Mustard had the pleasure of speaking with Citrus Maxima. Together we discussed the maximum amount of citrus, their creative process, the year 1970, and so much more!
1. Mustard is grateful to have Citrus Maxima join them at Music Shelf. How is everyone doing today?
Wyatt: Thanks for having us!
2. Mustard wonders how much citrus is considered the maximum. What happens if a human potentially overfills?
Wyatt: Death, haha.
Lucas: True. It’s not very funny actually.
Wyatt: It’s fatal. It’s fatal and it’s gruesome.
Lucas: Haha. But to answer your question, about 75%.
Wyatt: You’ll know.
Max: No one can be overfilled with the awesome spirit of Rock and Roll.
3. How did you decide on your band name? Does everyone in the band have a favorite citrus beverage?
Shawn: So Lucas and I used to go to the store and we’d pick out random fruit that we’d never tried before. One day we picked out a Pomelo, during a time while we were struggling to find a band name, and found out the Latin name for a Pomelo is Citrus Maxima.
Lucas: It means “Big Citrus”.
Wyatt: My favorite citrus beverage is orange juice. Hold the pulp.
Max: I don’t have a favorite citrus drink but I recently tried Papaya Milk from H-Mart. That was fucking good.
Shawn: Is that citrus?
Max: Yes, Papaya is a fruit.
Lucas: That’s crazy.
Max: Yeah, it was good.
Wyatt: Even in Big Citrus you don’t know it all.
Max: Mango Lemonade is pretty good too, like a Joe’s Mango Lemonade is pretty good.
Lucas: Damn, you really just stole my answer like that.
Wyatt: What about Starry?
Max: There ya go.
Lucas: I’ll go with Pink Lemonade.
4. Does your music contain calcium and Vitamin D?
Wyatt: No calcium.
Shawn: Lot’s of vitamin D.
Max: Straight Alcohol.
5. Would you consider yourselves a band with pulp?
Wyatt: No. uh…
Max: I like pulp.
Shawn: I’d say we’re pretty pulpy.
Wyatt: I think we got pulp, honestly.
Lucas: Oh okay. But you just don’t like to drink it.
Wyatt: I don’t like to drink it but, there’s no gettin’ around it. We got pulp.
Lucas: I guess that’s fair, we can’t close our eyes to it-
Max: It’s healthier. We’re healthier.
Lucas: We are healthy. We got plenty of pulp.
Wyatt: Don’t say that. don’t say that.
6. Mustard has observed that humans love origin stories. When and how did Citrus Maxima form?
(long pause. like 10 seconds)
Lucas: Um. the “when”… we’ve been piecing together for years. We all started playing together about 2 years ago seriously because we had a bunch of songs we wanted to plan.
Wyatt: It’s kinda been coming together for like…
Lucas: 8 years.
Wyatt: yeah, 8 years total…
Shawn: In its current form it’s about 2 years.
Lucas: As for how? we just… asked each other.
Max: I met Lucas in College, that’s when we started chatting, and I didn’t join the band until after I graduated.
Shawn: I think I met YOU in College too.
Max: I also met Shawn in College too.
Max: I think of the two of you as one uh…. one…
Shawn: Entity. Named Lucas.
Wyatt: I knew Lucas and Shawn ’cause we went to High School together, but they were older than me, and I saw them perform at the talent show, and I remember it being pretty good. I’m sure maybe looking back it wouldn’t have been as “rockin'” as I thought it was, but…
Lucas: People thought that we faked the performance.
Max: backing tracks…
Wyatt: I knew it was real. I knew I saw the real thing.
Lucas: That’s how we knew you were right for the group, you had those keen eyes.
Wyatt: I joined in High School, though, and you guys were in College. You guys were Sophomores.
Lucas: You were still in High School?!
Wyatt: I was a senior!
Lucas: Damn! That’s crazy.
Wyatt: Pretty lame of you guys.
Lucas: A little bit. haha.
7. Who (or what) influences Citrus Maxima?
Wyatt: I think recently a lot of 90’s Indie Rock and Slacker stuff, like Pavement, Modest Mouse…
Max: The Beatles!
Wyatt: We have a shared love of the Beatles. Can’t get around it. But I think more recently we’ve been bringing in some more modern Alternative influences. A little bit of Shoegaze, a little bit of Slowcore even, on the album, 3rd year stuff that’s coming out now. A lot of good stuff.
Max: We’re post Hog-Core.
Wyatt: In a world beyond hogs. That’s where we exist.
8. What is Citrus Maxima’s creative process?
Shawn: At least as of recently, someone will present a riff or idea and we’ll just kinda bounce it back and forth during a jam/writing session.
Wyatt: Yeah, it’s presented pretty informally. I feel like normally now we just start playing and… just hop on stuff.
Shawn: We just try and make a riff work and tinker with it and see.
Lucas: Add, take away. Add, take away. Polish ‘er down.
Max: Yeah. Before we used to do entire demos and send them over, which we still do sometimes, but mostly when we do that we’re like, polishing it and adding finishing touches and arrangement stuff. Recently we’ve been doing more collaborative songwriting because we have to pay for session time to rehearse. I think we’ve been a bit more focused on trying to get things done with each other quickly since the move to Brooklyn.
Wyatt: I think it just ends up working out better usually, because everyone can present their ideas at the same time. The vision comes together more collaboratively instead of someone being like, “This is the vision I had for this song”. Instead it’s, “What does this become?”.
We still definitely have songs when someone is like “this is what I’m envisioning. You do this, you do this…” But we still build off of it.
9. 2019 saw the release of your single “On My Mind.” What was on the mind of Citrus Maxima at this time? Are these things still on your mind?
