I had the pleasure meeting Billy Mays III at a local Coffee Shop called Black Crow. I was there doing an interview with Rachel Carpenter. After the interview had finished we started talking. I told him about my sites vision and he told me about his music Infinite Third and the installation series. A few weeks later I decided to go check it out in person. After the first time I was hooked! I enjoyed the freedom Billy brings to space, for you to do sort of whatever it is you want.
The second time I saw Billy was at The Body Electric Yoga CO I felt a very fulfilling atmosphere with the people and activities going on. During the music I took part of some of the other elements happening around me besides the meditating, stretching, and hula-hooping there was a woman named Nicole Anjna who was doing donation based reiki healing glad you came thanks for the healing.
After the four hours the music ended and everyone woke up looking very blissed out. I got up said bye to Billy and went on my way. A feeling of being re-charged lingered for the rest of the week, thank you Billy for that.
Here is the man himself raw and uncut Billy Mays III.
One word describe yourself .
What is your favorite thing about St. Pete?
What is your favorite thing to do in saint pete?
How long have you been making music?
Maybe 15 years now, since high school.
What were the challenges becoming a musician and how long did it take for you to get recognition / a following of people.
I was working on this music that was kind of meaningful in 2009, but then my dad died and I scrapped it.
For a week I got to go on this retreat, only because my dads colleague got me in for free. It was a super expensive thing so, I said yeah ill do that, it served as more of a reset.
We hiked everyday it was a kind of this spiritual/health retreat thing. On the mountains…. some of them were serious. Twelve mile hikes on these fire trails and some of them for hours at a time you would be silent. You wouldn’t be allowed to talk to people. It was supposed to be a time with yourself kind of thing, even though you are all together.
I think during those times that was when the music started coming back to me, and whatever I thought I was on with those songs that I had finished they were coming back and new ones were coming up.I started evolving them on these hikes and so probably the day that I got back I realized this is what I have to do. Finish this album. Like therapy almost, I needed to finish this project.
I did for next 3 or 4 months I just worked on this album. I worked and stuff, but all my free time was work on the album work on the album. I had no idea what I was doing or what it was leading to. Then November 15th 2009 I released the album called “Gently” and you can still find it.
It was something a lot of people liked because I never made anything like it again. After that, I went in another direction kind of sound wise.
I think what we are talking about is how I got a following. The weird thing is that surrounding my dad’s death there was like a built in following, of his fans that kind of came to me because I already became his public voice.
He didn’t have social media he had twitter right before he died but he had nothing else. He didn’t know how to talk to the public ,but he had fans and he liked interacting with them so I just kind of became the middleman. I started doing that and a lot of them jumped to me when he died. They kind of supported me in way. Funny thing about that is they weren’t necessarily into the music I was making they were just supporting to support.
It kind of felt like I had all these built in fans but, it also felt like who knows if they would be my fans if I was just a normal dude that they found randomly. I think I kind of tested that and went further in a direction that didn’t rely on my dad’s fans for people to find my music. As many opportunities and good things that came from who my dad was it kind of created this story that comes first.
Where if someone finds my music and they are tainted by the fact they know who my dad was and they know me or they think they know me and they have all these assumptions… maybe. So, there was a little bit of a backlash in this little group of fans where I started making more droney experimental music and it wasn’t anything like this gently album that was more whimsical and heart felt.
People were like this wasn’t as good as that, and I was like “I know” I am just growing and trying new things.
Obviously I would rather do that than just make you happy.
I just adopted that and I think I lost a lot of that initial group and I thought…Good, I didn’t want those kind of people, but at the same time I still have a lot of those supporters to this day who just kind of followed me so I am thankful for that.
Then there were these years of me just trying out all new things and new forms of branding and marketing. I always felt like I was putting pretty good stuff out, interesting stuff. Although it was never quite articulated what it was.
So, it was always this mysterious thing I was way into that being ominous.
There were a lot of people who liked it the whole time but there were a lot of times where I felt like it should be connecting, but it wasn’t connecting with the right people or something…. I would say maybe in the past year or two it has started clicking on how to present what I do with all it’s different forms and how to present it as an artist who does all these different things. Also how they all tie together and the mythology around it all.
I have just got better, even better in just talking to you or anybody about it.
It is not as mysterious anymore.There is this guitar project it is called Infinite Third.
It started becoming clearer literally I could articulate it better and found that my marketing and branding became better articulated. In the past year it has really gotten better and that all kind of leads us to now.
Where things have taken off a little more with the ambient installation series. All that is just what I’ve been doing for all these years live. These ambient installations where there short or long or a background of an event.
I just realized that this is my favorite way to play this kind of immersed environment. That kind of plays off the people kind off plays of the room and all that means is I am finally able to articulate where it is that I am comfortable playing and in what situation. I have just named a series after it I’m not really doing anything much different except now people get it and they are like yeah I want to have you at my place.
There is this whole thing around it like I cant wait to come to that.
I would play at a bar people would feel compelled to sketch or stretch or meditate but it wasn’t the environment for it. So, I feel now it just makes sense people feel more comfortable in doing whatever they want during it. Now I feel like there is a local following that is just community and it is growing. Then I also have a following online where I can release things and I can share what I am doing with the installation series. I can share about my new album and I can still play short form sets as essentially a one man band.
I just feel that it finally makes sense now.
I am still at the low end with where I want to be with the following and everything, but it is just this steady boiling and it just exponentially catching on more and more.
I just kind of trust it at this point that I am going at the right pace where as for along time I felt as like oh come on I felt more people should be interested in what I am doing or get it in general. I think now it just better setup for people to get it or to know what they are getting when they go into it.
It took a lot of my growth for me to get it.