By Nicholas Jason Lopez
There’s some new masters of puppets in town.
Mississauga-based rock-trio MAYBE MAY showcase their Italian handmade puppets in front of green screens throughout the DIY music video for their latest release “Survive, Satellite,” a song that the band hopes motivates its listeners when life becomes too much.
The track was produced and engineered by JUNO Award-winning Kevin Dietz (The Glorious Sons, Alexisonfire) and recorded at Toronto’s Union Sound Company and Mississauga’s Metalworks Studios. They also worked with mastering extraordinaire Noah Mintz (Billy Talent, Death From Above 1979) for the first time.
The Music Bugle had the opportunity to talk with the group – composed of singer-songwriter/guitarist Demetrius Nath, drummer Vitaly Melnik and bassist/vocalist Rian Cunningham – about their handheld doppelgängers and more.
Music Bugle – What was it like making the video for “Survive, Satellite”?
Vitaly Melnik – Hah. It was a fun, bonding experience, which is what it was exactly supposed to be. This is more of a casual, playful, DIY approach to a music video and I’m sure that will come across when people watch the clip. Puppets, green-screens and fireball shots, what more can I say?!
Music Bugle – How did you decide the name “MAYBE MAY”?
Demetrius Nath – Honestly, I have always been infatuated with names that are months – like April, May, June… there’s something romantic about it. Trying to come up with a band name, I was trying to think of something romanticized, but not too feminine. In my head, I went, “Maybe April? Maybe May?” – and just stuck to MAYBE MAY because it rolled off the tongue easy and of course, as you can imagine, it’s given friends a lot of ammo as far as puns are concerned.
Music Bugle – Does social media help or hurt musicians?
Rian Cunningham – Social media is a double-edged sword, ’cause it’s one of those things that nobody wants to do, but you sorta have to do it. As long as you keep it fun, consistent and be yourself, you’ll learn along the way.
Music Bugle – What made you want to release “Survive, Satellite” as a single?
Demetrius Nath – We wrote a catchy pop-punk song, something we don’t typically do. Felt like the world could use a fun tune with a silly video at a time when there’s so much negativity going around. In its root, the lyrical content is poignant and about hope – read it on our website if you’re curious.
Music Bugle – How would you describe Mississauga to someone who has never been there before?
Demetrius Nath – Oh, it’s the best city around. Imagine the big city vibes of Toronto crossed with vast expanses of nature. A melting pot of culture and ethnicities, right next to world class shopping and a concrete jungle of condos. What more could you want?!
Music Bugle – What excites you the most about your style of music?
Vitaly Melnik – I’m lucky because I get to write and play music I personally enjoy. The flame has been kept alive because of it. I’ve been fortunate to find two other like-minded individuals with whom I’m on the same page with most of the time, in terms of musical direction and the general direction of the band. At the same time, we try and push our style out of certain comfort spots and innovate where we can to keep the sound fresh and to also keep us evolving as musicians.
Music Bugle – What is the biggest challenge in being a trio?
Vitaly Melnik – The initial – and the biggest – challenge was live shows and to recreate that bigger sound we have on the recordings as a three-piece. There was an adjustment period there, in balancing the sound, using the right technology and of course, making the shows as enjoyable as possible for the live listeners. I think we are in a nice rhythm now for sure and hopefully, the performances articulate the songs well and do them justice. Of course, if we had a fourth member, it could be helpful to have an extra set of hands to carry my drum gear around! (Laughs) However, we will make do!
Music Bugle – Which of your songs were the hardest to write?
Demetrius Nath – Our songwriting process is actually very simple. I write the hook/melody/riff and simple lyric idea and then, we jam it out and build on it. Once we have the skeleton of the song, Vitaly comes up with the structure, while Rian creates a demo. From there, we keep expanding/layering/editing. However, last year during lockdown, we co-wrote a tune called “Through Your Eyes” with local artists Matt Zaddy and Kendra Charest-French. Imagine trying to play ideas/melodies over Zoom, editing lyrics between three people online, sending voice memos/notes… quite a few steps. Funny enough, while it was the hardest to write, it’s the simplest song we’ve written/recorded to date!
Music Bugle – Who are you listening to right now, music-wise?
Rian Cunningham – That’s a loaded question. Logic, J. Cole, Mansionz, Wage War, Dance Gavin Dance…and that was just the other day. I like to listen to all genres to take inspiration from all aspects of music.
Music Bugle – How have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
Demetrius Nath – Just like most musicians/artists, we have been unable to play live/tour for more than a year now. While that has been frustrating, we have managed to keep busy recording, collaborating, releasing music/videos through all of this, so we’re quite blessed. Fortunately, all of us were able to keep our jobs, which is crucial when it comes to financing this money pit. Check out the two songs and videos we have coming out this year and you’ll see what I mean.