Over the years, scholars from many disciplines have attempted to make sense of the bizarre history behind the band, but despite their best efforts, each has been wildly inaccurate. For the first time ever, we present what we believe to be real story of Maxwell's Demon. During our research, we also uncovered information about the various members of the band over the years. If one is interested in such matters, it can be found to the right. >>

The Real Story of Maxwell's Demon
Sinclair Alexander Maxwell was not a normal child. Conceived during the first wave of the peace and love era in the stall of the men’s room at the Fillmore Auditorium while The Mothers of Invention were attempting to enlighten the audience with a bizarre rendition of Stravinsky’s Petroushka, Sinclair started life in a dichotomous state. While he was never diagnosed with split personality disorder during his formative years, he was nevertheless aware of a dormant part of his brain, lying in wait to be unleashed upon the world.

He had a natural affinity for math and science, which did not sit well with his parents or the rest of the art commune in which he was raised. They focused on instilling in him their vision of a utopian society, one in which everybody contributes, everybody shares, and everybody loves one another. The young Sinclair absorbed this philosophy and was driven to make it work on a grander scale, beyond this small collection of hippies and their random offspring with whom he grew up. It wasn’t long before he had learned everything they could teach him and he had to leave the commune to seek a more formal education.

Sinclair excelled in school, eventually earning his PhD in computer science with an emphasis on artificial intelligence. He remained in the academic world after graduation, staying on as a professor so he could work on the cutting edge of AI research. While his papers focused on topics more accepting to the computer science community at large, he secretly developed simulation software that attempted to model the utopian society in which he was raised.

Over the years, however, his utopian simulator proved time and time again that such a society was not sustainable over a long period of time. Given the mixture of personalities that interacted on a daily basis, there was always one “person” who got angry and hurt another, who saw an opportunity to take advantage of another, etc. Once that evil seed was introduced, the “community” quickly devolved into chaos.

Outside in the real world, the success of his simulator became increasingly important, although the world’s population was too distressed from a global lack of resources and the wars, poverty, famine, disease, and further destruction of the planet that resulted to be at all concerned with Sinclair’s work. This in turn distressed Sinclair, and the more he worried, the less productive he became until it finally hit him. Up until this point, he had been a mere passive observer of his simulations. Sure, he had mixed an endless combination of personalities together, but he had only initialized them and let them run their course. What if he could alter them somehow while the simulator was running?

Then he reflected on his childhood, now so long ago that he barely remembered it. So many memories had been replaced with formulas, computer language semantics, and everything else his job required that very little of his past remained. What did come to mind was the music - all those great bands from the ‘60s and ‘70s that his parents used to play around the house: The Beatles, The Stones, Hendrix, Zappa, then later on, Genesis, Yes, Tull, Van Der Graaf, more Zappa. He recalled how a quarter of a million people back in ‘69 got along for three days in the rain with very little conflict because legendary artists like The Who, Janis, CSN, and Jimi were there. Maybe, just maybe, if he altered his approach, he could find a solution to the world’s problems.

Thus he directed his efforts toward the development of AI software that could compose music – not just any music, but music that could unite, inspire, and possibly even heal. Music so beautiful that people would begin to work together to solve the world’s problems rather than cause them. And it worked. The results were sublime. He was so moved by the initial piece that he ran out of the lab, grabbed the first homeless man he could find and bought him lunch.

The next step was to expose others to this music. He envisioned it as a catalyst to an exponentially growing trend of goodwill among his fellow man until it became a revolution, a systematic, synchronized, non-violent overthrow of the world’s government to be replaced with, well, to be replaced with nothing. Just people. People living their lives, producing goods and services that befit their unique talents, trading these for the goods and services that the others in their community produce, finding love, and enjoying this rare, precious, and statistically improbable gift called life.

The problem was that his music didn’t affect anyone else. He didn’t understand at first, but eventually it dawned on him that the people of his time were too jaded, too disaffected by the state of the planet, possibly even aware on a subconscious level that they were so close to extinction due to any number of sources that they had given up hope. Apparently the ability for works of art to move people had been gradually eliminated over the 60 years that Sinclair had been alive.

Despondent and broken, he put this work aside and focused his energy on his academic research. Over the next several years, his passion for traditional AI was rekindled. He came out of his shell and began networking more with his colleagues. He even attended conferences outside his field: bioengineering, nanotechnology, philosophical physics, etc. At one of the latter conferences, he met Dr. Henri Garnier, a like-minded individual who had heard of his music project and was intrigued. They talked late into the evening, solving the world’s problems over a bottle of 22 year old Scotch, and eventually deciding that they needed to track down a reclusive physicist known only as Barrett who had reportedly succeeded in sending microscopic particles back in time. Of course, others had done this, but Barrett could purportedly place the object with extreme precision.

The specifics of how Sinclair, Henri, and Barrett did what they did were never recorded. Some experiments are not worth repeating, and some experiments should never have been conducted in the first place. What we know is that two of Sinclair’s bio-chips, loaded with his AI music composition software, were sent back to the year 1997 and transplanted into the minds of electrical engineering graduate students John Galbraith and Craig Beebe. We speculate that the reason behind this was Sinclair’s belief that the people at the turn of the century were still capable of being moved by music, even if general apathy was beginning to creep in. We also believe that he chose 1997 because it gave his subjects enough time to adjust to their implants, form a band, and begin producing music that would inspire people to make the aforementioned changes necessary for their survival.

What we don’t know is why it went so horribly wrong. Was it Maxwell’s usually dormant alter-ego altering the code without his knowledge? Was it a glitch introduced during the trip back in time? Was Henri a secret agent for the world government sent in to sabotage the experiment? Or was it simply that John and Craig, the unwitting subjects, had their own ideas about how music should be written? We’ll probably never know. Once the authorities got involved, all attempts to further research this event were blocked. Sinclair was quietly removed from society, Barrett moved further underground to avoid the same fate… and Henri still occasionally makes appearances at various conferences, discussing the world’s problems with other like-minded individuals.

As for the experiment’s subjects, they did in fact form a band, initially called The Arzamas Project with Christine Scheer on drums, and began writing tunes under the influence of their implants, all the while allowing the chips to continue "learning” how to write music. However, the generated music did not reflect Sinclair’s vision; at times it could be beautiful, but for reasons unknown, it grew more and more dissonant and complex.

They were suddenly and inexplicably motivated to change the band’s name to Maxwell’s Demon. By the time Prometheus, their first album, was released in 2001 (now with Dow Draper on drums), the complexity of their music was overwhelming: the album is a 39 minute, non-tonal work with ever-changing meters and absolutely no repeats. Their second album, the even more complex Diablo (with Jeff Martinov on drums, Chris Johnson on bass, and several special guests), was released in 2009. The rest, as they say, is history.