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Name: Marty Petza
Born: Baltimore, MD 1978
Years spinning: 6
Music genres: Tech-house, techno, tech-trance.
Influences: Jeff Mills, Dj Hell, Frankie Bones, Dave Clarke, Hardfloor, Thomas Schumacher, Commander Tom, Circuit Breaker and so many more.

Some DJs are always on the lookout for the next big thing, but some know that banging it hard with a raw underground energy will keep the dance floor moving and the remixes rolling in. Meet Maximus, East Coast DJ turned all-American rising techno star and one to watch! His clean cut image hides a dirty talent for mixing up classic, unforgettable sets, remixes and original productions . We got a pile of his promo mix CDs, his upcoming original "20 White Doves" and had to know more. Here's what we found out for our Raves.com interview!

Raves.com: How did you get started DJing?

Maximus: Unlike many kids today who go to one party and decide that they are going to be the next big thing, I went to parties because I loved the music and the dark and moody vibe. I started going to the early warehouse parties in Baltimore and Washington D.C. which were held by now legendary promoters such as Lonnie Fisher (Ultraworld), Scott Henry and Charles Feelgood, the two founders of Buzz and Fever. Ultraworld, Buzz and Fever were events that drew large crowds of people and I had the opportunity to see and hear some of the world's greatest djs and live acts. In the early to mid-nineties, Baltimore and Washington D.C. were teeming with both underground and legitimate events and parties and every weekend the two cities would have international talent gracing the stages. The "new" music was exactly what I was looking for. At first I had no intentions of becoming a dj. The music was great and the vibe was strong but things began to change. Melody took over the grittiness and trance was just starting to get its name. The pounding acid techno that fueled my weekends was slowly giving way to a more uplifting sound and so I took the do-it-yourself avenue. In 1997 I bought my first set of decks and went on a mission to find many of the records that I had heard at the early raves, which brought me into the underworld in the first place. I have found many of those special records and I still include one or two in every set that I play. It's all about evolution, not revolution and I'll never forget one day of the past.

What was the 1st record you ever bought?
The first record was My Definition of House by Dj Hell. To this day I have never heard a record sound anything like it. I always wonder what he was thinking when he made it and where he was mentally - absolutely a timeless piece of music.

Where was your 1st gig?
My first time playing out was in a basement of a row home in East Baltimore. It was an underground party, of course! It was dirty, smelled like mold and we had one little strobe light but everyone danced like it was their last night on Earth. I often wish I could go back and relive that night just once.

How did you end up in Nashville?
This was a spur of the moment move for me. I needed a change and I wanted to see other places and meet new people. Baltimore's scene was nearly dead and most of my friends had moved away, so one day I packed up the car and drove to my aunt's home in Nashville. I had two turntables, a mixer and about 750 records packed to the ceiling of my car with a couple of bags of clothes. My parents had planned to move back to my mom's hometown of Nashville and they did so about a year ago. While there is not a very strong scene here in Nashville, I'm close to my family and right now, that's the most important thing to me.

Do you currently have any residencies?
Yes, I hold the longest and most consistent residency in Nashville at Club eXceSs / Orbit where I have played every Saturday night for almost two years.

Do you currently have any albums out?
No but I have a ton of unreleased tracks and mixes just waiting for licensing!

Are you in the studio now, do we have anything to look forward to in the near future?
Yes, I live in my home studio. It's quite scary actually. Some weekends I don't even see the light of day! I'm working on my first artist album and I have no idea when it will be finished. I'm a perfectionist and I sometimes work on a track for weeks only to scrap it and start all over. Expect something totally different from anything you've ever heard though. I'm working with some classical strings and woodwind sounds combined with heavy lead lines to give the tracks a dark orchestral sound.

What do you think about all this mainstream techno on the radio these days? Do you think it is good for the scene or are you 100% against selling out?
First of all, I don't know if I have heard mainstream techno. I've hard a ton of mainstream house and trance but when you get into the true techno genre, I don't see anything mainstream about it. Techno will probably never get to be mainstream just because most people think it's boring or repetitive. Commercialization is a factor that we will always deal with especially in the music and entertainment business. The only way to combat it is to keep pushing the boundaries of the music and then you will never have to worry about it. I don't follow dance charts so I really don't know most of the big commercial tracks and what they sound like. Commercialization does not exist in my world, nor will it ever. I will always try to find the more underground sounds.

What are your thoughts on the scene right now locally?
The scene across the US is in a rebuilding phase right now. I think great things are to happen but a relationship must be built with the local and federal governments. The Rave Act, if passed will destroy the US scene and people need to realize that once it becomes law, that's it. Amendments are a rarity and if you want to keep going to events you have to do something NOW.

What type of music do you listen to when you are not spinning?
I rarely have the time to listen to anything but techno. I'm always listening to my mixes and tracks and thinking of ways to improve them. If I'm not "proofreading" my own stuff, I'm listening to mixes from my idols as they provide me with great inspiration. Every now and then I'll pop in something from the eighties that will bring me back to my childhood for a moment.

Have you ever worked on a Movie Soundtrack?
No and I don't know if I would really be interested unless the movie was about people dancing all night to techno. If that's the case then I'm totally in!

In the many places that you have played, which one is your favorite.

I would have to say my current residency at club excess / Orbit. The venue holds only about 400 people but those who attend are great. They dance all night and they love new sounds, which makes it so much fun when I play more cutting edge tracks. They have a great time and I vibe off of that tremendously.

Do you have any favorite early club/rave/party memories?
I have so many favorite moments, I can't pick just one. I saw Dave Clarke in a totally illegal venue when I was about 16. The floor was dirt and half the roof in the warehouse was missing! It was amazing, you could see the moon through the missing part of the roof and Dave played a very euphoric tech-trance set. This could never happen in today's scene unless the police didn't know about it. The spontaneity is what made the early parties so memorable.

How has your creativity changed over the last 6 years? Do you tend to stay with your own styles/ideas or do you allow the mainstream to influence you and your work?
I play what I like and I always have. That's why I became a dj, so I could play what I like and give people an alternative to the mainstream. I have always played the techno genre but I have gotten more creative and my days of pounding hardcore stuff have given way to the more intricate sounds. That's not to say that I don't break out and old stomper every now and then. I just try to play what I'm feeling at the time and hopefully the crowd will like it.

What is your current goal as a DJ?
I'm focusing more and more on production now more than ever but my first love is playing for people. I want to play as much as possible and I hope that I will be able to do this for a very long time.

Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years?
I hope to be doing what I'm doing now and having fun. One day at a time though.






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