A Conversation with Rochester-based Maybird

After grabbing the attention of Danger Mouse and putting out their EP in late April, Maybird has been attracting a lot of buzz.

Their single “Turning Into Water” has been getting a lot of radio play nationwide, with its Thom Yorke influenced vocals and psychedelic instrumentals.

PC: Maybird
PC: Maybird

Ahead of their festival slot at the CD102.5 Fall Festival, I caught up with lead singer Josh Netsky.

The Indie Sound: How did the band get its start?

Josh Netsky: I’d been playing music under my own name as a solo artist for awhile, and the guitarist in Maybird, Sam Snyder, played as part of that project for maybe eight years or so. That was when we in college. Kurt, our other guitar player, joined unexpectedly on a night where Sam said he couldn’t make a gig. I asked Kurt to play, and they both ended up showing up, so they had to figure out how to play together for the first time without knowing that was going to happen. We were really happy with the way it sounded. That was at this place called the Stonemill, just outside of Rochester, which was having this little music festival. It’s where we ended up recording pretty much all of the stuff we’ve released to date. It’s a house of a friend of ours who did all the engineering for us; he has a little basement studio in his house. That’s where the band started and where all the recordings that followed were done.

TIS: I haven’t heard much about Rochester as a town, but I thought it was interesting that both you and Joywave are the latest indie bands to come out of there. What’s the music scene like there?

JN: It’s pretty cool. It’s a very family-­esque feeling. Everybody kind of knows everybody, and I’ve been playing shows with the guys in Joywave since we started. They’d been going for a little while longer with various groups. It’s really easy to meet a lot of musicians and develop yourself as a musician around the Rochester scene. It’s a very giving and supportive music scene here.

TIS: I’m not alone in saying I heard you guys first on the 30th Century Records compilation. You probably get asked this all the time, but what’s it like to work with Danger Mouse?

JN: A lot of people think Danger Mouse produced us, just because when you see his name you think “producer.” But this is his first dive into having a record label and just putting out a bunch of music he was into. I think he started compiling stuff about a year ago. We’ve been working with him as a guiding figure for us as a band and him as a label owner. That’s been amazing because we admire his music a ton, as I think all the people on the label do, and it’s great to just get some advice from somebody who musically took me through high school.

“It’s cool to be able to connect with him on our current stuff and to learn from some from somebody who’s been in the industry a long time, doing good things. He has great taste as far as music and how to run a band.”

TIS: Who are your biggest influences?

JN: We have a long list. Let’s see…Radiohead and Beck would be somewhere near the top. I’m a big fan of a lot of singer/songwriter stuff, like Cass McCombs and Leonard Cohen. We like a lot of current psych ­rock, like Tame Impala and Connan Mockasin, and there’s a band called Bombino out of Niger that does some psych influenced African music.

“My brothers have turned me onto a lot of that kind of music. We come from a lot of different influences and it’s pretty obvious which ones.”

We have two guitar players who love all the guitar stuff you could imagine, I love most of the singer songwriters, and my brother Adam (drummer) is into all the weird jazz fusion with psych and African influences. So a lot of music from all over the place.

TIS: So y’all dropped the new EP in April … what can we expect next?

JN: We’re working on something right now, but I don’t know exactly when it’ll be released. We’re trying to finish it up and release songs from it as soon as possible, whether or not a record coincides with that. I think we’re trying to finish stuff up by the end of October, and we’ll see when it drops after that.

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