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The best young jazzist of today: Max Vernon!


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oh gawdie I've just discovered another genius! :meow:




check him out please, only voice + piano/guitar but sounds so good! :dance_man::


this awesome music talent is still unsigned...hope he'll get the attention he deserve, I would surely buy his future album! :kaf:

Edited by greta
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and a bunch of links to his personal sites:







music blogs reviews interviews cute pix







he appears to be all over the web, but it'll help if he'd be advertised by us also :newyear:

Edited by greta
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oh gawdie I've just discovered another genius! :meow:




check him out please, only voice + piano/guitar but sounds so good! :dance_man::


this awesome music talent is still unsigned...hope he'll get the attention he deserve, I would surely buy his future album! :kaf:


Hell yeah! I've got that guy on myspace too!:punk:

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That would be perfect :blush-anim-cl::naughty:


It's cuz I told ya about him !:roftl:

I know, you're my music search engine:wub2::naughty:

Well my name was Vernon and my cat's name was Max. So when I took him to the vet he was called Max Vernon on all the paperwork and prescriptions. :roftl:



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We've written about Max Vernon a bit before here and here on The Stu Reid Experiment. Recently, we got a chance to catch up with him about his past success, his upcoming projects, and what he counts among his influences. Check it out!


You burst onto the scene with a synthy cover of Katy Perry’s “I Kissed A Girl’ that got a lot of press in the blogosphere – was the success you had with that track completely unexpected?


Pretty much! I was in Los Angeles trying to make a demo of some songs that I’d written in the previous year, and my friend and I were laughing about the Katy Perry song, which was just starting to get heavy radio play. I worked out my arrangement of it in a few hours, and recorded it on a whim, between mixing sessions. Honestly, it wasn’t meant to be much more than a joke for me and my friends…I’d never sent my music to blogs before- I was really excited when it got written about by The Music Slut and Hypeful. Then about a week later, New York Magazine picked up the story and the cover took on a life of its own.


In an earlier conversation you mentioned to us that you are trying to distance yourself from that cover – a bit of a gift and a curse situation. Do you feel like you’ve been pigeonholed as “that Katy Perry cover guy”?


I’m really grateful that the cover helped expose my music to a broader audience. I think the thing that really intrigued people about the cover in the first place, was how much of a stylistic departure it was from the original. Since a lot of my music explores similar sonic territory (jazz, ragtime, doo wop, etc.), people have been really receptive and enthusiastic about it.

That said, I think that song is about the only thing Katy Perry and I have in common…


Tell us about your new album. You’ve chosen to release the album in 3 distinct portions, starting with a section called “Manic Impression”. What made you decide on that unique release format? What differentiates this project as a cohesive album rather than three separate EPs?


The format choice was more about recognizing that the album era is fleeting, and that in an age of information/stimulation overload, sometimes less is more. But I think altogether the songs still stand as a cohesive whole.


I also think a LP is a very definitive statement. These EP’s show where I’ve come from and where I’m going, but I would ultimately like to rerecord once I have a larger budget and can get a little crazier with my orchestration.


Your piano playing is one of the most noticeable aspects of your music. How long have you been playing piano?


About fifteen years.


Do you still take classical lessons? What percentage of the time are you writing/performing your own songs as compared to playing classical music?


I stopped taking lessons about five years ago. I still love classical music- Beethoven and Ravel continue to blow my mind- but honestly, I didn’t become really passionate about the instrument until I quit taking lessons. I think when you play music you have to make sure it’s for the right reasons. With classical music, I kind of just felt like a dog that could do really awesome tricks. It’s much easier to find the desire to sit down at a piano and practice for a few hours when I’m working on my own stuff.


When did you first decide to make your own original popular music? Was there a sort of epiphany where you realized, “Hey, I can do this for real”?


Around ninth grade I started writing music because I needed some kind of outlet. My first couple songs were really just for myself, but eventually I showed a couple of close friends what I was doing, and they were all really supportive and encouraged me to keep going with it.

While there was no specific epiphany, I do remember one time I played some songs for my mom and she said, “You know your music is like eating nine courses of foie gras…no one wants to eat that much foie gras.”


But then I thought… I want to eat that much foie gras, dammit!


Sorry to any animal rights activists that may be reading. No geese were force-fed in the making of this interview.


Right now you’re doing most of your recording in a “humble home studio”. Have you had any contact with music labels, or are you pursuing things independently for the moment?


I’ve recently been contacted by a couple major labels, which I think are a bit curious about the kind of music I’ve been making…


Ultimately however, my biggest concern is not so much whether I end up on an indie or major label, but whether I have the creative freedom and opportunity to keep evolving as an artist. In this day and age, I feel like every band is expected to blow up into some enormous overnight success, and as a result a lot of potentially incredible acts are coming out half-baked and over-hyped.


Just kidding, Drag City call me if you’re reading!


Any plans to take your show on the road?


Yes actually. I’m currently planning on my first tour in Spring 2010. Right now I’ve been mainly booking with colleges on the east coast, but I would love to play all over the country ideally.


Who are some of your influences/inspirations? Anyone in particular that you feel has influenced your musical stylings?


My all time three is LAURA NYRO, Stevie Wonder, and Joni Mitchell. In terms of what’s going on now, I’m really inspired by Joanna Newsom, St. Vincent, Beach House, and Final Fantasy, among others.


As an up-and-coming musician, what’s your feeling on the “blogosphere”? Is it good for musicians? Is it good for music? (No need to candy coat, we have thick skin).


I think it’s great! The pros definitely outweigh the cons 18,043: 1. In the past when I’ve met with people from labels, unfortunately, the conversation has often been along the lines of who’s sound/career do you want to emulate? I think because the gatekeepers of music taste have changed, artists have more freedom to make music that doesn’t sound like the Pussycat Dolls, and still have opportunities for exposure.


That doesn’t mean the blogosphere is perfect- I sometimes feel like it can be hard to get attention if you’re not a band from Brooklyn named after an animal. But overall, bloggers have exposed me to great music, and the ones I have met in person have been universally, very cool.


The last three albums you listened to beginning-to-end?


Fever Ray’s self-titled, Florence and the Machine- Lungs, Liz Phair- Exile in Guyville.


And finally, what is the most awesome piece of clothing you own? Bonus points for pictures.


I have this crazy surreal jacket where one of the arms is about eight feet long, but it’s at the cleaners right now, unfortunately.


For a runner up, I’d have to say this slightly deranged looking Comme Des Garcons hobo jacket. It’s paper thin, but I spent all the money I had saved up for a winter coat on it, so I froze. Oh well, fashion before function I guess…


Max Vernon - Around Your Finger (YSI) (filesavr)

Max Vernon - Your Girlfriend (YSI) (filesavr)

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