Posted On 20 Dec 2017
Max Gomez is a young singer-songwriter in the vein of Jackson Browne and John Prine, who unites beatific melodies with weathered lyrics and a down-home sense of honesty. His new EP Me & Joe was released recently via Brigadoon Records. Watch the video for his first single “Make It Me,” and stream the EP HERE.
Gomez’s career is being steered by the veteran A&R man Gary Briggs, who signed him to New West and has now assembled an industry A-team around him as the first signing of the newly formed Brigadoon Records, including Neil Young’s managers Frank Gironda and Elliot Roberts.
Jim Scott— who’s worked with Johnny Cash, Tom Petty, and Lucinda Williams— produced the EP, which features Williams collaborator Doug Pettibone on guitar and Eric Clapton and Jackson Browne accompanist Greg Leisz on pedal steel.
Gomez recently premiered a new track “Joe” with The Boot, and released a new video, “Make it Me”, via the Bluegrass Situation. You can also check out his recent profile in Elmore Magazine.
Learn more about Max Gomez in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time for another All Access today! Where does this interview find you? Is there music playing in the background? If so, what is it? What music gets you instantly out of a bad mood? What is a song you are loving these days?
Hi! I’m home for a change. I’ve been on the road a lot lately so I try to savor the time I have here. Home is Taos, NM. I’ve been listening to Billie Holiday. I recently realized a similarity in her songs and that of Tom Waits. Gonna check into it more. Listen to the start of “I’ll Be Seeing You” and then check out anything waits thats piano driven, say, “Take It With Me” or “Picture In A Frame”. A real love song that can take you away will take me someplace else if I’m in a bad mood.
Growing up, did you always want to be a musician? Can you recall your earliest musical memory? Was there a time where you thought of doing something completely different?
From the time my older brother started playing guitar I wanted to be a musician. Thanks a lot Zach. We used to have a player Piano at our house. We treated it like an exercise machine when we we’re kids. It had these pump steps you had to work to get it to play. We jumped on that thing like it was a trampoline. Thats probably my earliest memory of anything musical. Though it was hardly music, we enjoyed it.
Musically, did you approach this year any differently then you did last year? How has 2017 been treating you and your career? What are you most excited about for in 2018?
I try to keep myself busy one way or another. This year I’ve been working on getting the word out on “Me & Joe”. That’s my new record. Go check it out. Check out some of our videos and know that I’ll be coming to a town near you. Someday…
2018, I’m excited for the shows. The touring. I’m excited about a festival called Cayamo. Thats in February. I’m excited to go back to Canada. The traveling has become part of my life. There’s a pleasant solitude that I can find somewhere in there.
I always like to ask artists about where they came from and how that city or town has influenced them as an artist now. So how do you think your hometown has affected you and your music today?
My hometown, Taos NM, is a little place that a lot of people gravitate to. For all kinds of reasons. For that fact I feel I was lucky to be around some great artists and writers growing up in Taos. Those that I’ve known in this area will always have an impact on me and my music. Michael Hearne, Mentor Williams, Jed Zimmerman…
What did it feel like to release your latest EP, “Me & Joe”? How long did it take to put this collection together? Did anything surprise you about the whole process?
We made this record in 3 days. Who knew what songs where gonna end up on it? The song “Joe” was an impulse thing. We tried it in the studio and 5 minutes later we had a record. That was a surprise. Plans change, rules break. It feels great.
How creatively involved were you with the making of your music video for “Make It Me”? What was it like shooting it?
I was involved quite a bit. Had no choice. There were only about 4 of us involved at all. It was nice to shoot somewhere like Taos as opposed to a city. People are more easy going. They didn’t seem to mind that we were up to mischief with guitars and cameras.
What are some upcoming show dates you have this fall and winter?
I’m playing a show on Dec 29th in Taos with my pals Michael Hearne and Jed Zimmerman. Lots of other shows scattered around. I’m trying to get to Mexico to play in Todos Santos and have some other shows coming up in Colorado and in Florida. Check in at www.maxgomezmusic.com/tour
With the summer over now, what was something fun or new that you tried this summer?
Self driving cars. I’m into it. Toyota makes em drive for you on the new 2018s and of course Tesla really does drive for you. As much time as I spend on the road…. I’m now in the market.
How active are you on social media? How important do you think it has all been to your career? Do you find that it’s hard to keep up to date on all the different platforms?
I’ve avoided it as much as possible. But lately I’ve had no choice. I’ll admit I’ve had some help in that department. And I feel like I’m coming around to it. Yesterday I did a radio show taping for Art Of The Song and I tried Facebook Live for the first time. The response was big! So, whether I like it or not its a key ingredient. I’m still working on finding my place in social media.. I’m thinking alter ego stuffed animal…
We are living in a crazy and at times rough world right now so I am curious how you think being a musician gives you the most joy in life today? Do you think that new music being created today is going to reflect these difficult times?
It has to. I’m sure it will. That said, I wish there were more folk singers out there. Bob Marley was a folk singer singing in the style of reggae. It doesn’t mean you have to have an acoustic guitar and a train track it means you stand up and sing for rights. Politics have become so hostile. Its like nobody knows whats right anymore. Its scary. I’ll try and sing more about the world than about myself. I’m guilty of the latter more than I’d care to be. Wish us luck.
Who are some of your favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music? What musicians would you absolutely love to work with in the future?
Most of my favorites are gone. Paul Clayton, Hank Williams, Big Bill Broonzy. Lately I’m stuck on Billie Holiday. There are some great songwriters out there. I’m hoping to write more in the future. I’d love to write with some other like minded writers.
What do you hope fans take away from your music? Do you think there is a message to a lot of your songs?
What they may take from the songs is really up to them. But, I will say that I try to stay positive in my writing even when its hard. Some of the lyrics written reflect that.
What advice would you give to a young person who is thinking about becoming a musician one day?
If you’re thinking about it you shouldn’t do it. You should only do it if its all you can do. One night on the road this fan came up to James McMurtry and thanked him for the show he gave. She was nearly hysterical. She kept saying, “ Thank you for doing this!” to which James replied, “Can’t do nothing else.” I think if you have to think about it perhaps its not for you. I never thought about it. …my 2 cents.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about yourself, your music or the show?
I wanna say that it means a lot to me to have fans at all and a team of folks working with me. We often worry about numbers and money… A great man once told me a story about money and experience. He said, “Aggh.. You spend the money. This one goes in the bank.”