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Matt Mays On World Cafe

Leave it to Matt Mays to infuse a daytime studio visit with the spirit of a super sweaty, late night at your favorite dive bar. Mays performs big rock songs from his latest album Once Upon a Hell of a Timefeaturing the sound of three simultaneous guitars and one heck of a growl. Mays credits Melissa Cross' "The Zen of Screaming" with saving his vocal life. Mays also delivers an acoustic performance of his song "Ola Volo," a song named for the inventive and intriguing artist who inspired the tune. It's a preview of what's to come on Mays' upcoming album, Twice Upon a Hell of a Time,which will re-imagine and strip down the songs from Once Upon a Hell of a Time.

Mays has spent nearly two decades on the road and still seems just as content to explore the cities he visits as a tourist as is he is to perform there. Mays explains how having synesthesia allows him experience sound as color and how that translates to seeing the notes he's playing during a performance. Plus Mays describes what it's like to surf on Canada's East Coast (Yes, you can do that and he's done it!)

Listen in the player.

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Talia Schlanger hosts World Cafe, which is distributed by NPR and produced by WXPN, the public radio service of the University of Pennsylvania. She got her start in broadcasting at the CBC, Canada's national public broadcaster. She hosted CBC Radio 2 Weekend Mornings on radio and was the on-camera host for two seasons of the television series CBC Music: Backstage, as well as several prime-time music TV specials for CBC, including the Quietest Concert Ever: On Fundy's Ocean Floor. Schlanger also guest hosted various flagship shows on CBC Radio One, including As It Happens, Day 6 and Because News. Schlanger also won a Canadian Screen Award as a producer for CBC Music Presents: The Beetle Roadtrip Sessions, a cross-country rock 'n' roll road trip.