Prepare to have your mind blown by the intense, intricate and intoxicating yet seriously heavy and progressive sound of 16-year-old instrumental rock/metal musician Max Hull.
The Washington DC-based solo artist began his musical adventure by performing cover songs. But he stepped it up when he started writing, recording and performing his own music with various bands, then began working on his audio engineering skills.
The result, as latest single Constellations is testament to, is quite staggeringly good. The track begins with more than two minutes of unrelenting, intense rocky goodness. It kicks off with pounding drums and big guitar chords that are answered by flurries of fast-paced guitar. That gives way to high-pitched guitar with huge pounding bass drum kicking in and leading us into a blitz of wild guitar licks.
Fast guitar licks build-up to screaming high notes, as a darting riff continues over an intimidating backdrop of an unrelenting bass drum. And… breathe… for a quick moment of laid-back calm.
Two hits of drum usher in a fast-paced guitar solo with crashes of cymbal, then an even bigger and faster extended solo. Violins soon enter the fray as the song builds up to all manner of epicness, then drops into more frenetic darting guitars over an intense instrumental backdrop. Not convinced how good Max is? Watch him smash it in this playthrough video below:
Constellations is the follow-up to Max’s debut EP, Passed Time, which he released last year. One of the tracks from it, Tethered, offers an insight into Max’s heavier influences with chugging, almost growling guitars throughout over a dirty bassline and pounding drums. While the filthy little riff in the middle of Singularity is well worth the listen alone. Give it a listen on Spotify.
We had a chat with Max to find out more, read on below…
GR: Who is Max Hull? And where are you from?
MH: “I’m a 16-year-old guitarist from the Washington DC area (USA). I started out as a drummer but began playing guitar about 5 years ago. I moved on from performing covers to writing, recording, and performing original material with different bands and on my own about a year ago. I’ve also been working on my audio engineering skills.”
GR: You just released Constellations. What should people be expecting from the song?
MH: “It’s an original instrumental progressive metal composition that I wrote, performed, and recorded myself. I’ve been focused on instrumentals lately to really emphasize the complexity of the music across the different instruments.
“The guitar tracks are the centerpiece of Constellations, with support from drums and bass, which you can see in the playthrough video that I released on my YouTube channel. I’m really happy with how it all came together.”
GR: How would you describe your sound to people that haven’t listened to you yet?
MH: “Prog/shred instrumental metal, with cinematic effects.”
GR: What influences you to write music? Any key themes or topics that you write about?
MH: “I enjoy playing and writing with different bands, but there are usually compromises involved. I sometimes have ideas that I want to spend more time with to work out on my own. My solo projects give me an opportunity to experiment with all the different musical parts and take some creative chances with my ideas without any deadlines or pressure.”
GR: Which bands/musicians are/have been your strongest musical influences?
MH: “Jason Richardson, John Petrucci/Dream Theater.”
GR: What have you got coming up through the rest of 2019?
MH: “I started working on a new single as soon as I was done with Constellations, and I hope to be ready to release it by the end of the year. It doesn’t have a name yet, and it has a very different feel than my previous songs. Also, my band Wild Bay is getting ready to release its first EP, Lightstream, at the end of August, and we’re lining up our fall performance schedule.”
GR: Anything else you’d like people to know about you/your music?
MH: “Just that I really appreciate them taking the time to listen to my music and letting me know what they think.”