Max Brody is a musician based outside of Austin, TX. He is mostly known for his drumming / saxophone duties in the band Ministry from 1999-2004, as well as his quirky side-project with Paul Barker (also of Ministry), Pink Anvil. Max took the time to answer some questions regarding his life, his music, and his future with us at Prongs for your viewing pleasure. The following conversation was a taped phone interview in mid-March, 2006:
Where were you born?
Alright, here's my basic info: I was born outside Chicago in a town named Elgin, IL, in '69. I lived there until I was about five or so, and then my family and I moved to Arizona to a town which has since become the really horribly yuppie-fied place, Scottsdale. That's where I was raised. It's all fancy now, but back then the nearest house was like a half mile away or so. I graduated high school there in '87 and then moved to Los Angeles, attending Pomona College in Claremont, CA. I was there for four years. L.A. is not for me, so I decided to move to Seattle for a few years from '91-'93. It was the 'grunge' music hey-day and everyone and their pet dog was in a band. I thought that would be good. It wasn't. I got tired of the grungy music scene and the grungy weather there, and decided to move to Austin, TX which is where all the music I liked seemed to be coming from, and where it is sunny. That was in '94. Here I am.
You play saxophone as well as the drums. How did you get into playing these instruments?
I had probably been harassing my parents to play the drums since age zero. They really didn't give into that until I was late in high school, when they finally let me buy a drum set. Up until then I banged on anything. At one point, in second grade, I saw a street musician playing sax in a big bank building courtyard. The sound of the horn bouncing off the skyscraper walls really got me good. I was transfixed. So I started bugging them again, this time to let me play the saxophone. I bugged them long enough that they gave in, and we went down to the music store and I strapped an alto saxophone on and it was so big on me that it actually went all the way down to my ankles. It was retarded, it was way too big for me. I was not happy about it. So I started playing clarinet instead, and didn't start to play the sax until later onabout seven years later. The guy behind the counter convinced me that playing clarinet was the right thing to do, and he was right.
You said your favorite bands where out of Austin. Are you referring to groups like Scratch Acid, the Big Boys, Butthole Surfers, that kind of thing?
Those are the exact three, actually! There was also Daddy Longhead, Crust, Cherubs, Drain, Ed Hall, Rockbusters, Hickoids, Jackofficersthat's just off the top of my head.
How did you meet Rey?
Back in 1992, in Seattle, one of my favorite bands was Daddy Longhead. When I got into Austin, like the second day, I noticed that they were playing! So I went to the club and went up to Jeff Pinkus, because I'm also a big Butthole Surfers fan, and I just introduced myself. I told him I played the saxophone, you know, if they ever needed a horn player or anything blah blah blah, to contact me. He said, I'm not looking for a horn player, but Rey is! So I talked to Rey, got his number, and... joined his band or whatever. So in '94, I joined his band called Euripides Pants. We were in the band for about a year or so before Rey got pulled out of it to do Ministry. We still played for a while after that but not nearly as often.
I was all mad at Ministry about it... I had a very strange misconceived notion of Ministry back then that they were just some Butthole Surfers wannabe! That was because the first song I ever heard from them was "TV Song", which I kinda thought that was a ripoff of the Surfer's tune "The Shah Sleeps In Lee Harvey's Grave". Then the next song I heard from them was "Jesus Built My Hotrod"! So here's this band which, in my perception was ripping off the Butts, then getting Gibby to sing with them! I thought, screw these guys! They're posers! I really didn't give them another chance... if that wasn't enough, all of a sudden, they're taking the drummer from the band I'm in a few years later! Those jerks! Ironically, the last song that I worked on for Ministry is "WTV".
Paul Leary said that Euripides Pants was the best project he's ever done/produced.
I've heard several people involved with that project all say that. It's very flattering. For me, it is one of the best recorded examples of me playing the saxophone and actually sounding like a real saxophone, as opposed to something electric. I'm still proud of it. It's a record that you can play for a grandma or a punk rocker.
Page Last Edited on 2011-04-09 02:57:08 UTC CST (5522)