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New York City, New York, United States | SELF

New York City, New York, United States | SELF
Band Rock Reggae


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"The Debut Album"

As cliché as it may sound, VIVA MAYDAY's self-titled debut has something for almost every musical taste. Incorporating reggae riffs, light-punk undertones and classic rock arrangements, this beat-savvy album spans the musical spectrum. Every soulful track has a conscience; the politically charged messages of social awareness are deftly delivered.

The haunting lyrics of "Hey General," a complex song about the military and its ability to control individual thought, linger long after the last chord is strummed. One can almost picture the boy soldier deferentially questioning authority: "I don't mean to pry, but can you tell me why." And listen closely to Duke's intense bass solo, perhaps the best part of this chilling track.

With "Rife of Cavalries," the trio successfully demonstrates their ability to tell a story song. The song tells the tale of a family who ran to a refugee camp while the father fought in a revolution. The family prayed everyday for his return, though he never did. But the real beauty of the track lies in its other layer, where another story is conveyed; with the universal theme of having to leave a loved one and hoping to one day see them again.

The song "Fidel" is bookended by some magnificent Hendrix-influenced guitar playing. The kinetic energy is the reason both Duke and Gian list this as their favorite VIVA MAYDAY track to perform live. Be sure to listen closely to the lyrics behind those driving beats.

What started out as a poem about Omaha beach and D-Day, evolved into a song about Guantanamo. The well-crafted track with the ambitious lyrics never becomes preachy or overbearing. "It's probably our most well put together song," Duke says, "Every section of it has this great presence, from the riff to the chanting at the end. It feels incredibly powerful."

"But be careful to what you say, for your time is not served, oh the hangman's tree awaits for your final words" sings Jafe in "Set them Free." This powerful indictment of the world's reaction to the genocide in West Papua, Indonesia resonates from beginning to end. And what an ending! Gian and Duke provide Dada-like background vocals as Jafe chants, "Don't let them die. All alone."

"IRC" and "Coup d'Etat" are the most aggressive tracks on the album. In the reggae-punk "IRC," one can clearly hear the influences of the Clash as well as the Rolling Stones. And there's a Rage Against the Machine sensibility to the stormy and chaotic "Coup d'Etat." Gian's frenetic drum-playing provides the perfect foundation for this song about the unrest in Venezuela and the attempted overthrow of Hugo Chavez. Be sure to listen to the entire track. At the end, there's a dramatic tempo-shift, and Jafe laments, "Here now lays a beautiful country that I once lead. It's nothing new to me. It's nothing new to you."

The anti-establishment "Missionaries" draws heavily from Bob Marley and Jafe's vocals have a Peter Tosh-like Reggae lilt. Because of its audience-friendly nature, the track is the lead vocalist's favorite song to perform live. "I love incorporating the crowd with a call and response," he says.

Two other tracks also share the anti-government theme. "Warhorses" focuses on the anti-American feelings created during the Bush era, while "1963 Motorcade" uses the Kennedy assassination as the springboard for a song about conspiracy theories.

The trio shifts gears for "We Will All," a song about personal wars as opposed to political and civil ones. The track offers words of encouragement to survivors of domestic violence, but after listening to the refrain over and over, one can't help but wonder if the positive message is actually for the masses.

Won't you hold your own today?
For we will all find a way
Won't you hold your own today?
For we will all find a way
So won't you keep your head up child?
For we will all find a way
And if you don't seek the day then know
We will all find a way.

Like all up and coming bands, the boys of VIVA MAYDAY have big dreams. But they're also realistic. All three recognize that their dreams won't be realized without a lot more hard work, effort and sacrifice.

2008 is about spreading the VIVA MAYDAY sound. All three want to get the word out and create a buzz. Each are willing to play as many shows as possible – music festivals, battle of the bands, and college gigs. Once the album drops, they're hoping to play a college tour by the fall.

When it comes to playing live, the trio realizes they have a leg up on the competition. For a couple years already, they have been cutting their teeth at some of the most legendary nightclubs in Greenwich Village. They've performed sets at Lion's Den, Arlene's Grocery,Don Hill's, and The Knitting Factory.

