Max Gowan is back with a new record called Far Corners. It shows the singer-song writer growing up, and this maturity is reflecting into his music. Yes, Max Gowan has become more authentic. Here's a quick Q&A with Gowan about the latest record
We first wrote about Gowan back in 2015 when he released his début record Big People. Clearly influenced by the likes of Wilco and Elliott Smith, we found Max dabbing and toying with sounds, trying to capture the essence of his idols. After an even better second record in the form of In Transit, Gowan returns with a fresh new album. From Big People to Far Corners, you can hear the sound becoming more authentic, more subtle and introspective. Clearly, the sounds of a boy becoming a man, growing up and refining his musical tastes and ambitions. By trying to emulate artists like Alex G and Pinegrove, who are leading the way when being honest and genuine with their music, Gowan has tried to be more himself on the record. Expect more intimate. More coherent. And a very successful record...
What have you been up to since we last talked? I guess the last time we talked was around May of 2015, so since then I've started college at American University in Washington DC, and I'm finishing up my second year there now. I've still been writing and recording though, and I put out an album a year ago called Mass Transit. My friends Jose, Robbie, and Danny also helped me form the band to play songs from this project live, they're great.
When did you start working on the new record and how did it go? I would say I've been working on the new one since last April when the last album came out, but most of that time was spent scrapping songs. I scrapped a ton of stuff, so all of the songs that made it onto this album were written and recorded between December 2016 and late march of this year. I had a ton of writers block for a while but these past few months it came really smoothly; I think I write better music in the winter for some reason.
"I think I write better music in the winter for some reason"
You've already mentioned Alex G as one of your influences. What is it about his music that inspires you?
Yeah he definitely is! I would say it's less conscious now, though. My earlier music consciously emulated him and a few other artists like Wilco and Elliott Smith. Now I'm trying a bit more just to do my own thing and write what comes out. I think chord progressions and melodies are the two most important, emotional things for me in music. He's really good at those; his songs sounds like they're from another dimension while still keeping a feeling of familiarity.
Did you try new things on this record? I tried a lot of new stuff on this one. It's more percussion-focused. A lot of the songs have drum sets as well as smaller percussive items and electronic drums scattered throughout. I also think I approached vocals much differently because I sang in a bit more of a vulnerable way than I'm used to singing.