The inaugural MAX event in Los Angeles is almost here. Set to take place at Club Nokia, I think I can smell the success brewing. Now, if you're still not sure what MAX is, here is a few minutes with the man responsible for it all: Chase Wang.
First, let’s start with a question I’m sure you’ve answered many times over. When did you get involved with the Anime industry? Were you always a fan?
CW: I started off in video games and mainstream entertainment and began also working on projects for Studio Ghibli and others and that is how I branched into anime.
Did you grow up on specific series?
CW: I grew up with Robotech of course! Am I dating myself?
If you are, I am too. Robotech was everything to me. Be that as it may, this year MAX is the word of the day. When did the concept of this show emerge?
CW: The show actually emerged from a request from companies in Japan that wanted to have a platform to celebrate overall Japanese entertainment and to bring that to the U.S.
Why Club Nokia?
CW: The venue was a perfect venue for an intimate situation between fans and talent such as Erina Mano or even X JAPAN.
For a one-day event, what can fans expect? What are the highlights, in your opinion?
CW: Fans can expect a lot of fun that is catered to fans. We are not attempting to charge skyrocketing badge fees, but we want fans to be able to have control and choose, a la carte style, which activities they wanted to participate in. Of course the world premiere of Mano-chan’s film, KAI-KI: TALES OF TERROR FROM TOKYO, will be awesome! We will be giving items away including glowsticks to several hundred attendees to use during the concert portion and such (FOR FREE!). We just want everyone to have a great time. Also, in the evening we will have the X JAPAN/Yoshiki Foundation event which will be free for all attendees-however those that attend either KAI-KI screenings or café events will also receive a special limited edition keepsake item from X JAPAN/Yoshiki that will provide them premier access to the evening’s event without waiting in line. I even hear there will be some major celebrities in attendance and the band might just make a surprise performance ... But that has yet to be confirmed. So get your tickets now at www.Club2theMAX.com
Considering this is the inaugural show, what are you hoping to accomplish at the end of the day?
CW: What I truly want to accomplish is to give fans a really great time without charging them an arm and leg. We are in uncomfortable economic times now and I want to help fandom flourish. With that in mind, we can still create a program with lots of fun and make ends meet if we are honest and open to our fans. I truly believe that fans will support an event that honestly shows them respect and supports them in return.
And as for the future of the show, what’s your vision? Where is this show heading?
CW: Well the future of the show is in the hands of the attendees. My vision is to continue the concept of “no badge charges” for our attendees and allow them to create their own personal convention experience. I hope the show continues but only time can tell.
As of late, you’ve also been instrumental in promoting and bringing the J-Pop and J-Rock scene to the states. What has this experience been like for you? And are you going to continue to introduce us to new acts?
CW: Well, the experience has been truly wonderful. And I definitely see it continuing for the future. I will always be looking to bring more great Japanese acts to the U.S.
Getting back to anime, your connections with the industry obviously run deep, and are important for fans in the US. What’s on the horizon for Chase Wang and BAM!? What are you bringing us next?
CW: These things are under wraps, but when we make our moves and announce upcoming events you all will know.
Thanks Chase. We’ll catch up this week at MAX.