Max Baker

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Artist Feature: Violet Days for Grumpy Magazine
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On a chilly morning in Hollywood Hills, Swedish Pop artist Violet Days and I had the chance to meet and shoot together for the amazing Paris publication Grumpy Magazine. Editor-in-chief Jasmine Perrier talked with them and learned a bit more about their debut EP ‘‘Made In My Head’’ and working on the next phase of their music project. You can find the full article here, but for now, enjoy the gallery below! Thank you to the amazing team, who you can follow below and support their work.

Who would you guys like to see me work with next? Leave a comment below and let me know what your new years plans are going to be!

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The Struts Invites You to the Body Talks Tour with The Wrecks & Thunderpussy
Luke Spiller of The Struts     *disclaimer: if any photos from the following article are to be shared on any social media platforms, please take the time to tag me @maxbakerphoto and give proper credit. Thank you!

Luke Spiller of The Struts

*disclaimer: if any photos from the following article are to be shared on any social media platforms, please take the time to tag me @maxbakerphoto and give proper credit. Thank you!


Anaheim was not ready for what the night had in store at the House of Blues. With a sold out show, the night before daylight savings, and a killer lineup of rock n roll, there was a rush of electricity that entered the venue with the talent that filled the room. The UK’s very own coming of age rock band The Struts made their way across the pond to bring the U.S. the Body Talks tour, in promotion of their 2nd album release. Having opened and being recognized by legends such as The Rolling Stones, The Who, and Motley Crue, The Struts are on their way to making history and restoring the heart that rock n roll desperate needs in this day and age.

Molly Sides of Thunderpussy

Molly Sides of Thunderpussy

Warming up the night, Seattle based quartet known as Thunderpussy started the show, glitz and glam in a matching red ensemble with a twist of their personalities. If you didn’t know who they were, you would not forget their name after the vibrant and killer performance. A stage presence like no other, lead singer Molly Sides put a spell on you with her picture perfect moves and silky voice, while guitarist Whitney Petty reminded the crowd guitar skills reminiscent of Keith Richards or something of the like. After wowing the venue, the next act set the mood in an unexpected way - Los Angeles group The Wrecks had to compromise for an acoustic set (something they hardly ever do) as they explained to the audience their van along with their equipment was stranded somewhere in Arizona. Nonetheless, there was an aura about these guys that made you know they have that special something that people look for when discovering new artists. A great sense of humor, crazy good lyrics, and a chill attitude with getting high and a tad bit buzzed on stage with some fans, The Wrecks definitely had new fans coming out of the night.

Fans of The Wrecks join the band on stage for their one of a kind acoustic set

Fans of The Wrecks join the band on stage for their one of a kind acoustic set

At last, the wait was over; it was time for The Struts to take the stage and give it their all for eager fans. Opening with an incredible number of their song Primadonna Like Me, with lead singer Luke stating a play on words of the song, “Anaheim, don’t you know who I think I am?”. And of course there was no shock to the glamorous style the band brought out with them, from feathers, leather, and all the glitter one could possibly desire. The energy was never ending, even with a two hour long set; who could blaim them when they have a lead vocalist such as Luke? I had heard these statements before, but it was incredible to hear a photographer to another as I was leaving the photo pit say “Wow, that guy kind of reminds me of Freddie Mercury or something”, a common comparison that has floated around the internet before in talks of The Struts’ front man. Performing songs like In Love With A Camera, Body Talks, People, and several others from their latest release of YOUNG&DANGEROUS, as well as some classics from their first album like Mary Go Round, Dirty Sexy Money, and Roll Up and many more, it was an incredible evening with even better music and perfect sounds. If you want to experience real music with a band that sounds better live, you do not want to miss a show from The Struts.

Make sure to check out The Struts on tour and if they’re coming to a city near you here!


Written and photographed for The Fox Magazine.


Artist Feature: Fly By Midnight
*disclaimer: if any photos from the following article are to be shared on any social media platforms, please take the time to tag me @maxbakerphoto and give proper credit. Thank you!

