Q&A with Project 30 bassist Max Sugerman

Amidst a late night of band practice and video editing, we sat down with Max Sugerman, Project 30 bassist and founding member of Telos Studios, to get his take on his role in the project, Snoop Lion, superheroes and more.

Photo by Brian Allen

What’s your favorite color?

Blue. I think so. Like deep blue. Like the color of my eyes. Is that conceited? Tyree thinks that’s conceited. That’s okay. That’s my honest answer so…[to Tyree] dude, I get lost in my own eyes.

How long have you been playing music?

I’ve been playing music for a long time, almost my whole life. I started playing mandolin when I was like 9 or 10, I think, and then I moved to brass instruments for school and stuff. I started playing guitar in high school. That’s pretty much the only instrument that I play consistently now. I guess I’m a bass player now too.

Is that something new, like for Pthirty?

Yeah, yeah, I’ve never really played bass before. I have just for fun, but I’ve never really jammed with people before. It’s been a pretty fun experience, playing an instrument while still trying to write songs and stuff. It’s pretty cool though.

Can you tell me about how you got involved with Pthirty?

Tyree came to us [Telos Studios] and kind of pitched the idea for the project and we all thought it was a great idea, thought it would be a good opportunity to get together and have a great time but also to promote ourselves as individuals and to promote the studio as well. So we decided to take it on. We’re going after it.

And why do you want to promote the studio?

I want to promote the studio so that we can continue to do what we’re doing right now and continue to serve the Eugene community to the best of our abilities and, just, continue to offer this awesome space to anyone who wants to use it.

What do you think of Snoop Dogg’s recent venture into reggae music as Snoop Lion?

I think it’s awesome. I’ve always been a fan of Snoop, and I love reggae so it will be interesting to see what he can come up with. I can’t imagine that it would be bad. He’s going to have to perform.

When you’re not in the studio, where do you spend most of your time?

[to Tyree] What did you say? The bathroom? Not anymore, my iPhone’s dead. I can’t read Reddit anymore. Right now probably at my house, at my apartment. During the school year…at school. But…yeah.

What do you usually do when you’re not at the studio?

Think about the studio.

What is the most horrible movie that you’ve seen lately?

The most horrible? I don’t know, it’s hard for me to see a movie that I don’t like, because even the bad ones I like just because they’re bad. Um…I don’t know I can tell you the coolest movie I’ve seen recently. It’s called—oh, what is it called?—it’s about the guy’s name, the main character’s name is Curtis Snow. It’s like “Snow on the Mountain” or something. It’s a documentary about this gangster, drug selling dude on the streets who acquires a camera and I found out after the first time I watched it that it was all real footage, which was really crazy ‘cause it was all running around with assault riffles and robbing people and stuff. Pretty nuts. It was cool though. Awesome movie. It’s on Netflix.

What do you hope to get out of Pthirty personally?

I just love playing music, so it’s been really cool to play music with a group of people that all mesh really well together. I also—I’m trying to think of it from the documentary aspect as well because I want to get into documentary filmmaking as my career. Hopefully through the studio somehow. So this is like my first big project and basically I have a bunch of people working on it with me so we can get it out, but I’m excited to work on that in September.

If you could resurrect any band—or not resurrect a band necessarily, they could be a band now—to come and play with the Pthirty band, which band would you choose?

Well, I mean, for the music that we’re playing right now and for a band that’s alive right now, I would say Imagine Dragons because I’ve been grooving on them for the past six months. I can’t stop listening to their EP. But, like, an actual artist? Either Jimi Hendrix on lead guitar or Simon & Garfunkel helping Tyree out on vocals. Or Snoop Lion. Come play with us Snoop. We want you at Telos.

What song do you have stuck in your head right now?

“Monogamous Affair,” because we just recorded the acoustic version and we just played the regular version. But that’s like my favorite song that we play, I absolutely love it. I can’t wait to release it to everyone. I’m excited.

What’s a hidden talent that you have that other people might not know about?

I can juggle and balance on my indo board on one foot, like a clown. It’s a pretty cool talent, I guess.

If each band member were to be a superhero, which superhero would they be?

I would be Black Dynamite. Tyree would be Superman because he’s also a journalist. James would be…what would James be? I’m going to give James the Green Lantern. And I think that Travis would be The Incredible Hulk. Melissa would be Wonder Woman.

What do you think will be the most challenging thing about Pthirty?

At this point, the documentary. Editing it. But we have a good team editing, so I think we’ll be fine. I mean, I really feel confident about the music side. We’re doing fine with the songs. We need to write two more tonight. But I’m not too worried about that, we’re going to be fine.

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