Interview With Max Frye
(Tony Harnell, Little Ozzy)
Shannon W. - How old were you when you started playing guitar?
Max Frye - “I grew up around music. My dad played a lot of acoustic guitar and some electric too. I always had a guitar but I didn’t really start playing or trying to be a guitar player until I was about 12.”
Shannon - Who are your main guitar heroes?
Max Frye - “I would say a big one for me is Eric Clapton, I love Cream. But I would also say Randy Rhoads is a big influence too. I’ve played in an Ozzy tribute for a long time and learning his songs shaped as a guitar player. I love Mick Mars and Eddie Van Halen and Ritchie Blackmore.”
Shannon - What do you feel makes you different from other musicians your age?
Max Frye - “I have found that we’re all kinda different. Being in Nashville, everyone has their cool thing. But for me, I think it’s the fact that I am okay with being an introvert sometimes. I think that gives me more time to work on my craft. Some people here are just worried about hanging out with friends and partying, but that’s not my scene.”
Shannon - What was it like for you to play onstage with Stryper?
Max Frye - “I had a great time. It’s funny how that happened, I was playing an event called Rare Hare, which is put on by Tyson Leslie who plays keyboard in Vixen, and there I got to play with Dave Ellefson of Megadeth and it just so happened that Michael Sweet was there too. He saw me play and he was like ‘I like your guitar, man!’ So then we started talking and he invited me to play with them. So then I got a call from Tony Harnell of TNT, who was opening for Stryper at that show, and I played a full set with him. The guys in Stryper are the most positive, uplifting people. They were all really nice and friendly to everyone. It was a really good experience.”
Shannon - How did you get the gig playing for Tony Harnell (of TNT)?
Max Frye - “It all came from Rare Hare. Tony was there, Michael Sweet was there, and a lot of other musicians. So he gave me a call and asked me if I wanted to do a show. He’s got a really great band, they’re all really talented.”
Shannon - What do you consider to have been the highlight of your career thus far?
Max Frye - “It’s hard to say, it sometimes runs all together. Playing that show with Stryper is a big one. A lot of the shows I did with the Ozzy tribute. Meeting Richie Faulkner and talking about gear with him was cool. It surprised me he was so down to earth. I did two shows in my hometown, Raleigh, NC, and those were kind of a big deal because all my friends came out and that’s a good feeling. I think moving to Nashville and getting a little bit more recognition from people has also a highlight. But I still have a lot that I want to accomplish.”
Shannon - What are some of your goals for the next 5 years?
Max Frye - “I dream big. Right now, I want to start my own band. I’ve been writing a lot since this whole COVID-19 situation has been going on. I’d love to get picked up by a band. I don’t care who it is, honestly, I love all kinds of music. Someone like Stryper or Whitesnake would be awesome. Playing in Judas Priest would be the ultimate. I would say starting my own band is really what I’m focusing on, but if anything else comes along, I would love to do that as well.”
Shannon - What is one thing you want people to know about you?
Max Frye - “I want people to know that I like to stay humble. Some people like to think I’m caught up in my own head, but I don’t like being that way and I don’t think any musician should be that. Very few people I’ve met are egotistical.”
Shannon - What is coming up for you in the future?
Max Frye - “I had some gigs coming up, I was supposed to play the Orlando House Of Blues with this Van Halen tribute I’m in called ‘84 so I’ve learned tons of Van Halen songs and that’s been fun. The shows we had got postponed so whenever that starts back up, it’ll be fun. I’m going to continue to make videos for everyone and work on my own music.”