Slovakia: Max Jason Mai speaks to ESCDaily

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One of the heaviest rock performers in this year’s contest is a relative newcomer to the international music scene. The 23 year old rock musician, singer-songwriter and guitarist will debut on the international stage this year for Slovakia in the Eurovision Song Contest 2012. Max Jason Mai will perform his self-written entry “Don’t Close Your Eyes” in semifinal two in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.

More about Max:

Max Jason Mai is a rock musician, singer-songwriter and rhythm guitarist born on November 27th, 1988 in Slovakia. He believes that music can and should change the world, he loves people with a sense of humour and the good things in life. Be they music, sports, yoga, love, or nature. He reveres all living beings, that’s why he’s vegetarian and he doesn’t wear clothes made from leather, as he wouldn’t want to be a handbag either.

MJM is influenced by a wide range of artists of several genres, especially rock, for example Led Zeppelin, Whitesnake, Alter Bridge, 30 Seconds To Mars, Dream Theater, Metallica, John Mayer, Enigma, Sade, Ennio Morricone, Antonin Dvorak. He recorded his song for ESC 2012 and his first single ‘Don’t Close Your Eyes’ with the American record producer Michael “Elvis” Baskette.

Read our interview with Max below;

ESCDaily: Welcome Max and first thank you for your time! Are you excited to rock out in Baku this year?

Max Jason Mai: First hello to all and… yes, I am excited, because I can represent all the rock fans from wherever they are!

ESCDaily: What made you accept Slovakia’s offer to represent the nation in Baku? How do you feel about the opportunity?

IMG: Jan Varchola

MJM: When I got this offer from RTVS and I said to myself: Yeah, that’s a big chance to be seen and known by the Europeans (over Europe), it’s a kind of opportunity for me which leaves the door open, so go!” According to my contract with RTVS I paid all the costs related with my participation at the Eurovision myself. So I sold everything I could to make a perfect song under the most professional conditions and prepare a perfect show for Baku.
Honestly, how big a chance is it for such a small and unknown country like Slovakia to win? And yet I go for it…a lot of people in Slovakia think I am crazy. But nevermind, I am proud. And believe!

ESCDaily: How are the preparations going for your show in Baku? Can you give us any secrets about your stage show?

MJM: I would like to keep it a secret, so that it is a surprise for the viewers. But….shhhh…I have a really great… Band!


ESCDaily: We expect you are preparing to bring great energy in Baku; how will you stand out in the three minutes you have?

MJM: I have only my own recipe: MAXimum effort + MAXimum show for viewers + MAXimum performance of Max Jason Mai!

ESCDaily: Tell us a bit about the Slovakian entry ‘Don’t Close Your Eyes’? The song has some dark lyrics, is there any personal meaning or message in the song?

MJM: You know… when I was sitting in Michael Elvis Basquette´s record studio and listening to the final version of ‘Don’t Close Your Eyes’, I felt like crying with joy – the rush of energy! I take this song as the essence of the best I’ve ever written! ‘Don’t Close Your Eyes’ is a story about the good and the bad, about the angel and devil side in all of us.

IMG: Jan Varchola

ESCDaily: ‘Don’t Close Your Eyes’ has a distinct rock/metal sound. Who inspires you as an artist and influences you to write such music?

MJM: I love good music! And my inspiration? For example 30 Second to Mars, Judas Priest, Dream Theater, Metallica, Ozzy Osbourne and Alter Bridge.

ESCDaily: Slovakia hasn’t had too much luck in Eurovision so far – how do you plan to change that?

MJM: My plan is simple. To do my best. To try to make the viewers´ hearts beat faster. If that is enough or not will be decided by people and the jury.

ESCDaily: Finally, do you have a message to the readers?

MJM: Vote for rock´n ´roll! 🙂


Listen to the Slovakian entry “Don’t Close Your Eyes” below; would like to thank Max Jason Mai and his team for their assistance with this interview.