After Akron’s famed Houseguest had taken an open-ended hiatus, musician David Rich was looking for some new blood to play some tunes. Enter Dave Giffels, who Rich had known since the days of Main Street’s now defunct Lime Spider. Giffels’ band Difficult had also stopping playing together so the time was fitting. The two dudes started writing music last summer with the likes of Friday Mike and Pat McNulty, who both played in The Same Things that sadly had also called it quits. And May Company was born. Buzzbin Magazine caught up with Rich to discuss the recent workings of this exciting new band. What have you guys learned from previous musical ventures that have shaped May Company? I can’t speak for the other guys, but the most important thing I learned from being in Houseguest was that there’s no point in taking things too seriously. I was a bit of a slave-driver in Houseguest, and at the end of the day it doesn’t really matter who your booking agent is or whose label you’re on. If you’re making music you can be proud of, people will find it. Obviously, if someone’s label wants to put out our records and put us on tour, great, but I’m not going to waste my time crying over not getting invited to the cool kids’ club. Also, rock and roll is pretty goofy, so to pretend that you deserve recognition and money for making it is fairly insane. We take making records and playing shows very seriously, but everything else is pretty much out of our hands. Describe a May Company live performance? I scream a lot and show off too much on the guitar. Dave Giffels talks a lot between songs. Friday Mike winks to the girls in the back, and Pat McNulty holds it all together. Seriously though, we just try and play the songs fast and loose, get through as many as we can in our time allowed, and try not to overstay our welcome. I think that’s the worst thing any band can do is stay onstage too long. So far, people seem to dig our shows. We’re getting better at three-part harmonies, and you definitely don’t see many bands doing that too much right now, at least around here. How did you guys come up with the band name? We wanted something local-ish sounding but still something that could stand on its own if someone heard it outside of Akron. Rolling Acres was already taken, as was Hawkins Hill. We were three days from pressing our first CD and needed a name. I was in the shower desperately listing old landmarks and local things in my head, and The May Company was one of them (it was a department store here for a long time). So far we remain un-sued. We were also called the Pigeons for about three days until we found out a New York band had that name, as well as The Mayflower. I’m glad we changed it. What can you tell us about the recording and feedback of your first EP, Calling Christopher Speck. We recorded the first EP in Pat’s basement. He has a pretty nice little set-up and he knows how to get really good sounds from limited means. I would definitely call it “medium-fi.” People seem to dig it. We made a pressing of 200 and they were gone in two weeks, though i think a lot of that was from us drinking at the shows and giving them away. I think we’ve unloaded two more pressings so far, each of which were bigger than that. My hope is just that people like it. We’re not trying to get rich, we’re just trying to almost break even. The feedback was pretty good. We definitely got some ideas from people about what they liked, and I think we kept them in mind while doing the new album. We’ve also gotten more radio play than any other band any of us has been in, so that’s been awesome. What can we expect from the new EP you guys just recorded? The new EP is a lot thicker. We’ve been playing the songs longer, and there isn’t as much “ear-candy” on them, not as many keyboards or percussion. Pat upgraded his drum-recording setup, which helped a lot. I don’t think the songwriting is too different, but i do think the performances are a lot more confident. The last album sounded like some guys making a record while this one sounds like a band. Also, I sold out on this one. I wanted to call it Shittin’ Out the Hits but I figured the radio wouldn’t play it, so we went with Return to Form. Because it’s only our second record…get it? What would you say are the band’s musical influences? We all really love the golden age of indie rock from the mid 90′s. All the Matador bands and the stuff on Merge. Yo La Tengo, Superchunk, and of course Guided By Voices. I love classic rock like Thin Lizzy, as well as mid-90′s mainstream alternative stuff like Superdrag and Nada Surf. Dave Giffels and Mike love 80′s stuff like Robin Hitchcock and 70′s stuff like Television and Richard Hell. Pat listens to everything, as well as a healthy dose of hip-hop. I also try to sneak in some shred-metal references when i can. Both of our records have a Megadeth lick i stole but i think we covered it up enough no one can tell. What inspires you as a musician? As a musician, i just honestly need music to get through life. I have come to realize that whether or not I ever get famous or just play in an cover band or something. I need to hang out and play loud guitars once or twice a week. Everyone in the band has a job, and/or a family, bills to pay, etc. It’s nice to hang out in a basement, have some beers, and write music when we can. Gives us all something to take seriously that is just for us and whoever else wants to hear it. How would you describe yourself to someone unfamiliar with your work? Thanks for supporting local music, and please continue to do it. Every city needs an arts scene, and I am intensely proud of Akron, Canton and Cleveland. Oh, and come to our shows, please.