Rock fans were rejoicing the return of
Maxine Petrucci last year with her new solo record Titania. Most
will remember Maxine from her days as leader of Madam X, the band which
also featured her sister Roxy (who later joined Vixen) and a young Sebastian
Bach. Titania is a blistering record full of melodic but crunchy
rock fare. Known as a shredder, Maxine doesn't disappointment, steaming
through 10 tracks with blazing solos, saving the best for last with a ferocious
"Max Attacks". Truly a solo record, she also played bass and does all vocals.
Sister Roxy played drums on all tracks, even co-writing one song with Maxine,
who wrote everything else herself. Titania is a terrific record
that should put Maxine back into the scene in a big way. Look for a follow-up
record later on this year. I interviewed Maxine by e-mail last week and
here's what she had to say.
antiMUSIC: So tell us about Titania.
How long has it been in the works?
Maxine: Titania has been
in the works for about three years. I was getting tired of all the fabricated
music I was being exposed to on TV and the radio. So I decided to write
some music that I thought I would enjoy. The result is a very fast moving
album with shredding guitar, pounding drums, and very melodic vocals. Writing,
singing and playing all the guitars on this album gave me the chance to
totally control the way this album sounds.
Which was refreshing to me always having
to play what other people wanted me to play in projects in the past! Titania
is receiving an excellent response from every one who has heard it! To
listen to a couple of tracks and purchase the CD go to www.maxattacks.com
antiMUSIC: Any significance to the title?
Maxine: Titania is the queen
of the fairies in Shakespeare's "A Midsummer's Night's Dream". I turned
her into a heavy metal supersonic queen superhero. That is the only concept
behind the title. I had thought about calling the band Titania but
went with Maxine instead.
antiMUSIC: We'll get to the songs in
a second but when people say Maxine Petrucci, you automatically think guitar.
And you haven't let us down on this record. Let's jump right to "Max Attacks"
which is just outstanding. How much fun did you have laying that track
down? How many takes did you do for that?
Maxine: Playing guitar leads is
one of my favorite things to do. I wrote "Max Attacks" in about a week's
time. I played it four times in the studio all the way through picking
the take I thought had the most energy and feel to it.
antiMUSIC: Is it safe to say you like
soloing more than anything else?
Maxine: I find solo's to be very
challenging to write. I want my solos to all be very different from each
other which isn't easy in a world where everything has been done before.
antiMUSIC: Let's talk about some of
the songs. What can you tell us about the following, either what the song
is about or something that happened during the writing/recording:
"Titania" was a fun song for me.
Creating a heavy metal supersonic queen. Featuring Billy Sheehan on bass.
"Squeeked" is a feeling you get when something
bothers you or gives you the creeps. Featuring Mike Pisculli on bass.
Love Test is about relationships, break
ups and the insecurities afterwards. Featuring my brother Paul Petrucci
antiMUSIC: You have Roxy on drums for
this record. You've worked with her in the past. What is it about her drumming
that you wanted for your record?
Maxine: Roxy and I both love hard
rock and metal and have a lot of the same influences. She knows how I play
and vice-versa. Having her play on Titania made sure that part of
the recording process would go as smooth as possible. She's definately
Roxzilla on drums!
antiMUSIC: Billy Sheehan guests on the
title cut. How did that come about?
Maxine: Billy Sheehan has been a
friend of ours for years. We called him and he said he would be glad to
do a track. He believes in us and I can't say enough to thank him! You
should check out his new CD Cosmic Troubadour.
antiMUSIC: Paul Petrucci is credited
on bass and Jenny for art work. Are they your brother and sister or cousins?
Maxine: My brother Paul is a great
bass player. He played in a band called the Motor City Rocker's featuring
Jimmy Marino (the Romantics). Jenny is my brother
Remo's wife. She did a wonderful job drawing
the cover of Titania
antiMUSIC: So what have been doing musically
since the demise of Madam X?
