Rhett May ~ Insatiable

Rhett May

Rhett May

Rhett May, lead singer from 70’s Australian rock band Lucifer, is back on the indie rock scene after a 30-year hiatus and rocking the world on his own terms. His new release EP titled Insatiable became an instant hit.

The first question I asked Rhett May was, “Why?” Why re-enter the music scene after 30 years? Of course, there’s a fun story behind his return: “The guitarist from our old band decided to have a milestone birthday party on the other side of the continent. I’m in Melbourne; he’s in Perth. He invited all the old band members to celebrate with him. Saturday night, we walked into the venue and there we had all the equipment setup. I asked him, ‘Who’s the band tonight?’ And he said, ‘We are!’ We proceeded to sing and play for the next two-and-a-half hours, having fun. That got me the bug.”

Rhett smiled and continued his story: “The genie had popped out. I had to get back into it. I went out and bought myself a guitar, bought myself a keyboard and started writing voraciously.”

The fan favorite on the Insatiable EP is Cocktails and Cannabis, and I also really love the island beat behind the single Hey Peter. I just had to know who Peter is: “Peter is a band member from many, many years ago. He was the atypical Keith Richards, Johnny Depp rocker with top hat and black cape. Like with Cocktails and Cannabis, he indulged in that and more. He was an exceptional musician, but unfortunately, his indulgences kept him high all the time and he still lives that way until this day. Hey Peter is all about Peter and nothing else. That song is dedicated to him, and by the way, his surname is Stone.”

Being a painter myself, I’m attracted to great cover art. I absolutely love the cover art for Insatiable and its singles. Rhett May designs the covers himself: “Initially, I started out looking at the True Blood logo with the fang and drop of blood coming down. My legal people advised that I do something more artistic with a wow factor. I love pink in my life. The melting hot pink lipstick coming down was perfect.”

Rhett May - Insatiable coverRhett May worked with the Florida team at Musik & Film and Musik Radio Promotions to produce the EP and play on it as well. Who are Musik & Film? “Stephen Wrench and Terry Nails had heard my songs on the internet via SoundCloud, ReverbNation and my personal website. They contacted me and said they would be interested in producing something with me, when I put together my next album. They asked me to send them about 30 songs. They culled them down to about 10, then, finally arrived on 5.”

In addition, “Stephen Wrench wanted to hear what I did in the early days, back when I was in India. I told him that I had a couple songs on cassette that I could go back and listen to. One of those songs was Jenny. I sent it to him and he loved the simplicity of the song. He told me that it reminded him of the early Beatles. He wanted to use that song on the EP and I agreed. Then, we decided on structure, format and lyric changes. Over the period of about 8 weeks, we came up with the 5 songs and we recorded them.”

Rhett May has some great videos on his YouTube channel that he produces and directs himself: “I have some good friends in the advertising industry and movie industry. We want to make videos that are simple and fun. So, if you watch the Jenny video, you’ll find it’s very simple and keeps with the 60’s and 70’s flower power era. The Cocktails and Cannabis video grabs most people.”

What advice does Rhett May have for other recording artists who may be trying to get back into the music industry? “Every artist has that passion for a certain genre of music. Regardless of what’s going on around you, try to be faithful and true to what you believe in. Everyone is right and no one is right. You need to do what you think is right and what you feel most comfortable doing. Don’t listen to the sounds around you.”

Rhett May and band LUCIFER

Rhett May and band LUCIFER

Rhett then used his own return as an example: “Back in 2008, when first got back into the music scene, everyone told me that I wasn’t keeping up with what’s happening today. I replied that what’s happening today is not my passion. I’m going to follow my passion and the groove that I have. What you do cannot be done by somebody else.”

What’s up next for Rhett May? “I’ve got 9 songs all laid out for my next album, which is called Fast Cars & Sitars. Its classic rock based with Eastern Indian influence. It’s different than what they’re playing on the radio today.  I’m recording it with my buddy Jimbo (James Payne). We were in a band together when we were 15 years old and we still speak every other day by Skype. We still write, collaborate and create together.”

Rhett May is pretty reclusive these days: “I’ve had enough of touring. I was constantly on the road from ’65 to ’79, and that’s a long time. I still have the bug to play and I jam on a private basis. I get to Perth, where all my buddies are, about three times a year. We do an impromptu get together at a hall or venue, advertise it for a week and we get about 400-500 people down to listen. Generally, I’m pretty happy writing, recording and doing my own thing within my own circle. I mainly use word-of-mouth and social media.”

It’s so cool that Rhett May is doing what he wants to do the way he wants to do it. Kudos!

The Amused Now Featured Artist Series

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Cynthia Kahn, Founder of Amused Now
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