Turkey Vulture Interview

Questions answered by Jessie May (guitar/vox/recorded bass)

LOMMCan you give a little biographical and historical info; who is involved in the band, and how did you guys meet up? 

Jessie May: Jim (the drummer) and I started playing in bands together in 2008, back in Jim’s hometown of Stamford, CT.  The first band we crossed paths in was called Pink Missile!  That outfit later evolved into a group called Jimmy Junk Bird and the Stiffs, and eventually we started the duo that is Turkey Vulture.  Somewhere along the way, we fell in love and got married — so now we are a “husband/wife duo” lol.

LOMM: Pandemic has taken an emotional toll on everyone yet the arts have been hit especially hard. The musicians are vulnerable to financial upheaval. How have you guys have been holding up?

Jessie May: Our main employment is outside of music and we are lucky that both our jobs have remained intact during the pandemic.  (I am a teacher and he works in television broadcasting.)  Unfortunately the pandemic is now hitting close to home; a family member was recently diagnosed and thankfully she is doing well at this time. 

LOMM: On the other hand you seem to have had a productive time. Is that right?

Jessie May: Since we live together, the pandemic didn’t interfere with our practice schedule.  We started doing basement livestreams back in April — sometimes on our own, sometimes in the group Happy Hour With Heather and Guest, and other times in conjunction with a local music venue.  We also released our EP Time to Pay this summer, which was recorded in February and early March 2020.  Finally, we had the opportunity to play two outdoor live shows!  We have one more livestream coming up: tune in from our Facebook page on December 12th at 6:50 EST as we take part in The Cellar on Treadwell’s Virtual Punk Xmas!

Honestly, not bad for such a dumpster fire of a year.

LOMM: Modern sounds are my thing.  How about you? What does your genre means to you, why did you choose this genre?

Jessie May: We listen to mostly older stuff.  Jim is a huge Metallica fan and also loves punk music like Misfits, Social Distortion, and Descendents.  I am into classic rock a la Thin Lizzy and have also been on a 90s grunge kick lately.

Our sound combines a lot of influences — metal, punk, and folk/Americana.We don’t set out to fit into a certain genre; rather, we just roll with whatever comes out.  On Time To Pay, you’ll hear one Amon Amarth-inspired metal song, one punk ode to the Resistance, and two straight-ahead blues songs!

LOMM: Are you happy with your product? I mean, what aspects of it do you think you guys nailed, and what parts do you think you could improve upon?

Jessie May: We are really happy with how Time To Pay came out!  Our engineer Dave Kaminsky at Studio Wormwood helped us find a great sound.  If I could go back in time, I’d add more cello to the EP.

How has the overall reception been?

Jessie May: Quite good by our underground benchmarks!  We’ve sold about three-quarters of our CDs so far while barely playing any shows, and people seem into what we’re doing.  I love it when folks tell me that a particular song really spoke to them.

LOMM: What do you see for your future? How is it looking?

Jessie May: In about two months, I see the arrival of Baby Turkey Vulture!  That’s another thing we worked on during the pandemic lololol….  While we have another EP’s worth of material at least, the expense of recording is at the bottom of the priority list right now.  We are working on a new song at the moment and hope to get a Garageband demo done before the baby arrives, so we don’t completely forget about it.  But 2021 will probably be a quiet year on the music front!

: When you look back your music career, what do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment?

Jessie May: For this band, the positive response to Time To Pay is really encouraging.  We perform as a duo, so the recording gave us an opportunity to add bass parts and guitar layering that simply doesn’t exist at our live shows.  (We will never be a “backing track” kind of band.)  If Time To Pay is our last release for a couple years, it’s a good one to go out on!

LOMM: Anything else you think your fans should know?

Jessie May: We might be slowing down for a little while, but we’re not packing it in!  Follow Turkey Vulture on Facebook, Instagram, and bandcamp to join us on our next adventures!

Embed code for Time To Pay:

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