Im probably
the most connected in that way to computers. I mean
Liams become more and more computer orientated now. But
I remember years ago when wed try to get him onto
Logic. It would be like, come on man youve got to
get Logic. And hed be like, no, no. But
like now hes more computerized. But Keiths not really
that inclined you know. But we try to get our input in
on the website stuff. We kind of just relay the
information to Theresa and she puts things on there. But
its more important just for the fans, you know what I
mean? To give them something back. Its important I know
to try and update it and whatever (laughs). You know
thats the hardest part for us!
As you know because obviously youve got your website
and whatever, you know its kind of like we wanted to
let people know because one of the things is when you
see things in the media and so forth, and people read
about certain things that are going on in the band
the bands splitting up or theyre not going
to do another album. Its kind of important that
the fans see it, hear it from the horses mouth. Thats
the whole idea of the website really. Let people know
whats happening, and just put it up there to give the
real information, and keep it fresh. Thats the reason
we updated it and slightly changed it again.
And were going to have this thing where we can actually
take pictures on the road and put it on the website.
So you can send it from your phone, no matter where you
are. And Ive got this phone, this Nokia phone at the
moment this bad phone. Although you probably see Im
never off it. But its good to take pictures on the road
and then we can put them on the website and the fans can
see exactly whats happening on the road, do you know
what I mean? (laughs) So dont be surprised if youre on
But you know you can send it straight to the website and
its up there like instantly, rather than having to wait
to get back home and putting it on. So hopefully that
will be in place in a couple of weeks. And also we can
send texts and videos as well. Little clips of videos
and stuff. So literally as we come off stage we can be
like this is the crowd, were in so forth and so
forth and put it straight up there you know,
So yeah I suppose websites are quite important,
especially in these times where everything is quite
global and everything is so instant and the world has
just shrunk. Russia doesnt seem as far anymore,
Lithuania doesnt seem as far, Australia doesnt seem as
far. People can get in contact with you really quickly.
So world wide its important to have a good website.
Maxim was interviewed by Andrea Schnepf aka neko (www.nekozine.co.uk)
on 22nd October over the phone before The
Prodigys show in Helsinki.