falling in reverse’s max georgiev
By Jay Oakley
Max, thanks for taking time to sit and chill and talk a little bit.
My pleasure, bro.
So, we’re outside of The Fillmore Silver Spring in Silver Spring, Maryland. How’s the tour been going for you because you’ve been having a lot of sold out shows.
[Laughs] Exactly, it’s been a really good time, we’re really happy that all of these are sold out. I mean, even before the tour started we were seeing that a lot were sold out, a lot of venues and as we got into the tour it just keeps coming. There keep being more shows that are selling out and close to selling out so at this point lots of them are sold out and many are close to selling out so that reflects the moral we have right now as a team. We’re just happy, everything’s good, it’s a really good tour for us.
It’s also got to be a little bit of fun having New Years Day out here just because you’ve had some personal time with the band playing on previous tours.
[Laughs] Yeah, the first show of the tour I was looking at them side stage and I’ve played most of the songs with them in that set and I’m thinking, “I know exactly what it feels like to be up there. Like, exactly and like nobody could get that.” It’s cool, I’m really good friends with them and the current drummer that they have right now, Dio Britto, is one of my best friends ever and former roommate so I helped him get the gig. So, that’s been really cool too because I’ve lived with him on and off for about two years in the past but we’ve never toured together. So, that alone, was really cool for me because he can be one of my go-to guys just to hang out with and do anything.
You’re coming off the Warped Tour, which you had mentioned was your first tour with the band (Falling In Reverse,) so you really had to kill it. So, with this tour and having the single for “Drugs” just come out, how have you felt about being a part of the new material as well as learning the old material?
It’s different. With the new material, I already knew a lot of it because I’ve been a fan of the band since they’ve started and of Escape The Fate from their first album. So, I already knew the songs, I just didn’t know how to play them and it’s definitely challenging. Whereas, the new stuff that we’re doing now, I’m involved in it. So, the old stuff, I’m learning it almost as a, I’m not sure if saying it from a fan’s standpoint is the right words, but you’re learning material from some of your friends and good players, whereas now I’m contributing to it and I’m involved and I’m a part of the song and video so it’s just a different experience all together but it reflects artistic change and you just go with the flow.
But, you’ve also been very familiar with this “genre” or “scene” because you’ve got a lot of history with a lot of these bands. Escape The Fate is on your resume and you just came off working with Gemini Syndrome, so how has that been going from all these different touring experiences to now being a permanent fixture?
I’m grateful for all the experiences and I earned all of those experiences too. Those experiences are just a result of hard work really. So, I’m grateful for it all and it’s all a growth thing. You experience different things, this is what was offered to me and I was happy to take it really, it’s as simple as that. Also, musically and stylistically and everything with the people, it’s a good fit. People can see that I’m happy at the shows and I enjoy putting a lot of effort and giving a lot of my life to the band and that’s it.
No, that’s awesome because I was going to follow up by asking if you felt welcomed and it sounds like you felt very welcomed.
I felt extremely welcomed because Ronnie (Radke) could have asked me to learn songs to audition. I would have spent two hundred hours preparing an audition to make sure I was the only one that would get it. He could have made me do all this work but instead he just told me I could be the lead guitarist of this band permanently for the rest of my life as of now, if I wanted it, which is how it went down. So, to have the biggest opportunity of your life presented to you like that with no audition or nothing is a huge compliment and makes me feel good about all the work I’ve done in the past but just makes me feel welcome and makes me feel valued. So, it’s a great, mutual, appreciation.
That’s terrific, Max. I’m so stoked to hear how happy you are in this band. I’m going to break off Falling In Reverse because I definitely wanted to talk to you about your recent music video, for your cover of “Beat It” because it’s been getting a lot of attention and a lot of respect. How has that felt? Talk about your choosing of this song, putting it out and the reception.
Yeah, well the choice of the song just happened at random because I was preparing a couple of things and that one just, kind of, fell into place. Musically it just ends up being its own thing, I try to take some themes and I go off and do my own thing completely. I was nervous about how it was going to be received. Partially because he’s a controversial artist but for me, personally, Michael Jackson was my first favorite artist. My father had a lot of his albums so it’s one of those things where you’re touching on your past so it’s got a very warm feeling and it’s really a pleasure to do that. So, I’m really happy about the reception, although I can understand that it’s not for everybody and some people, when you’re covering something, they want the song pretty much as is and I get that. But, when I was in music school, some person showed me a Slayer cover that Tori Amos did on the piano and she was getting praise from it worldwide and when you put it on it sounded absolutely nothing like Slayer, so if she can do that and get glorified worldwide or get praise for that then I can change this thing too.
