Maya who? Maya what? A SITDOWN WITH MAYAVIRUPA
What to say about the band Mayavirupa? Many of you have probably heard their music or at least heard of them. But not as many have had the privilege of meeting them on a personal level. Since Mayavirupa was close to X Factor 1 in the votes, they were honored with a cover for this month’s issue. That gave me a chance to do one of my favorite things, sit down and chat with the band. Not that it was easy to do. I even had to permit them to leave the room at times for beer. Not that they would’ve listened if I’d said no. See Mayavirupa is made up of three guys. All three are down to earth normal guys who love to party and play music. I hope that this interview will allow you to peek in at the band’s personality and possibly encourage you to become a friend of theirs as I have. Well enough of my compliments, here’s the interview.
Q=me (Paul Helms, Jr.) S=Stephen M=Matt J= Justin (Jay)Q: What is Mayavirupa?
M: An ideal that happens to be a band.
Q: I know you’re going to expand on that though. (Looking at Stephen)
S: Mayavirupa is stuff you already know, its just that you’re not used to hearing it. There is nothing more than what needs to be in a song.
Q: Who is Mayavirupa?
S: We’re a band of brothers that feel the same way about a lot of things. We’re way too familiar with ourselves and we have fun becoming familiar with people who say they are unlike ourselves, but have no choice but to feel the same way about the same things.
[Stephen leaves the room to get a beer]
M: We’re just three guys who work hard at what we do; we just like to play music.
Q: How did Mayavirupa get its start?
J: Before Mayavirupa was Mayavirupa it was called Orange Couch. Sounds funny, but it’s true we wanted the name to be something comfortable, but didn’t go with anything. You know like an orange couch. Mayavirupa got its start when Stephen picked up the guitar when he was 8 years old, and I picked up the drums when I was 10.
S: Matt was a professional fluffer before Mayavirupa.
M: It was a period of my life I’m not much proud of, did some degrading movies… I played in a band when I was 13 with a good friend of mine and my brother-in-law. I played bass, that was the first band I was in. Then I played in various other bands before I started playing with these guys.
S: Ya know, I wanted to start a band called either the “spitting Richards” or “With Your Ball Zack!” It’d be funny. Somebody would ask what band you were in…and it could be said, “well I play with your ballzack”
M: I jam a lot with “your momma’s clit.”
Q: How do you feel about getting the cover for OOTB?
S: I want to say that I personally feel that we did not win the magazine. Majority vote went to X Factor 1, this is their cover. X Factor 1 won the cover, and we’re just proud to be close second. Let alone actually being on the cover. There’s no better word to describe the way we feel other than “Under-dog.”
M: I think it feels Gnarly, Tubular, and I feel stoked.
M: Don’t put that in there… I just thought it was funny I put four surfer words together.
S: Totally do not put that in there, that would not be Rad.
Q: How would you guys describe yourselves musically?
S: Damn it, you had to ask that question didn’t you? (gets up for another beer)
J: I don’t know, you tell us.
S: It feels like I’m in a spelling bee and “I gotta use that one word in a sentence”
M: I feel I’m a reasonably intelligent man and when I can’t come up with an answer to a question, I can’t help but feel stupid.
S: “I guess I could give you a technical definition. A genre of music is a music that has its limitations. What I love about what we play is that it knows no bounds. Heavy-light, middle-ground doesn’t exist. If you feel it, it moves you or it rocks you. And to our listeners: please tell us how you feel after a song.”
M: Um, unique New York. The human torch was denied a bank loan…… We’re just original…
S: This is how to look at it, if three cavemen had found a time machine that only played records from the future, and they haven’t had the opportunity to let society, or image, sway their opinions of what rock, jazz, swing, metal, or any kind of music for that matter, they just don’t know what music is. After having the ability to listen to different types of music in time, what kind of music do you think they would come up with? How would you describe that?. That’s kinda how we feel.
M: We’re the nighttime sniffling sneezing coughing aching wake up in the middle of the kitchen floor, “where the fuck am I at?” music.
S: It’s going to be on a T-shirt, buy it. Say that.
M: Okay, it’s going to be on a T-shirt…. Buy it…. Now type it.
