Maxxxwell McHugh Carlisle is an American Heavy Metal guitarist, songwriter, producer, teacher, radio personality and bodybuilder. Carlisle was born and raised in Woodinville, a suburb of Seattle, Washington. He started studying music in elementary school, beginning at age 8 on the Violin. As he grew older he transitioned to playing Bass and Piano and then eventually Guitar. In 1998 at the age of 15 he formed the band Graceful Chaos with several of his local school friends. The band played around the Seattle area until 2004, recording an EP (Wall of Thunder) in 2001 and a full-length album (The Right to Rock) in 2003. For the next 3 years Max focused almost exclusively on bodybuilding, fitness and Pro Street style drag racing.
After moving to Los Angeles in 2007, Carlisle released his first solo album, “Ramming Speed” in 2008. Since then he has released a full-length instrumental album, “Speed Force” in 2010 as well as two vocal-based EPs, “Visions of Victory” and “Full Metal Thunder” in 2012 and 2013, respectively, and a full-length compilation album “Visions of Speed and Thunder”, in 2015. For the release of “Visions of Speed and Thunder”, Carlisle signed with Killer Metal Records in Germany for European distribution and promotion. He has also released 3 music videos for the songs, “Speed Force”, “Power Angel” and “Full Metal Thunder”. The last 2 having been directed by Society 1 front-man Matt Zane. He has also released a lyric video for the re-recorded version of “Ramming Speed”. Carlisle’s latest release is “Like Hell”, a cover of the classic LOUDNESS track from 1985, which will be included on his upcoming full-length album of covers and originals titled, “When The Clock Strikes Metal”.
Maxxxwell Carlisle is currently the lead guitarist of LA metal veterans HELLION, joining them in 2013 for the writing and recording of their new “Karma’s a Bitch” EP, which was released in 2014. He continues to record and tour with HELLION. They are scheduled to appear on the upcoming 2016 Monsters of Rock Cruise, and have announced plans to release a live album, featuring recordings from their 2014 North American tour.
Over the course of his music career Carlisle has collaborated with many different musicians on a wide variety of recording projects. In 2009 he released a single “Duet for Electric Guitar and Electric Cello in A minor” with electric cellist Tina Guo. He would also make an appearance in the music video for her song “Forbidden City” 2 years later as a masked, shirtless man standing in a bathtub. Additionally, he appeared in the music video for the Byron Gore song “Grey” as a drunken bar patron who throws a lit cigarette at Mr. Gore. On Carlisle’s “Speed Force” instrumental album in 2010, he featured guitarist Michael Angelo Batio on the song “Axis Accelerator”. Later that same year he would write, produce and perform on a song which was released on Michael Angelo Batio’s “Hands Without Shadows II – Voices” album. In 2011, Carlisle played in Deathriders, the Los Angeles based thrash band led by original Anthrax vocalist Neil Turbin on the band’s “Stay Scream’n Tour”. On Carlisle’s two vocal based solo albums he has featured several other guitarists including Nita Strauss, Ethan Brosh, Rick Renstrom and Dannyjoe Carter. Carlisle also performed on and produced a track for the latest Michael Angelo Batio album, “Intermezzo”. The album also features George Lynch, Rusty Cooley, Craig Goldy, Jeff Loomis, Guthrie Govan, Dave Reffett, Joe Stump and others. “Intermezzo” was listed as one of the Top 5 Shred Albums of 2014 by Guitar World Magazine.
Carlisle teaches guitar and music lessons via Skype, specializing in Rock, Metal and Blues technique as well as songwriting, music production, goal setting, motivation and band / artist relations.
In September of 2015, in a collaboration with Metal Express Radio management, Carlisle launched a weekly internet radio program entitled, “The Maxed-Out Metal Hour with Maxxxwell Carlisle”. The show airs twice every Thursday on Metal Express Radio (currently exclusively) and features Max playing selected songs from the Power Metal, True Metal, Heavy Metal and Hair Metal genres. He shares his thoughts and musician’s perspective into the history and relevance of the songs. The shows typically have themes such as “Masters of the High Notes” or “Metal from Outer Space” or “Archetypical German Power Metal” or “Overly Popular Metal Song Titles – Valley of the Kings Edition”.
Additionally, Carlisle is a member of The Planetary Society, the world’s largest privately run space exploration advocacy group. He occasionally performs at various charity events such as Rockers Against Human Trafficking and Metalheads for Homeless Veterans Foundation. He has appeared or been featured in Music Connection Magazine, iGuitar Magazine (Asia), HeavyRiff Magazine (Mexico) and Muscular Development Magazine. Carlisle has not competed as a bodybuilder since 2009 but continues to enjoy and praise the bodybuilding lifestyle and hopes to return to bodybuilding competition at some point in the future. He also writes music related articles for his Blog and volunteers at the Los Angeles Guinea Pig Rescue, an animal rescue based in Chatsworth, CA which specializes in various breeds of Cavia. Maxxxwell Carlisle married in August of 2015 and lives with his wife Cindy and their cat and six guinea pigs, in Los Angeles, CA.