Born and raised on the coast of Southern Maine, 25 year-old pop/country phenomenon Max Ater has quickly taken New England by storm with his powerful voice and lyrics. No stranger to the stage, Max spent his teenage years honing his skills at open mics, community theatre, and at fairs and festivals throughout the state. In 2012, he gained state-wide attention for his performance at “Maine’s Got Talent!” scoring first place with an original song. With the support of friends and family, Max took his original music throughout New England and quickly built a loyal fanbase. In 2013, he released a self-produced EP Up ‘Till Now, debuting his talents not only as a songwriter but for production as well. A few years later, Max was grand champion of Maine’s Soundoff 2016 competition.
Initially inspired by artists such as Norah Jones, Jamie Cullum, and John Mayer, Max discovered his love for a unique style of pop and country after writing and releasing his hit single “Easy” in 2016. The powerful anthem was his first to be recorded with producer Karl Anderson at Anchour Studio in Windham, Maine and the beginning of a productive partnership. Last year, Max signed on with Michigan-based label Prudential Records. Since then he’s continued his work with Anderson and on October 12th will be releasing his five-track EP Small Town, featuring the smash hits “Easy” and “Light Up This Town”.
“I’d consider my crowning achievement as a songwriter so far to be my single Easy. I wrote it at a really rough time in my life and it’s a testament to what happens when I let my life flow onto paper which is surprisingly rare to achieve. This tune however, just came to me, and watching Karl Anderson lay a unique musical foundation under the lyrics was the perfect way to wrap it all up. Other tunes we’re much more time-consuming and downright challenging. Light Up This Town started in the studio with just a kick, snare and simple piano line. I knew the tune would be a love song but also an anthem to life in Maine. Finding the story took months. There are some tunes where I have had to look outside my life for inspiration and widen my perspective enough to absorb what I might not know. It takes a surprising amount of brain power to find the perfect lyrics that have the promise of connecting with my fans” says Max.
He adds, “Working with renown studio musicians like drummer Jason Hartless (Ted Nugent, Joe Lynn Turner, Mitch Ryder), bassist Greg Smith (Billy Joel, Ted Nugent, Alice Cooper) and Karl Anderson was a powerful experience. Hartless took our initial ideas for rhythm in these tunes and brought them to a whole new level. He’s an expert on pushing the right kind of energy when the tune needs it and finding the subtle nuances that bring the tracks to life. Working half-way across the nation with a drummer was a first for me. Beyond his talent behind the drums, Jason’s ear for producing is also superb. In addition, it was an honor to have a legend like Greg Smith lay down the bass on these track. Opening up Greg’s files with Karl at the studio, we sat in amazement at how much his choices brought to the songs. I’m so grateful for the collaboration between such powerful minds and it’s a huge reason these tunes have taken the shape they have.“
1. Small Town