The Belgian band Oscar and the Wolf conquered our hearts with their tunes like “Joaquim” and “Strange Entity“. Lead singer Max Colombie was our guest today. We had a chat with him before the Istanbul gigs.
First of all thank you very much for talking with us, we really appreciate it.
You’re more than welcome.
Which Max is the real life Max. The one who’s dancing in a trance way on stage, or the one talking with us?
The one that you’re talking to now.
Do you think music is a journey or a destination?
I think music is a journey.
What kind of aura do you need to produce music?
I think I definitely need to look for a dark place inside myself. On the other hand it always changes, I always build a 60’s character inside myself and start producing.
Your lyrics are a blend of poetry and philosophy. Were they written for a lover or was it pure lyrics?
My lyrics were written for a lover.
On stage, you always seem to look at someone and smile at them, Is this true? If it is, how do you choose the person to look at?
Yes, the thing is that people make me smile as they’re enjoying themselves. Sometimes this enjoy is very funny. I look into their eyes and smile at them because I appreciate that they’re loving my music.
What kind of experiences influence your musical creation?
I can describe my influential world as a very sunny southern country, but in a black and white photo.
What are your expectations from your Turkish fans?
I don’t expect anything from them. I try to live my life without expectations, it’s more fulfilling this way.
If you could produce a soundtrack for a specific director or film who or what film would you write it for?
There are many directors and films that I would love to make a soundtrack. I really wanted to write for The Hunger Games, Twilight. I would love to make a post soundtrack.
Istanbul – Live today and live it hard.
Love – Desire. Lust. Instincts.
Passion – I’m a passionate person, and my passion is to figure out what eternity means. Or what it doesn’t mean.
Wolf – Fearless. Sad.
Balance – Balance is actually the same as chaos.
Bridget Jones – Real. She’s one of the most realistic characters in film history. Very recognisable.
Thank you very much for the interview. We really look forward to seeing you in Istanbul.
You’re more than welcome guys. See you there!
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Interviewer: Efe Gülay
Travelling from country to country must be one the greatest things on earth. But have you ever thought of continuing your career in Turkey?
Before I decide to go back to Turkey, I want to continue what I have created in Europe. My career is not only directed to the Turks in Europe. I learn new things every day in this career and they will be for my use when I come back to Turkey.
The song Joaquim contains arabesque vibes. Many people believe you were the creator of this concept, is it true?
The arabesque vibes in Joaquim were completely Max’ idea. I just sorted the sound and the timing of it, and I have to say that until 5 years ago I couldn’t stand listening to arabesque. So it would be nearly impossible for me to influence arabesque to the band.
Did the success in Turkey surprise you? You will be on stage two nights in a row and the tickets were sold out very quickly. Were you expecting this demand?
To be honest we weren’t expecting this. If you ask me, being in the right place and time created a domino affect on our fans. I can remember only two years ago I would talk to myself saying “Please bring us to Turkey” and now we are able to play two nights in a row. This is a brilliant situation for me as I love being in Turkey.
You have a career as a musician. If you had never left Turkey would you have become a musician? Could you explain to us how moving to Belgium affected your career.
I owe my career to my mother choices. She used to be a teacher in Bingöl, then we move to İzmir but she starts to miss the adventures in her life. So she applies to an exam without informing my father. She passes the exam and gets appointed to Belgium. If my mother didn’t have an adventurous soul I wouldn’t have found myself in Belgium. If I stayed in Turkey I would have probably gone to university, if I couldn’t have gone I would be processing chestnuts on my grandfathers farm.
My Oscar and the Wolf story starts when I was studying music. I had met our drummer Claudio at the time. Oscar’s old bass player was sick so they asked me to join because I knew how to play double bass. I was in the right place at the right time.
A lot of young people dream of becoming a musician but are put off by their families in our country. What would you like to say to these young musicians?
It’s difficult to answer this question in my position. Being I Belgium made it easier for me to become a musician, but this doesn’t mean you can’t become a musician in Turkey. I don’t want to tell people to move to Europe but if they have the chance they should.
What is “stillmiami”?
“stillmiami” was a joke that I started on social media. Even though I haven’t been to Miami, I love it from the movies. I use this hashtag because our concerts create a warm feeling just like Miami. I’m going to use this hashtag in different and bigger ways in the future.
Who do you listen from the Turkish Music Scene?
Mabel Matiz, Grup 84, Mor ve Ötesi, Hayko Cepkin, Athena, Haluk Levent, Teoman, Yalın, Sezen Aksu. These are the names that I thought of first. There are so many more but I struggle to listen to both world and Turkish music.
We know you have a sister. Are there any other musicians in the family?
My sisters studies interior architecture. There are no other musicians in the family.
İzmir – Life.
Karşıyaka – I’m a Göztepe fan!
Arabesque – Müslüm Gürses
Childhood – Running away from home with my bicycle.