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INTERVIEW – Maxine Petrucci, April 2013

| 2 April 2013 | Reply


ToddStar: Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule for 100% Rock Magazine.  If it is okay, I would love to jump right into discussing your newest release, Back To The Garden.  I find myself keeping it in my normal rotation of albums I am listening to ever since I first heard it.  What can you briefly tell us about that disc, that most people may not know on the surface?

Maxine: I think people are expecting 80’s influence in my sound, but I pretty much wrote and played what I felt at that time which I think had a more psychedelic heavy rock approach. Some songs have a lighter soft feel but is quite complicated. It’s an intense record with lots of eerie vocal harmonies yet very digestible. I think it has 60’s psychedelia with some 70’s influence and then my guitar leads lends to the 80’s shredding style.  People have to listen to it continuously and not all at once to take this record in Lots of musical information going on musically wise and very challenging all around.

ToddStar: The new disc has several of the same basic components as your earlier releases.  In your opinion, in what ways does it vary from earlier releases?  What elements from other discs did you intentionally carry over to this effort?

Maxine: I don’t think they sound at all alike except that I have my vocal style and guitar style. Not one song sounds alike. I would have to call this my own sound that may confuse people of how to categorize it. The only thing in common with the other discs is that I played all the guitars, bass, Ld vocals and back up vocals on all my records. Billy Sheehan played bass on Ld track “Titania” on The Titania record and Mike Pisculli played on a couple tracks off that record too. The rest of the tracks I played bass and then did everything but drums there on after. Also I wrote and arranged all my records. I work hard and love it! I don’t need to wait on anyone, I get it done.

ToddStar: How do you describe the difference in sound, sonically, in your playing between your releases?

Maxine: I am hard rock and metal and keep it that way. I use old old Marshalls and Peavey amps to record with. In ‘Back to the Garden’ I also pulled out my acoustic and use that in ‘Pink Angels and ‘Back to the Garden’ tracks. I play flute also in track called ‘Wicked’. I don’t use any auto tune I guess that’s what its called, when I record vocals. Everything is real no fakeness going on when I record.


ToddStar: What types of writing, production, and studio experiences that you learned while making previous discs did you know you wanted to carry over to this disc?  Which did you know to scrap and move on?

Maxine: I follow a pattern where I go record rhythm guitars with click  put a scratch vocal on it and give it to my drummer Pat DeLeon where he writes a drum part for it goes in and lays it down then I usually recut rhythm guitars to play with his drums then add leads and fills. Then I record the bass guitar and do the vocals. And if anything needs to be added or changed that is next. Its not always in that exact order but pretty much it. I don’t scrap much because I get my shit together at home and record some parts to hear it out before I go into the studio.

ToddStar: Several songs are very strong.  I am drawn to disc opener “WTF,” “Out Of Whack,” and “Youth Gone By.”  Are there any favorites of yours that you find yourself going back to?  Any you wish came out sounding different?

Maxine: All the songs have a reason and its own attitude and they nicely follow order on the album. I think that ‘Back to the Garden sounds like no other song out there ever! And I think people don’t know what is going on and are afraid to just take it in. Its actually very commercial yet bizarre and it is actually a ‘time machine’ to me and lots of double meaning. It is not about Vietnam, that’s just a reference.  Everything has a life now and afterlife in my opinion song wise on this album. Spirits, Souls, Time, Angels, travel throughout this album. I love the way it all sounds and turned out, my next album will be something different again.

ToddStar: Regarding Back To The Garden, were any of the songs easier to write than others?  You often hear about an artist that sat down to write a song and that essentially the song wrote itself.  Were any of the songs difficult to get out?  If so, which?

Maxine: I write the song and then I start building it with the instruments, arrangements, harmonies, leads etc.  The hard work is in the construction. I work and record one song at a time so that all my belief and heart is in that song. Its not that difficult if no else is involved in the writing because then I don’t have to compromise or give in, I hear what I write and make it happen.

ToddStar: Are any of the songs being better received than others?  I know the critics and reviewers speak of their favorites, but what are the fans and live crowds reacting positively to?

Maxine: Because we have a video out for ‘Assassinate’ that has become a favorite for fans. My friends love ‘Back to the Garden’ Pink Angels’ and ‘Ginger Man’. Live crowds love them all because they are kick ass songs and even heavier live. Plan on doing more video’s because that is what they want with the songs.  Reviews are all saying they cannot deny the talent going on whether they like the record or not.


ToddStar: After going back and checking out your back catalog after falling into this one, I find that your music is sonically consistent, but there are still subtle changes that show growth as a performer.  Having been at this for a few years (don’t want to age either one of us here), do you still feel and hear the growth in your own playing?

