With Christian pop group dcTalk, Kevin Max accrued album sales exceeding 8 million, as well as numerous Grammy and Dove Awards while touring arenas worldwide. In recent years, the father-of-three has explored his art with several critically acclaimed solo projects and continued touring. Kevin sat down with Celebrity Baby Scoop and dished on the joys of fatherhood, his desire to stay close to home, and what’s up next for him.
CBS: You and wife Amanda Lynn MacDonald are parents to 5-year-old daughter London, and 3 1/2-year-old son Wilder. Tell us about the joys of fatherhood.
KM: “We actually have three children now: London 5, Wilder, 3, and Knightly, 1. [They are] the reason my existence has any extra meaning these days is in direct correlation with being their dad. Being a father is something I always dreamed of during my early career, but it was something that was unattainable based on the amount of time on the road. I think it worked out quite nicely that my music career has slowed a bit so that I can spend more time with them.
In fact, I just finished a novel this past year which grounded me at home, and gave me so much quality time. I think if I were asked to go on a major world tour at this point, I might turn it down because I am so comfortable with being near to them.”
CBS: Are your kids musical? Do they come on the road with you? If so, give us an example of what a day on the road is like.
KM: “All of my kids are really musical. They respond to music immediately. My youngest is a dancer, Wilder is definitely interested in melody and London has to fall asleep to a soundtrack in the background. I try to turn them on to the good stuff, so on London’s bedtime playlist I’ve thrown in some Bowie and Beatles.
I rarely take the kids on the road with me right now, because they are so young. But if it makes sense we try to. Wilder has been diagnosed with low spectrum Autism, and it is important for us to spend time together wherever we might be.”
CBS: You are a member of the Christian pop group, dcTalk. Tell us why you entered the Christian genre. Do you think your music appeals to non-Christians as well?
KM: “I was abducted by dctalk in college [laughs]. They asked me to join them as a singer, and at that time I had no opinion of Christian music, let alone hip-hop. I wanted to start a band like The Smiths or Duran Duran, so you can imagine the beginning years with dctalk were a bit awkward for me. I wasn’t necessarily against Christian music at the time because I wasn’t familiar with it. And to be honest, our career just jumped into hyperdrive. Throughout the years I found my voice within the band, and eventually I think we differed on some things, but we were unified in the decision to make quality songs.
I think my solo music is a nice blend of my core beliefs and songs that are relatable to a larger audience. If you asked me if I was ashamed of having originated from a Christian pop band, I would say definitely not. I am proud of the majority of music that dctalk achieved, and the lives that were touched in the process.”
CBS: Tell us about your poetry and your acting pursuits.
KM: “Well, my poetry is something I have crafted in a natural way over the years. It is something that comes to me through spontaneity and I usually don’t try to edit it. It’s a great art form because you can say anything you want to say without confines. It is a very natural way of expressing yourself in artistic or non-artistic terms. I try to work poetry into my music and vice versa.
It is sometimes a turn off for some people that have to listen to me quoting it from stage though. Recently, I did a show at the Hard Rock in Nashville, and I think I read for about 15 minutes. It was supposed to be a new album showcase, and I think I lost a couple of people in the process. But in the long run, you either love poetry or you probably are looking for another form of expression – it’s not for everyone. Take Ginsberg’s HOWL for example. I am sure for some people it was off-putting, and most would struggle to read through it all, but after time we have come to appreciate it for what it is; a singular mode of artistic communication.
As far as the acting goes, I am a hack. I am a huge lover of film and acting in general, my heroes in the genre being mostly from the Method approach. Brando, Dean, De Niro, Mickey Rourke, etc. After watching them closely through the years, I have realized I should probably stick to singing.”
CBS: What do you teach your kids about god and spirituality?
KM: “When it comes to god and spirituality in general we have taken it slowly. I want our kids to develop their own mentality towards it, but we are believers in talking openly about our beliefs as parents. Even though I am not a huge lover of organized religion, we see the benefit and merit of being a part of a local church and its community.
I believe in the authentic Christ and his teachings, so it is important that we explain that to them through time. As for being ‘Jesus freaks,’ I think we will let them decide. After all, if you believe that god really does pursue a relationship with us all, I know that being of my blood, they will find it hard to resist the truth in things.”
CBS: Tell us about your solo album, Cotes d’ Armor.
KM: “Cotes d’Armor was created in answer to my EP Crashing Gates. I created Crashing Gates in Nashville after The Blood as a direct need for getting back to the world of rock and roll. At the core of who I am as a musician, is the influence of European and British music, and The Blood was such a departure from that, that it scared even me. But when there was talk of a remix project, I objected as I hate remixes in general. So instead of remixing the songs from CG, we decided to re-create them with Electronica bands. 3kstatic and PWEI of the UK came on board initially, towards the middle of the project I decided to add more original material. To be honest, the project is a bit hodge podge, but it probably reflects my personality quite well [laughs].”
CBS: Can we expect another album from dcTalk one of these days?
KM: “Not sure about the dctalk vehicle. I would love to see us making more music, but I think that time has passed us by, and as individuals we are so different in our approaches that it might be quite a process.
As far as touring goes, I think it’s a shame we haven’t done something for the fans. I know Toby and now Michael (singing with The Newsboys) are in the Christian Music world and are constantly covering dctalk songs, so it is placating people to a degree, but I think the whole band together is still special and needs to be heard.”