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Roots/Rock: Catching up with Max Allen

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With six albums to his credit, blues guitarist and singer Max Allen might be in a position where he doesn't have a need to enter events like the recent Hard Rock "Battle of the Bands" contest. Or maybe his winning the Indianapolis section of that event was due to his willingness to play for his next break. Can't hurt, right? Four bands will earn spots on the stage at the Hard Rock Calling festival in London's Hyde Park this summer. We caught up with Allen after his band won the local throwdown, before he moves on to regional, and possibly national, competition, and more of his regular gigs. He also says they have a new album almost ready to go.

NUVO: What about playing in a competition like this? How does that change how you play? Or does it change things?
MAX ALLEN: A competition setting makes you really think about planning and execution. You want to put your best foot forward and highlight all the aspects you'll be judged on. The competition aspect gets you all fired up. Every original band playing out there is essentially "competing" for fans and recognition anyway, so in that sense it wasn't much different than a regular gig. There are always opportunities around every corner and you never know who you'll meet or who might discover you in a situation like this.

NUVO: Besides winning, did you have a goal in mind when entering?
MA: Our goals going in to this was to show off the MAB and get as much exposure as possible. That's been the goal all along and hasn't changed. You just gotta do your best and entertain.

NUVO: What's next for the band?
MA: There is a regional competition where 14 bands are judged by a panel of industry professionals and ten bands will be picked to go on to the national contest, all of which is done via video recording of our show. As for us, we have a very full schedule, and we are currently working on another album, called "Everyone Thinks You're Weird", which should drop late spring or early summer.

Upcoming Max Allen Band dates:March 17 Claddagh Irish Pub - Plainfield, IN 9pm
March 23 Coaches Tavern - Indianapolis - 10pm (acoustic/solo)
April 2 Mousetrap Bar and Grill - Indianapolis -10pm

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