Learn about the enigmatic mad scientist behind the ¡MAYDAY! sound in this excerpt from Darker Shades For Brighter Nights, ¡MAYDAY!’s free eBook about the making of their critically acclaimed and breakthrough album Take Me To Your Leader.
Plex has considered himself The Architect of the ¡MAYDAY! sound and for good reason. Before he clicked up with Bernz to originally form the band he had been making music in his basement for years and became known in his own right as one of Miami’s most respected producers.
The making of Take Me To Your Leader saw a shift in Plex’s approach to producing. No longer did the permanently-sunglassed producer feel that he needed to fine-tune the sound so much on his own. By loosening up, he allowed the creative flow between members to flourish, and the results speak for themselves.
Read this excerpt as Plex goes into detail about how he produced the album.
Plex: For this album I just threw a lot of paint at the wall. I just wanted to be the producer that’s being productive and putting shit out. I would be like “I’ll tweak it once you choose what you like.” There’s very few beats that every detail was accounted for before the vocals were laid down.
Gio was involved a lot more. Usually on the last album I was in a room by myself banging my head against the wall just going through ideas, but this time Gio was definitely prevalent. Even in the tracks he didn’t produce there was still some dialogue between us. It was a personal growth for me to have that vibe session.
I feel like if you’re really about your art then you’ve got to have a period somewhere towards the beginning where nobody can tell you shit. I guess I call those the “ignorant growth years.” It’s a period of “I’m trying to identify myself. Don’t tell me shit. I don’t want to hear you.” I feel that Take Me to Your Leader is me separating myself from that. Now I find that the joy of music is the collaborative effort and not being so egotistical all the time. It’s a lot more fun because there’s more energy. I’m still a control freak but I like to get people’s opinions a lot more nowadays.
It’s about capturing energy: a real vibe that was really there between people – between human beings! That’s what makes something special to me – the stuff that gives you goose bumps because you know that there was a vibe that was working and that everybody was connecting. All those nuances come across when you record and the people with the real sensitive antennas can pick it up. This album definitely has a lot more of those moments.
Stuck on an Island was very self-indulgent of me, not in terms of doing long solos, but the vibe was very what I was feeling and I didn’t really take that much outside information. The tempo variations in Take Me To Your Leader are a direct product of what I’m talking about: being sensitive to the vibes of other people.
Bernz: He’s not a dick – he just takes more convincing than others.
Plex: I’m not protective. I’m not. I’m protective to the things that I think are core to the band but man if you’re willing to put in the work I don’t give a fuck.
Gianni: Plex is the ringleader. He’s an originator. He’s the main dude. He basically made ¡MAYDAY! and I’ve always respected that. I worked hard to get where I am. It’s like starting a new job and working your way up. I like to produce records and I felt I needed to give it my all. Eventually Plex caught on and was like, “Let’s work, let’s make it happen.”
I feel like two heads are better than one. He inspires me and I inspire him. Things start to happen and before you know it, you have a dope record. It’s like a balanced duo. There’s a cool aspect to it.