May May Graves Discusses Monstrous EP Debut, the Look and Feel of Music Creativity That Sends You To Your Graves!


May May Graves brings her world of horror to life through the forms of music. Hence forth her debut EP "Monsters", along with her appearance, really captures the element at which she seeks. In other words the EP "Monsters", is the first real peek into the world of punk rock slashers, murderous sirens, and seductive spirits, only May May Graves knows best. In fact, May May Grave herself goes into discussion about this release, her set up among other things....


1. So how did May May Graves come to be and why?

May May was always there deep inside me. I've performed under this name for about 7 years now doing drag shows and burlesque shows, but within the music realm of my art, I've kept it pretty separate. I've been wanting to work with Angelspit since I first heard them in 2008. I've been a super mega fan of theirs since then and have been in contact with Zoog for a very long time. Once I knew I was ready, I pitched the project to him. It was a huge shot in the dark and he said, "Sure, let's do it!" Which scared the hell out of me. I've been writing this music since 2012 and this concept has been incubating in my head for a while, and I was so nervous to finally set this "Monster" loose on the world! haha!

2. Why go with a name like May May Graves for this project?

May May was a nickname I grew up with for a while, and Graves is my mother's maiden name. I love that the name is not necessarily gendered. It sounds more like I'm some Killer Klown from Outer Space.

3. Would you say that this is a project as an artist or a band?

I would consider myself to be an artist under the name May May Graves.

4. How do you describe your sound to people who ask you what your band sounds like?

It's hard to pinpoint the exact sound. I've been referring to it recently as Electro Horror Pop Music. It sounds like the second Nightmare on Elm Street film, the gay one, brutalized and remixed with harsh industrial beats!

5. What got you into music and made you want to start as May May Graves?

I used to be a Church of Christ preacher. One day I gave up on that and shaved off my eyebrows to start doing drag. I would sneak out to these rock shows as a teenager and I was so enthralled with the grittiness and the glamour of it all. I was immersed into the worlds created by these artists that I idolized. I would save up my money to grab some merch from these shows and I would take it home and just stare at it. I wanted to be as loud and as fearless and disturbing as the artists I loved, so I decided to do it myself. I dropped everything and moved to the city, started doing drag and spent about 4 years focusing on figuring out who I was as a performer. I had been writing music for years with my old band and after my years in the city, I decided to meld the two together.

6. Can you disclose the "get up" that May May Graves drapes as far as attire goes for your outfit?

When I was about 9 years old, my parents took me to see KISS. It was my first ever concert and it ruined me. I took one look at Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons and saw these real life superheroes they made themselves up to be, this cartoonish, ridiculous warpaint with a disregard to fashion. That's where my makeup comes from. Everything else was self taught working in the drag scene for years. I'm just a big nightmarish cartoon character. Big eyes, tears under my left eye, blue hair, big shoes, and striped long nails make a May May.

7. Besides the look and feel of May May Graves, can you describe your debut EP in 5 words or less?

Nightmarish, B-Horror, Angry, Sexy, Macabre.

8. How does it feel to have your debut release out for all to hear? Did you feel the pressure at all throughout the process of its creation?

It's equal parts terrifying and extremely erotic. This is my first big studio release, my musical cherry. All of the songs are registered and official, I recorded under a badass label, and I worked closely with an artist that I've looked up to for almost a decade. In the drag scene, we're usually paid to lip sync. Thanks to Rupaul, drag queens doing terrible club beats is a dime a dozen, so I got a LOT of flack for posting the Kickstarter. I was super worried to finally make a big deal about something that I was always so personal about. It's almost as if I had this kid that was so great, but I sheltered that child for so long. I forgot that other people might enjoy what that kid is capable of. (if that makes sense.) Overall, the Kickstarter was a KILLER success and I have had such a good time seeing everyone enjoying the work I've done. I love seeing people post my lyrics and videos of them jamming out to my tracks. I owe that feeling to Zoog and Angelspit. I can't wait to do it again, but longer and harder.

9. Going back to the attire, it's showcased upon the artwork for the EP "Monsters", how long did that take you to get set up in?

LORD. It takes me about 4 hours overall to put myself together for a show or photoshoot. This one in particular was definitely a trip since I spent months on the concept. I got up at 6am to run everything to the studio, I built the set myself from scratch. By about 10, I was done with makeup (I had a near death panic attack from lack of glitter, I was like a bride on her wedding day.) I made the headdress and the dress itself, the shoes had to be laced up individually and they were definitely a pain. After all of that struggle, we started the shoot by 11:30. The end product STILL blows my mind to look at. To answer your question, that particular look was about 5 hours to put on. Worth it.

10. Do you go around looking that way everyday or only while doing May May Graves?

I do about 4 shows a week on average, so I don't go out much on my off days. 4 to 5 days out of the week, I'm out in drag, stumbling around after a gig. A lot of people complain that they have never seen me without makeup. I like that kind of mystery though, make me feel more like a superhero.

11. Your style of choice as far the music sounds, is more industrial/metal essence, but the music of choice for you was punk? Why the change of heart or is it a mix between the genres?

It's definitely a mix between the two genres. I think the lyrics content, is heavily horror-punk inspired. One thing I've learned is that the very core of drag culture is the definition of punk. A protest, a questioning of authority and who dictates what. Being loud and turning everyone on their heads. The music encompasses a lot and it's hard even for me to say what exactly it is sometimes. When we were re-working the sound for each track, we wanted to hit a wide range of different genres. But Punk Industrial is a great marriage of what I've always wanted in my music.

12. What about the rest of 2018, what is on the to do list, for plans and everything in-between?

I've been wanting to slow down on the drag circuit and take  a more serious approach at touring. I already produce an immersive nightmare drag show called Qweird, where I use a lot of my own music nowadays. I really want to take that on the road, but it may have to wait until 2019. I'm already writing my next project, most of it is written out and ready to be thrown into the process of sound, it's a continuation of "Monsters" and follows more of a story. The rest of 2018 will be spent screaming my heart out on stages across the U.S., showcasing my new baby.

13. Would you like to say or add on anything more?

Know your worth, keep reaching for greatness, always wipe front to back, and ALWAYS get the money before you take your top off.

Grab the album on any music outlet or get the physical copy and other merch from my website!
MayMayGraves.com.

Insta: @MayMayGraves
Facebook.com/MayMayGraves
Twitter: @MayMayGraves

Thanks again, I really enjoyed these questions! Let me know if you need anything else <3 p="">
-May

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