Interview with AnotherMay

We jumped on Zoom with Mexican dream pop five-piece AnotherMay! AnotherMay is composed of Eduardo, Brett, Brad, Billy, and Elias, and formed in San Jose, California in 2018. Their songs are sung in both English and Spanish, and cover topics ranging from love to coming of age. In addition to their musical endeavors, they recently released a puppet show covering topics like depression and consent. In this interview, we cover what they admire about each other as bandmates, the process behind their puppet show, and the emotions they try to capture in their music, such as nostalgia for Gen-Z childhood or crying in your car when it’s raining.

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When you’re on tour, what’s your go-to gas station order?

Eduardo: Oh, this is a really good question. And if I can just chime in. I think maybe instead of gas station, we should talk about fast food order. Because I think that we probably have a bigger answer for that. Do you guys want to talk about the order that you guys ordered in Santa Cruz?

Brett: Are you talking about like what I asked for on the way to McDonald’s?

Brad: Please tell them what you asked the McDonald’s employee.

Brett: So we’re on our way to play a show in Santa Cruz of me, Brad and Elias when the car and so we decided to go to McDonald’s because we were starving, and had nothing to eat pretty much that day. So I get to order, the guys like “Hello, how can I help you? What do you want?” And I thought it’d be like the funniest thing to say boneless pizza. They said that Brad and Elias just started yelling at me, like legit. They were like yelling at me calling me profanity.

Elias: I worked at Starbucks, so it’s like, I don’t take kindly to customers just trolling. You know, like, dude, he’s probably so sick of this stuff, man.

Brett: Like I think as soon as I asked that Elias was like, “Are you serious? Did you really just ask that like, Are you serious?”

Elias: I jump down your throat but it was deserved.

Brett: There was a very long pause? Like he said nothing for like, six seconds. Which was well deserved. A well deserved awkward pause.

So your latest single, “Right Next Door” follows the adventure of some classic grocery store bought goods. How did this idea come together?

Eduardo: I got this one. I got this one. Do y’all remember the Chef Boyardee commercial that came out eons ago? It was that. So, Brett and I were just sitting down, and we were trying to figure out ideas. We have a really good, like track record of making long drawn out stories and not doing anything with them. So, Brett, and I were like, “Oh, let’s just do something simple.” And we were thinking about what can be simple that doesn’t involve a lot of people. Because at the time, there was this thing going around. I don’t know if you heard of it. But you know, and we couldn’t really hang out with anybody. So, we thought, you know what, let’s just do this idea. That way, we have cans, and it’s only us, we’re the ones doing the whole thing. And that way we don’t have to interact with anybody. So, Brett and I ran with it. We tried to capture that charm, at least we thought we did when we scripted the video, and then we shot it. So that’s the idea that it came from.

Brad: I do have kind of a problem that you said that you ran with it. I feel like you could have said you rolled with it to be a little bit more clever. But you know, that’s neither here nor there.

Many themes in your projects elicit nostalgic memories from (gen z) childhood: for instance, the “Right Next Door” video resembles the classic Chef Boyardee commercial with the rolling can, and your puppet show echoes shows like Sesame Street. Do you find yourselves often seeking inspiration in feelings of nostalgia?

Eduardo: Yes. We totally do. In fact, that’s the name. That’s the reason why we called our band AnotherMay. Part of that name comes from the fact that we recognize time just passing, and you’re just like, “Oh damn another May, huh? Like it really was a year.” And you look back at these things. Like the inception of the band, Brett and I were making music based on events that happened in the past. And although they were aimed towards rekindling friendships, we realize that these sort of stories and experiences that happened in the past, if we retell them, they’ll not only be kind of, you know, locked in time, but they’ll also have some sort of nostalgic, almost therapeutic effect. So we figured a lot of people can relate with that.

Brad: I think a lot of it too, is like you’re saying, a lot of that, a lot of those ideas, and those, you know, like, Sesame Street and stuff are just so like, ingrained into us, like, in our memories, that it’s just so easy for us to connect with them and connect with each other, and as band members, over these shared memories, and try and put that out to other people so that they could connect with them. So, it’s like something, you know, more familiar that people can latch on to.

