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The May Fall Crew

What does the name of your group mean? Why did you choose it?

May Fall: well I’ve had the concept and music for our album “Overload” planned many years before we actually started the group. It was initially meant to be a jazzy trio performing my songs, so we took the standard structure of jazz groups like The Dave Brubeck Quartet, used my name and added the “crew” as we felt it’s the best word to describe our group.

However, normally I’m not looking to form a direct correlation between my name and the group’s name. It’s just the convention in the naming of jazz groups that led to our name. Although I have wrote the music in this album, we are three musicians in this group, and everyone has contributed their own talent and creativity giving it its unique sound. I hope that when people see the name “The May Fall Crew” they think about it as a band of three people and not as May Fall’s band.

How do you define your music? Do you identify with any specific musical style?

Itay Tsarfati: Generally I would define our music under the broad term “fusion”. To be more specific, I would say our sound is somewhere between rock and jazz-rock considering the language of the music you can hear in the chords and solos.

Niv Majar: I would define as a pleasant/disturbing rock fusion, sending shock waves to the brain.

May Fall: I guess our music fits the general definition of jazz-fusion, but actually every song crosses over to a different genre, you might be able to hear in some of our songs some progressive and hard rock, funk, Latin music (Tango and Bossa Nova), electronic music, pop and also good old jazz.

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What differentiates you from the rest of the groups of that same style of music?

Itay Tsarfati: I think several things make our group unique in comparison to other groups in the same genre: first, we are all left-handed, something that is probably very rare to find in other bands and I think is special in itself. Second, we all generally like the genres on which the band is based, making the combination of our playing sound good in the album. Third, we release relatively plenty of music considering we are a trio.

Niv Majar: I actually don’t know any other band playing this style, and maybe we are not really progressive or fusion music scholars so it turns out to be more authentic and less technical.

What are your musical influences?

Itay Tsarfati: I think each one of the musicians brings its own style and influences into May’s compositions. From the outset we’ve known it’s fusion and that’s why there was a feeling everyone can bring with them the genres in which they feel convenient. In my case, that was music from the rock and jazz worlds, such as Frank Gambale, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Weather Report, Yes, Gentle Giant and many more.

Niv Majar: I guess May being the composer can answer this better, but personally as a drummer, I’m mainly influenced by bands like Primus and The Presidents of United States of America.

May Fall: my list of musical influences gets longer and longer each year. I actually composed the majority of the songs in “Overload” more than a decade ago and I had different influences back then. Nevertheless, many of the artists that influenced me in “Overload” then are still among my favorites today. Among them are Lee Ritenour, Dave Grusin, Herbie Hancock, Joe Sample, Casiopea, George Duke, Hiromi, Oscar Peterson and many more. These are probably my direct influences when composing the music in “Overload”, but since I’m listening to many other genres, such as rock, metal, funk, 80’s pop, electronic and classical music, many of the artists I listen to outside the scope of jazz music influence me in my jazz composition.

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How is a live from The May Fall Crew?

May Fall: Actually, The May Fall Crew was originally intended to be a studio project, so we never really considered playing this project live when we were working on the album. After we’ve released the album we were surprised to have many people who liked our music asking questions like “when is your next concert” or “will you come to perform in my city”. This actually got us to think we should try to put The May Fall Crew on stage, so hopefully that will happen sometime during 2020.

Is there a place where you are especially excited to play?

Itay Tsarfati: I would really like to tour Europe.

Niv Majar: Gan Ben Shefer (a park in my hometown of Hertzlia). Or the Red Sea Jazz Festival in Eilat.

May Fall: being on stage in any major Jazz Festival, like Montreux, Java, San Sebastian, Montreal, Paris or North Sea Jazz Festival, would be a dream come true.

Have you heard any group recently that has pleasantly surprised you?

Itay Tsarfai: I recently listened to a new album by Yuval Ron called “Somewhere in This Universe, Somebody Hits a Drum”. I think it has very impressive compositions and incredible solo parts.

Niv Majar: Actually yes! I recently discovered the Japanese band NINGEN ISU, I saw their video “Great king of terror” and it really blew my mind.

May Fall: a few months ago I happened to stumble upon Louis Cole and Knower. This is probably one of the best things I came across recently, a great combination of clever and interesting compositions, rich arrangements, impressive technical skills, creative artistic concepts, and a great sense of humor.

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Would you like to work with an artist?

Itay Tsarfati: I would really like to play with Omri Abramov, Yuval Ron and Avi Refaelov and other cats from the fusion world which I happen to be friends with. They are spectacular musicians.

Niv Majar: Steven Tyler and Joe Perry from Aerosmith.

May Fall: I’m with Niv on this one, Aerosmith are my favorite band since childhood. But if we’re sticking to our genre, I would probably go for Lee Ritenour.

What are your future projects?

Itay Tsarfati: I recently moved to Germany to push my professional career as a musician and  I’m currently working on my first solo album. I really hope to perform with The May Fall Crew in the near future.

Niv Majar: My band Carmel Apple Pop has been working for several years on an album of covers to traditional Hannukah songs. Maybe someday it will actually happen.

May Fall: I’m currently working on a new EP for my solo project, a sort of thought-invoking synthpop. I started it around 4 years ago with two singles “Same Code” and “Blind Zone”, and I really wanted to continue this project all this time so I’m really looking forward to release it later this year. Other than that, I also want to perform with The May Fall Crew and work on new material.

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