There’s One Thing Modern Music Lacks, According to Producer Max Norman: ‘Good Bands Aren’t in Any of the Boxes’

According to producer Max Norman, a significant portion of modern music today “has no space at all.”

Known for his work in hard rock and metal genres, Norman has extensive experience and also reveals that he’s working on something with a certain Swedish pop musician. Although it feels like a departure from what he’s used to, Max still approaches things the same way and helps create unique and meaningful music.

And it all starts with not fitting within “boxes,” as Max said during his recent visit to the “Talk Louder Podcast.” Discussing his line of work, Norman offered (transcribed by Ultimate Guitar):

“When you’re making the record, you’re really just trying to make the record as good as possible. You’re not trying to make a hit record so much.”

“If you try and second guess stuff and go, ‘Oh, no, it has to sound like this because this is current,’ then usually is a fucking failure.”
Truth be told, it’s far from a simple task to make music that’s going to be commercially successful in any capacity. Stick to the old ways too much, and you’re too boring and repetitive. Venture into the unknown, and you’re just a weirdo.

But as Norman adds, you should always let the music itself guide you and not care too much about the genres and trends. He continued:

“You got to take the music and interpret it and let the music open up and let the music dictate how it sounds. And not think about boxes, or is this country, or is this fucking black metal.”

“People have all these boxes. And the real good bands aren’t in any of the boxes. They have their own box.”

Discussing the matter, Norman also reflected on his pop project and some of the things he’s aiming for. According to what he said, it’s not your usual mainstream pop piece that just checks all the boxes to get maximum streams.

“I’m doing this pop record with this Swedish guy,” he said. “So that’s kind of interesting because pop records, I think, need one thing in there that nobody’s ever heard before. Like a sound.”

“If you listen to any Abba record, there’s always something in there — ‘What the fuck’s that sound?’ It’s like a little hooky sound thing.”

“I’m starting to think like Trevor Horn a little more, getting a little outlandish and doing sort of more crazy stuff like a little Zappa-esque stuff. And a little more like Yes. You know, ‘Owner of a Lonely Heart,’ kind of. There’s these kinds of things where they’re like little hooky bits and all this kind of stuff.”

Most importantly, he opened up about how he feels about music today.

“Because I like space in the music,” Norman offered. “And I think currently, a lot of music has no space at all. I kind of miss the space. I like to have a bit of space.”

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