In today’s society, many high school students and their parents focus their entire high school careers around going to college. Apparently, deciding what you want to do for the rest of your life at age 18 will stick forever and make for a very happy, fulfilled life (or so they say). For some that may be the case, but for others, however, their major may change so many times that they end up graduating as a biologist accountant with an associate’s degree in business.
Upcoming artist Max Frost attempted the whole college thing, majoring in English for a year, but decided to skip out on the late-night study sessions, and binge drinking, at the beginning of his sophomore year to pursue a career in music. Max Frost is one of those lucky people who knew what they wanted to do from the start proving that his risky decision to leave college was well worth the it.
At the young age of 20, he signed to Atlantic Records and began to further his dedication to music. Now at 22, Max’s success continues to rise by seeing his ‘White Lies’ music video hit over a million views on YouTube along with his fan base expanding with every piece of work he puts out. AltWire had the chance to talk with Max about his decision to leave school and how his journey has been thus far. We also got some insight on his upcoming album. Check out what Max Frost had to say below!
AltWire [Mattison]: Going back in time, you actually left college to pursue your music career. That was a very bold choice, which seems to have worked out in your favor. Was the decision to leave college hard, or would you say it was an easily made decision?
Max Frost: It was really hard, actually, but it was just kind of deciding that life was only worth living if I was doing what I really wanted to do, and that was obviously music, so I just took the plunge.
AW: Speaking of college, you majored in English. Do you think your passion for music fueled your major choice?
Max Frost: Yeah, a little bit maybe. I’ve always been really fascinated with stories, and whenever there were movies or literature or anything, I was always into it. I guess I was always into things that were invented for our own entertainment. As for music, it was always the freest form of that stuff, and had the most sort of liberties you could take from the stories. I wouldn’t say it was directly connected, but recently it feels more connected.
AW: In a little over 6 months, ‘White Lies’ has racked up over a million views, which is pretty impressive. Were you expecting this song to be so successful?
Max Frost: Not really, you know it’s just kind of another song and you never know. I feel like this is a game where you have to put everything you’ve got into every song you make, and you never really know which one is going to deliver the best reaction to people. But I couldn’t say that I felt this is definitely going to be the one that breaks through to that level, or anything like that. But it’s a real personal song and it kind of represents a tale end in a lot of music. I’m just really glad that it has done as well as it has.
AW: I’m really digging your newest single, Paranoia, and can’t wait to hear what else you’ve been working on. If I’m not mistaken, you’ve actually been working on a new album, correct?
Max Frost: Yeah, Yeah, I have.
AW: How’s it going so far?
Max Frost: It’s going great! I’ve finished a lot of songs and I’m kind of going through a process where I’m working on a place to start a beat to certain songs that I feel could make the record. I’ve got a handful of songs that I think could make strong singles. So far everyone that’s inside my circle, and that’s ever been a part of or listening to my music since before I put it out there, has responded well to it. While I still have time to finish the record, I’m just trying to take every opportunity I can to make it the best it can be, because you only get one chance to make it right.
“It’s just seems to be that unless you’re a massive, massive artist, there’s not a lot of things to make sense about dropping out an album. “
AW: Have you set a release date?
Max Frost: No, not yet. Right now the plan that we are sort of formulating is to release a lot of new songs, one at a time, similar to how I recently did it with ‘Paranoia’. I feel like unless you’re Taylor Swift, it makes more sense in the way that the market works now to do it that way. You feel like you have a song that’s not necessarily going to be on the radio or something, it’s just a song where people are giving it attention on its own, that’s being released individually. Then maybe this inevitably turns into an album. I definitely really plan on focusing on individual songs, releasing them month by month with videos. I feel like it’s the best way to release content into the way the market works right now. It’s just seems to be that unless you’re a massive, massive artist, there’s not a lot of things to make sense about dropping out an album. To me, it’s always going to be reacting to where my fan base is at and what it’s asking for.
AW: I think that’s a really good way to look at it, especially taking your fans into consideration of your work. But so far, aside from ‘Paranoia’, since it has already been released, is there any one song you are most excited for you fans to hear?
Max Frost: Yeah, there’s a song called ‘Withdraw’, that I’m not sure exactly when it will be released, maybe before the end of the year, but I think the planned release date for that song is January 27th, which I’m pretty excited about. Another song called ‘Let Me Down Easy’, that’s going to be released on December 16th, and I’m really excited about how the fans will react to that song. These will both have videos upon their release.
AW: I’ve read that you’re actually working with a few producers on the album/singles, how has that been?
Max Frost: I’m really producing everything myself, but I am collaborating with a lot of different people, towards finishing the album. ‘Paranoia’ is a song I did pretty much on my own, started off with a guy named Nick Ruth, who works on a lot of other alternative pop kind of projects. A lot of people have been involved on this song, or another, but when it rises it’s my own production. I’ve definitely be able to work with some amazing people, like ‘Withdraw’ is a song I did with Benny Blanco. I did another song with Benny Blanco called ‘Blind’s fool’ that I think is great. ‘Let Me Down Easy’ is one I did with Francois Tetaz who has worked with artists such as Gotye and stuff like that. It’s just people who are sort of taking something that I have pretty much finished and helping me guide it to a sort of final product.
AW: I did read that you were working with Benny Blanco and Francois Tetaz, among a couple of others, but I think they have a really diverse group of artists that they work with. Benny Blanco has worked with artists such as Maroon 5 and Wiz Khalifa, who are completely different in so many ways, so I’m really anxious to hear what you guys are coming up with. Would you say that the music you have worked on is pretty diverse in genre?
Max Frost: I would say that it all ends up right now in one genre, but I’m not even necessarily sure I would even have a name for it. It’s just sort of my own little weird kind of soul hip-hop, rock world where everything lives, but I would say it draws on a lot of different genres. My musical up-bringing has been so all over the place, being a kid who is a rock guitar player and do a lot of old school, 60’s music, who was mainly influenced by Eminem and Outkast and artist’s like that when I was growing up. It sort of ends up in a place that’s different, I guess mostly like the gorillas, where it’s pulling from so many different directions, that it’s kind of hard to place into any traditional genre.
AW: What would you say has been the highlight of your music career thus far?
Max Frost: I had a song that I wrote for a jazz artist in Canada named Nikki Yanofsky, and the song I wrote with her ended up being produced by Quincy Jones, which was such an honor to see this video and of him having to do with something I’ve written, he’s such a huge legend. I’ve had a few opportunities to work with some of my hero’s. I spent a couple of days in Chicago working with Jeff Tweedy, maybe four or five months ago, just writing some songs and bouncing some stuff off him, which was pretty incredible because I’ve always been such a huge fan of him also. For me though, so far the highlight has just been being able to go out and play shows all over the world. Whether it’s opening for someone or doing my own show, it’s just nice meeting people who have been responding to the music I’ve been making in my bedroom. It’s a super insane dream come true kind of thing, and other than that I’m just really looking forward to the rest of it.