Eduardo: Exactly, and something that not many people know, in fact, I would say maybe you y’all don’t know either, is when we released Sarah’s Room. The whole EP is available on YouTube, but halfway through for “Mañana no se” I introduced footage from the show called 31 Minutos. And that’s one of the earliest memories that I have, that scene right there. So it was just kind of hidden it from different angles, you know, like, we all have different experiences and memories, and it’s just interesting to see what we balance.

Although your self-titled release dropped last summer, how do you look back at that record after almost a year? What did you take away from it? Did your perspective on it change at all over time?

Brad: So, I actually didn’t play the drums in the first record. So, I definitely want to say that the drums are better than the second record. [Laughter]. I definitely think that with this we were more comfortable in our sound and able to hit more of the goals that we wanted to. We just had a more dramatic and solid EP release.

Elias: Definitely, I feel a little bit more consistent as a project, sonically, but it was more in touch with the nostalgia thing. Like, it’s weird to say that. It would be nostalgic for like, beginning of COVID, because we just finished up recording some stuff. Like right before the lockdown went down. So whenever you hear “Marigolds,” I always think of like, dang, that’s COVID, the whole thing. I just think the project was consistent overall.

Brett: Whenever I listen back to this EP, I probably think about the beginning of COVID. And how we like we recorded half of this at my school’s old studio, and us piled up in my room all wearing masks, unless like someone was singing. Sometimes Eduardo would be trying to sing with the mask on, and I’m like, “Eduardo, please, please stop. It doesn’t sound good.”

Eduardo: In my defense, I was trying to protect Brett. But if I can add the final thing, and I’m sure Billy… Billy is not here with us, he usually plays the bass and also does some of the vocals. He would have tons of things to say. But for me, I would say as a collective, I think we matured as a band. Introducing everybody was really just the right way to go, before that it was just Brett and I. I really enjoyed bringing everybody else’s energy input and creative direction into our music and just hearing what it sounds like together because now you listen to it, and you’re like, “Oh, there’s Elias, there’s Billy, there’s Brad. You know, just rock solid stuff. I think it’s a step in the right direction.

Your self titled also features a few ambient sounds such as a voicemail in “5150” and across the track “I Hope You’re Well”. What was the intention behind including these sounds?

Eduardo: So, Brett and I would often work on these songs, just us two. The rest of the team would come in whenever we’d have accomplished and most of the times, we kind of just sit around and try to capture emotions. And he has a lot of instruments in his room that he doesn’t get to use in many tracks, at least for AnotherMay. So we were just kind of thinking about what these made us feel. And it kind of, at least in my opinion, pushed us into the direction of just recognizing your face and slowing down and just thinking like, “What is going on around here?”. You know, especially with… what was it called?

Brett: Yeah, like the little finger piano.

Eduardo: It made it really easy for you to just focus and chime in. I know a lot of us hopefully, we’ve had the experience of just being in a car and it’s raining and you’re just like “Wow, it’s kind of raining, it’s kind of cool.” But then you just start crying and you’re just like “Wow, I was just trying to have a good time.” I don’t know that’s maybe just me…

Brad: I remember you guys being on the fence about the voice recording thing for “5150” and I just really liked it because it really does convey that urgency when you’re trying to get ahold of someone and it just keeps on going to voicemail, you know? I think we’ve all felt that before and it was a really good addition to the song. I felt like it was already pretty good, but it just felt a lot more like authentic, I thought, with it in and luckily you were able to talk them into leaving it in.

Eduardo: The whole song is a response to the voicemail.

You perform songs in both English and Spanish. What lyrical or songwriting advantages do you feel bilingualism within the band gives you?

Eduardo: This is a really good question. Thank you very much for asking this.

