PUNK is a genre that divides opinion. Is it a sound? Is it an attitude? When we recall its biggest names, however, it is quite clear to see that it's both. The Sex Pistols and The Clash did not just play their instruments in a certain way never heard before, but had something important to say – with no apologies – about the society they lived in.
Almost 40 years later Max Raptor are flying the punk flag, but not by merely churning out high-adrenalin, three-chord smashers and looking aggressive. Their songs hit the core of important world issues such as commercialism, war and political corruption, and their writer and singer Wil Ray is not in the business of sculpting pretty lyrics to fit the sound and his voice.
"The songs are influenced by Great Britain and the world around us," says Wil, "but we try not be influenced too much by other musicians. We've been associated with The Stranglers and Billy Talent, but above all we do our own thing."
Something distinctive about Max Raptor is the name itself. For those who think it may be a pun on a certain beauty product brand, think again:
"The 'Max' part comes from a South American god figure called Maximon. On a visit to Guatemala we were persuaded to pay 10 dollars to see him, but all it turned out to be was this papier-mâché head with loads of fags and cigars in his mouth and bottles of rum around him. If you can corrupt tourists at that level, there's something very poetic about that.
"Raptor comes from El Raptor, a sort of faceless ghost that steals things in the night. But it's also similar to The Rapture, which is something to do with the end of the world where that guy got his predictions wrong."
Wil's explanation exposes his desire to be more than just someone who writes perky pop songs. He has opinions, and Max Raptor's music is a means to bring these to the fore.
He is also a man of action, and practises what he preaches – most notably in the case of fan Barney Hall. Jokingly, Wil stated that if a Facebook campaign to have the band play in Barney's bedroom earned 1,000 likes they would happily do the deed.
Of course the target was achieved, and Wil stayed loyal to his word despite the band's other commitments.
"Oh my word, Barney Hall is the guy that will eventually ruin us," quips Wil. "He'll become bigger than the band, perhaps he already is.
"But the beauty of it is that Barney Hall is one of the dying breed of kids who go out and buy CDs and records, so it's an underdog story where he gets rewarded. That's what we're all about, so it was good to do."
BetaFest, organised by local musicians for no other reason than to promote good music, is right up Max Factor's street.
"I've heard that it's sold out the last couple of years, so it's amazing to be headlining. We've got a really loyal bunch of people in the South West who support us so I think it's going to be a good show," said Wil.
"We put our all into every gig though, regardless of where it is. It's our following that keeps us going. They are mental, and surprise us every time."
With a new single, Breakers, recently released, and their first full-length album, Mothers Ruin, out in Autumn, there's a lot happening for the band.
And then there's the tour of course – since June and going on into next year, it sees the lads visit venues ranging from Tunnels in Aberdeen to Leopallooza in Bude.
So what keeps giving Max Raptor the energy to race through those high-adrenalin, anthemic smashers?
"A good rider, great fans, free beer and the ability to be out playing music and getting paid for it too," says Wil, without a moment's hesitation. "And having a great label, who let us have control what we write, is also incredible."
Max Raptor play BetaFest on Friday, September 27, doors 7pm. Tickets: £6 (Fri/Sat only), £14 (Sat & Sun). Visit http://betafest.bigcartel.com or pay on door.
For single/album visit www.maxraptor.co.uk.