Maxine: Just doing whatever I want and feel at that time of creating and writing. I don’t want to sound the same. I am just playing other things and more. Aging is a natural process we all have to go through and in my case I have a lot of musical influences that date back to the days that all bands had their own sound and style. I am not from easy download or tab and get it easy from the internet. We had to figure everything we heard out ourselves or go to a guitar teacher. So I waaay feel and live the music, it is not some quick fix.

ToddStar: If you had to describe the sound of Maxine Petrucci to someone who had never heard of you, how would you do that?

Maxine: I don’t think I compare to anyone so I would have them listen to the album or watch the video and let them tell me who they think I compare to or remind them of.  I call myself Evolved Metal because that best describes my works.

ToddStar: When performing live, do you find that you mix the material evenly from your earlier albums, or do you tend to play more of the newer material?  Are there any songs from your earlier releases that you feel will always be a part of your live show?

Maxine: The new shows are going to be mainly “Back to the Garden” tracks. We will throw in a Pantera and Dio track too and Rachel May my rhythm guitarist will be singing them. She has a great voice and people need to hear it!

ToddStar: If you had to pick possible pairings for an ideal tour, what other bands would you like to see yourself out on the road with?

Maxine: We can play with almost anybody as long as they rock. We did well with Sebastian Bach last year. Geddy Lee would love my voice and dig our version of ‘What your Doin’. Hard to pick, I wish I did have that problem in the first place!

ToddStar: What is next for yourself and the band? Is there going to be a tour cycle surrounding Back To The Garden?

Maxine: We are going to do shows and festivals here in the Metro Detroit area this spring and summer and open for some national acts as well. Just finished recording a song for ‘The Quatro Sisters (Pleasure Seekers ,Cradle, Suzi Quatro) for their future documentary. It’s a kick ass Detroit Rock song I wrote for them.

ToddStar: Do you find any of the other arts affect your music or the way you approach writing, recording, or playing live?

Maxine: Like I said, I just write what I feel heavily into at that time of creation. Just like ‘Ginger Man’ one of the songs off ‘Back to the Garden’. I fell in love again with ‘The Who’ and Keith Moon and the fact that they are from the Woodstock back to the garden days I included them in that journey. The track titled ‘Lost Girls’ written for The Quatro’s is because I love what they did for women in rock today as we know it. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them and Fanny. They were the pioneers and paved the road for women rockers in a time where it wasn’t accepted to be female metal players.

ToddStar: Are there any bands that are currently releasing music or touring that influence you personally or professionally?  What is the last CD/mp3 album you listened to?

Maxine: Currently I like Big Wreck a lot. I like Slash and Miles Kennedy too. New Rush is cool. I like the “Kicking and Screaming” track from Sebastian Bach. System of a Down really rocks!!

ToddStar: Are there any new bands in Detroit that excite you?

Maxine: My drummer Pat Deleon and bassist Bryan Paxton’s other band called Imminent Sonic Destruction is heavy and pretty progressive. Greg Stryker is one of the best singer songwriters out there too. Just caught a band called Holy Smoke, they are great and real raw Detroit rock, sometimes reminded me of Humble Pie. Rachel May’s other band Broadzilla is a great rockin girl band. Critical Bill is a rockin cool band too! Panic Trigger rocks!

ToddStar: What are some of your favorite venues locally to perform or see a show?

Maxine: Looking forward to doing some big shows at The Diesal in Chesterfield, Michigan. That is serious rock going on there like it used to be when rock was fun with attractive chicks and dudes everywhere. Emerald Theatre in Mt Clemens, Michigan is awesome too. These are Metro Detroit area venues.

ToddStar: If there were one piece of music in the history of time that you wish you had written, what would it be and why?

Maxine: Woodstock is one of the best songs written! Would love to have written that. And of course anything from The Beatles or The Who. They are hit machines that will live on forever!

ToddStar: What is the meaning of life?

Maxine: We are not suppose to ask that question. We are suppose to live our lives the best we can with purpose and help others and respect animals and any living thing on this Earth. If we knew there would be no reason for this life and where we take ourselves after.

ToddStar: Other than making sure everyone checks out your Facebook, are there any other current projects or sites you would like to promote?

Maxine: My web site is and I’m also on Reverb Nation. My video is on YouTube search Maxine Assassinate. Also keep an ear out for the new single I will be releasing for The Quatro Sisters titled ‘Lost Girls’ that is currently being mixed and mastered by Kevin Sharpe at Metro 37 Studio’s in Rochester Hills, Michigan. Will be performing May 18th at The Detroit Pub with Rachel May and Roxy Petrucci as a 3 piece power trio performing a Detroit Dio Tribute.

ToddStar: Thanks again for taking the time and we look forward to 2013 and more Maxine Petrucci!!!

Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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