Brett: With different languages come different perspectives. Like for example, like Para Los Hombres talks about kind of machismoism, and how it’s about influence, and how it’s a bad thing to have. I feel like with that we can reach different audiences and spread different messages to them.

Eduardo: I think singing in Spanish helped me in two ways. The first way was I felt like I sing a little bit better in Spanish, just because it’s very, I don’t know, it’s fun. And the second thing is it offered more creative difference. There’s a lot of different words that work together in Spanish. And you just don’t hear it as often, right, especially here in the Bay Area in San Jose. Bands are here but some that sing in different languages are far and few between. So we thought it would be a refreshing take. And I think our fans would agree that it was.

Brett: Yeah, definitely, the only band I can think of that does bilingualism was Chicano Batman. I feel like that’s about it. Unless you want to count Pitbull.

Brad: Mr. Worldwide.

Eduardo: I would chime in Melted Ice Cream, that band’s pretty cool.

You guys created a puppet show about consent, depression, and communication, as well as three original songs about the same subject. What made you want to do a puppet show?

Brett: So that was kind of Billy, though he’s not here. Me and Billy kind of threw around the idea. He’s the one that instigated it like, “Oh, it’d be cool to do a puppet show or something.” And I was just like, “Yeah, let’s do a puppet show. Why not?” So me, Billy, and Brad, we all created different scripts for the different puppet shows itself, like Brad did the feelings from the heart, I did the black blob, and Billy did tea time with Tony, which was my favorite skit that we did. The idea was just that no matter how young or old you are, you can still learn these messages and like take impact from them. And just trying to spread good messages and good information out there.

Eduardo: All that was recorded in Billy’s backyard.

In your puppet show, you liken depression to a “black blob.” What helps you cheer up when your black blob is around?

Brett: I guess I’ll start but when my black blob shows up, just like what helps me it’s just like interaction with other people. And just like just having someone to talk to and just express your feelings to someone definitely helps relieve me.

Brad: I feel like if I can go next, I feel like I’m like the antithesis of that. Like, I withdraw. I totally withdraw from other people. I take time to focus on different hobbies that I have. And such, you know, I like to take time to just take care of myself and get in my head, right? And you know, make sure I’m comfortable in my own headspace. And then I’ll kind of work my way back into communicating with others and everything else.

Brett: We’re like Yin and Yang.

Brad: Perfectly balanced.

Elias: Definitely food. I would say my comfort food is Hawaiian barbecue. I love spam. I think whenever I have a really bad day, I’ll just stay in and watch some Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

Eduardo: So my black blob kind of manifests itself more into stress than in depression. So back before I was a part of this band, what I would do is I would go to the local arcade, and I would play DDR until my feet hurt and I just had no energy left, right? I’d be sweating. I dealt with it that way. But I think these days now, specifically with what’s been happening in the year in the past, it’s been hanging out with everybody in this band, really. And whether it’s through making music or just attempting to make music, or going to get boba because we didn’t really work that hard. I think it’s important to really be with somebody and just try to talk to them. Even people who don’t want to be with anybody, they have that one person who they’re like, “Nah, I’ll hang out with them. They’re cool.” So that just goes to show you should try being with people if you’re sad, just try it. Worst case scenario, you don’t like it and you can go get spam. You know?

Brett: Real quick, I’m going to say you haven’t lived until you see Eduardo play DDR.

Brad: It really is an experience. I still remember watching you do the duet with that other guy that was there.

Brett: That random stranger.

Brad: That was mind boggling.

What’s something that you admire about each other as bandmates?

Eduardo: Oh, we do this every day.

Brad: Brett, as much as much crap as I give you dude. Like you have a really good work ethic. You know, and I don’t think we applaud you enough for that, dude. Once you put your mind to something, you’re on it, as much as it annoys me because I’m the exact opposite. Like, you know, good for you. Eduardo, you’re probably the most positive person I’ve ever met in my life. Elias, I didn’t know him so well at first. And I feel like after I’ve known him, he’s really down to earth. Really chill guy. I’m really glad that I’ve known him as a friend and gotten to know him better, because it’s been worth it. And then Billy, Billy, I don’t even know where to start with Billy. There’s so much going on with Billy. But he’s also a really great guy. I feel like just by playing with Billy alone. You know, like, jamming with him. Like, I feel like I’ve grown as musicians. I feel like that’s really cool, too.

