An artist capable of incredible versatility, Robert Lundberg is a highly-regarded photographer and filmmaker known for his artful documentaries covering the worlds of music, comedy, art, and film. After spending his youth in Massachusetts, Lundberg moved to New York City to fully invest himself in a career in art and film. Never one to shy away from taking on new challenges, Lundberg has now immersed himself in perhaps his most challenging project yet, the new documentary series titled Uncontaminated Sound – The Interviews.
Debuting in February, the series follows comedians, musicians, fine artists, and actors in an effort to gain an inside perspective on their creative processes which can only be fully encapsulated by going behind the scenes. The series seeks to offer an intimate look into all of the rarely seen or known “little things” that take place during interviews and other similar encounters with artists and performers. Oftentimes, most features are heavily edited, capturing particular moments that are usually heavily vetted by those in charge of the content’s creation or final product. But that’s just not the way Lundberg functions. His primary endeavour is to bring you all of the raw, authentic moments that you would never otherwise get a chance to experience and enjoy.
With our foot firmly planted in the summer now, Lundberg has delivered yet again with another new episode of Uncontaminated Sound – The Interviews. For the eleventh installment, Lundberg found time to chat with singer-songwriter Chris Maxwell who just released his second solo record New Store No. 2 this past Valentine’s Day via Max Recordings.
Born in Arkansas, Maxwell is a highly accomplished musician who began to make a name for himself while based in Memphis, Tennessee where he was afforded the opportunity to work with the late great producer Jim Dickinson, known for his work with legends such as Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones, and the late Grammy-award winning John Hampton who worked with the likes of The White Stripes and Gin Blossoms. In the early 1990s, Maxwell was the primary songwriter and guitarist for The Gunbunnies who were the first band from Little Rock, Arkansas to be signed to a major record label. By the mid-1990s, Maxwell had relocated to New York City where he helped form Skeleton Key, the influential, noisy, alternative rock band known for their catchy junkyard rock sound.
New Store No. 2 was written, recorded, and mixed at Goat House Studio, located right beside Maxwell’s home in Woodstock, New York. The title of the album was inspired by a song Maxwell wrote about his maternal grandfather K.J. Jamell who emigrated from Beirut, Lebanon to a small Arkansas town where he opened a store. At times intimately personal, New Store No. 2 offers a wide range of sounds, from sophisticated and luxurious, featuring horn sections and strings, to more traditional, featuring revved up guitars.
The record features a number of Maxwell’s friends as contributors, such as Cindy Cashdollar, Rachel Yamagata, Marco Benevento, Amy Helm, Zack Djanikian, Conor Kennedy, David Baron, Mark Sidgwick, Jay Collins, Aaron Johnston, and more. Aside from his own solo career, Maxwell has also found success as part of the production team Elegant Too who has created dozens of opening themes and/or scores for many notable television shows, including Bob’s Burgers, Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations, and Inside Amy Schumer.
Commenting on Mawell, Lundberg shares, “It is a certain rarity that one knows his/her destiny in life, but with composer and musician Chris Maxwell, his path was clear: music. From his youth in Arkansas forming the band ‘Gun Bunnies’ to traveling northward stopping in Nashville, to pick up a few things here and there from recording legends.
He then set off to NYC, in which he dove headfirst into the city’s vibrant music scene, co-founding the band ‘Skeleton-Key,’ and finally roaming still northward towards the more peaceful Woodstock, NY. In this serene environment, Chris has grown his ‘Elegant Too’ production company with partner Phil Hernandez. While also finding the right headspace and time, to finally confront his past on two recorded solo albums: ‘Arkansas Summer’ 2016, and ‘Store No 2’ Feb 2020.
My curiosity was piqued when I first learned about Chris’ journey, and in early April we sat down in front of our screens, to chat. Our conversation touched upon pursuing craft, evolution of the creative soul, and yes producing a few tracks for the television-series ‘Bob’s Burgers’.”
Lundberg has many more interviews lined up with acclaimed artists who have agreed to be participants in Uncontaminated Sound – The Interviews in the coming weeks and months. Lundberg has already been bringing you his ongoing series Uncontaminated Sound which takes a look behind the scenes to get a look at performers before they take the stage. The series has featured Macklemore’s Gemini Tour featuring Eric Nally (formerly of Foxy Shazam) and Xperience, Louie Anderson, Sinbad, Ron English, We Are Scientists, Rufus Wainwright and more. Lundberg’s photography has been highlighted in publications such as Huffington Post, Paste Magazine and more.