Free’ and ‘Dull & Bored (Bamboo)’ are the first two singles from The Max Meser Group. The namesake of the band says that they have become more 'carefree'. These two singles are a powerful preview of what’s to come.
Yes, we read it well: The Max Meser Group. Suddenly we see the word 'Group' behind the name of Max Meser. How cool is that? You instantly think of pop icons Spencer Davis Group and Patti Smith Group. The addition of that one word elevates the singer and band, giving them a certain kind of an official quality mark. It marks a new start for the Catalan Dutchman. ‘I am not the only one in the band,' Meser explains. 'I'm still the bandleader, I still write most songs, but we do it together.’ This ‘relaunch’ comes with a new line-up and the self-released new single Free, which marks a slightly more aggressive tone towards garage rock. New bassist Ben Chapman ensures that the harmony vocals, which have always been so characteristic of Max Meser's sound, have been retained in the renewed cast.
In no time Max Meser had established his name when he returned from Barcelona in his second homeland the Netherlands. Except for two very strong albums – Change (2016) and the Andy Crofts-produced (Paul Weller) Pictures (2017) – Meser drew the attention of the media in a rather special way. For example, there was a single launch in Amsterdam’s infamous red-light district, which was fiercely contrasting with his tv-appearance on the biggest local daily talk show as an expert about the Catalan case. Interesting support slots for the likes of Paul Weller and Jake Bugg followed in the Netherlands, plus a European tour with The Strypes. They also performed at highly regarded international festivals such as South By South West (SXSW) in Austin, Texas and BIME in Spain. Max will take things to the max. That is still true. The new single Free sounds like a breath of fresh air, the desired positive note in a world full of pessimism and cynicism. Free is there for the optimists among us. Single number 2 Dull & Bored (Bamboo) continues that thought even further.
The relaunch of the band with the extended name marks a new starting point. ‘Our music has become a bit more aggressive, but the lyrics add a touch of fun.’ says Max. ‘We have become a bit more carefree. Free is about a about feeling energetically free.’ And indeed, it oozes an incredible lust for life.
The video for Free is a special one. 'It was made in one take,' explains Max. "My brother Georgi came up with that idea. He was also the director of the videoclip.’ This brother who is six years older than him has also moved to Amsterdam and has even taken over Max's old job as bartender at the Casa Rosso. Unlike Max who chose to be a musician, Georgi chose to be a filmmaker, where he directed and created several promotional videos, documentaries and music videos for his brother Max. In the video we see a young lad walking freely into a pub looking for adventure. After having annoyed everybody he’s kicked out into the street again. The band that we see playing in the nightclub is of course The Max Meser Group. Who else?
These singles are among the new tracks recorded with producer Henk Jonkers (Fatal Flowers, Hallo Venray, zZz), a specialist in this type of music. At the end of 2018 the new work has already been tried out for the first time on the regular home crowd, but now also in Spain. Very pleased Max looks back on his Spanish shows, especially the Purple Weekend in Leon, because of the enthusiastic audience there. ‘They do not take it as much for granted as in the Netherlands. They sing along constantly. It means a lot for the people there, as they don’t get this every day. And you notice that on the stage.’ If it comes to crowd reception, the European tour supporting Ireland’s The Strypes has opened his eyes. ‘There is so much to achieve for us. It is only just beginning.’