Although both members of MAXIXE (pronounced max-cease) started off in separate bands, they have already formed a relationship and sound that is intoxicating. Made up of Darren Bancroft and Marc Withasee, the pair have an awful lot to offer to the soundtrack of 2014. Darren’s voice can feel both ghostly and heartwarming in equal measure. When accompanied by Marc’s mesmerizing production, its a combination that seems it should’ve taken years in the working. Their sound is not only assured but hugely varied, which makes them an exciting prospect. Shuf had a chat with the duo on how they started out and where they want to go.
Tell us how you started out...
We first met in 2009 when both of our other bands (Micachu & The Shapes and We Have Band) were touring in Australia. Then Marc started to drum on and off with WHB for a couple of years. During that time on the road Marc was writing lots of music and one day he said he could imagine my vocal on something he'd started so he gave the music to me and I came back with some ideas and we took it from there. We loved working together right away but it was a very gradual process to where we are now because of other things we were involved with and also us just really wanting to get it right.
What’s been the biggest turning point in your career so far?
We were pleased when we first put a song and video we filmed ourselves online. Doing our first gig felt great too. We like to just feel like we're always creeping forwards bit by bit but we probably wouldn't call it a career just yet!
Name a song you wish you’d written?
Some kind of filthy drum and bass or dance track that people go wild to in clubs across the country every weekend. But we'll most likely try and make something like that at some point.
What are your plans for 2014?
To be honest we've really not thought past making some new tunes and playing some more shows. We're very lucky that this project is operating without any gravitational pulls on it. We're sort of weightless and we love that.
What would you like to change in the music industry this year?
We're not concerned about music as an industry. We obviously have some people we're in touch with like our show booker and promoters or blogs like you who have all been very kind to us and we appreciate that hugely. We haven't got the power to change or control anything other than the little world around our own music and we try to do that lovingly and thoughtfully so we're cool.
Tell us about the best live show you’ve played...
We had a great time playing 2 festivals in Russia in the summer because it was our first shows outside of the the UK. The VICE magazine tour we did with Superfood and The Wytches was great fun too. We're funny though because we're not always in sync with each other in terms of what a good show was or wasn't. One of us is often like "that was amazing" and the other goes "man, I fucked that all up".
Who would you list as your biggest inspirations?
Melt Yourself Down, Bjork, The Invisible, Owiny Sigoma Band, These New Puritans. We like all these artists a lot so they inspire us in various ways.
Where can people find your music?
We've got videos on YouTube and songs on SoundCloud. We've just recently given away our first album 'Ice On The Belly' online here. You can find the link also on any of our various online aliases, or you can just message us and we'll send it to you. The best option really if its practical is to come to see a show.
Words: Jacob Roy