Behind the Scenes w/ Max Charnas

Max and I crossed paths when I drove down for This Ain’t Bristol‘s very first event in America. It was a collaboration with Insomniac Events called “One Night In Los Angeles” @ The Union last year and have kept in touch ever since!

We have since met up with one another at Insomniac’s Beyond Wonderland, CRSSD and other countless events. Max is truly the most down to earth easy-going and fun human I have come across haha. He is currently Director of Operations for Space Yacht and was the Former Editor for This Ain’t Bristol 

What exactly does music do for you?

Music enhances every aspect of my life. I would estimate that I spend over 50% of my waking hours listening to some type of music. Whether that be house or techno while I’m working and studying or Led Zeppelin to wake me up in the morning, or Hip Hop while driving, or romantic music while I’m in love or sad music when I’m experiencing heartbreak. It is always with me.

 Where are you from? What were you doing prior to music? 

Cleveland, Ohio originally. I also spent three years in Chicago working in finance before moving to LA to start the American imprint of This Ain’t Bristol with Billy Kenny.

 You went to school in Chicago? What’s your favorite place to eat in Chicago?

Actually went to Ohio State in Columbus, Ohio. Best food there is Tommy’s Pizza. Lived in Chicago for three years after graduating. Favorite place to eat in Chicago was Bavette’s: the parlor room in the basement is one of the best dining atmospheres in the country.

How did you first get involved with This Ain’t Bristol & Billy Kenny?

 It actually started with a Facebook message to Billy inviting him to a Facebook group where we share music. He was all about it, which speaks to what a down to earth dude he is.

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 As editor for This Ain’t Bristol, what exactly did you do? 

Editor for every written word published by the label. For example, I would write track descriptions, blog posts, press releases, etc. I would also help Billy throw events in the US.  

What was it like working (and living) with the man, himself, Billy Kenny?

 Never a dull moment. Billy is an incredible friend and roommate and his brain is always going 100 mph. He would wake me up at 9AM excited about an idea or a track that he was working on and I would need 3 cups of coffee to understand what the fuck he was saying.

 Not only did This Ain’t Bristol bring out the legend Kyle Watson stateside to play his first US festival ever, but also his first club show too! How was it working with him and finally being able to bring him here?

Actually, my first ever project for TAB was interviewing Kyle for his The Cone/Rhinoceros release. We skyped for over an hour even though he had no idea who the hell I was. One of the most humble and intelligent people I’ve had the honor of meeting in the industry.

 The Crssd After Dark: This Ain’t Bristol – One Night In SD had to be one of my favorite shows I have everrr been to. Music Box was PACKED to the brim, how smoothly did that night run for all of you? OrHow did it feel to see so many people lining up for the sold out show?

Hahah, fairly smooth overall. Except for the fact that the company running the event didn’t have any of our guest list so we had to literally escort every artist and all of their guests from the door. However, that was not the venue’s fault and we absolutely love the Music Box.

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 What has been your most memorable experience working with This Ain’t Bristol?

I would have to say our stage at Nocturnal Wonderland. We got an AirbnB Ecodome in the mountains of San Bernardino where 15 of us slept (or didn’t sleep) and became really really close friends. The group chat from that weekend still goes off on a daily basis. Shoutout “LOBT @ Ecodome”

So you’re now that you’ve teamed up with Space Yacht as Head of Operations, walk us through a day in the life of Max Charnas.

Basically, I make sure that everyone we work with is getting paid on time and that the company on track to make money and achieve our goals internally. There is a terrible trend within the music industry of artists and vendors not being paid in a timely fashion and we make sure that everyone that works with Space Yacht comes away feeling like they are family.

 How did you meet Henry anyway?

 I met Henry and Rami my first week living in LA when Billy suggested that we go this thing called Space Yacht.

What sort of plans do you have in store for Space Yacht that you can share with us?

Expansion! Both domestic and internationally. That’s about all I can say for now.  

One of the most difficult aspects about being in this scene? (What’s the thing you dislike or what’s the most frustrating thing?)

Hangovers.

 Do you feel like nowadays you can’t experience the music the same as you did when you were just a listener? (The purpose of this question is so the audience has a sense of what it’s like to be behind the scenes?)

 Actually, since I’ve started learning to DJ, I’ve gained an even greater respect for artists that are able to mix well.

