Maxim onstage at O2 Academy Newcastle (Photo by Tommy Jackson/Redferns via Getty Images)

March 2024

Going for Gold: Maxim, The Prodigy



All the world’s a stage for electro-punk legends The Prodigy, whose incendiary sound found them global fame. Helen Whitaker catches up with MC, frontman and Silver Member Maxim to talk headline tours, breakfasts at T5 and the importance of green tea

When ‘Firestarter’ hit number one, the band went stratospheric. How much time did you spend on the road, back in the 1990s?
Too much! I’d say 60% of our time. On a typical tour, you tour for six months, come home for three, then go away for another six. We did that in the first year, then never again: we got sick of each other. Instead, we’d travel for a week or two, come home for a fortnight, then go back on the road for two weeks. That’s still how we travel today, striking a balance between being on the road and family life.

As a kid growing up in Peterborough, did you ever imagine seeing the world like that?
When I was growing up, holidays for me – like a lot of West Indian kids – meant visiting my family in London. While other kids at school went camping or to Spain, that was the extent of my travels. Now, I appreciate every experience I get, seeing places like Australia and Japan, or even Siberia. It’s a huge privilege to go to these places and play to people there.

Do you still get a buzz from travelling?
Always! Something still excites me about packing my bags, getting in the car and driving to the airport. I used to love the shopping, but now I just enjoy being in the lounge: eating my scrambled eggs in T5, getting on the flight with a good magazine, or listening to an audiobook and relaxing. I look forward to being on the plane. I’m like a little kid.


The entrance to Harajuku’s Tokyo Plaza. Credit: Rafael Hoyos Weht / unsplash

Which destination always inspires you?
Tokyo! I love Japan. I’ve got friends there and go quite a lot, both for touring and solo projects. I love the people and the culture. It’s just years ahead in everything and full of ideas everywhere you look. When I’m creating art, it can start from anything, so I find it incredibly inspiring. My son keeps asking to go, and I’d love to take him, too.

Do tour schedules leave you any time to explore? 
In the 1990s, it was all about getting to the place, doing the show and partying afterwards. I can’t even remember some of the places we went, or how I got home. In the last ten years, that’s changed. I try to see a bit of the place and show some gratitude that I can meet different people and experience different cultures.

Tell us something we don’t know about you…
I’m not a party head. I’ve never really said this in an interview, but when I’m off stage I’m the most calm, sober person you’ve met in your life. Green tea is my drug of choice – that’s what I’m sipping between songs, believe it or not. It’s all about yin and yang. It can get rowdy on stage, so I like to get away from that and find my own space. That’s my theory about rock and roll, and why it all goes wrong for some people. They try to live the stage life off stage, but you have to have that balance and look after yourself. The Prodigy has been going for more than 30 years, and I’m still here.

Quick-fire questions

Your ultimate in-flight necessity? Tea! I drink so much green tea that I bring my own everywhere I go. Even on BA flights, I’ll just say, “Can you bring me some hot water?”

What else is always in your hand baggage? A pillow and my computer, because I like to write music and do graphics and art.

Aisle or window? Window every time! I don’t like the aisle. It makes me feel too exposed.


Credit: AdobeStock

Where’s still on your wish list? Tanzania (pictured above). I like an ethical safari, and I’m told the wildlife’s amazing.

Do you have a favourite hotel? I’ve stayed in a lot of luxury hotels, but I’m happy with simplicity. There’s been times when I’ve been given enormous suites, and swapped rooms with my security. I like somewhere cosier.

What’s your current Tier? I’ve gone down to Silver. I’m not happy about that!  

Any memorable moments with British Airways? When we’ve been on a flight and got talking to the staff, then they’ve had the next day off and come to our gigs. It’s happened quite a few times! I love flying BA. I can’t say anything negative, to tell the truth. It’s always a pleasure.

Check out The Prodigy’s upcoming festival appearances at For more on Maxim’s art, visit and

This article has been tagged Opinion, Travel Tips