St. Petersburg, FL-based Billy Mays III chose his moniker, Infinite Third, to represent an inner duality. ‘Infinite’ being the part that’s connected to greater consciousness. ‘Third’ representing the human element. It follows that his endless layers of ethereal guitar, primal beats, and pulsing drones act as conduit for something greater than the sum of their parts. Songs are often improvised journeys through undefined scales, structured and concise, but with room for random moments of openness – the perfect gateway into experimental music.
Infinite Third’s debut album, Gently, was released in December of 2009 after a year of tragic events. In February of that year, Mays survived a near fatal apartment fire that engulfed everything he owned, including his recording studio. Picking up the pieces, he cobbled together a minimal guitar-based setup that informed his new approach to creating music. But before he could catch his breath, his father, well-known TV personality Billy Mays, passed away unexpectedly. When he finally began recording again, it was under the banner of Infinite Third, and was more vulnerable than ever.
Since then 12 hours-worth of LP’s, EP’s and song sketches have been released via the artist collective Remember You Are Dreaming. It’s a fitting home for Mays, whose music has had a considerable impact on artists of different mediums, from visual artists to filmmakers, serving as a sonic inspiration for their own creative process. He’s implemented exploratory streaming live sessions and performances in non-traditional venues with his Ambient Installation Series, attracting local champions in the press world. Tampa Bay Times ran an in-depth profile and he was bestowed two “Best of the Bay” awards from Creative Loading’s reader’s poll - Best Local Experimental Act and Best Local Instrumentalist. Mays’ interactive looping project Mouth Council was also chosen by Shure Microphones for an international marketing campaign.
His newest album, Channel(s), harks back to the idea of cosmic improvisation. “Channeling has become the core of my creative process, with the most important moments emerging when I get out of the way” Mays reflects. “Sometimes I feel like I’m processing hidden anxieties and fears when I play, only to find out someone in the audience needed to do the same.” This unwavering commitment to improvisation has been the foundation for a unique sound which continues to evolve with each new release. It never sounds exactly the same twice, but it always sounds like Infinite Third.
- a means of communication or expression
such as a path along which information (as data or music)
in the form of an electrical signal passes
- a way, course, or direction of thought or action
- new channel(s) of exploration
- to act as a medium
- to convey through or as through a channel
- to direct toward or into some particular end or object
- to form channels or grooves in
- to use energy, ability, feelings, or ideas for a particular purpose
- to channel something into something
November 25: St. Petersburg, FL - Full Service at The Hive, 9p (Free)
December 10: St. Petersburg, FL - Deep Immersion w/Rissa Wray at Grassroots Kava House, 4-6p (Suggested Donation: $20-30)
December 15: St. Petersburg, FL - Green Bench Brewing Co. w/King Complex + Kerry Courtney, 8p (Free)
December 22: St. Petersburg, FL - Subcentral at Iberian Rooster w/Lucas Brode + Sean Hamilton, 9p (Free)
January 17: St. Petersburg, FL - Yoga on Tap at 3 Daughters Brewing, 6-7p ($10)
February 23: St. Petersburg, FL - The Bends w/Lassyu, 9p (Free)
March 3: St. Petersburg, FL - Roots of the Sun Festival at Straub Park, 4p (Free)
Tampa Bay Times
"... This spring Mays launched a spate of performances in unconventional St. Petersburg venues — bookstores, galleries, yoga studios — designed to integrate his music into the fabric of a bustling and creative city. Instead of a tour, he dubbed it an "ambient installation series" — savvy marketing that, so far, seems to be working.
And if Mays' name rings a bell, that might come as no surprise.
His father was the late, legendary TV pitchman Billy Mays, the OxiClean king with the Brillo beard and bright blue button-up. "HI, BILLY MAYS HERE," he'd roar in infomercials hawking Mighty Putty, Orange Glo, the Awesome Auger and a zillion other gotta-get-it widgets. Mays' memelike appeal made him a cult figure and reality TV star before he died at his Tampa home in 2009.
Today, Mays III is pitching something, too, though it's not as easy a sell as the Hercules Hook or Vidalia Slice Wizard.