That's why in a few years – maybe less – VIVA MAYDAY sees themselves on stage in Asbury Park at the Stone Pony. And that's why they see themselves on stage at Madison Square Garden. - New York Times Best-Selling Author, Phil Bildner

"New Supported Artist"

"VIVA MAYDAY is a rock/reggae trio hailing from New York City. This is some really cutting edge, unique, catchy, highly listenable music that will have your foot tapping, your head nodding, and your body swaying within about 5.2 seconds after you first start listening. We expect great things from these three gentlemen - make a request for them, have a listen, and we're sure you'll agree." - Head Case Radio

"Politically Charged Reggae Rock"

“Viva Mayday” is the politically charged self-titled debut from reggae rock outfit Viva Mayday. A typical rock three piece – guitar, bass and drums – Viva Mayday rely heavily upon the upstroke to create their classic reggae sound. They also incorporate punk and classic rock elements into their music, showing their musical talent and diversity. The lead singer’s vocals are uniformly in the style of traditional reggae and fused with a variety of musical styles, Viva Mayday show likeliness to Bob Marley, Dispatch, The Clash and Sublime at different points on the album. All the while, their lyrics are reminiscent of Rage Against the Machine. Viva Mayday’s songs are jam-packed with socially aware, politically charged lyrics that exploit the bands disgruntledness, for the most part, with American foreign policy. “Viva Mayday” is also well-produced, sure to keep both the music and lyrics polished and audible. “Fidel” opens with an incredible Hendrix-style guitar solo as they sing about “the war machine” and “propane democracy.” “Missionaries” reflects the “give peace a chance” mentality of the entire album with a Marley-esque vocal, suggesting that even the people that mean perfectly well are struggling to survive abroad. “1963 Motorcade” is a song about the assassination of JFK and conspiracy theories against the government. “Viva Mayday” is certainly opinionated and controversial. If you enjoy what Rage Against the Machine offers lyrically and punk-infused reggae rock, you should give this album a listen. - RadioIndy

"Urban Climber Magazine"

These days, it is not rare to hear folks say they think current events such as, namely, the Iraq war, mirrors the events of the 1960s and 70s. More over, it is even more common to hear ubiquitous desires for an equal amount of political, strong and honest music that responds to the tyrannies, misjudgments, and wars as there were during the 60s and 70s.

But, no doubt, there has been a revival of protest songs in the 21st Century. Along with famous yesteryears Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young to modern day artist such as Rise Against and Devendra Banhart, Viva Mayday has joined the ranks of formidable forces in the respectable art of protest music.

Influenced by Bob Marley and the Wailers and The Clash to newspaper headlines and poor government decisions, Viva Mayday combines the sound of classic rock, reggae, punk and soul to their politically charged lyrics. Their songs have a chilling effect the runs down the spine; songs such as “Fidel” and “IRC” solicits crucial questions and declares indispensable declarations:

Do not support their war machine
For the sake of our liberty
Won’t you rise up to the tyranny?
Of their proclaimed democracy (From Fidel)

Here they’ve found my SOS to all
Here they’ve killed them for a believed greater cause
And how I hear them, mothers they once were
No longer they are for nobody heard their cries (From IRC)

Edwin Starr and Phil Orchs would be proud. - Julia David


Debut LP: "VIVA MAYDAY" - 10 Original Tracks. (Available on iTunes)
Acoustic EP: "Red Sun EP" - 4 Original Acoustic Tracks.



The socially-charged and rock-reggae infused band, VIVA MAYDAY, is a New York City trio that is as politically conscious as they are musically inclined. Jafe Paulino (lead vocals/guitar), Duke Hoover (bass/vocals), and Gian Stone (drums/vocals) come together in a blend of strong rhythms and harmony to produce powerful, inspiring tracks. As their energy fuels each performance, crowds stomp to signature beats and sing along to ear-catching melodies.

After three years of writing music and performing at NYC venues including Club Coda, Knitting Factory, Lion’s Den, and Arlene’s Grocery, the trio has produced a solid foundation of music. Their new self-titled album, released May 1, 2008, embodies the social and political themes the band strives to bring to their audiences. Whether it’s the disaster of Hurricane Katrina or the genocide in West Papua, VIVA MAYDAY uses their music as a voice for social justice.

NOTE: In early 2008, the bands efforts to try and put on the best live show possible was rewarded when they were invited to play alongside Living Colour, The Family Stand, Early Greyhound, and Daniella Cotton at a Benefit Concert at (Le) Poisson Rouge.