Tom May – The Menzingers

Coming Of Age with The Menzingers – Interview with Tom May (engl.)

As coming of age ist the recurrent theme of the new Menzigers album „After The Party“ we took guitarist and singer Tom May on a time warp – through his past, present and future.

Interview with Tom May/Menzingers

Tell us 5 Bands that were heavy rotation on your playlist when you were 19.

Menzingers/Tom May:
The Bouncing Souls – How I Spent My Summer Vacation
Bob Dylan – A greatest hits style mix someone gave me before dumping me for this Frat Guy which in hindsight is completely understandable because I was a broke stoner grodie punk dude and she was probably just trying to get back at her parents for being so boring.
The Clash – London Calling
Simon and Garfunkel – An actual greatest hits
The Slackers – Close My Eyes

Tell us 5 Bands that are heavy rotation right now
Menzingers/Tom May:
Roger Harvey – Twelve Houses
Thin Lizzy – Jailbreak
The Clash – Sandinista
The Mountain Goats – The Sunset Tree
Bloc Party – Hymns

What would you like to tell your 19 year old self from today’s point of view?
Menzingers/Tom May: Well first I’ve got to acknowledge that 19 year old Tom would most certainly not heed an iota of advice from 30 year old Tom. He’d definitely approve of the path I took in the long wrong but it definitely took some heavy hitting short sighted mistakes and unexpected successes to learn the lessons I’ve so far retained.
I’m going to do my best to sound like a lame Dad or Boss.

1. Get off your fucking ass and get to work. The world doesn’t owe you or anyone else a god damn thing so quit crying. You can get so much shit done, well, by doing it. So hurry the fuck up. And go get me a beer.
2. 99% of your problems right now are your own fault. Stop blaming other people and the world for your shortcomings and grab the reins. Now take out the trash it’s starting to smell like your friends in there.
3. Go over there right now and talk to her. She’s a human just like you with unique experiences and thoughts and feelings. The worst thing that could happen is you have a pleasant, short, and slightly awkward conversation. Life is one long slightly awkward conversation. Get her number and actually call – you don’t have texting yet.
4. While we’re at it – in a few years you’re going to share something beautiful with someone. You’re going to fuck it up so bad. I’m talking that guy who sold his apple stock in 1980 for $800 level fuck up. I think you need this one though. It’s ok, you both turn out just fine.
5. Don’t worry so much. Worrying is just praying for something bad to happen. Love everyone around you and roll with the punches. It’s going to work out great.

When you were 19: What kind of life did you expect you will lead at the age of 30?
Menzingers/Tom May: „Where’s my fucking flying car? Weeds not legal yet? Are you serious? Donald Trump is the fucking president!? America’s war-driven, inherently greed capitalist system was supposed to have collapsed in on itself in favor of a populist revolution rooted in humanism and justice! The future sucks!“

I did a whole lot of daydreaming when I was that age. If I remember correctly I thought I would be living a life very similar to the one I am now as I play and travel the world with my best friends. I thought I would have written a few books and movies by now, maybe with a few inventions under my belt and other various and equally glamorous and delusional accomplishments. There’s still time huh?

If you could erase one thing/mistake you made in the last 10 years – what would it be?
Menzingers/Tom May: I suppose the one thing I wish I could erase were the countless hours doing mundane shit like playing video games by myself or endlessly refreshing Facebook or looking at frivolous shit on the internet. I didn’t gain anything from things like that and I didn’t really enjoy them. Actually I played Call of Duty for a year or two and that was a hell of a lot of fun – but that’s besides the point. I wish I would have rolled that time into something productive like putting more work in Spanish or practicing. Everything has an easy solution when you look back though.

Maybe quit smoking earlier? Never start at all? I had some damn good times and conversations with cigarettes though. Me and the sticks go way back lemme tell you.

The Descendents wrote that great song: „When I get old“. Which questions do you ask yourself if you think about getting old?
Menzingers/Tom May: Well I hope I’ll continue to grow wise and find new ways to love those around me. Besides that the drugs!

We’re so overdue for a good new hallucinogen or method of expanding consciousness, hell maybe even just to get a little loose ya know? One thing I can’t stop thinking about is where we’ll be from a perspective of transhumanism. Biomechanics aren’t going to stop with fitbits and VR headsets. Thorough and live biometric monitoring? What about full on consciousness and software immersion? The coming of technologically aided telekinetic and telepathic abilities are all possibilities in my lifetime. What if we can preserve consciousness beyond our old ass wrinkled bodies? I’m hoping these will be the moral issues that define our generation. Let’s hope we don’t burn the place down first.