 You started mixing too! So who was your sensei, Billy or Bones? (I’m not actually sure when you first started to DJ lmao)

Billy was my first sensei. I remember when he got his CDJs, we didn’t sleep at all that week. Just like two kids on Christmas. Trevor is also an amazing DJ and has taught he some really important tricks of the trade.

What’s your DJ name?

Dude! I got nothing good right now. I would love some input from you and the readers to help me come up with something catchy. 

Shoot Max a tweet and give him an idea for a DJ name!

 Favorite Artist or Favorite Track right now? (Or one of your favorite artists? Serves as a way to connect the artist w/audience by showing what they are into)

That’s a hard fuckin question man. I would say that my favorite artist that I’ve recently been introduced to is Polo & Pan, an awesome French duo.

My favorite weapon of track has got to be Dreamcatcher – Dario D’Attis. I’m a huge fan of Defected and almost everything they do..

 

Any other upcoming Artists and/or new Tracks we should know? (This question is a way to plug in your own musical connects or artists you feel should also get exposure)

If you haven’t heard of Schade yet, he’s the next big thing. He played on our boat party and absolutely blew me away.

Any mixes/tracks of your we should check out? (Showcase artists’ discography – could also put this mix or track at the very beginning of the Q&A or somehow incorporate this question better so featured artists gets more web traffic for their SC, Spotify, Page, etc.,)

Yes! One of my favorite mix series is by this dude from Buenos Aires named Pabels. I play each of his mixes a minimum of 10 times after they come out. Check him out.

One last thing, I’m sure you travel a lot doing what you do. What’s your favorite place you’ve been to so far?

 My two favorite countries that I’ve ever visited are Germany and Israel. Great music scenes and great people.

 Anything more to add? 

Loved this interview dude!

Follow Max on Instagram to see what direction he takes Space Yacht in!

Be sure to follow Space Yacht and stay up to date with their events!

They will be having a Day Club party @ the Academy in Orange County with an ever so exclusive lineup

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Grab your tickets here!

I would like to take a moment to thank Max for giving me his time and allowing me to do this piece on him. Thanks Max!! ❤

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Featured Artist: Chef Boyarbeatz 

Today on Featured Artists with Christian ReciKnows we have artist “Chef Boyarbeatz” doing an AMA.

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Joey Koppenheffer aka “Chef Boyarbeatz” and I met at I believe the very first Wobbeland in 2016. Hucci, Nghtmre, Ghastly, Dr. Fresch were amongst the top headliners that weekend. We were both a part of this online Facebook group called “OWSLA IV” that was created as a sort of community for people that had been subscribing to OWSLA via the Drip system that allowed you to get their newest music.

He came with some of his homies John and Matt all the way down from LA to San Jose just for this event. I forget which exact set we met up for, but I remember we hit it off almost immediately. We all just geeked out on music and the rest is history.

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There was a point where I was traveling down to LA nearly every month to visit him and go see some dope shows. I’m super glad I was able to meet him because it’s crazy watching him going from just this random guy I met at an event to seeing him pursuing music and playing all these shows.3

In general, what does music do for you?

Music does a lot of things for me…before I started producing I felt like I was constantly searching for something that really gave my life a focus/purpose. Music gives me hope, inspiration, happiness. It makes me sad and melancholic at times. It brings about all the emotions that really help me feel totally human. I’ve tried my hand at many things throughout my life and music feels like the only thing that truly made me happy.

Where are you from? What do you do?

I’m from Anaheim, CA literally right next to Disneyland!!  I attended Cal State Fullerton and graduated with a History Major while taking music classes. I am currently attending Icon Collective in Burbank, CA. I have dabbled in a lot of different genres since I started. I originally was making a lot of progressive house/trance for the first year or two. From there I started to get more into bass music and beats in general. My main style right now though can really only be described as experimental bass music, but I try to incorporate various styles of dubstep, drum and bass, classic hip hop and more.

What’s it like being at Icon Collective? What’s the homework like?

