Max Wassen discusses the production of ‘AUBADE’, its artwork, musical influences and more.
Aditya – Hello, we’re glad to have you for this interview. Happy New Year! How was the last year for you
Max Wassen – Hello, and happy to be here! I feel like the entirety of last year has been working on this year funny enough. I did manage to eat a whole pineapple though. Shell and all, I guess that was pretty cool.
Aditya – ‘AUBADE’ just came out, and it sounds fresh, it’s a perfect track to begin the year with. What’s the creative process behind the track?
Max Wassen – First of all! Thank you ;) Second of all! The creative process was wonderfully strange as Retro had sent me a couple different instrumentals to choose from after I had contacted him, and of all those goodies this was the one I felt I immediately could hear the hook on. Then I unfortunately heard another hook on it, explored that hook for a couple days while banging my head against the wall trying to figure out the concept of the track, as I don’t write my verses until the chorus is finished (usually) so i sent both ideas to retro and he said very quickly and surely “that one. Definitely that one.” So I immediately picked the opposite hook of what he suggested and it turned out great. Nah, I went with the hook he said he liked, and then I wrote the rest of the track quite quickly. All I knew was I wanted to write about something that was in direct contrast to retrovisions upbeat track, so it became a super depressing song (lyrics wise) about how nothing is good, and how we’re all just sort of waiting for the new day to come, only for it to be the same as the one previous.
Aditya – The track is produced really well, could you share some insights on the production of this track?
Max Wassen – Retrovision: It first started when I tried to remix the universal logo for fun, and then started replaying few of these chords with kontakt strings. I threw a bunch of drums and this sounded like a huge Timbaland beat, so I tried to send it to my publisher but they never responded about this one. Then, a year later, got in touch with Max and he started freestyling on it and it was AWESOME! So we both decided to work on it and make it the way it is.
Aditya – The track has really cool artwork, what was the idea behind it?
Max Wassen – Oof! I agree! Fishsmoothie made that artwork, she’s talented as hell and then some. Probably one of the top illustrators in EU atm ngl. Especially when it comes to detailing.
Aditya – What’s your writing process like?
Max Wassen – It’s one I wouldn’t recommend at all actually. I write a whole song over an instrumental, then rewrite the whole song again a couple times before it’s right (usually). Also, I never write my verses before a chorus. Cause if the concept changes in the chorus then the verses won’t work and all of a sudden I have to rewrite them anyways. After nailing the concept (I googled a couple French words and found Aubade) It sounded like a good concept. An ode to a new day, but then I went and made it depressing lyrics wise.
Aditya – You’ve amassed nearly 17 million streams on Spotify, how do you feel about that?
Max Wassen – Should be more, I’m a greedy little man who needs more validation from strangers on the internet. I think I’ll find true happiness once I reach a gazillion streams.
Aditya – Who are your influences and why?
Max Wassen – It might not be directly heard that Kendrick has been a huge inspiration to me, but besides him I’d say Cory Baxter from Cory in the house is up there with the greats. And sometimes negative influence is great, cause i think a lot of people who are succeeding greatly are terrible at music. So if they can succeed, why can’t I, right? There’s been so many songs I’ve heard and then thought, Man if i had a shot to be on this track i’d do it better. And for some reason when I reach out and say that to them they get upset, I’m not sure why.
Aditya – You moved across a continent when you were 12, what did that feel like?
Max Wassen – Imagine leaving everyone and everything you’ve known only to meet people who have never looked more like you, but never made you feel more like an outsider. Sort of like that but also receiving a funny accent along the way and bullies. So overall, it felt great, would recommend to anyone looking to grow up fast and unsure of themselves.
Aditya – What’s on the pipeline for 2023?
Max Wassen – A Collab album! All of 2023 I’ll be dropping a collab single a month with a different french artist throughout the whole year! So 12 songs, 12 artists, and then finally at the end of the year throw it all together into one big big album called French Breakfast.
Aditya – Lastly, Ye or Drake?
Max Wassen – Good question! If we seperate the art from the artist here a little bit and talk only “production wise” then it’s Ye all the way. However, if we’re also talking about how much i like a certain german dude with a weird mustache, then i’m 100% drake (assuming drake isn’t quite fond of the guy either).