Max Landis: I think everyone to a degree is unique, but unique is subjective. I know some people who would sit and listen to me enraptured for hours and I also know many, many, many, many, many who I couldn’t catch the attention of even if I was on fire. I think the little things I do to amuse myself people take up as, if not cool, then weird in a way that doesn’t make them too uncomfortable and if it does then maybe they like it. I think I’m very good at appearing to be interesting and I think that’s what interesting is; being interesting without making too much of an effort.
TMH: What are you typically known for?
ML: I am known for multiple things, if not by name or by “that loud guy,” many people know who I am. It’s creepy. There are multiple reasons for that. I have a big personality, [am]loud, talk a lot, and I also ride a bright blue bike with a flower seat and a bike bell that is incredibly loud and horrible. People also recognize the fact that I make most of my own shirts. Just iron on. If I like it I’ll wear it because it’s “haha” funny, not to set me apart from anyone else. Also, I just talk a lot. People generally seem to remember me because I ask a lot of questions; I have a continual curiosity about people that a lot of folks find flattering.
TMH: What is one thing that people wouldn’t expect, whether they know you or not?
ML: That question is impossible to answer because of the amount of presumptions people make about me from only tangential interactions. I’m a strong personality, and I trigger reactions and interactions from people that, so I’m told, are very strange. Because of this, people always seem to have a lot of wildly different ideas about me. I’m sort of split because the things people like and don’t like about me also vary wildly on a person-to-person basis.
TMH: You seem to talk a lot about others in this interview; why?
ML: This comes from the fact that ultimately, I don’t know how to market or present myself in this format. Things that I like, if I said them out loud, would make me like them less; I’d start judging myself. So I end up trying to use filters, and I guess you’re noticing that I end up using the filters of other people’s thoughts while sharing very little of my own. I guess it’s because when people look to other people, they hope, to a degree, to see elements of themselves reflected back. But when a lot of people look at me, they see this distorted funhouse mirror mess of themselves and they either dig it or they throw it out. But when I look in the mirror of human interactions, I just see myself. So to make this interesting, I guess I’ve got to talk about other people. I suppose now I might be sounding terribly self important or pretentious, but, I guess that’s a risk you run in an interview about yourself. Am I making any sense at all?
TMH: Any final thoughts?
ML:It’s funny because whenever people ask me about what’s interesting about me or that sort of thing I’m forced to look at my life and attempt to be objective about the things I do, and in doing so I end up thinking, “wow I’m kind of a strange guy.” It’s also ironic because for all the talk of weird being a good thing and a lust for strange I don’t have that big of an investment in it. I would just prefer it if people just think of me as cool. Sadly, or perhaps happily, descriptions of me rarely come with less than three adjectives.