AFTER a ‘Doctor Who like regeneration’ Burton band Max Raptor have been given a new lease of life and this week release their debut album.
Mother’s Ruin follows on from 2011’s well-received mini album Portraits, which introduced the band’s spiky punk anthems to the world.
Formed in 2006, by former John Taylor pupils Wil Ray and Matt Stevenson, the band have been through a change of line-up between releases, with JB Willcox (guitar) and Tom Garrett (bass) moving on.
Wil says: “JB is a bit older than us, had a child and left – which was cool.
“Tom had other music he wanted to explore. So Matt changed on to bass. He’s the annoying friend who can play all instruments.
“Pete Reisner, a good friend of ours, came in on drums and we have just signed up Ben Winnington as our lead guitarist.
“The back line has always been strong but this tightened everything up and gave us a new lease of life. It’s a bit like a Doctor Who regeneration – or possibly the Sugababes. It depends which way you want to look at it.”
With a new line up, Max Raptor now have an album and live dates to shout about.
Wil says: “Portraits showed everybody what we are all about and it still has a bit of life in it – it’s like a feral child that doesn’t go away.
“But Mother’s Ruin does seem like a seminal moment for the band. We are now waiting for the waters to break.”
Mother’s Ruin was produced by Dan Weller, who has worked with Enter Shikari and Young Guns
Wil says: “We have a really good friendship with Dan and we were in the middle of nowhere in this methodist chapel in Lincolnshire, recording the album, and it went really well. But we didn’t think we would come out with a ballad, that wasn’t on the agenda at all.”
That ballad, Heavy Hearts, is one of the stand out tracks from the album and shows the band in a different light.
Wil adds: “It’s coming up to a year since we first recorded the abum now, so I am feeling a bit detached from it all but now it’s coming out, Kerrang are streaming it, we are getting feedback and it all feels so positive.”
Radio 1’s Zane Lowe picked up on the band in the summer, which helped Max Raptor reach a new audience.
“There are so many local and independent radio stations who play the songs and who are going to get it into people’s ears on a day-to-day basis but Radio 1 gives you the maximum amount of exposure,” says Wil.
“We have had a taster of what people are thinking about the album now and that’s exciting. We need to get them to the shows and really switch them on to it.”
Max Raptor have a string of gigs lined up to promote Mother’s Ruin, the closest to Burton being at The Venue in Derby on October 17.
Wil will have to travel from London, where he lives these days, although the rest of the band are still based in the Midlands.
Wil says: “There’s more going on in London but there’s a lot I miss about back home which I didn’t think I would. It makes you think how little Burton shouts about the things that it should be proud of, like Marmite and Bass. It’s frustrating.”
Sadly, there’s no home town gig planned at present.
Wil says: “We would love to play in Burton.
“We had something pencilled in but it didn’t work out. We are definitely going to play in Burton next year, it has been so long.”
Mother’s Ruin is out on Naim Edge Records now (see our album review, below).