21 Aug Maxi Jazz
Photo: Linda Kupo
Maxi Jazz & the E-Type Boys
Over 15 million records sold worldwide, Maxi Jazz, former front man of Faithless, is an icon to many. But it is probably now, at this time in his life, that Maxi Jazz delivers his most personal work with his newly acclaimed band, ‘Maxi Jazz & the E-Type Boys’.
By Victoria Adelaide | OCT 23. 2017
Victoria Adelaide: You went from electronica music with Faithless, to an organic bluesy, jazzy, funky band ‘Maxi Jazz & the E-Type Boys’, made up of friends. What happened in your life that made you take such a drastic musical turn?
Maxi Jazz: After more than 20 years of Faithless music, I went in search of my own. And, having been an emcee for thirty years (!), writing and singing songs while playing the guitar represented a challenge that was not insignificant! And it’s incredibly exciting.
VA: In 2015, you celebrated 20 years of Faithless with a fan base that remained strong throughout all of those years. How have your fans reacted to your brand new style?
MJ: Well, it’s a slow process getting the music out there, but I’ve had nothing but positive responses thus far. It’s very encouraging.
VA: Do you think you have met their expectations?
MJ: I’m afraid it’s MY expectations that must be met. I then have to hope people like it! It’s out of my hands…
VA: What has the feedback been so far?
MJ: People are generally surprised and impressed, particularly at the quality of the musicians.
VA: Do you think you could have done this music before?
MJ: I don’t. I had to generate serious self-belief to get this far, and I’m not sure if I could’ve done it before. Maybe I get more tenacious with age!
VA: You wrote some of the songs while in Jamaica. Did that make it special?
MJ: Yes. It was brilliant being able to play them all to my Mum first!
VA: Have your musical approach and songwriting changed since you’re now in a live band?
MJ: Absolutely. It’s not beats ‘n rhymes anymore. It’s searching for blue sounding guitar chords, searching for atmosphere in arrangements and lyrics that don’t even have to rhyme.
VA: What is your favorite song in the album and why?
MJ: Different one every day, but right now it’s ‘We’re Alright’. It makes me smile…
That said, we’ve just recorded some new music that’s doing the same!
VA: What music were you listening to as a boy, and what are you listening to now?
MJ: Everything that came on the radio I devoured, and radio was brilliant back then. And I listen to pretty much everything now, although not so much on the radio these days.
Photos: Linda Kupo
VA: Is it easier, or more complicated to reinvent yourself when you’re already a celebrity?
MJ: Honestly, I’ve no idea. Time will tell…
VA: You sold 15 million records worldwide. How does it feel to start all over again?
MJ: The beginning of any new musical journey is always enormously exciting. Every gig is an event and every success a triumph. Riding around on the bus with my ‘Boys’ playing music is just thrilling. I think we’re onto something!
VA: You’ve been a Soka Buddhist for over 20 years. How did you get into Buddhism in the first place and why?
MJ: I was introduced to Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism by my girlfriend at the time. For some reason, I’d always been looking for a Truth that was equally ‘true’ for everyone. This is it.
Plus, crucially, it’s a direct path to happiness.
VA: Are you still into auto racing?
MJ: Oh god yes! Haven’t raced myself for a few years now. The E-Type Boys are a full-on
commitment, but I shall be doing some go-karting this year without fail!
VA: How many cars do you have?
MJ: Only five.
...After more than 20 years of Faithless music, I went in search of my own'``