"I could have taken my dad's path," says Mays, 30. "I've been asked to pitch products in his way. Over the years, I was like, No, no, no, I'm a musician, I'm an artist. Now I'm finding more and more that I'm becoming a pitchman, but in art. For my art." ... continue reading at Tampa Bay Times
"On first blush, composer Infinite Third may evoke the likes of Mogwai or Caspian, but he’s incorporated his own grab bag of unique elements to his minimalist sound and other creative pursuits. Using guitar textures, beatboxing and other rhythmic samples from a looper and a wide variety of guitar pedals, the St. Petersburg-based artist creates eclectic soundscapes all on his own, conveying a relaxing ambient vibe that could be categorized (although he doesn’t like the boundaries of one genre) as post-rock. His slow build-ups can become quite droning and powerful or grungy and dissonant."
“Billy Mays III is something of a creative powerhouse. Recording under the name Infinite Third, the experimental guitarist uses a series of looping and effects pedals to craft ambient music that conducts emotion like a live wire. In addition to his recorded work, Billy’s live performances offer fans a different experience than the albums, and together they serve as two sides of a coin that encompasses both technical skill and spontaneous ideation.”
“I have never been good at math, but does an infinite third get smaller forever without ever disappearing or get exponentially larger? The performance by this man seems to attempt to do both, building to huge heights then winding back down like a collapsing universe.. his mix of big beat, haunting guitars, post-rock and eccentric spoken samples makes as much commotion as a whole ensemble. It’s interesting but somewhat overwhelming, both musically and philosophically.”
“It seems that while everyone else tries to bury their ambient music in tape hiss and lo-fi mystery, Infinite Third strikes with head-spinning clarity and sharpness of sound, reaching back to Aphex Twin’s game-changing Selected Ambient Works series while still retaining some of the nostalgic guitar hypnagogia in the vein of newer Mark McGuire. The electric guitar is the main tool of trade for Billy Mays III (I’m still in the process of defining whether it’s a real name or not). He modifies and stretches the possibilities of the instrument by processing it through a heap of guitar effects and computer programming to create enveloping, adventurous structures with a sense of melancholy.”
“Infinite Third toys with melody and dissonance in his experimental post-rock instrumentals. The atmospheric washes of sound drive passages propelled by ambient guitars that deliver both clean solos and pedal-effected textures.”
”…a floating world type of song. Intensely meditative, taking the listener through a range of carefully modulated emotional levels.“
- Art Taco
“When you talk to him you get a sense of rawness as a human being, someone who is reflective and doing his best to fulfill his life. He performs in various types of settings, from bars and festivals to yoga studios and coffee shops. He wants those in attendance to be open to his atmospheric textures and to experience whatever they may feel in that moment. Depending on the setting and song, some may lie down and soak in the sounds, move to the tribal influences, or practice flow arts. Infinite Third wants to inspire reflection and share his music with as many people as possible, but he also wants to steer clear of attaching to a rigidly-defined vision, allowing it all to unfold organically. Through his movement you find a person who is grounded, but open to flow. Someone who will make you think or allow you to just get lost in the music. He is being who he is and wants you to just be you.”
“Strikingly unlike his late, famed father, Billy Mays III is less interested in yelling about cleaning products on TV and more interested in building intimate, meditative ambient soundscapes through guitar, loops, and electronic beats.”
“…a shaman’s potion softly swirling while heartfelt philosophers whisper gently in your ear, eventually calling forth a cathartic rainstorm as your spirit traces ancient monolithic circles.”
- Alex Alexander AKA Mandala Eyes
“…sublime, whilst being hauntingly beautiful. Billy Mays III has a fantastic way of touching mind, body and soul with his musical creations and talent. A musician deserving of greater recognition without a doubt.”
“…mellow but cerebral. In a world where everyone wants to be the next big pop star, it’s sometimes hard to find real lovers of music that just want to explore the possibilities of sound. I think Infinite Third is one of those artists though.”
“…mostly guitar fronted with electronic backing, expect to hear beautiful, meandering guitar melodies mixed in with some subtle ambient soundscapes.”