Lights Down Low
by Max (featuring Gnash)

Album: Hell's Kitchen Angel (2016)
Charted: 20
Play Video


  • Maxwell George "Max" Schneider is an American actor, model, dancer, songwriter, and singer from Manhattan, New York. His acting roles include playing Zander in the Nickelodeon TV series How To Rock and Charlie Prince in the Nickelodeon original film Rags. This folky song was his first single to be released under the name MAX.
  • Max wrote this sultry slow jam with Nathaniel Motte and Liam O'Donnell in 2016. After recording it for his second album Hell's Kitchen Angel, he played the passionate love song to his then-girlfriend, Emily, to ask her to marry him; she accepted. Max said:

    "I proposed to her singing the song where we had our first date. We always say because the song came from a place of love it will always stand for love whether someone is gay, straight, bisexual, or transgender. It started as our little wedding song and it's so beautiful that we get to share it with the world."
  • A remix featuring Los Angeles rapper Gnash was released as a standalone single on October 14, 2016. It was this version that gave Max his first hit song as a lead artist. (He'd previously previously reached the top 50 of Billboard's dance chart in 2016 as a featured artist on Whethan's release "Savage"). Max explained to Billboard why he decided on the collaboration with the "I Hate U I Love U" artist:

    "I had this moment where I was like, 'Well, I kind of hear [gnash's] voice on 'Lights Down Low.' I never considered a rapper, it's a ballad, but you know what? I'm just gonna talk to him.' I told him the story, everything behind it. And the verse you hear is the same verse he wrote the day I told him the story. No switches, the exact recording. It's always been about sharing it honestly.

    I think that it definitely both brought it to another level and added a new twist to the song. It of course became something really beautiful with his addition to the song but didn't change the intent or the feeling of the song, which is the only thing I really cared about. I think that it definitely got to so many more people because he joined. I'm grateful for him becoming a part of it because he has such a unique voice, and we became best friends."
  • The music visual stars Max and his wife, Emily and follows the relationships that take place in an apartment over the course of many years. The clip was directed by Crush Music and Christian Snell. Crush musical director Jade Ehlers explained that "the music video depicts what one's life might look like if they lived in one apartment their whole life."
  • The love song had its very own Snapchat filter for Valentine's Day in 2018, which saw stars such as Alicia Keys and Kim Kardashian posting about it on social media.


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Victoria Williams

Victoria WilliamsSongwriter Interviews

Despite appearances on Carson, Leno and a Pennebaker film, Williams remains a hidden treasure.

John Waite

John WaiteSongwriter Interviews

"Missing You" was a spontaneous outpouring of emotion triggered by a phone call. John tells that story and explains what MTV meant to his career.

Richard Butler of The Psychedelic Furs

Richard Butler of The Psychedelic FursSongwriter Interviews

Psychedelic Furs lead singer Richard Butler talks about their first album since 1991 and explains what's really going on in "Pretty In Pink."

Rock Revenge Songs

Rock Revenge SongsMusic Quiz

John Lennon, Paul Simon and Lynyrd Skynyrd are some of the artists who have written revenge songs. Do you know who they wrote them about?

Carol Kaye

Carol KayeSongwriter Interviews

A top session musician, Carol played on hundreds of hits by The Beach Boys, The Monkees, Frank Sinatra and many others.

Millie Jackson

Millie JacksonSongwriter Interviews

Outrageously gifted and just plain outrageous, Millie is an R&B and Rap innovator.