MaxXouT (www.maxxoutband.com) is a hard rock band from our own Steel City, Pittsburgh, PA. They’ve been touring in support of their 12-song debut album “The Big Push”, released earlier this year (maxxout.bandcamp.com). We caught up with them about their big, hit single “Narcan Atomizer” and its music video

Why did you select this song as your current single?

One of our fans told us a good story about Narcan Atomizer. He said was out driving around in his car and Narcan Atomizer came on his radio, and the next thing he knew he was pulled over for speeding. I guess those types of things can happen when you listen to this song: it’s a boot punching the gas in a muscle car. We start our shows with it. It puts our singer Elliot Polak, our drummer Kyle Duncan, our bass player Eric Eckels, and our guitar player, me, Stosh Jonjak, all in the right frame of mind. Four minutes and a cloud of dust. We’re a hard rock band and it’s representative of our sound: loud and feral, but still with dynamics. Speaking of those dynamics, Chris Hesse, the drummer from Hoobastank, mixed and mastered it for us and really brought those dynamics out, keeping it fresh and interesting, but keeping with the correct mood–bludgeoning rhythm, powerful guitars, and soaring vocals, that’s the formula. There was definitely a magic to that song, as soon as we started recording it we knew it was a single–direct, powerful, right theme, a great song, but just make sure you have enough points on your license if you’re out driving around when you listen to it.

How does this single relate to the rest of the Album, EP or Mix-tape?

We released our 12-song album “The Big Push” earlier in 2016. The band and this debut was born after Elliot and I went to a Kiss/Motley Crue concert and said “hey, we can absolutely do that”. We wrote our first song, “The Night’s Still Young” on the drive home from the concert, just hammering it out on the dashboard on the way to karaoke (where Elliot’s singing inspired a guy to offer to give Elliot a free tattoo of a microphone on his hand). Now we’re playing to support this album that was inspired by all kinds of stuff including some real big or weird events in our lives: me beating cancer (“The Cancer Song”), Elliot being a jobber backyard pro wrestler (“Kayfabe”), me playing semi-pro football (“Steel-Toed Boots”). Musically, it’s a hard rock album—you have Elliot showing off all his vocal range, explosive drums, thunderous bass, and face-melting riffs and solos. So we recorded the album, and in the process, we figured out what the heck we are, what we do well, what we need to focus on. And now, with Kyle and Eric, we can go out, play, and focus more on what we do well and get better. So it turns out that our Kiss/Crue parking lot conversation was right on, “hey, we can absolutely do that.”

What was the writing process for the song?

Narcan, for those unfamiliar, is a drug used to immediately reverse the effects of opioids. The idea is, if someone is overdosing, a first responder will show up, and spray the Narcan atomizer into a person’s nose and boom, the person is basically pulled back into sobriety, and, thankfully their lives are saved. I read an article about Narcan atomizers saving people’s lives while also reading Stephen Davis’s book “Watch You Bleed: The Saga of Guns N’ Roses” near the same time. So, I was really immersed in all these grim tales about the seedier parts of LA’s Sunset Strip scene from the 1980s, and I thought it would be kind of interesting to take the classic glam rock theme of partying hard and having a good time and turning it on its head through the symbol of the Narcan atomizer, this device that forces sobriety onto a person. The song is about, basically, reality existing in the illusion of the Sunset Strip scene, about the party being over, with the added element of the singer wanting the party to be over, to maybe get away from the seediness or heaviness and return to normal, predictable life.

What does this song’s lyric mean to you?

The song is also, in a way, nostalgic about a great music scene too, just the magic of having a whole bunch of people who really may not have any social ties to each other getting together and being passionate about music. Really, that’s the magic behind being a fan of some music and definitely the magic of being in a band. You get together with a bunch of musicians; you might have completely different opinions on all kinds of stuff, but you have this passion about this specific thing. Clearly there was musical passion driving portions of the Sunset Strip, and that element merits being nostalgic about—that plays into the song, the nostalgia of an impassioned music scene. So the song gives us a way to say “we are really into this music” while we’re playing it. There’s another element too of knowing what it’s like to miss the county fair when it comes to your town, which happened to me once as a kid, where you’re left with this feeling that this awesome thing happened and you missed it, you missed the thing that everyone gets excited about, so, when the universe aligns again and something like this happens again, you’re going to be really into it and have that perspective of how rare something like this can be.

What would it be like to see you in person performing this song?

This is the MaxXouT icebreaker, we start our shows with this song. One of the first times we played this song out–it was actually a soundcheck right before we were gonna play–I saw this guy spin around in his bar stool and fall straight to the ground. He was fine, passed the concussion protocol and everything, he just was way into it, didn’t realize where he was for a moment. That was pretty cool.

Could your fans summarize who you are as an artist by this song?

The song structure, the riffs, the lyrics, yes, this is MaxXouT in a nutshell. If you’re gonna like us, you’ll like Narcan Atomizer.

Is there a video planned and or completed and if so, what was the idea behind the video?

I grew up in a small town just north of nowhere, two stop lights, a lot of frost-bite. When I went to visit after I moved away, I noticed every time I would go into a bar, everybody would stop what they’re doing, put down their shots of Yukon Jack and their mugs of Busch Light, slowly turn in their bar stools, and look me up and down. It was like a complete exam, a complete assessment of my being to see if I could pass some unwritten test. Playing in a band is awesome, and great fun, but we kind of toyed with this idea where the band enters a bar, and the patrons all look them up and down. Of course, we’re all dressed up like rockers, so not too inconspicuous, but that underlying sense of “do these weirdos pass the test” is there. Being in a band means you have to constantly win people over with your music—so it’s the same idea as those bars up North, but in this case we have to go up on stage and prove ourselves via earthshaking rock. You’ll have to watch the video to see if we make it, and pass the test.

One last question, what is your motivation behind your music

We all are insanely passionate about music–music stories, deep cuts, great songs, careers, personalities, the whole enchilada. And actually pursuing it, getting crazy stories from playing shows, getting better at your instrument, getting people to like it, experiencing something entirely unique, that’s the magic about all of this, and what motivates us. On its face, music doesn’t make any rational sense, and that makes it even better, or crazier that this whole thing exists. We love it and music makes our lives better.

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Social Media:

MaxXouT – official site: http://www.maxxoutband.com

MaxXouT @ Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/maxxoutband

MaxXouT @ Bandcamp: http://maxxout.bandcamp.com

MaxXouT @ Spotify: https://play.spotify.com/artist/5P9KuvFl289vYP2FJ4h5U6

MaxXouT @ Twitter: https://twitter.com/maxxoutband

MaxXouT @ YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7_mUBrGWa812T29TYbrQuw

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