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Interview with Max Schnieder

Max Schneider is a 20 year old, up and coming singer/songwriter/actor from Manhattan. After appearing in the Nickelodeon T.V. Movie ‘Rags’ and the recently premiered sitcom ‘How To Rock’. He is currently on a U.S. tour with Nickeldeon star, Victoria Justice. You can find him on Twitter @maxgschnieder and at http://maxschneider.com/.

 

How has getting involved with Nickelodeon helped your career?

“Being involved with Nickelodeon has done such tremendous things for me. They are so fantastic. I’ve been auditioning for the network for a few years now and ‘How To Rock’ and ‘Rags’ kinda all came together at once. I got my first callback for ‘Rags’ when I had my first audition for ‘How To Rock’ and after about a week of callback after callback and testing with the other guys I found out I got the part and it was incredible. It was one of the best days of my life finding out I got that job and they’ve just been so wonderful to me. Not only musically but on their shows and they really embrace who I am; with my ukulele and my singing and it’s just been a dream come true.”

After being involved with ‘Rags’ do you think you want to focus more on acting or music?

“That’s always a tough question because ideally I’d like to be able to go down both paths and you know Rags was definitely a great way to do everything I love; sing, dance, and act all in one. And I loved the story and I would love to do more projects like that but I can’t live without singing every day. So I hope to continue to do both but if I had to choose I would choose singing.”

Do you plan on releasing new original music anytime soon?

“Absolutely. I’ve been working on my album for about a year now out in L.A. with lots of different ,wonderful writers and producers and just focusing on my sound and really writing the best music I can. I’ve written about 100 songs in this last year with other artists and myself and it’s been really wonderful. I hope to release soon; within the next year. I’d say definitely the sound we’re going for is like Andy Grammer mixed with Bruno Mars, Jason Mraz, a little Gavin DeGraw and Maroon 5 and I hope people like it!”

How did you get involved with ‘How To Rock’ and what’s it like on the set?

“Well this audition came up and it was a Friday afternoon, I was walking home from school and my agent called me and was like, “can you go in for an audition tomorrow?” and I was like, “yeah, that’s kinda weird but ok”. So I go in for this audition and it just all just went so well and the part just clicked. You could go in for 50 jobs and really hope you get one of them but the part’s not right for you but for this one it was so right. And the executive producer David Israel is like the coolest man in the world. He called me after I got the part and just told me that he was really excited to have me on the cast and I have honestly learned so much from him. And on set it’s fantastic because we’re all a big family and it’s never like going to work, I get to have fun every day. It’s such a blessing to be able to get to do that. It’s just so much fun! We have Cee Lo on the show, we got monkeys on the show it’s so awesome.”

What has been your favorite part of this tour so far?

“It’s so hard to choose one moment. Just being on the road, being in a bus, performing for so many people; it’s just been surreal. Wether the crowd is 2,500 people or the 13,000 people we’ve performed for thus far its just been amazing. I think maybe if I had to pick I would say that the first show we played when I walked out onto the stage in Costa Mesa and just felt the energy of all those people all at once, it was just out of this world. It was just that moment of, ‘wow. We’re here, we’re doing this.'”

How did you round of all the people playing with you on your tour? (Your band)?

“Oh man, it all sort of came together in a really lucky sort of way. I found out I was going to be doing the tour with Victoria and I decided I wanted to  bring a band along and I went out and found a bunch of friends who had been playing and I had met through different random things. My guitar player Daniel Karp, who shoots and edits our tour update videos, I knew him because we had done a video with a girl named Avery a while back where we played all the instruments on iPhones and I told him I needed a guitar player and he was in, it was awesome. Then the drummer, Beau Evans, I met him when I did my first acoustic gig in L.A. and he did sound for me so I was like, ‘you gotta come along’ and boom, he was in. Then he introduced us to my bass player, Daniel Durston, who’s the man and the nicest guy and he joined and then my keyboard player in Nick ‘Spicy’ Brown. I’ve known Nick for years; we went to band camp and we had a band in New York together and we’ve been writing for so long, so I called him first thing and I was like, ‘you gotta come along,’ and he was like, ‘I’m in. Let’s go.’ Everybody just gets along so well and we’re so blessed to have so many awesome people on the tour and all of us on stage every day… It’s fantastic, it’s so much fun.”

We heard on this tour you’re going to do a “Baby” medley… How many times do you think you say “baby” in one day?

“I don’t know… Probably a couple thousand. Just kidding, but I do say ‘baby’ quite often. It was funny because I’d always thought about doing a medley like that but it was actually Victoria who suggested it. We were doing a little tweet session and she was like, ‘You should only sing songs with the word ‘baby’ in them,’ and I was like, “You know what, I’m gonna make a song that only says ‘baby’ in it!’ And it was awesome, I got together with Daniel and we just kind of put it together. We’ve got some oldies, we’ve got some Justin Bieber, some ‘Baby Come Back’ and it is SO much fun to perform. I love seeing the older fans recognize some of the older songs and then the younger fans are like, ‘oh snap! Justin Bieber,’ and it just kind of incorporates all generations and I get to say ‘baby’ a million times, which I already do, so it’s perfect.”

Who or what is your biggest inspiration?

“Wow, I have a lot of fantastic inspirations… I’d have to say my mom and dad are two of my biggest inspirations. Without them I wouldn’t be where I am now; they are the most supportive and wonderful parents. And one of them’s a lawyer so they got my back, but they inspire me everyday and they’re my heroes for sure. Professionally I’d say I look up to musicians like Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars…. oldies like Etta James and Frank Sinatra. Seeing how people really handle their careers. Like Joseph Gordon Levitt is one of my favorite actors and seeing him go from the sitcom world as a kid in ‘Third Rock From The Sun’  to the movie world and making films like ‘The Dark Night’ and doing all these incredible things, it’s great to see how he has progressed and I definitely aspire to have a career like his.”

Why is your fan base called ‘The Monkeys’?

“That’s funny people ask me all the time, ‘what’s with the monkey thing?’ and for a while it was just like nothing rhymed with Schneider. You know, you got the Beliebers and stuff and for a while since I’ve always been a really energetic performer and person back in high school people would call me ‘Schneider Monkey’ and you know I eat a lot of bananas and peanut butter and stuff and I just always loved monkeys so I thought, ‘why not call them Schneider Monkeys?’ And now people have started making monkeys and drawing monkeys on ukeleles and it’s just a wonderful feeling to have a fan base that’s that dedicated. It makes me smile to see people who support that much… I got my monkeys and I love them all.”

What is your “Honest Review” on sushi?

“I LOVE sushi. Sushi is so good. I love going to a place and trying every different kind of sushi. I’ve never gotten sick from it, I’ve heard that people get sick from it, but whatever! It’s so good you can’t pass it up. But my honest review is that if it’s there, I’m gonna eat it.”  

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