Eso on going solo and staying sober: ‘The real problem was noticing that I had a problem’
“Bliss n Eso will fly forever,” Max MacKinnon said when we asked him what the future of the beloved Aussie hip hop band looked like following the news of his solo career move.
Eso is MacKinnon’s side project, something he wasn’t able to achieve while he battled a very serious drinking problem, but now that he’s “on the other side” of his addiction, the Aussie rapper is able to focus on what really makes him happy: Music.
“It’s been a year and a half since I’ve given up drinking, which has provided me with a lot more energy,” he reveals. “So, I’ve just been writing a whole lot more music and the boys back me fully.”
The boys, Jonathan Notley (Bliss) and Tarik Ejjamai (Dj Izm) who together with Max make up the hugely successful Aussie group have been behind Max the whole way.
“We’re all best of mates, we’re all close homies,” he says, adding while he’s released his debut solo track ‘Sunny Days’, Bliss n Eso are “balls deep in a new album right now.”
“We’re all in the laboratory mixing the magic potions,” he added.
This September will mark two years of sobriety for MacKinnon who kicked his drinking habit in the midst of a massive Bliss n Eso Canadian tour.
“You know I didn’t do it by myself,” he told MTV. “I was in Canada on a tour bus with my crew all around me. DJ was this floating angel checking on me every 5 minutes, and you know, I did it like that.”
He added, “I didn’t go away anywhere, and I kind of did it cold turkey.”
Since being sober, Max has noticed a change in his performance style and as he explains, he isn’t the only one.
“Even our sound guy on the side of the stage who’s been doing our sound and microphones for the last five years, he used to say, ‘You know, I had to put my hands on the knobs, and I have to turn it down when you’re yelling, I’ve gotta turn it up when you’re mumbling, now I don’t even have to touch it. You just fire through.’”
There’s no doubt Max is definitely firing through. His debut solo release ‘Sunny Days’ is an upbeat, fun, catchy tune with an infectious hook and 90’s LA vibe, one of those tracks you can’t get out of your head and, more importantly it was entirely produced by Max himself.
“It’s all new territory for me,” He reveals. “It’s all very refreshing.”
This refreshing new sound is only just the beginning and Max assures us we can “expect some wild stuff” in the near future.
“I’ve got that ‘Sunny Days’ style, very laid back and how you doin’ feel, but I still gotta come with the turn-up, energetic stuff.”
The track itself hasn’t just been a milestone for Max, the Aussie rapper’s also noticed ‘Sunny Days’ is touching people’s lives in a bigger way than he ever thought.
"There’s a young girl who’s been going through cancer," he told us. "So this song has been in her head while she’s been in the hospital. It's things like this, they’re the pluses. Putting positive messages out there is much more important."
Speaking of positive messages, Max has a few for anyone wanting to kick an addiction habit: "Talk to someone about it and nip it on the butt."
"Definitely talk to someone," he says. "No one’s invincible. As you’re a teenager and growing up, you do have that kind of superman mentality, that you can’t be stopped. But the problem is, there are things out there, and addiction is a huge problem here in Australia with a lot of different substances."
He continues: "Do something about it. You know, for a while there I looked at it like it was a wall that was just too hard to climb and now I’m on the other side and it’s the best thing I’ve ever done."
Well said, Max!
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