The Max Vangeli Interview

The Max Vangeli Interview

by Taryn Haight

With electronic dance music on the rise in the U.S. it’s no surprisethat we’ve seen a few new names pop up this summer—some which willlikely fade and others, like Max Vangeli, who seem to be attracting apermanent following. The 25-year-old prodigy was first noticed by PeteTong back in 2008 and has since gained widespread support from some ofthe world’s most notable DJs. Steve Angello, Axwell, Tiesto, David Guetta, Erick Morillo and Dirty Southare just a few of the EDM gurus who have all taken a liking toVangeli’s banging beats. The power-trio known as Swedish House Mafia,in particular, have taken Vangeli under their wing both in the studioand on tour in Ibiza.

Max Vangeli’s deep personal and workingrelationship with AN21 has also fostered some of Summer 2010’s biggestclub anthems and festival tracks. The two have combined forces,remixing the likes of Ellie Goulding, Switchfoot and The Prodigy, eventeaming up with Steve Angello on one of our favorite club bangers outright now, Pendulum’s ‘The Island.”

We got a chance to catch upwith Vangeli during his mini U.S. tour to hear all about his newfoundfame, what it’s like to party with the Swedish House Mafia guys andwhat he thinks about all the haters out there. Check out the interviewbelow.

CoolJunkie: Where are you from originally? How did you get involved in electronic music to begin with?

Max Vangeli:I'm originally from Moldova in Europe and now live in San Franciscofull time. I was always into music, but electronic music sort ofgrabbed my attention in college and I never looked back.

CoolJunkie:You moved to San Francisco when you were a teen. What was theelectronic music scene like in SF when you were growing up? How hasthat experience shaped you into the artist you are today?

Max Vangeli:I am very fortunate to be based in San Francisco because the scene hasalways been strong there. We have underground raves, afterhours stuffplus legit nightclubs. If I came to some other city without a bigscene, my life would have been shaped very differently. To everybodyout there who hasn't been to my city yet: come visit, it's amazing.

CoolJunkie: What are your favorite clubs to play in SF? What are your favorite clubs to play in the U.S.?

Max Vangeli:I don’t get to play much in San Francisco anymore due to all thetraveling, but if I had to name one - Ruby Skye is my favorite. Miamiis always amazing with every club offering something special. Myfavorites in Miami so far are Mansion and Cameo.

CoolJunkie: Are there any cities in the U.S. that you think are ahead of the curve as far as electronic music goes?

Max Vangeli:Places like Miami and New York are definitely ahead of the game... SanFrancisco is also leading the way! The cool thing: America is thefastest growing market for electronic music right now so we're seeing abunch of cities like Dallas and Seattle who have growing scenes. I feellike we're at the beginning of something really amazing. People aregonna look back at 2010 in the next few years as the time whenelectronic music blew up in the U.S.

CoolJunkie: Was there ever a “holy shit” moment when you’ve thought “Wow, I’ve really made a name for myself?”

Max Vangeli:I wake up with a “holy shit” moment every morning [laughs]. It'sabsolutely amazing what we were able to accomplish this year. I'm veryhappy! But honestly, I don't ever wanna feel like "I've made it"because that's when you put your feet on the table and slow down.

CoolJunkie:What was it like playing in Ibiza for the first time this summer(especially playing with the SHM guys). Any crazy stories?

Max Vangeli: It'samazing to be in the booth with the guys because the energy level isabsolutely insane! We are like a big happy family who get to makebanging tracks for the world.

I'll tell you one crazy ass Ibizastory. The last night on the island I partied so hard with Kim Fai,Erick Morillo and the crew at Pacha that I came back to my hotel twohours before my flight and passed out. One hour later, I'm being wokenup by two random men, so I gave them a "Who the fuck are you?" lookbefore quickly realizing that they were my drivers. I passed out withall my clothes on, so I quickly jumped up, threw my shit in the bagsand made the flight 5 minutes before the departure. I had the biggesthangover all the way back to San Francisco!

CoolJunkie:In one interview you mentioned that the comments from critics or haterson blogs can be so hurtful that it can sometimes hinder an artist fromcoming out with new tracks. Was this a challenge for you starting out?What made you push through and continue to make music? Do you have anyadvice for producers who may be facing the same challenge?

Max Vangeli:All I have to say is “Fuck all the haters!” I work so hard every day tobe where I am, but it never seems to satisfy this unique bunch oflosers. My own city of San Francisco seems to find ways to put me downas well. I guess some people get a kick out of putting others down. Alot of us get trapped in that, which can lead to failure especially forbeginners who don't know how to deal with it yet. My advice to all thenew guys: stop listening to these dumb fucks who have never even beento a club or attempted to produce a quality record. Follow your heartand listen to the people that matter. I'm officially starting a warwith all you haters out there!

CoolJunkie: How did you get linked up with AN21? And how would you describe the
working relationship the two of you have developed?

Max Vangeli:We met through a mutual friend from Sweden and just clicked hardcore.Our relationship is amazing, it started out as making tracks togetherbut and now it’s more than just music. Our friendship has been amazing,especially after all the time we spent together this summer. Music isimportant in life, but I think the reason why we are doing so well isbecause we look at it on a bigger scale and are just enjoying life ingeneral!

CoolJunkie: Who is yourfavorite producer at the moment? Who are your favorite artists/bands ingeneral (either in electronic music or any kind of music, really)?

Max Vangeli:All the Swedish House Mafia boys of course. Steve is a big motivationfor me because of how much he has guided me thus far in my career.Antoine and I owe a lot to him, he is a mentor and a friend. As far asothers, I love Dirty South and Kim Fai... they always produce on thetop level.

CoolJunkie: What are your plans once the tour is up?

Max Vangeli:Studio, studio and more studio. Antoine and I are putting in all thetime in our upcoming album for Size Records. We are going to makesomething completely different and unique. Get ready for it!

Check out Max Vangeli on tour!
09/24 - Vain, Detroit (USA)
10/08 - LED, Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic)
11/05 - SpyBar, Chicago (USA)
11/06 - Avalon, Los Angeles (USA)

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