For over thirty years Max Ward has been a central figure in the ever-evolving world of DIY hardcore, grindcore, powerviolence, and everything in between. Max’s involvement in the Bay Area scene during the ‘90s and impressive pedigree of former bands (Plutocracy, Spazz, What Happens Next?, Scholastic Deth) has made his name synonymous with one word: thrash! After all, he did start a label called 625 Thrashcore to honor and uphold the spirit of his earliest influences such as Heresy and Lärm by releasing records from bands that share the passion for all things fast! Initially releasing records from his beloved Bay Area scene, Max quickly found himself receiving demo tapes and letters from bands from all corners of the world—and in some cases working with those bands to get proper releases out and serve them the justice he felt they deserved, thus solidifying his status as a global thrashcore kingpin.
Things slowed down a bit for the label while Max pursued a career in academia. He is currently a professor teaching Japanese and East Asian history with an emphasis on social theory, ideology, and political thought. Move the fuck over Milo and Graffin! Max was kind enough to set aside some time for me for a Zoom interview where we discussed his humble beginnings, how he’s managed to keep his passion for the thrash, and which bands you should watch out for in the near future!
Interview and intro by Juan Espinosa
Video edited by Nick Riggs
A CA20 Installment
A Collection of California Artists’ Voices in the New Decade
Funded by the California Arts Council
This interview ran in Razorcake #121