Rocks Off reached out to the artists playing this year's Houston Press Music Awards showcase Sunday, August 5, and asked them to introduce themselves. Here's what they sent back.
Rocks Off: When and where was your first gig in Houston, and how did it go?
Maximus: Our first gig was at Nick's Sports Bar on Wilcrest. We were only eight and ten years old. Our parents called and asked if they promised to bring a crowd, could their kids' band play a few songs. We played the same four songs three times and we loved every minute.
RO: What Houston area venues do you play most often?
M: Nick's, Lucky's Pub, Sportin' Woody's, Vintage Pub, Vida Loca. We've also played at House of Blues, Warehouse Live, The Capitol, End Zone, Wolfie's, Connor's, Union Tavern, Mo's Place. Can't list them all, but really appreciate their willingness to take a chance on a bunch of kids who love to play.
RO: How often do you play in the area?
M: Since we are still in middle and high school, we only play a couple of times a month. Along with the band, we are all committed to other activities through our schools and the community.
For example, Daniel, our drummer, is an Eagle Scout. Cole, our bass player, is a wrestler and plays trumpet in marching band at his school. JD, our lead guitarist and vocalist, and is in jazz band at school and is a Greek dancer. You can catch him dancing at the big Greek Festival every year.
Nathan, on vocals, rhythm guitar and keyboards, is also in musical theater and jazz band at his school. We have to admit that keeping Maximus to limited engagements really help us bring a crowd, and that seems to keep the venues happy.
RO: Describe your sound in eight words or less.
M: Plain and simple. Kick Ass Classic Rock.
RO: How did you come up with your name?
M: Our first drummer's name was Max, and then there was the rest of us. "Max and Us" sounded close to Maximus if you say it fast enough. The character by the same name in the movie Gladiator was pretty awesome, and that's where most people think we got our name. We don't usually correct their assumption.
RO: Where would you like yourself or your band to be in one year? Ten years? Forty?
M: We are just having fun right now and developing our musical skill and stage presence. In time, we hope to introduce some more original works along with our covers. Since we are all facing college in the next few years, we just hope to play together or individually whenever we can.
RO: What is one thing you'd like to do (as a musician) before you pack it in?
M: Win a Houston Press Music Award, of course!
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Maximus Plays the HPMA showcase 6 p.m. Sunday, August 5 at Pete's Dueling Piano Bar, 1201 Fannin.