With decades of performance experience between them, producers/DJs Sebastian “Sebi” Wolters and Nick Hill, collectively known as Maximono, have played thousands of shows together over the years. Still, their first performance on the EDC stage last year was a different beast altogether. Wolters and Hill, who are also co-owners of the buzzing This Ain’t Bristol imprint, twice blessed the stage with their deep and dirty house beats on night three of EDC Las Vegas 2016. Their unique adventure took them from the enormous energy of cosmicMEADOW to a more intimate b2b set with homie Billy Kenny at the Smirnoff House.
As they relive their debut Under the Electric Sky, the men behind Maximono chat about their double duty onstage and the transition from the big stage to the small decks in one jam-packed night.
You played in the Smirnoff House, which puts you right on the dancefloor with the fans. What was it like playing in such an intimate setting in the middle of all the EDC madness?
Nick: Walking into the Smirnoff House was such a cool experience. We had just played [cosmicMEADOW], but this was a complete contrast: proper little club, underground vibes with a great sound system, and lots of smiles on people’s faces. We were crammed into a tiny DJ booth with Billy Kenny and were immediately handed a drink, and we had such a blast! [It] was one of the most fun sets we played. [It was] such a great crowd, [and it] really felt like that was where the party was at—which is pretty cool, considering the size of the festival!
The last time we spoke, you told me a little about your first experiences with electronic music. What are your thoughts on EDC when you look through the lens of a couple of OG ravers?
Sebi: It’s true, [we’ve both been] in the electronic music game for quite a while now. But on the other hand, we’ve never really touched the house, techno, and EDM scene as much as we’ve mainly been into breakbeats, jungle and drum & bass. It’s even cooler now to be able to experience all sides of the electronic music genres on one festival ground. It brings our worlds and backgrounds together. The whole house/techno scene still feels very new to us, and it’s super exciting. We’re more than happy that the Insomniac guys picked up on our sound that quick and got us to play cosmicMEADOW and the Smirnoff House.
Nick, this technically wasn’t your first EDC Las Vegas, as you’ve played before under your Loadstar alias. How was this most recent EDC experience different from before?
Nick: It was great to experience one of the other stages. At previous EDCs, I have always played drum & bass sets on the Bassrush stage, which has always been really fun. But to play a house set to a really responsive and lively, packed-out crowd on an amazing stage was really special. We had so much fun and an amazing night.
EDC celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2016. Do you feel like there was some historical significance to the event, considering you both have been in the dance music scene since the early- to mid-‘90s?
Sebi: It showed us impressively that most of the genres have being growing up and growing strong over the past two decades. When we started to DJ and produce electronic music, it all was more of a niche, and there were no big events like this or hype around the DJs. It’s great to see how healthy the whole electronic music [scene] is nowadays. Some people were always trying to call genres dead, but they all survived and are doing great. Also, playing a festival that’s celebrating its 20th birthday feels a bit like our best mate in the same age is celebrating his birthday. [We’ve been] in the scene for the same amount of time, so the whole experience was historical for us. And we definitely wanna celebrate the 30th together, too, and maybe some in between.
EDC has a palpable vibe. Were there any particular interactions you had with staff, fans or artists that reminded you of the spirit of PLUR?
Nick: After the two sets, we had the chance to run around a bit and touch ground with the fans and other artists. There was such a positive vibe and a big smile on everyone’s face; you could feel that everywhere. The huge production was impressively on point, and all the staff members we met were super friendly and helpful. They even joined us in our van for some pre- and after-show drinks.
Having experienced EDC alongside your best friends and label mates, what would you say is your biggest takeaway from the festival?
Sebi: There’s no room for genre pigeonholes or bad attitudes. Electronic music, throughout all genres, is great as it is in all its colorful aspects. There’s room for every single style and scene, and there’s even more space for new genres to be discovered and created. The attention and enthusiasm is clearly out there.