Max MacKinnon never imagined he’d be touring alongside Horrorshow and Seth Sentry in one of Australia’s most popular hip-hop bands; Bliss n Eso. We spoke with MacKinnon ahead of his Circus Under The Stars tour.

The outdoor concert series of Circus Under The Stars is set to be impressive. Truckloads of production and staging equipment will be hitting even the most intimate regional areas of Australia. MacKinnon says performing in the smaller communities is very important because “that’s where we really started gathering our support group from back in the day. Fans are in awe. They’re so hungry and thirsty for talent and music to come through their town.”

Bliss n Eso’s music is “organically grown” with the purpose to provide the listener with an escape and a sense of freedom.

“The bottom line is that it starts with the music and the listener. That’s the world right there. When a person can come home from school or work and they’ve had a shit day and don’t want to be judged, you can put on hip hop. It doesn’t judge you. It can be your best friend.”

Bliss n Eso have gone from strength to strength since establishing themselves in the early 2000s. Stars are more reachable since MacKinnon decided to quit alcohol, and he admits that his addiction was so bad he would go from “hospital on a drip, to performing straight onto stage with a hospital band,” and that since quitting, “everything has just been so positive.”

To celebrate the success of Bliss n Eso’s 2013 album Circus In The Sky, they recorded and filmed an exclusive unplugged version of My Life featuring US singer songwriter Ceekay Jones. Ceekay will play guitar for every song throughout the tour. The official video clip includes freestyle motor cross athlete Cam McNair’s severe accident at Red Bull X-Fighters in 2009. MacKinnon says musical director Alan Harvey “opened our minds up to these extreme sports” thinking it would be “awesome to write this track for Cam’s beautiful story – there’s bits about playing in Afghanistan and my wedding in Vegas too.”

Inspiration for Circus Under The Stars was born from recording their latest album in various destinations; “It was like there was a huge train and all the tracks lead to these different stages and colours and animals. We had so many different collaborations so it felt like a circus.” Speaking about the applications for supports spots for the tour (which have now closed), MacKinnon is “bewildered and blown away by the talent,” so much so that he even plays some of the tracks when he wakes up.

After the tour the music won’t stop, as “two or three” collaborations are already on the way.

“For anybody who’s seen a Bliss n Eso show, they definitely haven’t seen this one.”



SATURDAY 5 APRIL Bathurst |Showground  

SATURDAY 12 APRIL Newcastle | Nobbys Beach Reserve

THURSDAY 17 APRIL Sydney | The Domain

SATURDAY 19 APRIL Coffs Harbour | Showground

THURSDAY 24 APRIL Brisbane | Riverstage

FRIDAY 25 APRIL Mackay | The Stadium

SATURDAY 26 APRIL Cairns | Fogarty Park

FRIDAY 2 MAY Busselton | Signal Park

SATURDAY 3 MAY Perth | Wellington Square

FRIDAY 9 MAY Wagga Wagga | Showgrounds

SATURDAY 10 MAY Ballarat | Showgrounds

THURSDAY 15 MAY Bendigo | Showgrounds

FRIDAY 16 May Melbourne | Flemington Racecourse

Fri 23 May Mount Gambier | Showgrounds

Sat 31 May Hobart | Macquarie Wharf 2 | Ph: 1800 GET TIX