Brett: What I like about Billy is that he can name like 20 musicians off the top of his head. And it’s like musicians you’ve never heard of, like, he’ll be like here’s Steve Johnson or something. And he played with Martin Gale or something, and you just go off on a tangent of names and names and it’s just like nobody you’ve ever heard before. Eduardo, you’re like, my complete opposite. In regards to what Brad said. Like you’re always positive. You always have something positive say, where I’m always negative, and always have something negative to say. Brad. I like how you also like Playboy Cardi. And you’re like, one of the only people I know that also likes Playboy Cardi, too, bro. And then Elias, you’re pretty funny. I like say something and you just straight up attack me out of nowhere for it. And here’s Brad out here. He’s a down to earth, chill guy.

Elias: Brad, nice hair, man. Eduardo, he’s got he’s got a good fashion sense. He’s got a good smile. Brad, I mean from coming from playing in bands that are like, super… I played mainly in experimental math rocky types of things. Having like a drummer that is consistently grooving is so good. And that’s not to say the other drummer wasn’t, but Brad’s a solid drummer, I really appreciate that about him. Also what they said, crazy work ethic. Like how he worked on the album during COVID, I could never do that I was so unmotivated during that time. But, Brad, Brett makes it happen. Ed’s stage presence, I just remember the first time we played with him, or I played with him at a show, and seeing the pictures of him and seeing him playing. It’s a positive vibe. Something about him is like magical. In terms of the lead singer.

Brad: I’ve never seen Eduardo uncomfortable in a social situation. Like that’s crazy.

Elias: And just in terms of performing to like, you can see the confidence in him Billy, that guy’s crazy. He can name like so many musicians. I’ve known him for a long time. But he’s really big into the jazz scene. And he’s been working at it for like, almost a decade now. And he’s starting to play with musicians that are like Grammy nominated, Grammy winning musicians, so I respect him for that. He’s crazy. He’s great.

Brett: Billy is working with Grammy nominated artists and we’re just like the four Stooges.

Eduardo: Four blind mice. Brad. The cool thing about Brad is, if you mention something, right, you’re just like, “Hey, I want to get into maybe reading about plants and stuff.” Brad will be like, “No way.” And if he knows about that, he’ll make you so comfortable just talking about it. He knows all these things about it, he’ll expose you to it. And he’s just such a very, like, kind and gentle man, is really good drummer. And also, he’s just always down to talk. Genuine, amazing person.

Elias, something I really like about you is that you’re genuinely your own person. You not only carry your own weight, but when you come into a space, you really just let everybody know, like, what’s going on who you are, and that you recognize them and you see them. And I think it’s really cool how, although they say you are down to earth, I can see you’re just here for a good time. And not only that, but I think you’re a really talented keyboardist. Like if you all saw his fingers, they’d be flying around. It’s amazing. It’s real cool.

Brett, something really cool about you, Brett is one of the hardest working people they’ve ever met. He’s definitely one of the funniest and kindest men I’ve ever met in my life. And I consider him a really great friend. Something really cool about Brett is that he can do appraisals on cheeseboards. And he’ll let you know immediately how much that cheeseboard is, and I’ve never seen anybody do that. But he can get it down to a dollar amount. And it’s crazy. It’s crazy. Invite him over to your house, he’ll show you.

Billy is just such a great person. He not only brings a lot to the table, but he also invites you to his. He’s always very kind to us and lets us know what he’s doing. And he’s always ready to chat with us if we’re ever feeling down about something. But he always calls us out on things that we need, and in a way that gives us constructive criticism. And I think that’s really important to in somebody because he’s not embarrassed to help us improve. And I miss Billy, he’s always everywhere.

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