How to Stay Well | Prevention Resource Center

What’s So Unusual About Being a Hollywood Music Producer?

Max McFarlane, 21, owns his own music studio in Hollywood, California, and is helping his artists sign with major labels. His video profile is one of 200 “Meet a Scientologist” videos available on the Scientology website at

There is no shortage of Hollywood music producers but not one is quite like Max McFarlane. Breaking into the business as a teen, the 21-year-old owns his own music studio—Black Pedal Records—and is well on his way to establishing his name in a very competitive industry.

Being ahead of the curve is nothing new for McFarlane. When most 10-year-olds were struggling over their multiplication tables in fourth grade, McFarlane was putting his math skills to use, calculating the tax on the $800 a week he earned selling candy to the neighbors in a business he dreamed up and ran out of his parents’ home.

But at 14, McFarlane lost his focus, doubting his own values in the face of peer pressure to be “cool”. His parents, Scientologists, didn’t subscribe to the theory that “the teenage years are like that” and suggested he enroll on a course at the Church of Scientology. The course opened his eyes to what was really going on.

“I realized my so-called ‘best friend’ was quietly undermining me while pretending to back me up,” he says. “I saw I could do much better without his influence in my life. I was raised in a Scientology family and thought I knew what it was about, but on this course I learned something I’d never understood before. It opened my eyes to the value of studying the religion.”

McFarlane plays drums, guitar and bass, and is learning sax and keyboards. He is also an engineer and mixer, following in the footsteps of his mother who was one of the first female audio engineers in California in the 1980s.

When McFarlane was 15, he decided to become a music producer. Despite his strong interest in the industry, learning it didn’t necessarily come easily.

“I don’t have any formal education in this area,” says McFarlane, “but I apprenticed under people who knew what they were doing. Audio engineering is a very technical subject with lots of terminology. I used a principle from Study Technology developed by L. Ron Hubbard—I never go by a word I don’t fully understand without clearing it. You might think that would make it take longer. The truth is, it accelerates your study and in the end you can use what you learn.”

Producing music in many genres including pop, rock, R&B, soul, funk and hip-hop, McFarlane likes finding artists, developing their abilities and getting their records out. Several of his artists have recently been signed to major labels.

He runs a hard-line policy when it comes to drugs, which have literally killed some of the best talents in his industry and ruined the lives of countless others.

“Drugs destroy creativity, make you wooden, and give you a completely distorted concept of what you are doing,” McFarlane says. “I want to inject life into people. There is no room for drugs in my studio.”

Asked what he likes best about Scientology, McFarlane says “It works for what I do and what I am and who I am. And with Scientology, it’s instant gratification—it always works.”

View the Max McFarlane video at

The popular “Meet a Scientologist” profiles on the Church of Scientology International Video Channel at now total 200 broadcast-quality documentary videos featuring Scientologists from diverse locations and walks of life. The personal stories are told by Scientologists who are educators, teenagers, skydivers, a golf instructor, a hip-hop dancer, IT manager, stunt pilot, mothers, fathers, dentists, photographers, actors, musicians, fashion designers, engineers, students, business owners and more.

A digital pioneer and leader in the online religious community, in April 2008 the Church of Scientology became the first major religion to launch its own official YouTube Video Channel, which has now been viewed by millions of visitors.