Savannah’s Hella Tight Grunge Rockers The Maxines and Their New Album Skin Tight

This past Sunday, I had the chance to chat with Savannah’s very own grunge/metal rockers, The Maxines. With the release of their debut album Skin Tight and their active live performance schedule, The Maxines have opened new doors for southern feminist rock to flourish in Savannah and beyond. Fronted by their fiery vocalist and lyricist, AJ Grey, The Maxines immediately draw you in with fierce, empowering lyrics and captivating stage presence. Reminiscent of other prominent frontwomen, Grey blends aesthetic choices like striking eyeliner commonly used by Joan Jett with leather and fishnets. Twin duo Maddie and Coco on guitar and drums entrance you in the ultimate cool girl way. Effortlessly stylish and grungy, the band boasts a talented new bassist, Emma, who effortlessly bangs angsty basslines. These ferocious, forceful riffs meet Maddie’s distorted guitar and Coco’s powerful drumming which all revolve around Grey’s feisty vocals. 

Primarily touring around the Savannah metal and indie rock circuit, The Maxines have made great strides to put themselves on the map across the Southeast region and eastern coast. After going on their Skin Tight tour from early to mid November with Savannah act Neckromance, the Maxines landed a prime spot in the lineup alongside Black Tusk and Holy Ghost Tabernacle Choir at the Two Tides Brewing Metal Fest. This show was the first Savannah show that the new bassist Emma had done with the band. 

To avoid jumping the gun, I wrestle with a few initial questions to ask the band. I launch our dialogue by asking what was in their recent listening history. The band’s answers surprised me: Maddie and Coco answered Oceans 11 soundtrack, Emma “Hey There Delilah”, and AJ “Take Me to the River”. They all swear that they stay true to their band’s grunge spirit despite their private listening detours.  Attempting to mask my excitement, I probed the band further and inquired about the origin of their name. They surprised me by saying they initially thought of Mad Max and then maybe Mad Maxine. I remark that their final decision, The Maxines, was very catchy. AJ chimes in on how she desired a similar catchy effect to grunge rockers Melvins. 

Transitioning to their album release bash back in October, I asked about the band’s Skin Tight album bash and their album tour. Maddie remarked that the bash was their dream show, and with much hard work and collaboration, it became a reality. Emma admitted that the previous bass player performed at this bash, and she had the pleasure of being in the crowd and experiencing the album brought to life from the audience’s point of view.

Following their iconic album show, The Maxines crew reflect on their shows across the east coast. They remark fondly on the other band acquaintances and connections they made across different states and cities. The support, despite geographic distance, remains strong, mentions AJ. While building bridges to bands and artists across state lines, the band described how touring helped the band get closer and closer, which was really special. To comic effect, AJ admits, “It’s very rare for bands to get along this well, you know?”

Maddie revealed the band’s gratitude to the foundation laid by rock and grunge artists long before The Maxines. She explains, “Even when we first joined the Savannah scene, the reason why we felt so comfortable starting our band was because of how supportive the scene was and continues to be.” Maddie mentions that you see all different types of people in the audience: “Everyone’s supporting everybody. It doesn’t matter what genre you primarily play or listen to.”

As pioneers and advocates of anger in music, The Maxines affirm their strong belief in opening their mouths and speaking their minds to those who have mistreated, belittled, or abused them. When it comes to songwriting, AJ, the lyricist, describes, “I’ll start to write something and I notice. I’m like, damn, I have a lot of anger. Really, anger is like a form of passion. You know, anger gets shit done. Anger helps you talk about things that are not just.”

 Discussing their album’s first track “Salmon Pants”, AJ playfully throws in lyrical easter eggs like, “I’m not your pawn. You’re not my king.”  Her voice is a powerful force as she asserts that her existence is for her and the way she lives her life is not through another. She adds, “I’m the fucking Queen…like I’m not the pawn here. Let’s make that very clear.”

To continue our exploration of the lyrical landscape of Skin Tight, I was delighted to learn about the origin of the lyrical chorus on one of the album’s last tracks, “Burn”: “It’s not the size of the dog. It’s the fight in the dog.” Reminiscent of fiery punk song “Some Mutts (Can’t Be Muzzled)” by Amyl and The Sniffers, “Burn” adds a sharp lyrical bite accentuated by ferocious guitar. Speaking of dogs, Coco and Maddie delighted the group by adding their dog into the conversation (one of The Maxines’ biggest fans). Maddie describes the visceral sensation of hearing the lyrics of “Burn” chanted by a crowd: “The crowd follows along to that part, and people are not just screaming the lyrics for fun.  They’re screaming because they mean it too.”

As for future directions for The Maxines, they plan to take January off from their busy tour schedule to focus on songwriting. They plan to honor their mantra of being vulnerable and authentic. If they write and play around with songs and they don’t feel right, they will need to change. One thing is for certain in the next year: The Maxines are bound to knock your socks off. If the band ever makes it up to Charleston, make sure to mark your calendar, get your fishnets ready, and experience the grunge, metal punch that is The Maxines.

Stream Skin Tight by the Maxines on Spotify and Apple Music.

2 thoughts on “Savannah’s Hella Tight Grunge Rockers The Maxines and Their New Album Skin Tight

  1. william malcolm says:

    Great interview Liza.

  2. Jesse Kooker says:

    Excellent discussion with an amazingly talented band!

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