Icon is really incredible. I feel like it gets a bad rap from people who don’t attend or have this negative idea of “art school” being all formulaic and stuff. The teachers there are honestly super invested in you, and let you do your thing. You just got to soak up as much information and opinion and make do with that, all while still following your gut intuition. Another thing about Icon is its really all about how much work you put in. You get out of it what you put in essentially. They have office hours everyday with all the instructors where you can ask any questions, get feedback, go through their project files, etc. One of my favorite office hours was Petey Clicks on Night Bass. Dude just has a very unique way of approaching music production where he’s just like, let’s just fuck around and have fun turning knobs to the highest degree and generally doing stuff that should necessarily be “wrong”

The homework varies for all the classes. One of the more challenging/rewarding homework’s that I’ve done have been in songwriting. We had multiple weeks where we had to write a song with just piano, and only have a chord progression and a melody. Then, we had to sing our melody topline over it. Most of the guys in our class are guys so…listening to dry vocals sung by a bunch of dudes straining to hit notes was pretty hilarious hahahaha. Some other examples of homework would be from my music business class. Last quarter we had to search out events/promoters we wanted to play at and collect contact info in a big list. We had to find labels we would like to release on and collect promo emails and such. Currently I’m working on looking at one music and non-music social media campaign. We have to look at the social media tools they used, themes, when it started and ended, audience reaction etc. A lot of the homework we do has a lot of applicability we can relate to the real world and our own productions.

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How’d you decide on DJ and/or Producing? Why?

I had always dreamt of playing in a band growing up, so once I started DJ’ing and producing it felt like a one man band sort of. The moment where it really hit me though was attending Nocturnal Wonderland in 2012. Above & Beyond hosted a stage the entire day with people such as Mat Zo, Super8 & Tab and more, and back then Anjunabeats was my shittttt. That Above & Beyond set though was and still is one of the best sets I’ve seen to date. The crowd and vibe was just too perfect. I have ventured away from that style of trance but I still respect A&B for everything they’ve done. I picked up virtual DJ to start around 2013, and shortly after torrented FL studio and began making mashups to figure out the program.

How’d you come up with your DJ name?

Honestly I don’t remember the EXACT moment I chose the name, I just remember cooking every morning and just thinking about random shit, and I think I saw the Chef Boyardee logo or something and thought the name Chef Boyarbeatz was a funny/catchy name that had a lot of branding potential. 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the most difficult aspects about doing this scene? 

Hahaha.. there’s honestly a lot of things I dislike…I hate promoting on social media. It makes me feel weird to be completely honest, like “hey, here’s my content. let me shove it in your face until you are a fan.” Another thing I dislike heavily is the pay to play a lot of promoters push. When I first started DJ’ing at clubs, they would push soooo hard and get soooo mad when you didn’t bring 15-20+ people for a 9PM slot. Like dude, first of all no one wants to come THAT early. Then they would get mad when my friends would dip after my set…like maybe thats a testament to your artist bookings my guy. There’s a bunch of other things but I don’t want to be that guy that complains about minimal things lol

Do you feel like nowadays you can’t experience the music the same as you did when you were just a listener?

Oh definitely. Listening as a producer is a completely different game than the average listener. I feel like it has definitely made me more jaded too, like big room house is the most generic thing to me, but people fuck with it so who am I to say what they listen to is bad? But yeah, whenever I’m listening to things I’m always imagining how they made certain sounds or drum grooves. Especially since I’m pretty deep into production now and my sound design chops are pretty decent, I’ve gotten pretty good at recreating those sounds.

 It must be so surreal playing shows and getting booked everywhere. Any clubs or venues you have played so far that really stuck out to you? 

I mean… I’m not getting booked everywhere!! I haven’t really tried pushing for tons of gigs currently just because I’m focusing more on school, at the moment. Honestly one of my favorite sets that stood out to me was at La Cave opening as direct support for Lo’99. I actually got a booking for another show with White Rabbit opening direct support at Envy Lounge in Newport Beach because the promoter loved my set. Speaking of that Envy Lounge set, that was definitely the biggest crowd I’ve played for…I remember looking up after being lost in the music for the first 15 mins or so and was like “holy shit there’s a lot of people here!!” Like I said, I haven’t played too many places, mostly stuff in Orange County.

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How do you know Bryan Orozco? And how did you first get connected with La Cave?

