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Life is Sweet with Hank May

1. The lead single "I'm Just A Lover Now" has undergone quite the transformation since you first started playing it. It really shows how much a song can change from start to finish. Can you share some of your journey with the tune?

"In my songwriting, I think I have two main types of songs that I end up writing. One comes out really quickly and everything is just a package deal and I get inspired and right something real fast. Some of those songs end up being fan favorites because they come to the mind fully formed. The other type of song is where I sit there, where I may try to do some tried and true process from the greats. Those are different sorts of projects as a songwriter because they're more calculated. "I'm Just A Lover Now" is definitely one of those. I had the melody and I thought this could be a single on the album and be the focus track. I know I'm going to get those other tunes that come faster and have this one on the backburner. Once you start on that project. I have a girlfriend and I love her so I let her be muse. When you are in love with someone you see the world through rose-colored glasses. Once I wrote the chorus and the verses, then it's time to make the arrangement. With this "Lover" song, I am approaching as not pure but it's not quick so why not spend just as much time on the melody. I started playing it acoustically at shows. People were starting to like it. I did probably five different demos on Logic which is a like new version of Garageband. I almost did a solo version like Replacements "Answer Machines" vibe. Then I changed my mind because I wanted it to be the single. I made one last demo and worked with a producer named John Joseph and he knew where I was going and he had a synth all set up and ready to go. Once we got in the studio it was pretty easy to put together. Except Joseph did add an acoustic guitar which I love what it did to the track."

2. You've stated you really sunk into Los Angeles with this album and with your friends. Can you speak to how your home environment influenced Tails?

"I guess I could say that when I was writing this album, I was seeing people for the first time. I was the end of the lockdown era. A lot of these songs were inspired by things I was hearing happening in the world. Less about my friends and more about culturally what is going on. After being couped up so long and being finally able to stretch your legs and social muscles. I mean there are some songs that are pretty pandemicy. There are some songs that are inspired about getting out of the house."

3. One difference between your debut and the songs on Tails is that you lived with the tracks on One More Taste of the Good Stuff for a long time. The songs in Tails represent you in an exact moment. Can you speak to this?

"The songs in my debut are a two year progression and it just took me forever to get it going because no one was asking me to do it. I had no label, no manager, no PR, just my family and friends. I was just recording and posting without a lot of attention to detail. No mixing and mastering. Once I got on the label I wanted to outdo myself. I wanted to try to make something that could sell better. I didn't want to make a garage rock record, I wanted to make something a little more sophisticated. I wanted to make something that would get some legs and go somewhere. This time working with the producer who was able to tell me what works and what doesn't work. I'm proud of myself in the times where I stood up to set something one way and happy that I let him take over. I don't know if we're going to have a third album if this does what the first one does. The only thing I can do is spend time with the songs."

4. You've also moved away from genre labels with this one, can you speak about if this was liberating or felt more boxing?

"I'll start out by talking about myself as a listener. Genre is the least important thing for me when I like a song. When people say they don't like a genre. When people do that I think there may be something other than the music going on. There is amazing music in every genre. As a culture and popular music is moving away from genre. In the 90's you heard people say "I like everything but rap and country". Those have come around to dominate these days. When I was a kid I had a cousin that introduced me to Built to Spill and Modest Mouse. But I feel like I almost did myself a disserve because I rejected some of the great stuff that was happening in other genres. When I got to high school I met more people that were into indie rock. When I got into my twenty's my tastes and my tastes evolved a bit. Now I'm in my early thirties and I'm discovering all sorts of new music from all genres. I would love to have no genre. The first album was an indie rock style. However, I have dreams of collaborating with some of my favorite hip-hop producers. Or I could collaborating with other musicians. I love singing best.

5. What's next?

"This album has been finished for a while, so I have a bunch of songs to record if I wanted to. I have a band and a booking agent for the first time. So I can build my profile in town. I'm going to get more credibility and make my next record. I'm just trying to outdo myself and keep it sharp and keep it edgy".

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