A renowned singer, songwriter, and poet, Kevin Max first came into prominence as a member of the multi-platinum band DC Talk. From the late 1980s through DC Talk’s hiatus in 2000, the group not only sold millions of albums, but also won four Grammys and 16 Dove Awards. Max wasted no time after DC Talk went on break, releasing his first solo effort — titled Stereotype Be — in 2001. Plenty more music followed in the 2000s and 2010s, including an album as the frontman of Audio Adrenaline.
Max has also been a part of many other artistic pursuits in recent years. He has published four books, including 2005’s PO.ET.RY, with a graphic novel currently in the works. He has been an actor on both theatrical and film projects. Max has also been part of projects from other prominent recording artists, including Michael McDonald, TobyMac, Newsboys, Philippa Hanna, and Stryper’s Michael Sweet.
The Inquisitr not only had the pleasure of doing Q&A with Max, but also has the opportunity to premiere the title track from Max’s forthcoming Serve Somebody release. A cover of the Bob Dylan track first released on 1979’s Slow Train Coming, Max talked about his long-term appreciation of Dylan. He also opened up about what lies ahead for DC Talk. More on Kevin Max can be found at www.kevinmax.com.
Thanks for letting us premiere “Serve Somebody.” Is that your favorite song off your forthcoming album?
Max: “It was when it came to a song that defines this little group of tunes, but honestly I’m excited about all of them. However, Dylan always had a way with explaining things lyrically that went beyond the norm of conventional radio or industry. The same can be said of the Larry Norman cover ‘Righteous Rocker.'”
Have you always been a big fan of Bob Dylan? Or did that come once you had matured more as a musician?
Max: “I’d say my appreciation for Bob Dylan happened after my fascination with The Beatles. When I found out that Dylan had influenced them I definitely studied his music.”
What was the first album you ever purchased with your own money?
Max: “First album bought with my own cash was Meat Is Murder by The Smiths. It’s still one of my all-time favorite records.”
A lot of people first learned about you from your work with DC Talk. Is there a DC Talk accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Max: “I’d say our fourth album, Jesus Freak, defined our industry. It was the first time we took giant risks in the studio. We went from pretty conventional Christian pop music to very introspective rock and roll. The live show captured that, and we literally catapulted into the general market because of it.”
Is there any chance that DC Talk may come back for more touring or recording? Or do you feel that chapter of your life is totally behind you?
Max: “Definitely. We are doing a cruise in two weeks’ time. That is opening the door to other opportunities, I hope.”
About a decade ago, you starred in a movie called The Imposter, a few years after you had appeared in a revival of Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Do you have plans to do any other acting?
Max: “Acting is a muse that pops its head up once in awhile for me, and if it happens, and it seems like the right project, I go for it. I enjoy the art of film and acting and take it pretty seriously. Believe it or not, I’ve turned down other roles because I don’t want to perform in just anything that comes around.”
Serve Somebody release aside, what’s coming up for you?
Max: “I am working on a new original album and I’m already about 30 songs in. No joke. I think I could give Ryan Adams a run for his money on the amount of songs I come up with a year. (laughs)
I’ve covered a lot over the last decade and a half as a solo artist. Actually, Starry Eyes Surprise was my second covers album, the first was a project called The Blood. However, Starry Eyes really nailed down an experiment in which I call “mystery crooning.” I’ve always wanted to do an album in the vein of the ballad masters like Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole. Starry Eyes embodies that but goes a bit further and plays with my fascination with the darker 80’s catalogs. I’ve covered Dylan to Duran Duran and I don’t think I’ll stop anytime soon, I’m constantly inspired by music. When covering music though, I set out to put my spin on it vocally, and if I can’t do that I generally leave it alone.”
When not busy with music, how do you like to spend your free time?
Max: “Recently I’ve been busy working on my horse farm outside of Franklin, Tennessee, but we’ve decided to sell it and move back into town. It was too much of a drive every day out into the deep country for my wife and kids. Beyond music, I’m always working on something creative. I’m writing the follow-up to my novel Fiefdom Of Angels right now, which is driving my wife crazy because of my constant hours on the computer or in my man cave.”
Finally, is there something you knew more people knew about you?
Max: “That I’m actually an introvert. I’m onstage a lot and constantly traveling, but if left to my own devices would probably be happiest just hanging around at home with my family.”
— kevin max (@kevinmax) June 16, 2017
[Featured Image by Brad Taylor]