When you think of Billy Mays, the OxiClean guy, the last thing that comes to mind is beatboxing. So, it must come as a surprise that Mays’ son, Billy Mays III, now makes a career of doing just that.
Mays III, who has played guitar since high school, is Infinite Third, a one-man band self-described as “intense yet relaxing, serious yet playful, focused yet wandering (and) dreamlike yet grounded in reality” on his website.
“(Music) is a way of turning different times … into art,” he said.
Mays III said his live performances are usually improvisations, as are his recordings. It is the “real emotion” that he looks for and that he manages with this technique.
“I always really enjoyed crafting songs,” Mays III said. “(In high school), I created really bad music, but it was finished.”
He cites Scottish post-rock group Mogwai as his greatest influence. Its ability to make whole albums of hugely varied material while still maintaining a signature sound is something he looks to do with his own music.
Sequencing music, he said, has always been enjoyable and easy for him.
However, things have not always been easy for the 28-year-old musician. Mays III said he began releasing music in 2009, the same year his father died.
“When he died, he was at his peak,” Mays III said. Until that time, Mays III had been very close with his father.
In addition to his father’s passing, 2009 proved a cruel year when his apartment burned down and he lost all of his instruments.
In such a light, his music, he said, is a means of catharsis. However, music has not been his only means of release.
In early 2009, Mays III said, his father’s official website was in the works. After the spokesman’s passing, the notion of an official website was scrapped in favor of what his son named WheresBillyMays.com.
The site was designed as a tribute to his father. It has been an important means of “closure,” he said.
WheresBillyMays.com is a trivia website for fans and interested parties, and Mays III said he still receives mail from fans and finds online pictures and material about his father, which he puts on the site.
The tribute to his father doesn’t stop there.
Mays III has begun working on a documentary about his life, starting in his hometown of Pittsburgh. His father, an extraordinarily busy man, spent most of his son’s early life traveling to various home-shows in other states.
“The only time I really got to see him was at the Philadelphia home-show,” Mays III recalled. “I would sit under his booth and play with toys while he was pitching.”
The project promises to provide even more peace and closure. In the meantime, Mays III continues to work on his music while moving people through his ambient, guitar-centric sound.
His newest album, “Gladly,” which will be released April 3, continues in this trend of keeping with a signature sound. The record, his 22nd record, was released for pre-order this weekend.
Infinite Third’s music can be found on YouTube.com, as well as his website, infinitethird.com.