Passing The Time w/ Max Hull
Max Hull is a serious 15-year-old guitarist who got his start performing in classic rock and blues cover bands in the DC/Maryland/Virginia area (USA). It turns out he is also a composer, multi-instrumentalist, audio engineer, and producer. We recently had a chance to catch up with Max to talk about his debut EP, Passed Time.
SB (StarBeat): You just released your debut EP, Passed Time, which is a dynamic instrumental metal solo project. What inspired you to take on an ambitious project like that?
MH (Max Hull): I wanted to see how far I could push myself to do something original with all the riffs and ideas that have been building up in my head for a long time. Guitar is my main instrument, but I did everything for this album myself, from composing, performing, and recording all of the instrumentation, to the mixing and editing. I spent most of the past winter in my basement working on this album. I really wanted this to represent the best of everything that I have to offer musically at this point.
SB: Nomenclature: What’s behind the name of the album, Passed Time?
MH: It’s a play on words. It sounds like “pastime,” which is what some people think that playing guitar is for a kid like me, just a hobby that I do for fun. But it mainly refers to my frustrations about time and opportunity passing me by while I waste time doing things that I have no choice about yet at my age. Music is much more than a pastime for me; it is what I want to be doing with my life, and it is with me constantly. ‘Passed Time’ shows what I would be capable of if I had more control over my time.
That’s the theme of the album: an exploration of what an individual is capable of doing, even if he is “just a teenager,” when he can set aside all of the assumptions that people make about how he is supposed to spend his time and behave.
SB: Why metal? Who are your biggest influences?
MH: I love metal. I know it isn’t for everyone, and some people have been surprised that I’m going in this direction, but it’s what I really want to be doing. Metal isn’t just one thing. It’s a genre that is very complex and continues to evolve with a lot of innovation and new voices. Some of the guitarists I really admire these days include Mark Morton and Willie Adler (Lamb of God), Tim Howley and Patrick Sheridan (Fit for an Autopsy), and John Petrucci (Dream Theater), and there’s so many other great musicians out there.
Up until now, my guitar roots have mostly been in blues and rock – Jimi Hendrix, Eddie Van Halen, Jerry Cantrell – and a few of the bands that I perform with still do their covers. I like studying how all of the great guitarists achieved their signature sounds and tones, but it also feels like it’s time for me to start looking towards the future of music, and metal is where I see myself going from here.
SB: No Words: Why did you record these songs as instrumentals? It sounds like you have a lot to say.
MH: I actually do have ideas about lyrics for some of these songs. But I didn’t record them because I’m not a singer, and this was a solo project. I’m sort of thinking of these songs as demos for my ideal future band; they are my vision of the kind of music that we will perform, with a strong vocalist out in front. This EP is my way of telling my future bandmates what I can bring to the table and what I’d like create together with them.
SB: Equipped: Can you tell our followers about the gear that you used on this album. How did you achieve your sound?
MH: Guitars: Jackson Prosolist 6-string and Ibanez RG Prestige 7-string
Bass: Warwick Corvette 5-string
Amps: Mesa Roadking II and Mark V (for guitar); Ampeg Portaflex PF-800 (for bass)
Drums: Tama Starphonic Snare and EZdrummer 2 plugin
Microphones: Shure SM57, Sennheiser e609, Heil PR-30
Pedals: Seymour Duncan SD805 Overdrive, MXR Carbon Copy Delay, and MXR Analog Chorus (for guitar); Tech 21 SansAmp Bass Drive DI (for bass)
SB: Music: And most importantly, where can your fans find your new EP?
MH: It’s available for sale or streaming on the major online services – Apple Music/iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, Deezer, etc. The easiest way to find the album is to follow the links on my website, www.maxhullmusic.com. Thanks!
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