At the age of 14, MAxwell Smart had his very first experience in the world of DJing. It was the summer of 1986, and Virginia Beach, VA felt like it was going to melt that day. After a hard day of surfing, Max and his friends Sean Ollice, and Kenny Hitz decided to spend the afternoon at the father of Kenny’ house. Who, coincidently was the owner of the still operational rent a DJ co. “Astro DJs”. Sitting around listening to records like “The Pet Shop Boys”, “A-Ha”, and other 80’ top 40 bands, Maxwell Smart attempted his first mix ever. The song “Sex” by 80’ band “Berlin” was just about to come to a close, when all of a sudden, the opening notes of “Relax” by “Frankie Goes to Hollywood” appear. It wasn’t pretty by any means. Although at the time, it was just “screwing around” Chris Sewell (later to become “Maxwell Smart”) had no idea what kind of impact that moment had on him. It would be eight years before he realized what he had experienced.
Through the course of time, the course of “growing up” Max had several identities. Like every teenager, finding out who you are and what you want out of life was the number one priority. At 18, Maxwell Smart noticed that things weren’t going to well at home or in school. In a desperate attempt to not become a “loser”, he decided to move to Pensacola, FL where his wonderful loving Grandparents reside. He was able to graduate High School and start a new life. After High School, his current friends turned him on to the underground sounds of, at the time, “alternative” music. Being an open minded person, the bands he was listening to were very influential. So influencing that he learned to play the guitar, bass guitar, and drums, so that hopefully one day he would be in his own famous band.
Although at the time, his choice of music was punk and alternative, dance was never out of the picture. The hard driving repetative beats would always be in the back of his mind. Visiting the only underground club in Pensacola every weekend, Bedlam was his favorite place.
In 1994, Maxwell Smart finally reallized his calling. All he ever listened to was techno. He loved techno. He loved what the DJ’ did with the music. He loved the idea of creating a song that lasted for hours. His first set-up was a 70’ model Sony direct drive turntable with pitch control, a Radioshack mixer, and a tape deck. It wasn’t until the next year when he got his second turntable. Thanks to his loving girlfriend, Holly Richardson, he was finally able to mix two records.
After getting the basics down, Maxwell smart decided it was time to invest in some “professional” equipment. Along with his new turntables and mixer, he was introduced to a new sound. The sounds of GrooveRider. The sounds of jungle/drum & bass.
He played private parties for his close friends, but never felt comfortable enough to try and play in public. That would all change in 99’. Former promote group “Sunrise Productions” would give him his first public experience at the American Legion. A biweekly event that would soon be shut down.
After the American Legion was shut down, he felt like he had no-where to go. A previous poor experience at Bedlam had left a bad taste in his mouth. The resident DJ “Q” had caught wind about the experience. Maxwell knew that the bad things he had said about the club would hinder his only chance left in Pensacola.
It was a week day in late February that would change all that. Resident DJ, “Q” was going to have an all jungle event. He had booked one of the most renowned jungle/Drum & Bass DJ/producers in the world, coincidently, GrooveRider, the main influence for Maxwell Smart, and needed one more DJ for the evening. Fortunately for Maxwell Smart, a close friend and fellow DJ decided to drop his (Max’) name in "Q"’ lap. With much scepticism, “Q” took a chance, and booked Maxwell Smart for the gig. Ever since that day on March 25th the relationship with Maxwell Smart and the once weary “Q” grew stronger and stronger, eventually leading up to offering Max with a position at Insomnia Project. Naturally, Max couldn’t turn down the offer.