10 Quick Ones with MAX PORTNOY of TALLAH – March 2018

According to a recent press release: “Pennsylvania metal band Tallah is comprised of 5 members who share a passion for playing intense, heavy, and intricate music combined with an insane live show, unlike any other! Influenced by bands such as Code Orange, Slipknot, Korn and Deftones, Tallah relies on the spirit of innovative metal realized through panicked guitar screams treated with industrial elements and distortion. Screaming vocals provided by YouTube sensation Justin Bonitz mixed with melodic choruses create a dreamlike vision in which the audience can live. Driving bass fills the room with deep and dirty tones that sync effortlessly with the thunderous bellows of the drums.” We get drummer Max to discuss new music, influences, and more in our 10 Quick Ones…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets the band put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

We have yet to put out our first recording but it will 100% be out this year, most likely sooner than later. This is the first release from the band, and I believe its a great first impression of us. It covers all the ground we want to explore musically as a band and yet leaves us able to expand on those and try new things all within the realm of our sound. Our vocalist, Justin Bonitz, really does so much with his voice on this EP, he covers so much ground which is exactly what I was looking for in a singer, someone whos not afraid to think outside the box. We are currently mixing the EP and it will be out soon, we will be updating our social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube) with the progress.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

I’ve always seen music as what I wanted to do with my life ever since I could remember, but what got me wanting to play really heavy music would have to be Slipknot. My dad introduced me to them when I was as young as like 3 years old and they have been my favorite band ever since. Watching their live performances is what got me into having a lot of energy on stage, and seeing them live in person back in like 2008 sealed the deal.

3. Who would be your main five musical influences?

Slipknot, System Of a Down, Korn, Tool, and Deftones.

4. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be?

There are tons of producers and mixers that we want to work with very badly, like Josh Wilbur, Ross Robinson, Kurt Ballou, and people like that. If were talking about getting other musicians to come and be a part of a track, it would be so cool is we could get Serj Tankian to do some vocals somewhere. Hearing him and Justin do vocals together would be insanely awesome. My other thought would be to get Shawn Crahan to produce a track with us or something because I love his work.

5. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before?

I don’t like putting a genre on something. It makes people think you’re confined to one specific sound, where as I want to be confined to my own sound. I’ve heard people say we have a Nu-Metal sound to us and I agree, but at the same time I’ve heard people say we have our own unique sound to us. I think we have a heavy influence from Nu-Metal, but we add our own unique take on it, and draw influence from other styles like hardcore. The stuff is heavy, weird, and pretty out there, which is what we love. We want to try things out of the box. Whether its the vocals, the arrangements, the different riffs or noise we use, we try to do something in each song that stands out and is very discernible that it is Tallah.

6. What’s the best thing about being a musician?

Playing music, playing shows, recording, the whole deal. I cant pick out the best thing because I don’t think there’s a best part. I love everything, which is why I will stop at nothing to make this my life. If there was an aspect I wasn’t enjoying, I don’t think I could enjoy it as much as I do.

7. When the band are all hanging out together, who cooks; who gets the drinks in; and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

There should pretty much be a video about this up on our YouTube channel in the coming days. But as far as I can say, Derrick is always playing guitar, and ironically enough, the 20 year old in the band drinks the most. America has some funny laws.

8. If you weren’t a musician, what would be your dream job?

Hello, I’m Max Portnoy. I would love to be the writer of my own animated show. If you work for Netflix, Adult Swim, Comedy Central, etc, I am ready to pitch. I’ll even hook you up with a signed MIKE PORTNOY toe nail clipping from the man himself, Mr. Mike Portnoy. So what do you say?

9. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over”?

No do overs. Everything I have done was meant to be, and is what will shape me as a person or a musician. I need to learn from my mistakes instead of taking the easy way out. I’m proud of everything I’ve done and regret nothing, and that is how it will remain the rest of my life.

10. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

Not to suck the imaginary dick of Slipknot anymore than I already have, I’d have to say Iowa. Apparently they were all in a very bad place and from what I hear, they all hated each other at the time, so I’d be very curious to see how they worked in a time like that and how things actually got put together. I’ve heard stories of Corey cutting himself while tracking too, and if that doesn’t sound enticing, I don’t know what does.




10 Quick Ones with MAX PORTNOY of TALLAH - March 2018

Filed Under: Interviews

About the Author: ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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