Q: Now that you’ve described musically, how would you describe the Mayavirupa experience personally within the band.
M: An adrenaline induced original music frenzy.
S: That’s tough because we can’t describe that. Personally I can say as a band with no other experts that there is no experience without the fans. Period. That speaks for all of us. We love each other as much as we hate ourselves and we cant help but keep going back… we don’t have a band for personal reasons… sure it can be a good stress reliever, but it can be a big stress inducer as well. But like I said, we keep going back.
S: You never know love unless you hate.
M: Oh shit cuz I hate myself a lot!
Yea… that just happened.
Q: To elaborate on Stephen’s answer, how would you describe your relationship with all your fans?
M: We’re a group of friends.
J: They’re not fans, they’re friends.
S: If we don’t know you personally, it’s only a matter of time. We’re a fucking open book. Its you guys that bring the mystery.
The Guy on the Couch: Mayavirupa fans are friends we haven’t met yet.
S: If you put a fan in front of a friend you have a turbo charger…that’s deep.
Q: Outside of music, what does Mayavirupa do for fun?
S: Outside of music? We think about how much fun the next song is going to be. That was a good answer, I’m proud of that.
M: Outside of music, I sit at home and play my guitar.
S: You’re a rock star! YOU DO NOT SIT AT HOME!
M: I’m watchin’ movies or Family Guy or playing video games or playing the guitar. I play with all my pets—I have a ferret, a bearded dragon and two dogs.
S Oh, bearded dragon, that’s what you call it now?
M: We’re gonna go to the store and get another one so then we’ll have two.
S: So you can play with your three bearded dragons?
Q: How did you get the name Mayavirupa?
S: Mayavirupa was the P: Since you didn’t directly answer in the question, what is thee meaning of Mayavirupa?
M: The exact definition?
Q: Doesn’t matter.
S: He wants what Mayavirupa is.
J: A body manifestation created by an act of free will.
M: People would understand a simpler definition.
J: Broken down into easier terms, to become something out of nothing, which is what we’re all trying to do.
J: And if you don’t like us, get the fuck out! PHuck with a PH!
Brainstorm of Stephanie K. Whom does a tribute show to the late and great Patsy Cline. When she asked ‘what do you want the name of your band to mean,’ I said “collective effort that makes something familiar.” After research, Mayavirupa was found. Oh and by the way, Stephanie K just so happens to be Jay and I’s mother.
Q: I want to know what Mayavirupa has in store for everyone in the future.
S: It all depends on what influences the thought process. Right now the songs are getting heavier.
M: The bass player is going to get fatter… and um….
J: That’s whatever they want. We feed off our friends, what we have now is what we’ve learned from everyone, being around everyone. You give us a sock we’ll take it off.
M: I’m the guitar player, all I need is faces for melting
S: Right now the songs are getting heavier. Stupid Heavy. I’m noticing things such as timing getting trickier and more experimental, but hell that’s the way its always been. Especially the “mental” part, so we will see.
Q: What are your goals and ambitions for the future?
S: I don’t want to answer that question.
Q: Understood, very understood.
M: What I wanna do, is wanna do what every other band wants to do.
Q: No you don’t.
M: When you sum it all up, what does every band want to be? Famous and make money. I want to make music, and I want what I love to do to pay my bills. I don’t like day to day jobs. I would love to get on a tour bus and play for people who care, and for that to pay my bills.
Q: Do you want do more than play for more than just money and fame?
M: Oh I see where this is going, I’m picking up what you’re putting down. I play for people, they are the ones that determine whether I should be able to play professionally in a band.
S: Is music where we stop? How many people get exactly what they want and can still say they are happy? There is no goal that can bring an endless supply of contentment. There is always the need for more. Hate, content, money, fame, career, or love. Yeah we play for more than anything of value that this Earth could offer.
J: We’re rock-and-roll holocaust.
S: He’s good for those every once in a while.
J: I make the drums go boom.
S: (laughing) That’s the end of the interview right there.
Written By Paul Helms, Jr. as published in Out Of The Blue, Copyright OOTB Publications, 2007
Photography By Neil Shumate