Aug 14, 2023
Mayrunner’s music is a melting pot of styles and genres
Mayrunner is an alt-rock band from Lafayette, Louisiana that established its roots in 2014 when Devric Taylor and Hailey LeBlanc were looking to start a project outside of their previous band. A quick search for a drummer to round out the sound led them to Alex Mamolo, and the first incarnation of the band was formed. With numerous line-up changes since, Mayrunner continues to forge ahead and churn out music to define its brand and sound. Currently, the band comprised of Devric Taylor on vocals and guitar, Henry Milliman on bass, Finis Robinson on guiar, and Phil Hardy on drums.
Their first album, "Good for What We Are", was released in 2018 to much acclaim and they recently released their much-anticipated follow-up, "Tell Me Where You've Been" on August 4, 2023. It is currently available on all streaming platforms and is 37 minutes of pure
enjoyable rock with fuzzy guitars and even some singalong choruses.
Mayrunner excels in crafting beautiful songs that resonate deeply and their lyrics are introspective and thought-provoking, tackling themes of personal growth, love, and human experience. This emotional dept is perfectly complemented by their haunting melodies and harmonic arrangements.
With no two songs sound alike, Mayrunner creates music they love, and you can tell these guys truly enjoy the music they play with their captivating sets full of heart. The band members exude an undeniable chemistry and stage presence, and their energetic, passionate performances create an infectious atmosphere, making it impossible for the audienc not to be fully engaged from the first note to the last.
With exceptional musicianship, intricate riffs full of depth and richness, and a rhythm section comprised of a tight-knit bassist and a drummer with impeccable timing, the band has a solid foundation. I have no doubt they will continue to gain popularity and success in the music industry.
Mayrunner is taking the stage on August 19, 2023, to perform at Rad Fest 2023 at PARC International in downtown Lafayette, Louisiana, and is the fourth band in our installment of interviews with all acts on the bill.
We recently chatted with Devric Taylor, the lead voice of the band, where we discussed gear, band history, and everything in between. Sit back and learn a little more about Mayrunner as you make your way through our conversation.
MaM: Who or what do you attribute to defining your sound?
DT: I think there are a lot of different artists that have inspired us as a band collectively, but I know for me some of my earliest influences were Coheed and Cambria and Incubus - pop-punk bands such as Fallout Boy, too, and metal and Midweset emo bands. I would say it's all over the place, though.
MaM: Your music is a melting pop of different styles and I really enjoy it. I can definitely tell you were influenced by the late 90's and early 2000's rock scene.
DT: Thank you. We all grew up on that kind of music. And you know what? When we were learning how to play our instruments or writing songs, we would revisit the music from those bands that we just were super inspired by, and it helped with the songwriting process.
MaM: That's a great way to go about it, too. What influences you to make music?
DT: I've been asked that before, and I feel like the best and truest answer I can give is that it gives me a sense of identity. I make music because it inspires me, and I'm inspired to write music based on things that are going on in my life. But also, when I can get into that mindset of writing or being creative, I tend to say things that I don't know if I would have ever thought of just talking to somebody. I'm able to access different parts of my brain when creating and it helps me get to know the real me in the process.
MaM: How did the name for the band come about?
DT: It's funny how it came about because we weren't initially called Mayrunner. We were trying out different names and at the time, it was me and two women in the band. Initially, we were playing on the fact that there were women in the band. We called the band Sons and Daughters. When we added our fourth member, we decided to change it again and we ended up coming up with the name The Sleepless May. I really liked that name for some reason, so I brought the name to the band, and they didn't like it at all, but I really wanted to keep the name May in there because of the sentimental value to it. I had a really good friend of mine that had passed away and he was born in that month. It made a lot of sense to me. For a long time, it was basically me and our original drummer just going back and forth with names. She suggested the name Runner at some point, and I was like, I don't like that because there was a band that I knew called Runner Runner and I just didn't like that. And then I said, I really wanna keep the word May in there, so she said, 'What about May Runner?' And I was like, 'I don't hate that.' So, we talked about it, and we sat on it, and it stuck. We just thought it was a cool pairing of words, though.
MaM: I mentioned earlier about your sound being unique and I love that every song is different from the last. And I really do enjoy that. As far as the tones you guys have in your music, do you have specific gear that you use to achieve that sound?
DT: Actually, yeah, so if I get all gear nerdy on you, I’m sorry.
MaM: No, you're good. I'm a guitar player and I grew up playing piano, so go for it!
DT: I’ve played around with a lot of guitars throughout the years. I had an Epiphone Les Paul. I had a Gretsch Electromatic Jet. I even had an Epiphone Black Beauty. There's probably a whole lot more that I can't think of, but I did play around with a few different configurations of guitars and amps. At one point, I found out that I really liked a British tone, too. My thing was, I really wanted a good distortion tone, and this is where influence comes in and it is Incubus related.
So, Ben Kenney put out this album called “Burn the Tapes” and he did every instrument himself and he would do these live videos, too, with him playing everything. I would watch him play drums and bass and guitar, and his tone was amazing. He had a forum, and I would go and see what gear he was using and then make a note of it, but I didn’t have the money to get what he was using. Then, a friend of mine when I was in high school, had a Gibson SG, and he was a really talented player, but I'm not gonna lie, I was jealous of how he played, and I didn't exactly want to get a guitar that he played, so I was like, just let me find something else other than that.
I then played a Gibson SG guitar at Guitar Center, and I couldn’t deny that it sounded the way I wanted it to, so I bought it and then ended up buying an Orange Amplifier. The natural distortion on that or natural overdrive rather was incredible. It was close to what I wanted, but not fully there. So, I had a tube in my pedal set up for a long time, and I tried different distortions like the Boss Distortion Pedals, but I just could not nail what I was searching for. And then I tried some random pedal, and I paired it with my Tube Screamer. My distortion by itself sounded more like an overdrive than anything, and it was kind of a dry overdrive mixed with the Tube Screamer. For some reason, it popped, and I had the Tube Screamer set in a certain way that it would kind of just crunch up my clean tone from the Orange which was already full sounding and then the SG brought it all together. I'm still playing with that setup to this day.
MaM: That’s awesome and the SG is a very, very lightweight guitar, very easy to play. That brings me to the next question, what are your plans and future aspirations for the band?
DT: We are always thinking about moving forward, but things have changed recently for me. I’ve actually moved out of state. I'm coming back home right now to Lafayette because I’ve got a couple of shows, but then I'm going back and I will be out of the state for the foreseeable future, but we will still be a band, and if things happen with the band in its current state, I really want to get behind it 100% and push it as much as I can from a distance.
Bandcamp: Music | Mayrunner (bandcamp.com)
Spotify: Mayrunner | Spotify
Apple Music: Mayrunner on Apple Music
*Band interviewed by Je'an Paul Keller
*Cover photo by CobraTai Media - @cobrataimedia - https://www.instagram.com/cobrataimedia/
Nicole Brice is secretly a ninja. It's true. If you have something you think she should check out, e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.