Rootstock 2017: Interview with Théo Maxyme


A 21st century rock ‘n’ roll star in the making, Théo Maxyme is on his own quiet quest to pursue a life in loud rock. With a support slot confirmed at this year’s Rootstock 2017, this promising Parisian singer-songwriter, producer, founder of Active Records and self-proclaimed “space pirate” and his four-piece band are bringing lots of “big energy” for their anticipated Rootstock 2017 performance. That, and a lot of whiskey…

Q: Hi Théo. Where are you, right now, and what are you up to?

“I’m at our rehearsal studio in Paris and I’m just putting the finishing touches to the 10 songs that will make up my debut album, so today and the last few weeks I’ve been working on all the production, arrangements and all the musical aspects of each songs. Before we come to Burgundy for Rootstock we are going to record the drums for the songs so that they are done. After that, we will show the project to the record labels. It’s an exciting time!”

Théo Maxyme: A multi-talented multi-instrumentalist who started his first band when he was just 15

Q: As a founder of Active Records, are there any record labels you’d love to sign with as an artist?

“In France, I really love the Elektra label, and their roster of artists, so I would be glad to show them my work… in time….but I want to be really prepared before I do that. That’s what I am working on now – getting ready. But I really like what they do. When the album is ready I want to show it to a lot of people. I have my favourite labels in mind but we will see based on what type of recordings we have in the end.”

Q: How would you define your sound?

“It’s freaking rock! It’s British rock made in France, you know. The music and the energy it’s pure rock. My favorite artists are Bob Dylan and U2 so, like them, I try to install my lyrics with a great sense of deepness. I don’t do simple teenage rock where there’s no meaning.”

Maximum Maxyme: Théo’s song “Whiskey On The Rocks” is a live favorite

Q: How did you first get into music and why? What drew you in?

“I remember, very clearly, the moment I fell in love with music. I wanted to seduce a girl at high school! So, I bought my first acoustic guitar when I was 15 with the very little money I had. I ended up falling in love more with the instrument than the girl! So, I stayed with the instrument and forgot the girl. I then just started playing with friends in rock bands and performing with really good musicians from Paris and London – I spent some time in London when I was learning to play the guitar – and just listened to really good musicians play all the time, feeling their inspiration. I ended up in a studio, and learnt how to write, how to record, how to mix, how to produce… and here I am.”

Live and Loud: Théo and his band performing in February 2016 at General Food, Paris

Q: What can the Rootstock 2017 audience expect when they come to see you live?

“My shows have to sound big and authentic. I always bring big energy too. Our collection of songs is dynamic; there are fast songs, quiet songs, I sing in English and French, but I like to mix all the ingredients together during a show, so the audience feels connected to the natural energy the band provide.”

Q: Describe your best gig…

“I am so passionate about music that I enjoying playing every show! One of my favorite gigs though was opening for Born Ruffians, a Canadian band on Warp Records, at Café de la Danse, Paris, last year. The audience was amazing. My whole family was there and it was a very special show to me. We also played two big, and unforgettable shows last week. One was at Le Bus Paladium, Paris. I’d wanted to play there for so very long, it was a dream to be on that stage. I also have great memories of a show we played last July. The main act never turned up so instead of playing for 30 minutes we ended up playing for 90 minutes. We had to improvise a lot of songs but that chaos provided a lot of inspiration. The audience was crazy too!”

A Show to Remember: Théo’s favorite gig – at Café de la Danse, supporting Born Ruffians

Q: What is it about music that gives you so much energy?

“That orgasmic moment you have when you play live and connect with everyone in the room. That’s it. I don’t smoke or do drugs, all I need is a good glass of whiskey, so I have my own way of getting high – music! The idea of a career in music comes after that joy. For me, I have to feel the moment. I want to feel completely high from music.”

Band About Town: Théo and the band have been performing stellar shows at legendary underground clubs around Paris

Q: What are you bringing to Rootstock that’s unique?

“Rootstock will be the very first time the band will play the whole album, our new 10 songs, live. It’s going to the first gig we show people who we are play the album in its entirety in public. We’ll play one or two covers by artists we love, but I think our goal in general is just to make the day sound huge. It will be completely exclusive and we are currently working hard to make us sound BIG. The guitars are going to roar, and it’s going to be great. I am very eager to play now, I can’t wait…. it’s going to be amazing!”

Q: What will you request on your backstage rider, anything outrageous? And what do you think about Burgundy wine – does it interest you and the band?

“Whiskey, of course, but I think we will bring it ourselves! Oh yes, I love Burgundy, the region, and, of course the wine. I’ve been to Burgundy many times for the wine. I used to take trips with friends along the Route des Grands Crus. I travelled there with friends a few years ago. It was fantastic. I am very happy to be coming back to Burgundy and I can’t wait to get high on a really good glass of wine too!”

Living the Dream: Théo Maxyme and his band will be performing at Rootstock 2017 on Saturday night. Don’t miss it!

For more information and updates on Rootstock 2017, head on over to www.rootstockburgundy.com. For more Théo Maxyme related news check out http://www.activerecords.org.

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