Maxxx was formed in the mid 1980's in the midst of New York City's Rock and Roll underground at clubs like Lickner Split, CBGB's and The Spread. Maxxx grew out of the early projects of Ahmed Casbhadi and Edward Brutin III, who later legally changed their names to AC DeVyne and Maxxxwell Maxxx, childhood friends from Queens and Manhattan respectively. These projects included: Night Love, Denim and Leather, and Bad Boys on the Loose to name just a few. These bands played some shows, but experienced limited success and made no impact.
After years of discontent with sub-par musicians who were just in it for the music Maxxxwell and AC decided they needed to find a much nastier, heavier drinking crowd to run with. They contacted JT St. Sticks (later to legally be renamed St. Stixxx), former drummer of unblack metal band The Lord's Duel. He immediately showed interest and the trio began to write what would later become "The Red Leather Heather EP." During the tracking sessions Derrick Dirks, the producer who is credited with discovering Maxxx, played some unfinished demos of a guitar soloist going by the name New York Mickey. The next morning AC DeVyne, Maxxxwell Maxxx, and Derrick Dirks went to the flat Mickey was living in and played a demo of "Rock 'N Roll Railroad" for him. He was immediately impressed, but said he wasn't interested in joining the band. When asked why he replied "songs are just a method for delivering my solos, nothing more... I'm not interested in wasting my time waiting for my solo." After a little convincing and a few drinks Mickey agreed to come down to the studio and lay down some tracks for the album, but promised nothing more.
With Red Leather Heather finished Dirks helped the band quickly land a deal with Sacramento label Me 'N My Sawed Off Shotgun Records. The label supported the project so much they even provided the funding needed for the band to hire Mickey as a full time member. This pay off earned Mickey the new moniker "guitar for hire." With the lineup together Maxxxx set out on their first US tour supporting, New Jersey band Pure Pleather Pleasure.
The first Maxxx tour proved very eventful and saw the kind of parties, excess, and downfalls most bands won't experience in their lifetimes. One week into the tour JT St. Stixxx was extradited to Taiwan for sex slavery charges. Pure Pleather Pleasure's amazing drummer Whiskey Skins filled in that night as well as the rest of the tour.
During the tour Maxxxwell and Mickey came across evidence that they had the same dead-beat father... but different mothers. The long lost brothers didn't see eye to eye on much but their common love for booze, music, and women was enough for them to both legally rename themselves the Maxxx brothers.
After 3 months on the road the tour brought Maxxx and Pure Pleather Pleasure back to the East Coast and New Jersey. The crowd was primed and ready. One unruly fan jumped on stage with a broken beer bottle and lunged toward Maxxxwell. A brooding bouncer by the name of TJ "the animal" Ripper quickly grabbed the attacker and is credited with saving Maxxxwell's life. After the show Maxxx, Pure Pleather Pleasure and TJ Ripper headed back to Derrick Dirks' place for an all-nighter that ended up lasting 12 days.
Not much is known about what happened at this party, but Maxxx has suggested that the events were key to their success. In the end Maxxx had a new keyboardist in TJ Ripper, who just happened to be Tampa's premier virtuoso pianist. TJ broke his arm and hand at the party and while it is unknown how exactly it happened, he has hinted that the accident occurred while he was machining a battle axe about a day in. Maxxx also emerged from the party with enough new material to record the "Maxxx Rated" EP.
The band immediately headed into La Supra Phono Studios in Knoxville, Tenessee and ripped through four new tracks that make up "Maxxx Rated." TJ didn't appear on the record because of the broken arm and hand, but was present for the tracking and was vital in defusing the many arguments between Whiskey Skins and AC DeVyne. Dirks finished the mixing and mastering and Me 'N My Sawed Off Shotgun Records had the album released in June 1987. Immediately after "Maxxx Rated" was finished the trouble between Whiskey Skins and the rest of the band reached a boiling point. Whiskey left the band citing that he was never fully accepted.
The Maxxx Rated tour was the first time the NYC boys enjoyed the headlining spot. Covering for the newly departed Whiskey Skins on this tour was Ukranian studio drummer Noclav Ladem (Kissy Face, Merry-Go-Down, темный сад). It all kicked off in July of 1987 and it was during this time that Maxxx first played Japan, the UK, and notably the Syrian Desert, homeland of AC DeVyne. The international fans ate Maxxx up. The tour was so wildly successful that the band started the tour in 600 seat clubs and 7 months later Maxxx closed to a sold out crowd at The Knitting Factory! It was on this night, February 14, 1987 at "St. Valentine's Day Maxxxacre" that former drummer JT St. Stixxx unexpectedly came out half way through the set to replace Noclav on drums. The crowd went crazy! Maxxxwell announced that the band was happy to welcome JT back into the lineup "Maxxx is for the first time complete!" There was much speculation that the entire thing had been staged given that "St." was part of the evening's title, but this has never been verified.
The return of St. Stixxx was never explained to the public, but in early 1989 in an attempt to respond to the rumors Maxxx released "The Secret of the Orient," an East-Asian themed concept album on which Maxxx explored "the many mysterious secrets of these uncharted lands." The promo ad featured the band wearing leather karate gi's with studded black karate belts.
Around the same time as "Mysterious Secrets" St. Stixxx and keyboardist TJ Ripper recorded the limited release experimental side project, "JTTJ: Rhythmic Rock 'N Roll Palindromes".
Over the next 20+ years Maxxx has released many albums including: "Maxxxed Out!," "Live Maxxxturbation and Other Sexxx Acts," and "Use 'Em and Lose 'Em." Maxxx has gone on a tour in support of each release. Usually the tours start in North America then end up in Europe and Asia, finally wrapping up in New York City. They say their greatest pleasure each night is taking the stage and seeing the eager faces of each and every fan.
Hiatus and Return
Between 1993 and 1999 Maxxx was on a hiatus. While the band never made any statements about disbanding after several year it was speculated that the band was no more. During this hiatus members of Maxxx kept from the public eye other than a few brief attempts at new projects. Maxxxwell changed his name and released "Maxxxwell Leather's Alcoholics Beverage" for instance, but the projects were all met with little acclaim and limited success as the band's signature brand of 80's metal was no longer seen as relevant.
In February 1998 Me 'N My Sawed Off Shotgun Records announced Maxxx2k and set the release date for early 1999. The tracking for Maxxx2k took place at Me 'N My Sawed Off Shotgun's newly built studio, Falcolia Studio, in Sacramento,CA. Derrick Dirks worked side by side with co-producers Metal Falcon on the project. The album was a keyboard-heavy celebration of Earth and mankind before the impending doom that the Year 2000 problem (Y2K bug) was bound to bring. The album references the Prophecies of Nostradamus and biblical conspiracy theory about the evil of machines. The tour that followed sparked the rebirth of the Maxxx Army: the crowds got bigger at each show. In an unfortunate incident at a show in Philadelphia Maxxxwell's right index finger was severed by a stray throwing dagger. Longtime friend of Maxxx, Johan Sebastia Rock filled in on bass for the rest of the tour. The finger was later reattached.