LLTM: How was the band “Tallah” and the name created?
Max: I had been with “Next To Nothing”* for a while, but I just decided I wanted to do something new. I was filling in drums for the band “Dollskin”*, and after one of the shows, I had set up a booth that said “Help me name my new band!” I got like four pages of names, and then this little girl just came up to the booth and wrote her name on this sheet. “Tallah” I just really liked it. Our name-logo is actually in her handwriting, but the spacing has been slightly modified.
As for the band itself, my guitarist, Derrick, said he was down for something new. I had seen our bassist, Cooper, play with one of his other bands before, and I remember I couldn’t take my eyes off of him, so I was like, “Someday I’m gonna ask you to be in my band.” Well, That day came, and he said he was absolutely interested. We got another guitarist who has since quit, but through him we found AJ, our current rhythm guitarist. Justin, our vocalist I found online. He has two YouTube channels and I had known about and liked his style for a while, so my dad and I reached out to him. Justin listened to a rough mix of our instrumentals, said he was down, wrote lyrics for them, and then like a week later we played our first show! The rest is history.
LLTM: Which Artist have you been compared to and do you agree?
Max: So far, we have been compared to Slipknot *, Korn*, Code Orange *, Linkin Park*, Suicide Silences*, System Of A Down*, and Toby Keith*. I would honestly have to agree with all of that because I can hear a little bit of all of them in uS. The influence is definitely there, but I feel like we have our own sound/style going on too.
LLTM: If there were a book written about your music career so far, what would be an appropriate title and why?
Max: Hmm… If there was to be a book written about me and my music career so far, I would probably title it, “Peach Fuzz”. I’m a young musician. I started young, I have big aspirations, and I’m just looking to have fun right now. There’s plenty of time for my music career to take off and grow, but so far… I think I’ve only scratched the surface of what the music industry has to offer for me.
LLTM: Who has been some of your biggest musical inspiration?
Max: The obvious bands like Slipknot *, Korn*, Linkin Park*, And System Of A Down* have been massive influences on me in my writing, but the number one inspiration on my list will probably surprise you. Drake Bell* is a vocal God, lyrical genius, and outstanding performer/actor. As “Tallah”, We make a completely different sound than him, but I think if Drake had a chance to really hear us and see us perform, he would become a fan for life. He is just an incredible artist. He released a song last February called “Rewind,” and it totally got me thinking about my path as a musician and a person in general. Drake raised the bar, and I want to show him that “Tallah” can reach it. I don’t want him to lose faith in my generation.
LLTM: Did your father “Mike Portnoy” have any influence on you wanting to play the drums?
Max: He obviously had some influence because he’s my dad, but he never really pushed it on me. When I was a kid, we had a drum kit, but he never made me play or anything. I picked it up on my own. I wanted to take lessons, and he wanted other teachers to teach me. Drumming just came kinda natural to me, and he encouraged me to keep going.
LLTM: If you had a one person audience, who would you like to see and why?
Max: As I said earlier Drake Bell* is my hero. If I can only have one person in my audience, it would be him. He’s just such an awesome guy and musician. I want to show him what I’m made of.
I don’t know, I just want to shake his hand, maybe buy him one of those birthday cards that sings when you open it up, but get it custom-made to play his song “I Found A Way,” and personally put it in his pocket. And then when he opens it, it will play the song, and a couple $2 bills will fall out onto the floor of the venue. Wink at him, go to my drums, and then we’ll start our set. We’ll make sure the doors are locked too so that he can’t leave until it’s over.
LLTM: Where do you hope to see “Tallah” in the next five years, and what will it take to get there?
Max: In the next five years, I would like to see us on some big tours, on a good label, maybe here at least one song on the radio, see our music videos get some massive views, and overall just take off. I think what we’re doing right now is what it’s going to take to get there, but we need to push even harder. We have our own sound/image, and every member of the band gives 110% when we play a show. A lot of today’s bands do not “Go There.” We do. It’s only a matter time until the right person notices. It’s simple metaphysics.
LLTM: If you could pick any venue to play show, where would it be and who would you like to open for you?
Max: I don’t really care where the venue would be. At this point, we’d love to open for Slipknot*, Korn*, Code Orange*, etc. We just want to play for people. We put out tons of energy, play a good show, and we just want the right crowd. It’s simple metaphysics.
LLTM: When can we expect a new EP or Album release?
Max: I don’t want to get anybody’s hopes up, but the fans can expect an EP release pretty soon! We’re just waiting for the right time, and we’re working on some killer, new stuff on the sidelines while we wait. It’s just simple metaphysics.
LLTM: What does the touring schedule look like for the remainder of 2018?
Max: Because of metaphysics, there is a lot of factors and outcomes yet to be determined, but we’d ideally like to get on as many tours as possible. All of us are really excited and ready for some possible small, spring/summer tours, but we have not caught up to that moment quite yet.
For more info on “Tallah” from social media accounts, tour dates, music and more go to http://www.facebook.com/tallahpa
PEACE, LOVE AND MUSIC