*disclaimer: if any photos from the following article are to be shared on any social media platforms, please take the time to tag me @maxbakerphoto and give proper credit. Thank you!


When I first came across a band called Fly By Midnight one day on Spotify, I couldn't believe how good these guys were. There was something special about them; I knew the second I heard a few of their singles such as Vibe and XL. A few months later, the guys announced a show they were playing in Hollywood in just a few weeks time. After exchanging some emails and some ideas, I had the opportunity to meet and grab coffee with the NYC based duo while they were visiting Southern California; not only are they talented, they just so happen to be charming and genuine people, with a great sense of humor. You can watch the full interview below (10/10 would recommend) or read on to see more photos from the shoot we put together in West Hollywood, find out what Fly By Midnight is about.  

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Max Baker chats with the gents of funk pop duo Fly By Midnight, Justin + Slavo. How did these two start making music together? Are there plans for a tour? What's in the future for these two? Check this out and be sure to leave a comment below and give this a thumbs up! Filmed and edited by @samanthabakerfilm

We constantly want to kind of turn the creative knob a bit left of center, and if it doesn’t work, you go back; but if it works, that’s what will set you aside from the rest. 

Me: If you guys want to introduce yourselves, where you guys are from, and what you do exactly in the band.

Justin: My name is Justin Bryte, I play keyboard and sing in the duo, and I'm from Staten Island, New York, born and raised.

Slavo: My name is Slavo, I am from Florida, and I play guitar and I sing. 

M: For those who might not be familiar with the band, how did Fly By Midnight get started and where did the name come from?

J: Yeah, two very different things, because the name was definitely not an organic process, but I guess coming together was more natural. Slavo moved to Florida from Staten Island, about, how many years ago, what was it?

S: Yeah, 5 years ago. I moved to New York from Florida. After being there for a couple years, I met Justin at a studio on Staten Island, and he was doing a solo project. I was producing, and we started working together, wrote the first song we released as Fly By Midnight called Brooklyn, and that was one of the first songs we ever wrote together; that was kind of the birth of Fly By Midnight. The name itself was- it was funny, we spent like a whole week trying to figure that out. 

J: We drove around looking at signs and stuff...

S: Exactly, yeah, just looking for inspiration.

J: It was funny, we wrote the song first, and we knew we wanted to be a duo, and then we were like -

M: You're like "now what?" 

J: Yeah! We wrote the song and were like "who are we?". But it all came together, and now here we are.

S: We like to say that because our sound is fly and retro, we came up with the idea of "Fly", and then "By Midnight" came from the idea that we're up past midnight pretty much every night. 

M: I feel that. So you just released your latest single, All the Feels, what was the inspiration behind the song and how has the feedback been from the fans and the general public so far? I know it literally just came out. 

S: Yeah, it's been what? A day?

M: A whole day!

J: Yeah a whole day! (laughs) I mean, for being a whole day, it's been really really positive. I think what we were really striving for the track was to just be universally relatable; it's such a feel good, positive song, and we just really wanted to inject those positive vibes into everyone. Because everyone has their feels; you know, whether it's a romance, or, like we said, a cup of coffee in the morning -

S: Ice cream, puppies...

J: Yeah, ice cream -

M: Pizza -

J: For me, it's coffee over romance any day of the week. But yeah, the story, the real story, is that we were sitting in the studio right, and we were searching on Spotify just listening to the music because we're music fans as well, and I came across a playlist on Spotify called "All the Feels", and I looked over at Slavo and I was like, "yeah this is a cool title for a song", and we looked it up and no one had wrote a song yet called All the Feels, and we were like "quick! write it! release it!". It's been really cool, I think the video came together - it was the first video also we filmed a little bit of awhile ago - we've kind of had it in our pocket for awhile, so it was cool to kind of hold onto it and be excited for it to come out. 

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M: And how has the feedback been as far as the song goes? Have the fans been reacting really well? 

