Senior Year, DeMay's Way

Student Produces on Own Record Label

The second semester of senior year is looking up for Douglas M. DeMay '94. There are no more concentration requirements, no more cores to take and no thesis to write.

DeMay has all that--and his own new record label: "100% Breakfast!"

DeMay, the former president of WHRB, says he started the label last spring in order to provide support for the bands of Harvard students.

The "100% Breakfast!" label has already appeared on the compact disc "Detect the Mind Control Helicopters," which features seven of Harvard's alternative/punk rock bands.

"I felt that this label was going to be all sorts of stuff and was going to give everyone a power-packed wallop every time they put it on their turntable," he says.

DeMay is more than just a smalltime record mogul. Music by the two bands he himself plays in appear on the compact disc.

DeMay, who hails from just outside Rochester,NY., sings and plays in Mopar and Fat Day. Hecontinues to work at WHRB, and he is the founderof the Harvard Independent Music Society.

DeMay says he found his calling in high school,where he sang--"screamed, really"--in a hard coreband.

"I'd found an art form which was great forself-expression and really very interesting, moreinteresting than academics," he says.

DeMay plays guitar and sings backup in Fat Day,which he describes as "basically weird noise, coremusic."

And he sings lead in Mopar, which he says plays"more straight ahead punk rock."

"I basically never knew how to do anythinguntil two years ago," DeMay says. "I still don'tknow anything about music, but that's what punkrock is all about, I think."

DeMay, an economics concentrator, says he lostinterest in his field earlier this year and chosenot to write an honors thesis.

"What I was doing wasn't meaningful enough tome to ruin my last semester at Harvard," he says."I found I was more interested in people than innumbers."

Instead, he is taking an all-elective courseload, which leaves him more time for his music.

DeMay says Harvard's lack of practice space forband rehearsals and other problems led him and theother members of Fat Day to move off-campus lastfall.

"I couldn't really deal with the house systemanymore, especially being in band, with theconstraints of sound and noise," DeMay says.

"And the way people treated the way I was, Idon't feel that comfortable," he says. "I feelthat it's a catchword to be tolerant here, butwhen it comes down to it people really want thingstheir own way."

"And I'm no different," he adds.

DeMay has been involved in other musicalextracurricular activities at Harvard, includingWHRB, where he held the position of president fora year-and-a-half until the end of last semester.

"I look back on these three-and-a-half yearsand I have no concept of how I did what I did,"DeMay says. "It seems like I did so much. I don'tremember if I ever slept or not."

DeMay is still the disc jockey for the Fridaynight edition of WHRB's nightly punk rock show,"The Record Hospital."

He also works at the Quad Sound Studio, and atthe Fogg Museum friends' office.

In addition, DeMay runs the Harvard IndependentMusic Society, which he founded last spring inorder to "keep the alternative/punk rock scenetogether" through shows and brainstormingsessions.

"I really felt that there wasn't anyencouragement for alternative rock and punk rockbands at Harvard," he says. "I thought maybe ifthere was some support it would help get youngerpeople interested.

Close to Breaking Even

DeMay says that out of the 1,000 CDs producedby "100% Breakfast!," about 500 have been sold.

"No profits yet, but close to breaking even,"he says.

He has marketed the album in "all the [record]stores in the Square,." And by placing the CD in amail-order catalog. DeMay says he has made salesas far away as England.

DeMay says he considers the venture a success.

"I feel like it has done what it set out to do,which is to encourage bands and to get people tofeel good about what they're doing," he says.

DeMay says he doesn't have any definite plansfor future CDs yet, but adds. "I'm thinking therewill be some things coming out soon."

These days he is mostly concerned with thissummer, when he and Fat Day plan to tour thecountry by van, "hitting all the major cities, andhopefully a lot of small ones."

"The tour is my first financial priority rightnow," DeMay says.

His post-graduation plans don't extend beyondthe tour yet, he says.

"It's my future, I live for this tour," DeMaysays. "I'd basically like to be a rock star."

If this career goal doesn't pan out, DeMay sayshe might consider an entirely different route.

After initially balking at the question ofgraduate school ("Do we have to talk about that?"he asks), DeMay admits that he has applied to lawschool.

"I'm interested in studying law, but I'm notinterested in being a lawyer," he says. "I willeventually go to law school, whether that'sanytime soon is no clear."

DeMay says he is only certain that he will takea year after graduation to play in Fat Day.

"I try never to do anything that blocks me intoany choices," he says. "Everything's apossibility.