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Max Frost

Bowery Ballroom New York

Monday, March 25, 2019 8:00 PM

16+, Live

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Last year, Max Frost had a creative awakening. Since becoming a professional musician and scoringgenre-mashing hits including “White Lies” and “Adderall,” the forward-thinking pop maestrofelt he hadn’t shown his true colors. “I realized I needed to completely change what I was doing and what I was trying to create into something a little bolder, a little bit more honest and less controlled,” he says.“I needed to take the veiloffand let myself be a little more naked and a little more direct.” He’d spent nearly hisentirelife in Austin, Texas, so moving to Los Angeles in 2017“was about having a fresh start --reinventing myself as much as a person as an artist.” Once he touched downin LA, heimmediately got to work creating what turned out to be someof the most inventive songsof his young career.“I finally had the balls to be vulnerable,” says Frost, who once in LAteamed up with Michael “Fitz” Fitzpatrick (Fitz and The Tantrums)and began constructing the songs that would comprise Gold Rush, his major-label full-length debut LP, executive produced by Fitz, with major help fromMick Schultz (Rihanna, Jeremih). Reflectingonthe personal and creative journey he’s undergonein the past year, Frost says he’s finally freed himself of self-imposed restrictions and become “one-hundred percent honest” with himself as both a human beingand songwriter. “I stopped trying to control how cool my musiccame across and just be myself,” he says.“I had to let it be open and direct and in-your-face.”Now the 26-year-old singer, multi-instrumentalist and dynamic live performer, who in a few short years hasseen his star rise in a major way thanks to tours with everyone from Twenty One Pilots, Panic! At The Disco, Fitz and The Tantrums, and Gary Clark Jr., beingfeatured ona recent DJ Snake singleand havingfour consecutive songs go to Number One on HypeMachine, says he’s never been adamant about pushing the limits of what constitutes pop music. “I definitely care way less now about trying to beniche,” says the quick-witted singer behind the infectious, groove-anchored new single “Good Morning.” “I’ve realized that I want to make stuff that a lot more people can relate to and can be affected by. If you’re just trying to make these weird songs and if you’re consciously trying to be eclectic,” he adds, “I think that’s as cheesy as consciously trying to be commercial.”Frost admitsthere was a time he tried to talk himself out of making pop music. “I used to purposely avoid puttinghooks in a song,” says the musician whose soul-infected sonic gemshave soundtracked a global Beats by Dre campaign and been featured in television shows including “Power” and “Brave,” “ButhonestlyI almost feel like you’re going against biology if you’re trying to make music that doesn’thave hooks. Because if you boil it down it’s like, what’s a hook?’ It’s something that hits your brain in this specific way.”Creative freedom, and the ability to write and record music driven byfeeling and instinct, has alwaysbeen central to Frost’s musical mindset. Playing the drums and guitar by age eight, and typicallythe youngest members of thediversebands he was in as a teenager —
everything from bluegrass to blues andjazz to hip-hop —Frost says it was the emotional connection to the music that forever drove his passion. “It never really occurred to me that music was something I was intogrowing up,” he admits,“It was just something that was. So I try to stay committed to that original place of no ego. Of music just being this beautiful benevolent thing.”By the time he was enrolled at the University of Texas-Austin,he was obsessively writing and recording R&B-and-hip-hop informed pop music in his dorm room. By then he’d decided a career in music, no matter how uncertain, was his path forward.“White Lies,” though, changed everything: nearly oneyear after first uploading the falsetto-strewn songto SoundCloud, prominent blogsbegan to share it and a palpable buzz began to develop around it. Withinweeks the songhit Number One on HypeMachine’s “Most Popular Tracks on Blogs Now,” and ledto Frost signing his dealwithAtlantic Records. “That song broke doors down,” Frost recalls, still seemingly amazed at how fast his life was alteredby it. “I went from playing a South By Southwest showcase where nobody was there to signing this huge record deal.”But ratherthan revel in his newfound success, Frost doubled down onrefiningbothhissongwritingand live performance chops. He speaks passionately about continually tinkering withhis alreadynotoriously high-energy one-man live show, one that typically finds him bouncing around the stage,playing every single instrument himself, whipping his fans into a manic fervor.“I’ve tortured myself to invent it to where it is now,” he says of his live show.Furthermore,in the studio Frostfound a mentor inFitz. “He’s had a tremendous influence in my creative process andsometimessaves me from myself,”Frostsays of Fitzwho herefersto as his “songwritingfitness coach.” The tireless effort is now reaping massive rewards:Frost’s debut albumis comprised of some of the singer’s most inventive songs yet, and onesthat veer from electro-soul (“Slow Jamz”) to funk (“Money Problems”) andanthemicarena sing-alongs(“Eleven Days”). Ashe looks aheadand continually redefineshis artistry via production work for breaking talent including Mike Waters, Wild Child, and UPSAHL, Frost sayshe finally feels he’s being completely himself as an artist but is hardlyafraid to continue reinventing his craft.“Sometimes it feelslike I’m juggling fire,” headdswith a laugh.“But I think that’s the only way to live.”

Bowery Ballroom

6 Delancey St
New York, NY 10002
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