Lucas: ALWAYS. Always on my mind. What was on my mind at the time? Jeez…
Shawn: Lucas wrote this song.
Wyatt: Yeah, this is when we were very non-collaborative.
Max: I wasn’t in the band.
Shawn: At this point the band was primarily Lucas writing.
Lucas: Yeah, I was obsessed with King Krule and Mac DeMarco, and I wanted to have one of those Rocker-y… What do they call it…
Lucas: Yeah, a Crooner voice.
Max: The Croods.
Wyatt: Yeah we were thinking of that name change.
Lucas: I wanted to do a “tongue-in-cheek” over-the-top Indie thing. That was plenty on the mind. Also homework. I was in College. Too much homework.
10. What is the significance of the year 1970? How did this year inspire your single of the same name?
Wyatt: That was the year my English teacher was born. My favorite English teacher.
Max: Really? Haha is that the story??
Wyatt: No, that’s the answer I want written.
Shawn: I have no idea why the song is called that. I hadn’t even read the lyrics.
Wyatt: I think we were just kinda going for that nostalgia feeling, the kind of vibe you get when you look at a photograph from something that you couldn’t possibly have been at.
Max: It’s called 1970 because that’s when good music begins, and good music ends in 1979.
Wyatt: That’s true.
Max: The only good music.
Wyatt: With the last Steely Dan album, music died. I want that printed.
Max: I wasn’t in the band at this point also.
Lucas: I liked the way it sounded. I liked it phonetically.
Max: We were ripping off the Smashing Pumpkins.
11. Who in Citrus Maxima is the cleanest man alive? How is this judged? Did a potential dirty situation inspire this single?
Wyatt: We were eating a lot of trash at that time. Just really (biting sounds) really going in.
Max: Just guzzling.
Wyatt: It just tasted so good, it really got our creative juices going.
Lucas: Honestly THAT’S been on my mind. That has been on my mind still. I wanna go back.
Wyatt: I think Shawn is the cleanest man.
Max: I think Shawn is the cleanest.
Shawn: Okay, at least clean-wise… but the song…
Lucas: you’d be the cleanest among us. You ate the least amount of garbage at the time.
Shawn: Alright. Next question.
12. Last year you released a three song EP “Sprouts.” Could you share what it was like to put this EP together?
Max: So. Stressful.
Wyatt: Kind of a shit-show compared to what we just did I think. It took us so long.
Max: 12 hour days in the studio every weekend.
Lucas: Max, We had you driving down from Buffalo.
Max: I lived in Buffalo at the time, ’cause that’s where I’m from, and so I would drive like 6-8 hours to get there (Albany) and spend the whole weekend there, and sometimes my car would fuckin’ break down and I would get trapped there and I would have to call work and be like “hey… I’m 9 hours away…” and they would give me shit for it. But fuck that job. Anyway… yeah that was the situation for too long, every weekend.
Wyatt: It was not a very cohesive recording process. Great learning experience, and I think it was our first time getting to jam together a lot ’cause Max had just joined the band. It was tough. Definitely not the easiest thing I’ve ever been a part of.
Lucas: I feel like the writing was less cohesive.
Wyatt: I think it shows.
Max: I don’t know why we called it Sprouts…
Shawn: I think it was because we had just formed our current iteration.
Max: Now it kinda makes more sense to me too, cause it was like our first step.
Wyatt: It was our first thing with Max playing on, and singing on. So, significant in that sense.
13. What are some things that sprout in the human world? How did the concept of sprouting influence the EP?
Max: I’m always sproutin’. Always something growing inside me that I can’t name.
Lucas: You swallowed a watermelon screw.
Max: I did. It’s getting big now.
14. A human gets a chance to see Citrus Maxima perform. How would you describe your live performance?
Shawn: Lots of energy.
Max: Dirty. Mean.
Wyatt: Very Noisy.
Max: We like going a little ham.
Wyatt: I think the album that we have coming out and the singles are a more accurate representation of where we are, and what it’s like to see us live. There’s lot’s of feedback and cool guitar noises on it, and I think that’s what we’re about. Throwing our guitars around and stuff, noise…
Max: We like a real live show. I think there’s a lot of bands that pull up to the show and expect everything to sound exactly how it does in the studio, but I think we embrace a fully live act. It SHOULD be different, so we bring a bit more energy to it. It gets a little noisier, and louder. We like to throw things.
Wyatt: Yeah we do some transitions, add things. It’s pretty noisy. It’s fun. I think people have a good time.
Max: I always have a good time.
15. Do you have any upcoming gigs?
Wyatt: We’ve got a couple!
Shawn: We’re doing a little east coast run in May. May 18th at Pianos in NYC, May 19th at Zapp Factory in Philly, May 20th at The Pocket in DC, and we’re rounding it out in our hometown on May 21st at The Dojo Beyond Time and Space in Albany, NY!
16. What is next for Citrus Maxima?
Wyatt: More touring. More touring.
Max: We wanna play more.
Shawn: lots more shows, and more consistent releases.
Wyatt: It’s nice having an album, it gives you a foundation of where to go, an identity, which I think we were looking for for a while. But it’s hard to establish that with just singles and an EP even. So I think, lots more music, lots more touring.
Max: Our EP was a little scattered as far as theme, but I feel like this album is very cohesive and it’s very much our sound, so we’re just gonna build off of that.
17. Where can readers listen to your music?
We’re on all streaming platforms as Citrus Maxima, and we’re on socials as @citrusmaximaband ! Here’s a link for your convenience: https://linktr.ee/CitrusMaxima !!
Wyatt: Thanks Mustard!
Shawn: Thanks for having us!
Wyatt: I hope you learned something about human kindness.
Max: Thanks, Mean Mr. Mustard. You’ll never be one of us. Give up. (jk)