Bryan Orozco (Rozco) and I go wayyyyyy back. We actually met in high school around 7-8 years ago playing World of Warcraft hahahahahaha. One of my homies I was doing PvP and raids with at my high school knew Bryan from his hometown in Irvine, and we just connected from there. Fast forward to college, I had to just gotten into DJ’ing around my sophomore/junior year and saw Bryan post an Instagram photo of him DJ’ing as well. We reconnected from there. He started getting gigs at a club in Newport called Sutra, that’s no longer around (they moved into what is now Time Nightclub). We played a bunch of gigs there from time to time. Once Sutra closed and Time opened up, Bryan transitioned there to MDA which runs a house weekly on Wednesday nights at La Cave. He hooked me up with them and I opened the first slot for Stranger one night, they loved my set and eventually got booked for direct support for Lo’99 and Maximono! We also started a Bass show on Thursdays called Bass Cave at La Cave that we’re transitioning into a monthly! We have our first grand reopening of that on August 4th with the Big Booty Bass crew from LA!!

You and Joe ( J Woogie ) went to high school together too, right?

Yeah I forget exactly when we met, but it was sometime sophomore year in high school. We played a bunch of Call of Duty together super late into the night, good times!

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Favorite Artist or Favorite Track right now? (Or one of your favorite artists? Serves as a way to connect the artist w/audience by showing what they are into)

Tbh, I’m always listening to a bunch of people, my favorite track right now though would be this indie record called “She Can’t Leave Me Here Alone Tonight” by HOMESHAKE. Notable artists I’m really fuckin’ with right now though would be Shades (Eprom x Alix Perez), G Jones, Chee, Joker, Toro Y Moi, Badbadnotgood, Thundercat, Jack Garrett, The Internet, Kursa, Anti_Negative, and Abelation.

Any other upcoming Artists and/or new Tracks we should know of?

Yeah man, Abelation and Anti_Negative are two really fuckin’ sick up and comers. Both are putting out some really dope, next level shit that’s completely their own style. I know Abelation’s got an album on the way and Anti_Negative just released an EP so check those out if you like weird, experimental bass.

Any mixes/tracks of your we should check out? (Showcase artists’ discography – could also put this mix or track at the very beginning of the Q&A or somehow incorporate this question better so featured artists gets more web traffic for their SC, Spotify, Page, etc.,)

My recent bass set I played at Bass Cave was probably one of my favorite sets to date honestly. There’s two unreleased tunes in there from me as well. As far as tracks, I’m in the process of going through about 20+ demos and cleaning them all up to release sometime throughout next year once I relaunch my brand.

What exactly is the Vibe Tribe and how did it come together?

At its core, Vibe Tribe is just a group of friends sharing similar interests, mainly electronic music though but yeah! It started in college, the story is kinda funny hahaha. I was at a LED events show in San Diego on acid watching Milo & Otis, just thinking thoughts and the general future/vision of where I wanted to take my music and stuff. Around this time I was super in Selection and other music collectives, so the word Vibe Tribe just came into my head and it really stuck. The whole vision kinda came into my head too. I threw a few events here and there, but felt like I wasn’t really getting a ton of support and it was hard trying to do it all on my own, so I put it on the back burner for a bit and just made a Facebook group where we could share music, shows etc etc. From there it kinda grew more organically and now we have like a solid group of 60+ people we all fuck with. This past Lightning in a Bottle we had a huge camp site with like 40 people strong. It was super sick. I definitely want to pursue the collective more but want to approach it with a more refined vision/plan to push events and the general vibe (pun intended lol).

When you and I as well the rest of the Vibe Tribe camped last year at Dirtybird West Coast Campout, the ____ took a video of us. What was it like watching yourself be shown on such a huge Instagram follower? 

It was honestly super surprising hahahaha I don’t remember him coming up to our campsite, I guess I was just too into the music!! It was pretty sick though, I think one of our guys tried sending him a video of us from Lightning in a Bottle but he never responded.

So, are we doing it bigger & better this coming year for the 2018 West Coast Campout?

Hell yeah bro! In all seriousness though, definitely trying to organize our renegade more in depth and bring in some outside artists, make set times and what not. We have a really dope light setup, speakers, and CDJ’s we can borrow so we just need to organize and spread the word this year.

(Well there you go folks, you heard it here first! Come find us at West Coast campout!!)

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What’s your favorite tv show?

It’s for sure a tie between Arrested Development and Always Sunny in Philadelphia. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve binged those shows hahahahaha.

Anything else you’d like to say?

Hit me up on my twitter! Always down to connect with like minded peeps 🙂

Check out Chef Boyarbeatz’s SoundCloud 

Follow Chef Boyarbeatz’s Instagram to see what he’s up to!

Thanks for reading everyone! Cheers, I appreciate all the feedback I’ve been getting lately.

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