S: It's funny, everyone that's a fan of Fly By Midnight, they show us so much love, and we appreciate it, and we've been getting great feedback; people are going crazy about the song. The one thing I will say is we have a guy named Matt Reed, who's over at Mix 107.1 at Boston radio station, and he's been showing us love since, I think Malibu, or before that, he's a great radio host over there and he's been supporting us. One thing he said that I thought was really cool was that he premiered the song on the radio over there, and talked about how he was playing the song, you know, driving down the coast, and it was gonna be the next summer smash; just having that kind of energy and support behind the song is really important to us, and keeps us going. 

J: And I think for us too, because he has heard all of our songs, he's premiered a lot of our songs, I think the fact that he - we speak on a friendly basis kind of now - and he's like "yo, this is like the one", and we were like "ah alright, this is the one". 

M: It's like "Yeah, let's hope so"! (laughs)

J: We'll find out!

M: That's awesome!

J: Thanks!

M: With the new music you guys have released this year so far, is there any plans for a tour in the US, or maybe even globally? Maybe? Hopefully?

S: I mean yeah, we've been trying to go do a tour, like since we started we wanted to do a sorority tour, we thought that would be a lot of fun, it's more of our demographic and ya know, colleges are always a lot of fun. We played a lot of college shows in the beginning too, so yeah as far as touring the states, we've been trying to get on a booking with another artist that we kind of work well with. If we could do it on our own, we would do it in a heartbeat. It's more of just the whole funding process and just making sure everything's set up, so it's more timing for us, making sure it;s done the right way, and we want to take advantage of trying to meet everyone that we can while on the road. And you know, as far as international, we've been trying to go to a lot of these - we have a lot of fans in Europe, Australia, we even have a cool little fan base in Asia, Asia is a really cool fan base; it's all timing. We just want to make sure when we do it, it's done right.

M: Totally, makes sense. What has been the difference between New York and the East Coast, versus the West Coast? As far as the fan scene, the music scene -

S: The weather!

M: Just everything, the weather (laughs)

J: Yeah, it's exciting, and slightly nerve-wracking at the same time, because New York is kind of the birth town of Fly By Midnight, so whenever we do play a show there - we usually play a big one every year that's usually like a summer party, like one we just played - it's always packed out. We know it's gonna sell out and bring in people. I think LA is really exciting because we communicate with fans through social media here, but obviously we don't live here. So we don't know what to expect. I think it'll be really cool, and I think it'll go over really well so I guess we'll find out.

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M: That's awesome. So, this is the last question, and I always ask this with everybody I interview with: what's some advice that you might have for creatives and other musicians to stay inspired and to keep pursuing the dream?

S: That's a really good question. It's easy to get caught up in doing and being creative, and get overwhelmed by the constant hustle, and for us, we've been very fortunate that we see the increase every time we release a new song, and we've seen it with the content, and we've seen our numbers go up, so it's definitely rewarding. That's something that's tangible, and we can feed off that, but you know, every now and then we get worked up and it's tiring, so it's just kind of understanding  what you're capable of doing as far as content and what you're putting out there and making sure you're resting for these things. I don't know, it sounds stupid, but -

J: No, I think it's a good point. I mean, especially if you do hustle, and I know you hustle, and for the Fly By fans, you know that we hustle, and I think we've learned, even especially lately,  that we were pushing ourselves 1000 miles per hour, but sometimes you gotta kick it back to 999. Kind of just take a day to heal your mind and stuff.  But I would just say, experimenting because, especially for Fly By Midnight,  and even also on the photography and video side,  it's easy to get caught up in what everyone's doing. So we constantly want to kind of turn the creative knob a bit left of center, and if it doesn't work, you go back; but if it works, that's what will set you aside from the rest. 

S: Spice things up.

J: Yeah, spice it up, and don't be afraid to fail.

S: Fuck with the flava - quote me. 

