A while back musician Maks, from The Netherlands, sent me a message via the Alternative Airwaves Facebook page. He was letting me know of a new release, 3FT NO DIVING, a solo effort after years acting as drummer in another band.
I have been playing as a drummer in rock bands for a big part of my life.
After the splitting up of my most recent band in 2012, I went on a small tour through the USA as a stand-in drummer in a blues-rock band. During this trip I decided I was going to write my own material and see where this could lead to…
The learning curve was pretty steep, I must say. Besides learning how to play a bit of decent guitar and keyboards, I also had to cope with my vocals. Perhaps my greatest challenge was to find my singing voice.
He passed the album my way (which you can pick up over at http://www.maksagency.com), and I listened to it a few times. I’ll start off with saying that I liked it! Maks’ voice reminds me a lot of a less rough Peter Dreimanis (July Talk). I didn’t find anything especially unique on my first pass through, but I found that I enjoyed the different elements Maks added to differentiate his sound.
He uses many different instruments on his tracks, and some of the tracks make use of sound effects to create mood and atmosphere. Technically speaking the album sounds very good, and I can tell that Maks is a very capable guitar & keyboard player. If I’m reading his messages correctly he recorded and mixed everything on his own, without a backing band, so that is quite impressive.
One especially prominent through-line I heard for the entire album was a lot of classic rock influences. I reached out to Maks to ask him about this, and he let me know that I wasn’t wrong:
My biggest influences are a band called Magazine, Japan, Ultravox, David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Alice Cooper and of course a bunch of bands from the late 1970s punk era
I sort of combined all of them and gave it a swirl in my head and this CD was the result. Mind you, this swirling process took years…!
I’m listening back to 3FT No Diving as I type up this review, and now that I think of it, I can sort of hear a Bowie-like quality in his voice. And at the last minute I’m adding perhaps a little bit of Pearl Jam sneaking in there. Despite all the influences, it doesn’t sound to me like he’s merely copying styles, but has created his own sound.
For kicks, I decided to listen to a few songs from Maks’ influences, starting with Magazine. Fun to hear where his blended sound came from!
Once again you can check out the album at www.maksagency.com. Enjoy!