Sebastian “Sebi” Wolters and Nick Hill are Maximono, the British-German duo that’s been coming up in the house scene over the last few years. Both former drum & bass producers, the boys met in 2008, but it wasn’t until 2013 that they joined forces in the studio to bring their varied influences to house beats. (They did link up with another Dirtybird mainstay, Billy Kenny, to start This Ain’t Bristol in February 2012, with their first compilation featuring tracks from Ardalan, Abby Jane, Kyle Watson and more.)
With the release of their “Non Sense” EP on Dirtybird Select last week and a tour of the same name in the offing, the timing is perfect to have Maximono join me on THE BIRDHOUSE. We also sent over our new Questionnaire, which Sebi handled for the both of them. (Sorry, Nick…)
Check out the latest episode of the show below, and scroll on to learn more about the guys.
How did your music career get started in earnest?
It’s been quite a long and steady journey for both of us. We started DJing and producing brum & bass in the mid-to-late 1990s and did this more or less just for fun for many years. We never lost the passion and love for it, it simply got more and more serious over the years. When we decided to start the Maximono project together it wasn’t really meant to become successful, it was more to have a laugh in the studio and to jump into a genre of which we knew nothing.
Where are you from and does it have an influence on your music?
Nick is from London, lived in Bristol for many years and moved back to London a couple of years ago. Drum & bass was born in England and almost every influential D&B producer comes from the UK, so it had a massive impact on both of us. Hanover, where I grew up and still live, had a big scene for UK music; back in the mid-‘90s the biggest jungle and breakbeat events in Germany took place in Hanover. My first rave was The Prodigy live in concert back in 1994. These times have had a huge influence on our music. But of course everything else around us gets its place in our music (movies, friends, landscapes, computer games, etc).
How many times did you want to quit trying to make this your career?
You cannot quit an obsession like music, that’s why we can honestly say we’ve never thought about quitting. If you are a creative person that will never go away. You might think about leaving a certain genre or direction but we could never quit music.
What was one piece of equipment that helped define your sound early on?
For me – Sebi – it was the Technics 1210 turntable because I started DJing before I got into production. So mixing with Vinyl brought me to the idea of making my own beats. Having your own ideas pressed on a vinyl record has always been my biggest goal and motivation. For Nick, his first Akai S20 sampler taught him a lot of the basic rules about sampling and making loops, many moons ago!!
When you have a tough week or a rough tour, how do you get yourself back on track?
We try and live a pretty healthy life even when we’re on tour, so that helps a lot. We try not to join every pre-party and afterparty while on tour. Also, the opening hours of clubs in the US are very nice and healthy compared to Europe, where you can end up playing your peak time slot 9-12am on a Sunday morning. Besides that, we play lots of sports to stay fresh. Nothing beats a nice run in the morning sun to get ready for a long productive day… although Nick has a girlfriend now and as a result has turned into a fat bastard.
Where and when are you at your most content/happiest?
Mainly when we’re surrounded by our good old friends, whether it’s in London or Hanover. Actually properly relaxing and being away from music can be very healthy. Apart from that I’d say there’s two more places: when we’re in the studio together, which only happens three or four times a year, for our creative idea writing sessions; or when we play a This Ain’t Bristol night in Hanover surrounded by the whole label family.
Do you have any secret hobbies or hidden talents?
Music is my secret hobby, as in my “normal” life I run a software company as a main job. So I'm trying to keep my musical activities secret, which [is getting] a bit harder at the moment. [Whoa. Hope they don't Google you any time soon. – CVS] Nick writes music for TV, movie and video game trailers as his main job, working for some of the biggest games. He’s currently working on Assassin's Creed.
Favorite and least favorite colors?
Favorite is black, least favorite is red.
Favorite and least favorite words?
Favorite is “brudi", least favorite is “nein”.
Favorite is chicken (roasted). Least favorite is any fish (no matter how it’s served). [Everyone else’s answers have been live animals, but to each his own. – CVS]
Favorite guilty pleasure food?
Cheetos (Flaming Hot Lemon Crunchy).
Favorite guilty pleasure song?
Frankie Goes To Hollywood, “The Power of Love”.
German or Detroit techno?
Festival, club or illegal warehouse?
Biggie or Tupac?
Star Wars or Star Trek?
Star Wars, are you mad cuz?!
Exercise or Netflix?
Both, less time for sleep though.