Posted On 18 Jul 2014
Tag: Amit Pandey, Fugazi, God of Time and Death, Good Times Bad Times, heavy realism, Hindu, Hot Snakes, Iceage, Kala, Kickstarter, Led Zeppelin, Max Kala, Metz, Milaterrorism, Pavement, Pissed Jeans, Pixies, Pomona, Pomona American Legion, post-hardcore, Queens Of The Stone Age, Swans, The War On Drugs, Virginia Reed, visceral
Max Kala is a Pomona, California based post-hardcore/heavy realism band that makes visceral music featuring intense rhythms, strong musicianship, and creative arrangements designed to distract, motivate, and move.
Lyrically, Max Kala seeks to encourage coversation by presenting modern hypocrisies and conflicts through an eastern philosophical lens.
Fortunately for us all, I am very close friends with the lead singer’s sister so I got to interview this very interesting and talented group of musicians!
Where did you guys come up with your band name, Max Kala?
Jason (Drums): The band name is based on the Hindu God of Time and death Kala. In Hindu philosophy, time and death are one and the same, which is a concept we are increasingly more aware of. Time also has a reference to music which we dig. Max just makes it come of the tongue nicely.
What brought all of you together to form a band? How did you all meet?
Amit (Guitar & Vocals): Jason and I have known each other since grade school. We kind of initiated things by getting together and jamming. At the time I was in another band with Kerry and so it was a natural move to get him in on it. Our friend Mike Kinney joined up for a bit as a lead guitarist but aesthetically didn’t jive. I knew a second guitar was critical and actively recruited Bryan for the part. He resisted at first but eventually relented. He’s lost a significant amount of free time as a result.
How often are you guys performing or rehearsing?
Bryan (Guitar): We always perform, but never rehearse. Or maybe I have that backward.
Who are some of your musical influences? Who are some new artists that inspire you guys today?
Amit: I think we are channeling heavy rock acts and mixing it with punk. Artists I currently dig are Pissed Jeans, Iceage, Metz, The War on Drugs, Swans, Queens of the Stone Age, Virginia Reed, Hot Snakes, to name a few.
You have some very intense and deep lyrics. Who does the majority of the songwriting? Where does the inspiration come from? What is your approach to songwriting?
Amit: Lyrically, me, and musically, the band – although the root of the song – the riff or main progression often comes from me. Hopefully, that can change a bit as I get a good sense of my patterns and when they are too evident they can stand a shake up.
The inspiration for Max Kala just came from a deep seeded frustration with aspects of the world we live in. Be they political, religious, or just cultural. It’s something I struggle with every day. I don’t live up to my own expectations but I think the conflict of trying is good. As far as the approach goes I make sure to set time aside to just play guitar. It’s meditative. And during that if I land on a progression that feels right I’ll record it quick and dirty. I’ll then just go back and listen to things I’ve recorded and assess whether they were good or bad and decide on showing them to the band. Then if it feels good with the band I’ll put words on it. Recently, I’ve been writing words without music which is new to me. Hopefully it works out.
How are you using social media networks and sites such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram to interact with your fans? What do you think about it all?
Kerry (Bass): We have accounts we actively neglect for everything.
Amit: Kickstarter is fantastic! Without it we wouldn’t be finishing up the album right now. The process was smooth and very efficient. Once every week or so I’ll jump on Kickstarter just to see what types of projects are going on – both musical and otherwise. More important than Kickstarter are the people that backed our project. We are humbled by their support and have made a damn good album.
Where has been your favorite venue to perform at?
Amit: We are Pomona, California kids and can’t state our love for the Pomona American Legion enough. Interestingly, our favorite venue to perform at was the first West Coast venue Fugazi ever played. So it’s got good mojo.
What is your favorite song to perform and why? What is your favorite song on the new album?
Using only five words, can you describe what it’s like creating an album?
Kerry: Next time must be faster.
If you had the opportunity to work with any artist/band from the past, present or future, who would it be and why?
Amit: Nothing beats the feeling of everything locking in musically when the band is just in synch and destroying. So the answer for me would have to be Led Zeppelin jamming on Good Times Bad Times maybe the fifth time they ever played it. But it could just as easily be Pavement doing Summer Babe at a rehearsal in Stockton or the Pixies doing Bone Machine live for the first time.
What are the biggest changes you would like to see happen in the music industry?
Amit: The industry doesn’t matter, it’s just the easiest way to get to music. I want music listeners to not always pick the easiest way to music. Spend some time surfing Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Reverb Nation, or any other delivery vehicle you can think of. Find something cool, and when you do share the shit out of it.
Bryan: Amit texts while driving and it scares the shit out of me
Amit: Sexts not texts.
What is the one truth that has always remained constant so far throughout your career as musician?
Jason: Playing music (well) requires a ton of work. But those few, fleeting moments of synchronicity, when you completely meld with the song and your band-mates, more than justifies it. Also, don’t quit your day job.
Do you have any advice for people trying to start bands right now?
Bryan: Live with your parents as long as you can.
Kerry: Don’t let the inevitable little disagreements deter you from your goals as a band and as a musician.
For more information on Max Kala, future gig dates and their upcoming album release date, check out their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/maxkalaband
And for a sneak peek of their music, go here: https://soundlcloud.com/max-kala-band