(everyone laughs)

Be sure to follow Fly By Midnight on their social media:

And while you're at it, check out their latest single, All the Feels, below! 

Thanks to Justin & Slavo for such a fun afternoon and taking the time to shoot and hang! Might have an excuse to go to New York in the future, but maybe that's just me. Who would you like to see me interview and shoot with next? Leave a comment below and be sure to subscribe to my newsletter to stay updated on all things photo and music related! Until next time! 


Written, filmed, and photographed for Fly By Midnight, in association with The Gypsy Shack Collective (www.tgscollective.com)


Artist Feature: Jamie Campbell Bower of COUNTERFEIT.
Max Baker-Jamie Campbell Bower-Interview-Photoshoot

*disclaimer: if any photos from the following article are to be shared on any social media platforms, please take the time to tag me @maxbakerphoto and give proper credit. Thank you!


On a quiet and cool summer day in Anaheim, California, UK's very own COUNTERFEIT. arrived to play the last show of their first US tour at the Chain Reaction. With excitement and anticipation running through the room, it was almost bittersweet as the hours flew by leading up to the band's final performance. It was something you had to experience for yourself. The energy and chaos that the UK artists brought to the stage had fans to their feet, leaving them in awe and, of course, rioting their hearts out to songs like "Washed Out" and "Close To Your Chest". The interaction between the guys of COUNTERFEIT. and their adoring crowd was an amazing time to witness; with most of the band coming into the audience, singing, crowd surfing, and mosh pitting to new and old songs. It was clear that this is what they were made to do; it's their livelihood and their passion. We need to support more artists like these guys; the ones who not only do it because it's their job, but because you know they love what they're doing and wouldn't trade it for the world. But before they got out on stage to give it their all to their dedicated fans, I got to take a moment and talk with lead singer Jamie Campbell Bower about the tour life, the fans, and everything in between, as the rest of the band (Sam Bower, Tristan Marmont, Roland Johnson, Jimmy Craig) prepared for what was to come. You can watch the full interview below, or read on to see more photos and live concert shots from the evening. 

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Max Baker sits down with Counterfeit's lead singer & guitarist, Jamie Campbell Bower before their final headlining show in Anaheim, CA. Filmed & edited by Samantha Baker.

Never lose that childlike wonder.

Me: Alright, so introduce yourself, and what do you do in Counterfeit?

Jamie: Hi, my name is Miley Cyrus and I play guitar in Counterfeit.

M: (laughs) Perfect. So, for those who might not know who Counterfeit is, what's the meaning behind the band name and how did it start?

J: The meaning behind the band name is always a difficult question to answer, I wish I had a better story than what I'm about to tell you. But, we used to play, myself, Tristan, and Roland, who play in the band, we used to play in another band together, and we played our last show and put it to bed; we started writing new music and we wanted to start completely afresh. We didn't have a name, we just had the sound right, and so I'm a bit of an emo kid and I was sending emails out being like 17 or so names, and like that. I was walking in Soho in London, and the name popped up into my head and it seemed to perfectly describe, or feel in my mouth, how the music sounded in my head. And I also think there's a small sense of irony behind the name as well, and it wasn't like a conscious thought. It was born, it was just natural, and I think that's what the most important thing is about this band is that everything we do is natural, and what we're about is community, and growth through community.

M: That's awesome. So it's your first headlining tour here in the US, correct?

J: It is indeed!

M: We were curious about it, but how does it compare to shows in the UK and Europe, to here? Like is the crowd any different, is the vibe different?

J: The language barrier's not as bad obviously (laughs) I mean as far as just logistical stuff, obviously the fucking drives are crazy. Like, a six hour drive for you guys is like popping to the shops, for us it's like traveling the length and breadth of our bloody country!

M: I know, it's ridiculous!