Maxine: After the demise of Madam
X in 1991, Roxy and I started a project called Hell's Bell's, an all-girl
project featuring Lenita Erickson on vocals. I owned a couple of night
clubs in northern Michigan featuring national acts like Slaughter, Warrent,
Quiet Riot, etc. and I played with the house band Dr. Bone. In 1998 I played
bass on Vixen's Tangerine tour. Then in 2002 I started work on my solo
antiMUSIC: You can really shred. Do
you spend much time practicing or do you come by it naturally?
Maxine: I have naturally good technique
but that means nothing without practice. I play ever day so I don't get
antiMUSIC: What are your favorite memories
of Madam X?
Maxine: There's a ton of memories
from Madam X some good some bad. There were a lot of Spinal tap moments
including getting lost back stage. Big hair, lots of lights and a wall
of sound, you can't top that!
antiMUSIC: How did you get along with
Maxine: He was very young working
his way to the top. He had no idea what it meant to pay his dues and that
it wasn't all about him. He is all grown up now and has earned his way
to the top. I'm glad to see him doing so well.
antiMUSIC: That band was very image-conscious
(although not at the expense of the music). Were you influenced by KISS
and other theatrical bands as well as musically?
Maxine: We were influenced more
by bands we heard growing up in Detroit like Black Sabbath, Judas Priest,
Humble Pie. Our light show and image was added to little by little over
time. We had a giant robotic head and everthing. Sometimes stuff like that
gets in the way of the music but it was a lot of fun!
antiMUSIC: What's on tap for you for
Maxine: Titania was released
in April in Japan and is doing very well. The Japanese love rock and metal.
I'm working on getting distribution in Europe and the U.S. Meanwhile you
can buy the Titania on my website www.maxattacks.com. I am recording
my second CD and I am nearly finished. I'm setting the bar really high
for myself on this second album I want it to be absolutely brilliant!
antiMUSIC: Anything you'd like to add?
Maxine: Thank you to all the rock
and metal fans for accepting me for my talent on guitar and vocals instead
of the image I created in Madam X. I've created a fresh new metal sound
that is very heavy. I love my guitar and vocal work on Titania and
would love for you to listen for yourself! Titania sounds nothing
like Madam X or Vixen. I wanted to create my own sound and was very successful
in doing so! Titania rips from start to finish. Check it out and
let me know what you think.
Love, Maxine Petrucci
antiMUSIC and Morley Seaver thank Maxine
for doing this interview.
Review: Maxine - Titania
Maxine is Maxine Petrucci, who many of
you will know from Madam X, the 80's metal band. That band was also famous
for helping launch the career of Sebastian Bach. There has never been any
doubt that Maxine can wail on guitar and she proves it on her debut solo
disc. She handles both guitar and bass (except on four cuts) as well as
vocals while sister Roxy handles the drum duties.
There are ten tracks here on Titania
and all rock with an urgency that sinks deeper with each listening. The
title track kicks off with a crunchy guitar over the nice juxtaposition
of Maxine's sweet and innocent vocal. Billy Sheehan guests on bass on this
cut although there are none of his trademark runs. The solo is just wicked
on this cut.
"Love Test" has a great hook that goes
straight to your feet. "Kiss on This" is really memorable and "Passion"
and "Pathetic" get a bit nastier as does "Dirty Thang". All through this
record Maxine does tasty little runs but the closing cut, "Max Attacks"
features full-on shredding. This guitar exercise just rifles through some
manic riffing featuring a Tasmanian Devil picking hand as well as fingerprint-burning
fret work. Finally a record that features some freaking guitar solos.
I wasn't impressed with some of the songs
on this record on first listen, although I was with the guitar work. After
several plays however, I began to really like all the songs themselves.
This stuff should just be killer live. Special note: more of the Petrucci
family is represented here. Paul plays on one cut and Jenny did the cover
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