Residence: Newmarket, home of the Stone Church.
Guilty Associations: Sound Engineer Wiz Khalifa, "Weird Al" Yankovic, The Grateful Dead "Fare Thee Well" Concerts, Dead & Co., Bob Dylan, The Lumineers, etc.
Favorite Seacoast Spot: Jenness Farm, Nottingham, New Hampshire. Peter Corriveau and his herd of friendly, hand-raised goats bring me a profound peace.
Average Amount of Sleep: On the road: 5 hours. At home: twice that.
Favorite Color: Iced coffee, burnt ends; road case: BLACK.
Here we go:
EDGE: Music. What is it good for? Why do you immerse yourself in it?
May: Music allows and even encourages you to be someone other than yourself, somewhere other than here for a while. It's an immense power. It's awesome to be part of the delivery system. It forces me to focus on NOW in a way that almost nothing else can. Just me and the music, with no concern for other stimulus ...
EDGE: You're a sound engineer and have spent a good deal of time on the road working for notable industry folk such as Dylan, the Lumineers, the Dead, Wiz Khalifa, and a whole lot more... What got you interested in the art of twisting knobs?
May: Turning knobs has an immediate effect, but one that can only be observed for a finite time. This seems different from most other art or crafts, and continues to be intriguing to me. It's necessarily improvisational in nature, and a huge number of factors need to be assessed in order to make any decision, even though those decisions must be made on a second-by-second timetable.
Most importantly, regardless of the skills and knowledge required to be successful, it's still a service industry. The show is never about me.
EDGE: How did the Seacoast music community help foster that interest/career? What keeps you rooted here?
May: The Seacoast music community that I "grew up" in was an intensely positive place that loved to celebrate success. Encouragement was almost everywhere, and I became convinced that live audio could be a viable, adult career.
Being involved in a diverse and thriving environment changed my aspirations. Success in the world of concert production was now defined as a something on a much larger scale than was available locally. Luckily, life on the road means that home can be anywhere, as long as it's near an airport. I often find it hard to believe that I get to indulge both my career goals, as well as my desire to live somewhere familiar, comfortable and beautiful.
EDGE: You have also spent time as a performer. How did that experience directly tie into your current profession? What lessons from performing did you bring to the engineer table?
May: Whether performing or working in production, it's important to remember that it is likely the audience is experiencing this show for the first time tonight, even though you may have been involved hundreds of times. The best performers and production personnel will be able to find the energy of a brand-new experience every night.
EDGE: What do you enjoy about traveling around both domestically and internationally? (Do you get to enjoy the travels, or is it "all business, all the time?") Any good food out there?
May: For me, travel is the opportunity to eat amazing things and then long to go back.
There's NOTHING like: A wild boar sausage from a cart at a street festival in Frankfurt; crispy-fried pork shank in Manilla; BBQ beef ribs from a trailer in an otherwise-empty lot in Austin; tiny, fried sardines in Malaga; corned beef on Rye from Carnegie Deli at 3 a.m.; or Haggis in Edinburgh!