The Festival Experience with... Max Chapman

Henry Lewis spoke to the producer about what makes raving at a festival so good, Boiler Room sets in South America and more.

Henry Lewis

Last updated: 21st Apr 2017.
Originally published: 18th Apr 2017

Image: Max Chapman

Essex based DJ Max Chapman has come a long way since bursting onto the scene in 2011. Following his emergence he released the simply euphoric 'Body Jack', which ended up climbing to number 1 on the Beatport overall chart, marking an early triumph for him as a producer. 

Since then he has delivered a heap of tracks and EPs via the likes of Hot Creations, Madtech, Lost, Snatch, Elrow, Resonance and VIVa, while his latest extended play comes courtesy of Mar-T’s top class Wow! Recordings.

Entitled Leave Off, the release is a thumping groover with high intensity percussive elements and some carefully selected samples. It stands Chapman in good stead for a festivals season where he will be conquering some of the finest dance music events the UK has to offer, with the likes of We Are FSTVL and Parklife firmly in his sights.

Ahead of a busy festival period, we caught up with the Max to talk about some of his finest festival experiences.

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Hi Max how are you? What are you up to musically at the moment?

I'm great thanks! On top of the world at this moment in time, everything is going so well. I have a lot of music signed and ready to come out on some amazing labels like WOW!, Hot Creations and Relief. But I am plugging away everyday in the studio to try and keep ahead of myself.

What three things make for a great dance music festival and why?

The sound system always comes first for me, before any other part of the production. I believe any party should be built around the sound system, too many people are focusing on everything else and forgetting the reason we are at a rave and that is to listen to music, not to rent cheap sound systems to make some extra cash on the night.

I also love the idea Elrow have gone for, bringing the fun factor back. The confetti and inflatables are a great idea. And last but not least you need to have a great spot to throw the party, I like to be at one with nature so as far from cities as possible! 

Desert Hearts festival looked great judging by the videos on your Facebook, page - what’s it like being abroad for a festival, does it add to the excitement even more?

Yes, definitely. Especially in California. Everybody is on the same vibe, super chilled and friendly. Desert Hearts was easily my favourite gig this year by far! 

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Which festivals abroad do you like playing at the most?  Which countries are your favourite to play in and visit?

I did a Boiler Room at lost beach club in Ecuador in April 2016 and that still to this day was my favourite gig. The people were so welcoming and Montanita was a stunning little seaside place. I also really enjoyed Puur Festival in the Netherlands, that was insane! 

Are festival arenas a good place to try new out music?

I'm not sure really, I never think about things like that too much, if I like a track when I hear it I can usually tell if it's going to go down a treat or not!

Do you party at every festival you play or do you have to tone it down sometimes?

No comment [laughs]

What are your earliest festival memories, did you go to a festival as a DJ or a punter first? Where did you first go?

My first electronic music festival was Global Gathering in 2007. I was 20 years old and couldn't believe what I had just experienced! I was absolutely gutted that I didn't attend any festivals before that one! I remember watching Eric Prydz and being absolutely smashed, loving life!

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Who are the best acts you have witnessed at a festival?

The Martinez Brothers on various occasions.

Who are you most looking forward to seeing when you play at We Are FSTVL ?

Too many people to mention to be honest! I love to watch the up and coming guys and girls to see what they are all about too! 

Who are you most looking forward to seeing when you play Parklife?

Well I can't believe I'm sharing the stage with such a stellar set of peers and I can definitely say I will not be leaving that stage all day! The Martinez Brothers, Jamie Jones, Seth Troxler, Hot Since 82, Richy Ahmed and Patrick Topping? Yes please! 

Are you bringing anything different to your festival sets this season? Does your set change throughout the summer?

Let's see, I'm looking to exceed everybody's expectations this year so something like that could well be on the cards!

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Festivals 2017