Maxwell Calls ‘Healthy’ Eight-Year Hiatus a ‘Luxury’
We live in a time where artists are created, rise and often fall right before our eyes, so it’s no wonder why a celebrity would chose to remove themselves from the limelight in an effort to grow personally and artistically. In the music industry we call this [removal from the spotlight] a hiatus and the return is categorized as a comeback. In a recent interview, we chatted with the subject of the most recent comeback, discussed his new album ‘BLACKsummers’night’ and learned the story behind his hiatus, so to speak.
“Being away from this, from the industry and from the music world, has been really good for me because I kind of feel like I’m, for the first [time], a full, hundred percent man,” Maxwell explains. “A man that’s not sort of like surmised by what he does but by who he is in the world, so that was a really great healthy thing for me to go through in the eight years that I’ve been away … away from ears, I guess, but not away really.”
Not only does the singer consider his time away as “healthy,” but Maxwell describes his ability to step away from it all as a luxury. “I know that’s so strange for people to even presume that stepping away from the limelight is a luxury, because most people perceive it as the thing you must always reach for and constantly maintain, your public image and being out there and all that.”
So what brings someone who has no actual desire to be famous back out of seclusion? For Maxwell, it’s quite simple. It’s all about the music for the admittedly shy singer and songwriter, but sometimes fear gets in the way.
“The pressure builds, and your expectations get really high, and that’s probably what the hindrance was for me. Just anticipating the expectations of people and what they would want, and all of this time has passed and music has changed, and how do you stay current and how do you maintain who you are, stay true to what you’ve done, but still look like you’re in 2009 with everybody else?”
After eight years, the singer’s prior concerns are pretty valid, but his comeback album, ‘BLACKsummers’night,’ will definitely satisfy a Maxwell craving. Keeping with the proposed theme of the first album in the ‘BLACKsummers’night’ trilogy, ‘BLACK’ features penetrating love songs with reflective lyrics like the album’s first single ‘Pretty Wings.’ “Time will bring the real end of our trial/ One day there’ll be no remnants/ No trace no residual feelings within ya/ One day u won’t remember me,” Maxwell sings in the song written about his last relationship. Maxwell struggles with “the power of fighting with peace” in the deftly titled ‘Fistful of Tears.’
“It plays into my whole saga with the music industry and how its kind of a war right now to be appreciated creatively,” Maxwell says while explaining the concept behind ‘Fistful of Tears.’ Poor timing and emotional struggles are a running theme on the album, but things are brighter on ‘Love You’ and ‘Phoenix Rise,’ an instrumental that acts as a “Thank You” to the musicians behind ‘BLACKsummers’night.’
Tossed back on the scene with the release of his new album, Maxwell is seemingly still an anti-celebrity. The singer wraps up the interview with the BoomBox with an interesting admission. He will most likely not read any of the interviews or watch his own television performances … at least not until he’s in his “heyday.”
“There’s something about while you’re in the middle of everything and while you’re in the zone that you should be left conscious of yourself, and you should definitely be — as much as you can be — unaware of how people feel and how people perceive you,” he explains. “It makes your actions much more real.”
‘BLACKsummers’night’ is in stores now.