Band record EP for Max, 15, in leukaemia fight

Macclesfield Express - - BEFORE THE BENCH - KAREN BRITTON

WHEN Max Mor­ri­son was di­ag­nosed with leukaemia on his 15th birth­day, he was de­ter­mined to fight back.

Max and his in­die rock band The Down – made up of Fal­li­b­roome Academy school mates Sam Gor­don, 14, and Dan Wal­ters, 12 – de­cided to re­hearse harder than ever and use their mu­sic to do some good for the can­cer ward which looks af­ter Max.

They started work on record­ing songs for an EP to raise money for Teenage Can­cer Trust which sup­ports young­sters like Max go­ing through can­cer treat­ment in hos­pi­tal. Max wants the money to go to the ward at Manch­ester Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal where he is hav­ing treat­ment.

While Max has been hav­ing in­ten­sive chemo­ther­apy, the band have con­tin­ued to prac­tice, fit­ting their ses­sions in and around Max’s on­go­ing treat­ment and vary­ing en­ergy lev­els.

Max, who lives some of the time with his mum on Fal­li­b­roome Road and the rest of the time with his dad who also lives in Mac­cles­field, said: “I’m do­ing this be­cause I got di­ag­nosed on my 15th birth­day and I’ve al­ways been into mu­sic and took it as an op­por­tu­nity to fo­cus on mak­ing mu­sic but to do some good at the same time.

“It’s been good for me, while go­ing through some­thing as hard as can­cer. In­stead of keel­ing over, I wanted to take ad­van­tage of the sit­u­a­tion.

“I want to sup­port Teenage Can­cer Trust be­cause be­ing a teenager on a can­cer ward you get re­ally bored and they pro­vide stuff to do to make it more bear­able.” They en­listed the help of Mac­cles­field mu­si­cian and singer­song­writer Jake Evans who agreed to help them record the tracks.

The friends spent a day at the Big Red stu­dio in Mac­cles­field and recorded three orig­i­nal tracks writ­ten by Max – named Found My Baby, Jackyl and Hyde and Smoke and Drink – and a cover of Lit­tle Black Sub­marines by The Black Keys. Jake acted as sound en­gi­neer on the tracks and Mac­cles­field pho­tog­ra­pher Carl­ton Adkins has taken photos of the boys and is us­ing them to draw up art­work for the front cover.

They are wait­ing for fi­nal sign-off on re­leas­ing the EP for down­load and all money raised will go to Teenage Can­cer Trust.

It’s been a bond­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for the fledg­ling rock stars.

The lads got to­gether as a band a year ago with Max as song­writer, guitarist and vo­cal­ist. Sam, who lives in Bro­ken Cross, plays gui­tar and bass and Dan, from Tyther­ing­ton, plays drums.

The group re­flects the mu­si­cal in­ter­ests of the lads, who are pas­sion­ate about rock, in­die and punk mu­sic.

Max was di­ag­nosed with leukaemia in Fe­bru­ary. Sam and Dan needed no en­cour­age­ment to stand by their friend and front­man.

Max said: “We’ve re­hearsed more than ever. It was great to work with Jake and we’re re­ally proud of the EP.

“We were a band be­fore but this has brought us closer to­gether. We were in dif­fer­ent years at school and all have dif­fer­ent tal­ents but we share a pas­sion for mu­sic. Hav­ing can­cer can be re­ally lonely and it feels great to have the sup­port of my band mates. Mak­ing mu­sic has re­ally helped me while I’m go­ing through can­cer.

“It’s im­por­tant to fol­low your dreams. Don’t let any­thing or any­one hold you back.”

The EP will be re­leased for down­load and it’s hoped this could lead pos­si­bly to it go­ing on sale on CD or vinyl.

The friends plan to per­form a gig to show­case their songs at Fal­li­b­roome Academy.

The Down want sup­port­ers to like their Face­book page at face­book.com/ 2017the­down where de­tails of the EP can be found.

The Down mem­bers Sam Gor­don, Dan Wal­ters and Max Mor­ri­son (right) with Mac­cles­field mu­si­cian Jake Evans (se­cond from right)

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