Electro WOW caught up with Max Tani, a multitalented producer, with a strong passion for music. He’s one of those artists that eat, sleep and breathe music, and I believe it was a very interesting interview to share with you. His latest album entitled ‘Max’s Tap Dancing’ became a hit in the early 2000’s and it’s nice to know that he’s still promoting this Electronica/Synth gem.
1 – Where did the name Max Tani come from?
I have several artist names depending on the kind of music I make, and all my names (except “Max The Tape Recorder”) have something to do with my legal name; In this case “Tani” means “valley” in Japanese which replaces my last name “Lavallée” in French;
I remember that when choosing the name I wanted to call myself “Max Tanima” which also means “valley” in Japanese, but a friend of mine told me that it’s also slang for a woman’s “in-between breasts” so, I went with “Tani” instead… 😉
(Though she said it would’ve been a good way for people to remember the name ahah!)
2 – You work with a lot of synthesizers. How would you describe your sound?
Actually there’s quite many different kinds of music on this album, for the ones who like a bit of everything; It regroups mostly melodic instrumental pieces I made during the early 2000 years, but the link between them is that they were all made using synths only, nothing recorded with a microphone.
3 – What instruments and software do you use to produce music?
Old gear mostly, like the classic Korg O1/W with its integrated 16-track sequencer, very famous in the 90’s, or simply a Yamaha tone generator attached to a MIDI controller keyboard, and the well known “Fruity Loops” for beats on some of the tracks.
4 – Your album ‘Max’s Tap Dancing’ came out in 2012. Where did the inspiration for the album come from?
Well it actually came out in 2005 on my website, but decided to make it available on the major digital distribution services such as iTunes, Spotify etc… in 2012;
The inspiration came from many different things, like the track “Techno Tap Dancing no.2” for an example, I did in 1997 a personal marathon where I would compose and record 1 totally new instrumental piece every day for 15 days in a row using the O1/W synth and its multitrack sequencer;
So one of the pieces that came out of that marathon was simply called “Techno Tap Dancing” because the main sound I used for the melody was called something like “Tap dance” on the synth;
However it didn’t really sound like real tap dance (which is ok, one can use his imagination), but it gave me the idea of doing a new piece that would actually be closer to what the title suggests, hence the “no.2” in the new one;
It gave a soft techno piece which, to my surprise, was selling quite a lot on iTunes and other digital retailers with no advertising whatsoever (probably a DJ somewhere played it and the people liked it? It’s impossible for me to say), so I decided to start promoting this album more for that;
Some of the other pieces on the album are popular too, like “By the sea”, “Follow the leader”, “Ode to France” (which was inspired by a trip to that country with the youth symphony orchestra I was part of at the time), also “Angry” etc…
I think all the pieces have a little something. 😉
5 – Apart from promoting your album, what have you been up to over the last few months?
I have a new album under “Max Valley” which mostly contains love songs in the pop, soft-rock, ballad and dance genres, and am working on the 6th “Max The Tape Recorder” album.
6 – Did you find yourself in the commercial or underground world of electronic music? Why?
I’d say more in the underground world since I’m an independent artist not signed under a major label, however “Techno Tap Dancing no.2” began to have an interesting amount of sales in the major digital retailers without actually knowing why, again was it a DJ who played it somewhere, or maybe people simply searched for tap dancing music and found my piece?
It’s difficult to say but I surely won’t complain! 😉
But I think it’s a good piece, very cute.
7 – Have you ever produced music for films or video games?
No, not really; I already work on several album projects at the same time and it’s enough for me at the moment.
8 – Do you have Facebook, Twitter or a Website? Please tell us how can we contact you.
Official website: www.maxsongsclub.com
Facebook artist page: www.facebook.com/maxsongsclub
9 – Have you ever remixed a song?
Yep, but not from that album, I remixed 2 songs from the “Max Ai” album and made them available on a one-sided 3-track colored vinyl record; The remixes are “What can make you love me” and “LML (ÉCOK)”, and added a bonus song unavailable anywhere else.
10 – If you were not making music, what do you think you would be doing career-wise?
It’s my passion since I’m a toddler. (Though I have been a part-time sound engineer for other artists, which is also music related.) I have 10 albums so far under various names, and am working on new songs and instrumental pieces. 🙂 But as for the Max Tani album people can listen to it for free on Spotify: