If the closest thing you can find to live music at Geneseo is an iHome, Maybe Mayonnaise has what you need: a sound so thick and creamy, it’s almost edible. “We play music,” vocalist sophomore Oliver Diaz said. He conceived of the project with peer band member and guitarist sophomore Josh Shabshis. “[Our sound is] beauty, nature … and mayonnaise, a lot of it,” Shabshis said.
So how do you make Maybe Mayonnaise, anyway? You start with sophomore James Cooper’s unstoppable drumming, mix in sophomore Jessica Beneway’s bass and Diaz's voice, sprinkle some of Shabshis’s funky rhythm guitar on top and then whisk it all together with sophomore Russell Brinkman’s guitar licks and you have mayonnaise.
Maybe Mayonnaise shoots for a jam-rock unpredictability, and the band’s performance style is simple and tasteful. Beneway said the aspect of the condiment that informs the identity of the band most is mayo’s status as “a totally unidentified substance.”
The members of Maybe Mayonnaise seem to be under no pressure when performing; the guitar solos flow, the lyrics roll and release tensions built by Diaz’s elastic, scratchy voice.
The first song I heard the band perform, titled “The Second,” had me dancing like a fool with its building choruses. Despite a slower rhythm, another song “Thunder Notice” managed to maintain the intensity of its predecessor.
For Cooper, the band is more than a group of people to play great music with; it is a refuge with absurd amounts of creativity.
Cooper hopes the condiment will be given an actual presence in the group’s performances and practices instead of only occupying its current position in the name. He has suggested simply placing jars of mayonnaise around the stage to avoid a mess. This interactive and artistic approach from the band is sure to surprise and draw attention, especially once the band begins to perform at on-campus events, a possibility the band foresees for its future.
Maybe Mayonnaise is just finding its footing as a group. “[Right now], it’s chaos and total confusion and an explosion of nonsense,” Beneway said.
But like a good mayonnaise, the fat content isn’t too high and all the ingredients are holding together. For now, the band still has a ways to go, but you might catch Maybe Mayonnaise playing around at local performances off campus.