With a resplendent flower as a collar, a chest-baring designer vest, thigh-high stockings and heels so tall that celebrity stylist, Victor Blanco, would blush at putting them on, Max Savage is ready to take the DJ, band and fashion world by storm all at once.
The promotional material for Savage’s show next Wednesday at the Taipei Artist Village (台北國際藝術村) says that his performance is not a DJ or a band show. So the Taipei Times caught up with Savage via e-mail to ask him exactly what would be happening.
“I think a stage performance should capture the audience through different mediums,” Savage said. “Of course it’s primarily a music show but visuals are very important to me. I want to focus on my voice and my stage presence so there are no live instruments. My costumes and dance routines will be there to fill the gaps.”
He continued, “I treat each show as a brand new performance. There are always new songs and new stories to tell. This time around I’m putting the finishing touches on my debut EP so people will get a better idea of what to expect from the record. I want to push it further and go places. I want to be glamorous, weird and funny, but mostly captivating. And as long as I’m pretty, everything is fine.”
Savage has been doing music for more than 15 years. “I had access to tons of instruments and a great recording studio growing up, so I was able to teach myself in many afterschool hours,” he said. “I’d sample instruments or my voice and play with it on (the musical production program) Cubase. That’s why I’m somewhere between a producer and a musician. Making music is more of a necessity to me. It comes to me so I don’t really have a choice. What all musicians say is true that it hits you out of nowhere and you just have to materialize it.”
Describing his sound as “beautifully perfumed auditory electrified glitter bombs,” Savage has been influenced by some modern day musical geniuses. “I admire David Bowie for the theatrics and the personas, Bjork for her voice and her unapologetic, unique world, Freddie Mercury for the stage presence and the moustache, since I can’t grow one, and Rufus Wainwright for the dandiness,” said Savage.
When not creating sounds so smooth they could be used as skin moisturizer, Savage spends a lot of time behind a camera modeling, which is why music and high fashion are so intertwined for him. “I think from the moment you buy a ticket for a live show you’re expecting to see the band as well as hear it,” he said. “I know what looks good and what will entertain people, so why not? The least you can do is dress up and show people you spent a few minutes getting ready. Then, you have the whole night to end up looking a hot mess.”
Heliogram is the name of Savage’s first musical offering, which he will be releasing on Soundcloud for free very soon. “A heliogram is a message transmitted by reflected sunlight,” Savage said. “I’m in a very good place these days and I want my music to reflect that. Taiwan has given me a lot and changed my view of things in general quite a bit, so this is a way of giving back.”
■ Max Savage Ain’t No DJ on Oct. 2 from 9pm till 11pm at Taipei Artist Village (台北國際藝術村), 7 Beiping E Rd, Taipei City (台北市北平東路7號). The event is free.