Featured - Video, Interviews, Music
Aug 24, 2020

Music Crush Monday: Dent May + Q&A

We caught up with musician James Dent May Jr. known simply as Dent May through his music.

Image Credit: Ian Tilghman

PPLA: Were you working on this album previous to Covid, or was it something that came about because of Covid?

DM: The album was totally done before Covid hit. That said, now I’m pretty far along writing another one.

PPLA: Your videos have a very Wes Anderson feel to them, we love it and are wondering if he has influenced your visual style?

DM: I like his movies. We’re probably influenced by a lot of the same stuff. One of my favorites is The Young Girls of Rochefort by Jacques Demy. I’m drawn to things that are colorful and romantic yet wistful and melancholy. That said, I haven’t directed my own videos, so artists like Nathan Castiel who directed “I Could Use A Miracle” and “Sea Salt & Caramel” deserve all the credit.

PPLA: Your videos have a very Wes Anderson feel to them, we love it and are wondering if he has influenced your visual style?

DM: I grew up on the Internet, so I’ve always been obsessively sifting through the history of pop culture and picking up things I like here and there. It’s the same way with my music. Many of my favorite things were unheralded in their day and developed a cult following over the years. As far as videos go, I like to picture myself as a character in some oddball B-movie. I watch a lot of seedy 80s and 90s thrillers lately.


PPLA: Who would you say impacts you the most for the visuals you choose to use in sharing your music through music videos?

DM: I grew up on the Internet, so I’ve always been obsessively sifting through the history of pop culture and picking up things I like here and there. It’s the same way with my music. Many of my favorite things were unheralded in their day and developed a cult following over the years. As far as videos go, I like to picture myself as a character in some oddball B-movie. I watch a lot of seedy 80s and 90s thrillers lately.


PPLA: Do you have a favorite song on the record?

DM: “Pour Another Round” is one that was meant to be a single, but it didn’t feel right during Covid. It’s a song about drinking with a bunch of friends at the bar, sort of inspired by “Friends In Low Places” by Garth Brooks or even “Closing Time” by Semisonic. I’m hoping to make a video for it down the line. “Imagination” is another one that means a lot to me. I usually like the ballads best.


PPLA: How long did it take you from concept to finish to complete this album?

DM: I probably spent three years on the album, but some of the lyrics and ideas go back even further. I keep lots of voice memos of song ideas and lists of words and phrases that I want to use in songs. I have a lot of partially written songs that sit in purgatory until I decide they’re worth finishing. Many never get finished.


PPLA: Have you always been based in Los Angeles? Or did your art call you here?

DM: I’m from Mississippi and moved to Los Angeles almost six years ago. I wouldn’t say my art called me here. I’d say my life called me here. I love that there are a lot of musicians here, but I stay away from a lot of the entertainment industry side of things.


PPLA: We saw that you teamed up with your friends Pat Jones and Michael Rosen to create Honeymoon Suite Recording, what prompted that?

DM: I’ve always been a home recordist, and it’s been a dream to have a studio space away from my house for so long. It was serendipitous that my friends Pat and Michael were already talking about putting something together and allowed me to be a part of it. It’s definitely an extension of my aesthetic universe. I named it Honeymoon Suite and helped more with the decorating, while Pat and Michael are much more talented engineers and businessman. If anyone needs a comfortable and affordable place to record, look us up!