J: It is! It's absurd! That's just sort of the main difference, I guess. What we always seem to find through (when we go and play shows), is the people that are coming to see the shows are so fucking lovely, and that's worldwide. The people are there just to cut loose and have a good time, and to make friends, and so many people that I've met, on this run in particularly, who have just gone to a show by themselves, and they've left with three other mates. So that's the same university wherever we go. But there hasn't been much of a difference. The shows are just as crazy, just as wild, just as fun. 

M: That's really cool. And it's been a little over a year since Together We Are Stronger came out-

J: That's right.

M: So what can fans expect for the future of Counterfeit, as far as new music goes, if you can even talk about that type of stuff.

J: I can, I can talk about it all you like, I can talk a little bit about that. 

M: Perfect! 

J: So yeah, like you said, we released our first album back in March of last year, and it's now come to, for us to tell the world that we are making another record. We launched a pledge campaign a month ago, announcing the new album, and on the pledge campaign we're giving people the opportunity to be more involved with the process, whereby you can actually come visit the studio, you can be in a music video, all that kind of stuff. But then also, on the pledge, we're going to be giving people content that you wouldn't necessarily see anywhere else. Behind the scenes of making the album, the writing process and what that was like. I spoke with someone after a show the other day and I said, "What is it that you want to see?", and she said to me "What I really want to see is songwriting and how songs are born and what they mean", and all that kind of stuff, so we'll be doing stuff like that up in there. But yes, a new album! We're going into the studio after this tour finishes, making a new record...

M: That's so exciting!

J: Which is very exciting, I know! The first album was very, like, naive, and I feel that we've grown so much. 

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M: I was going to ask, are you guys going in a different direction for the sound or are you going to stay true to that hardcore feel?

J: Well it's all timpanis now, that's how it is, it's all basically orchestral from now here on then, we're not going to be making any hardcore music anymore, it's strictly piano based material, from here on end. 

M: Ah yes of course!

J: But yeah we'll be remaining true to Counterfeit, I think one of the things that I always wanted to do and one of the things that I love as a songwriter is scale and grandeur, and that's something that I want to bring to the next album, and I think it's something that we've tried to bring into the writing and in the next record it's just taking what is essentially Counterfeit and hardcore and thrashy and go go go, and developing that to a slightly more mature place I think. But there's not going to be any curve balls, that's not what we're about just yet.

M: Yeah, there are some artists that change their sound every album, so you never know.

J: You know, we could end up being that band, there's nothing to say that we're not going to be that band. But, at this point in time, you know, we are so early in the stages of our musical exploration that to veer off in such a strange direction would seem, I don't know, counterproductive, almost, to what it is that we're trying to do.

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M: Totally. So, what might be some advice that you have for creatives, musicians, and artists in general to stay inspired and keep pursuing their passion and their dream? As far as creative stuff goes?

J: Never lose that childlike wonder. Never, ever lose that. It will go, and it will decrease, and you will notice it happening as you get older, but you have to try to not lose that, it's the hardest thing in the world. And as far as inspiration goes, I said to someone the other day actually, in a Q+A, they said they were asking me about the songwriting process, and I think I said something along the lines of "nothing was ever right the first time, it takes a lot of wrongs to have a good right in being creative." You know, if it's wrong, good, and if it's right, even better. So that's my main advice; don't be disheartened, even when you know it's shit. Because if you know it's shit, it means that you can do better. 


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A big thank you to COUNTERFEIT.'s team for having myself and my sister, @samanthabakerfilm, come out to the show; it was truly an unforgettable evening. Thank you to Jamie for taking the time to talk about life and the amazing piece of advice you had for fellow creatives out there that might be reading this. 

You can follow COUNTERFEIT. on their social media links by following the link here! Be sure to leave a comment below and let me know what you thought of the interview, and who would you like me to interview and shoot with next? Like what you see here? Be sure to subscribe to my newsletter to stay up to date on all things music, photoshoots, interviews, and more!  Let me know and follow me on twitter and instagram, and thank you for taking the time to check my site out. 'Til next time! 


Written, filmed, and photographed for Counterfeit., in association with The Gypsy Shack Collective (www.tgscollective.com)