Max Tannone Interview


In what I hope to be the first of many interviews with artists and influential sorts outside of our own IA stable we have a Q&A session with Max Tannone (formerly known as  Minty Fresh Beats) the man behind the Jaydiohead project.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Well, my name is Max Tannone, and I’ve been making music for sometime now. I started off with making beats, then got into doing remixes, “mash-ups”, and sound editing. I’m interested in sound, sound effects, that sort of thing. I’m 23 years old, and I live in New York City. I used to DJ, but lately I’ve been more interested in the production/in-studio aspect of things more so than the playing/performance side. I also enjoy long walks on the Bowery. As a side note, I just copied this description from my eHarmony profile which has been getting a lot of hits lately.

How sick are you of the word mashup?

I’m not a huge fan of the term, mostly because it has this negative connotation attached to it. I’ve heard a lot of bad mash-ups, and few great ones…”mash-up” sounds so lazy and uninspired. On the other hand, people need to categorize and label things – so I can understand it. It’s all love.

What are your favourite untouched Jay Z and Radiohead Tunes?

If you mean untouched as in, songs of theirs that I didn’t use for Jaydiohead releases, then I’d say “Nigga What, Nigga Who” and “Dead Presidents” for Jay-Z and “Climbing Up The Walls” and “Idioteque” by Radiohead.

Any contact from Thom or Jay?

No contact at all from Radiohead, and no direct contact from Jay-Z. As geeky as it sounds though, Jay-Z twittered about Jaydiohead ( , which was really cool…the fact that he basically cosigned the project.

Personally I prefer Jaydiohead to the Grey Album, I find it more listenable. While you were working on Jaydiohead were you wary of all the inevitable comparisons with DM’s project and the problems it caused him?

Thanks for the compliment. Any mash-up album is kind of automatically compared to the Grey Album, since it was so huge and set a lot of precedents, both musically and lyrically, so I figured there would be some comparisons. That being said, I take it as a compliment because the Grey Album is great, and has stood the test of time. As far as legal issues go, I wasn’t concerned. 2004 (when the Grey Album came out) was a different world than 2009. There are so many more unauthorized remixes, mash-ups, etc., that I thought I would be fine, and I was. Furthermore, this project is only helping Jay-Z and Radiohead, and the associated labels that have rights to various parts of their catologs. I’ve received a lot of messages from people telling me how Jaydiohead is exposing them to Jay-Z or Radiohead for the first time.

You are incredibly proactive when it comes to responding to all messageboard posts and facebook messages. Where do you find the time?!? You must have to google yourself religiously right?

I think its important to interact and have an open dialog with the people that are listening to Jaydiohead. I value their opinion and insight, plus its fun. It doesn’t take that much time…I have a few Google Alerts set, and other tools like Twitter make it convenient to stay in touch. I’m also encouraging people to use Jaydiohead in their own videos, so I can post them on the site. For example, someone named Thomas Dube made an awesome skiing video with the Jaydiohead track “Fall In Step” as the soundtrack. That got posted up right away. I would love for someone to add instruments to the tracks, or just mess with them, do whatever. That’s also why I released instrumental versions of both the original Jaydiohead and The Encore…if any MC’s want to rap on them, they are their for the taking. Its a collaborative thing.

Looking at those messageboard comments it seems that you have introduced a helluva lot of people to Jay Z beyond Hard Knock Life and Big Pimpin’. That must feel good. What with Jaydiohead and Glastonbury his new album is going to be under a lot of scrutiny. Will he deliver?

Its cool. Jay-Z is a great storyteller, and thats what I wanted to bring out with the song selection and sound design. I can’t wait for his new album. I thought Death of Autotune was great, and I think its bad-ass how he released that as the first single…and then went mainstream with the second single (Run This Town.) But anyway, I have high hopes for Blueprint 3. Can’t wait. Who knows, maybe we’ll hear some Jaydiohead influence on the record…!

Do you follow much of what is happening in the UK scene at the minute? Guys like Hudson Mohawke, Bullion and Inaudible Answers very own Huess would probably be right up your street.

I love Burial, dope producer. He is one of my favorite UK musicians.

Haven’t checked Bullion or Hudson Mohawke (yet), but I checked out the Huess song “Id Rather Be The Hunter” Its really dope. His drums are sick, I’m digging it. The sampling real ‘Donuts’ era Dilla-esque…nice..! Definitely something I’d listen to.

Whats next in the pipeline?

Soon (middle-late August 2009) I’m going to release a series of remixes I did for the Beastie Boys! It’s called “Doublecheck Your Head.” I made it in support of the Beastie’s recent reissue of their album “Check Your Head.” On that record the Beasties have rap songs and they also have instrumentals, so I mixed their rap vocals over their own instrumentals. Some of the tracks are more straight-forward, while others are really cut-up and re-arranged. 4 of the 6 tracks are available for streaming in the News section of I’m anxious to release all 6 as the album, which I did some dope cover art too!

Any parting words?

Thanks to Athar for having me, I appreciate the interview. To anyone interested, please follow me on twitter at: so you know when I put out the next project!

/**interview ends**/

So there you have it. Download the Jaydiohead album for free here

Posted in Interviews, News

4 Responses to “Max Tannone Interview”

  1. cool interview, max seems like a nice guy

    Comment by funky_lagos on August 1, 2009 at 4:17 am

  2. Love Jaydiohead. listen to it a lot and not tired of it, the Encore is exciting … I play track 3 over and over.. Jay Z comes out with all Max Tannone’s mixes. Love this producer’s work. Keep it coming Max.

    Comment by jillata on August 1, 2009 at 7:42 am

  3. [...] Boys’ Check Your Head album – Doublecheck Your Head, all courtesy of remix master, Max Tannone. I know, awesome, right? He’s also created two Jay-Z/Radiohead mash-up albums that he’s [...]

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This entry was posted on Friday, July 31st, 2009 at 3:56 pm and is filed under Interviews, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.





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