Interview: Max Rauch Discusses Fast Food, Donald Trump, and Leo Tolstoy

Max Rauch is a multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, songwriter, recording engineer, and long-time performer from New Jersey. Not only does he record and engineer music for a seemingly endless list of bands, but he also plays drums and sings in NGHTCRWLRS, writes songs, plays guitar, sings, and plays “a lil organ” for LKFFCT, is one of C.R. Gennone's Degenerates, helped to engineer the latest Tribal Days record, and, well, the list goes on and on...

Max had just come off a long weekend of five straight shows when he took some time to answer our questions below.

You're in a lot of bands. Don't you have anything better to do with your time? What's the point?

Well, I guess the answer to that question all depends on your perspective.. Playing music and expressing myself creatively is a top notch priority in my life. It brings me joy. That's the point. Why should I waste my time doing something I don't enjoy?

Who is your favorite musician that you have worked with? Why is he or she so much better than everyone else?

Working with Chris Gennone of C.R and the Degenerates has been a great experience. I don't like to measure artists in a ranked system and I won't say he or anyone is "much better than everyone else" but I will say that his music is genuine, honest, and unique in a way that happens to be personally relatable to me. Chris is becoming a master at writing memorable and cathartic songs.

If your band LKFFCT was a fast food restaurant, which restaurant would it be? What would the most affordable combo meal consist of?

I've always likened our music to Raw Sugar. Perhaps we'd be a Jamba Juice? Never really thought of our music in relation to fast food. I do think modern pop music is a lot like McDonalds though....

Two of your bands, LKFFCT and NGHTCRWLRS, have names in which the vowels are omitted. Why do you hate vowels so much? Is there some sort of childhood trauma that led to this? If so, can you please describe your childhood in-depth for us?

I don't hate just so happens that the 2010's are slim pickin's when it it comes to available band names...We tried to keep our vowels but we got threatened with a potential legal action. Who cares anyways? Band names are kinda meaningless. Also, I had nothing to do with naming NGHTCRWLRS (I wasn't even in the band at that point!).

Please react to this quote from Leo Tolstoy's "What is Art?"
“Art is not, as the metaphysicians say, the manifestation of some mysterious idea of beauty or God; it is not, as the aesthetical physiologists say, a game in which man lets off his excess of stored-up energy; it is not the expression of man's emotions by external signs; it is not the production of pleasing objects; and, above all, it is not pleasure; but it is a means of union among men, joining them together in the same feelings, and indispensable for the life and progress toward well-being of individuals and of humanity.”

Seems like Leo Tolstoy didn't like to include women in the conversation. What a jerk.

Who do you think would like your music more: Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Jill Stein, or Gary Johnson? Why?

Too content with being "losers" for Donald. Probably a bit too loud for Hillary these days... I guess Gary and Jill might dig us; they both seem like they've smoked a doobie or two in their day...that helps. 

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L.M. Alder is a writer, librarian and musician. His stories, poems, and reviews have appeared in Asimov's, Ghost Town, decomP, Corium, the EEEL, and other places. He is the co-author of A Cathedral in a Mason Jar: The Untold Story of Elvis Presley (tNY.Press, 2016). You can check out his band at