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Now touring on the Hostile Takeover Tour with label mate and Indie giant Tech N9NE is the Rock/Rap group ¡MAYDAY! The crew is made up of lead vocalists Wrek and Bernz, Bass/Keyboardist Gianni Ca$h, drummer L.T., producer Plex (or “Ass Kicker” in his own words), and percussionist NonMS (or “Ass Licker” as Plex jokingly blurts out). This wasn’t always how it looked- they’ve gone from 2 to 6 members since the project geared up, and have seen the role-players around them change a lot, especially on this tour. While the Strange Music entourage travels city to city in a tour bus caravan on a record breaking run of over 90 shows in 99 days, the current 6 members are hanging in there despite the changes that might throw off a lesser crew. Their tour bus was dubbed “The Suburbs” on their last tour. This time around, it’s “The Hood.”
The band started as a two man group with Plex and Bernz. As they started adding members there was never a time that they lacked hustle. Hailing from Miami and surrounded by so many artists and mainstream gaints, the group adopted a go-hard mindset that’s obvious today. As Wrekonize puts it “We’ve always been hands on, we do our videos ourselves, our production is in house so we’ve always had that attitude. When we signed to Strange we realized now we’re going to have a way bigger range with Strange blasting our stuff to so many more people.” The group agrees that signing to Strange has caused them to take everything more seriously, but has just brought them closer together. They were all adamant about not getting lazy just because they signed a deal, but that they would instead let the label help amplify what they were already capable of.
From playing improv sets at The Lounge in Miami for 30 people to finally reeling in the support from their hometown and being able to pack 700 people as a headliner, making it to the top wasn’t an easy gig. “We’re in a town where everybody’s an artist, so you’re in a crowd full of haters. We went through people leaving the group to people not fitting in with the group to playing shows that didn’t pay well. We got support in Miami but it took us a long time to do it. It was a long journey, we’re lucky to survive that!”
We all know that being a band is different than hearing a beat and writing to it, but in what ways is the creative process different? ¡MAYDAY! explains their method in a way that makes it easy to see why these 6 are the final cast of characters in a crew that’s seen so many changes. They trust the talent of each artist enough to let the music be created organically step-to-step. Plex and Gianni take the lead by bringing a pool of different numbers and let Wrek and Bernz conceptualize. As they take the reins NonMS and L.T. drop in their key aspects and the music takes off.
For their 3rd album “Take Me To Your Leader” (their debut with Strange Music), only on “June,” “Take Me To Your Leader,” and “Everything Is Everything” did Plex and Gianni start with a definite idea of what the track would sound like. Plex explains, “Usually we just go on a vibe like throwing darts at the wall and see what works, but on those we were like, ‘we want something like this…’ and ten minutes later we had it. I felt like I crossed my level of my production there because we heard it in the head, then we spoke about it and just kind of manifested it immediately. It was cool to do that.”
Wrek agreed about “June” in particular. “Plex had the concept to do the story behind it. The whole production on their part and the whole writing process on our part was just so natural that it was probably one of the easiest songs we had ever written- it just came out.”
¡MAYDAY! is already planning an album that they say will be loosely related to “Take Me To Your Leader” geared to drop at the end of the year. They’re currently grindin’ that project out on the tour bus, staying true to the hustle that got them started in the first place. With this group of guys we wouldn’t be surprised to walk on that tour bus and see L.T’s drumset where the bunks should be. This is a fun crew with a lot of determination, but all jokes aside the one thing gained from a sit-down with them is that they take what they do seriously. Definitely pick up their latest album “Take Me To Your Leader”.
Interview by Breez
photography by 303 Publications, Inc.
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