So, I’m honestly really proud of that video. I was really excited about stuff like the location and doing it and it’s the only pop thing I’ve ever really touched which was another really big deal to me because, obviously, it ended up being “metal” but I spent a lot of time on the themes and I wanted to develop it and when I do stuff like that I prepare a lot more material then I actually use. I prepare a mountain of stuff and I try to take just the best elements and keep it within four to six minutes or something. But, I’m really happy with how it’s doing, I’m very proud of it, I spent a long time doing it and it’s really cool to give that as a tribute to one of my favorite artists of all time.
What was your idea behind the video, if there’s much to say about it? I personally love the openness where it’s just you with your guitar and your amps and playing. Did you just want to keep it simple?
I wanted to keep it simple. One of the things I wanted was the biggest location possible. I wanted something that looks huge, absolutely huge but [Laughs] if I were to try to find something like that in LA it would be way out of my budget. So, when I saw that location in the desert that was what I wanted because it was the biggest visual possible. It was the most massive amount of space I had and then all I had to do was figure out how to get all that stuff two, three hours out of Los Angeles to do it.
You talked about making the song “metal” which I thought was cool the way you did it because one of the last videos that you had put up awhile ago was your Yngwie Malmsteen cover for “Far Beyond The Sun.” Did you start off with something like that, which is closer to what you play on the regular, and then decide to branch out to someone who was one of your favorite artists?
Ya know, the Malmsteen thing, because it was a while ago, I just started learning the piece and I enjoyed it and I gave a shot at recording it and then what happened, really, was I changed one or two sections. I changed it to make it sound kind of like Bullet For My Valentine or Five Finger Death Punch or a faster part like Trivium or something and then after I had a couple of sections it became so alive for me and it was so different, I think at that point I got really emotionally invested in the piece and in the sections and just wanted to really, at that point, commit to having every single section be different and my thing, really be its own thing. Whereas, the Michael Jackson thing, it was me just jamming a couple of things and once I started doing “Beat It” I just had a ton of ideas rolling and at that point I had like six minutes going and I knew I had more than enough so let’s just do this. It’s vague in my memory now but I had wanted to do the Michael Jackson thing for a while, just to pay tribute to it and revisit influences from my past.
Being as busy as you are now with Falling In Reverse, are you still looking to do more music videos because you also have your solo album, Exorcism: Chapter One, on YouTube with other pieces that you’ve done. Will you be trying to put out another solo album or more videos?
I don’t want to spoil it and tell you exactly what I’m planning on but I do have big plans.
Awesome, I love to hear that. What do you have planned come the end of this tour? If there’s anything you can announce of course, do you get some time to relax or are you going to stick to the road and keep pushing the record?
Both. I don’t want to spoil the band’s plans so I won’t comment on that. We get home May 25th and my birthday’s June 8th and I’m going to go to Canada and see my friends and family in Montreal so I’m happy about that. [Laughs] I didn’t want to spend my birthday alone without them. So, I’m going to go to Canada and just try to do a big dinner where I’m going to invite twenty to fifty people of friends and family and do a nice thing like that. I’m going to be doing studio work for two different artists in that time as well as some of my own stuff. So, it’s going to be very busy but I will get a little vacation in between there as well. So, basically a balance of both to keep myself happy.
Absolutely, man. Staying busy is definitely a great thing. It’s good to be out there and always have something to do but if you don’t some you time you’re never going to finish the lower half and get colored in on your stomach, brother.
Touché. [Laughs] That’s where I got it done so that’s where I’m going to continue to finish it.
Up in Montreal?
In Montreal, yeah.
One more thing, has there been a show on the tour that has really stood out for you?
Oh, man! I can’t remember the cities but honestly they’re all good. I’m never one for favorites, honestly. Personally, regardless of what city they’re in, I try to give the best show I can every night. So, for me, whether we’re in New York, LA or a smaller place like Maryland, it doesn’t matter, I’m giving 100% regardless. So, every day is the same motions in terms of the preparation and the effort.
Max, I’ll let you put your feet up for a while, we’re really looking forward to the set and seriously thank you for taking so time to rap. This was a lot of fun and my big thing when it comes to these is I want to know that you felt good about it. You felt respected, you liked your questions and you thought your time was valued.
Absolutely. Of course, bro. Hopefully it won’t be the last time. Thank you so much.