Home Christian News DC Talk’s Drummer, MercyMe’s Sound Man Unexpectedly Dies

DC Talk’s Drummer, MercyMe’s Sound Man Unexpectedly Dies

dc talk
Screengrab via Instagram @maydaydrums

Rick “Mayday” May unexpectedly died on Friday (March 24) after a fungal infection he had been battling led to other complications that resulted in liver failure. He was 54.

Between 1991 and 2000, May released three albums with his band The Walter Eugenes, but is known by those who have followed Christian music as DC Talk’s (TobyMacMichael Tait, and Kevin Max) touring drummer (“Welcome to the Freak Show,” “Supernatural Tour,” “Solo Tour”) and his work on their Grammy-nominated “Supernatural” album.

May also helped form the band Zilch, which consisted of DC Talk band members and which eventually paved the way for the the Dove Award-winning band Sonicflood to be formed. The talented musician later become MeryMe’s sound man and was actively serving as such for the last seven years.

May had a music studio located in Chillicothe, Ohio, where he influenced and provided guidance for many upcoming bands, many of which went on to sign recording contracts with Christian record labels.

“Today we lost a legend,” May’s son Conner posted on Instagram. “My dad, my life, my friend went to be in heaven with Jesus. He loved life. He loved people. He loved his family.”

RELATED: ‘The Jesus Music’ Explains the History of Christian Music, Church Resistance, and Why DC Talk Split

Conner shared that, over the past month, May was battling a fungal infection in his lungs and that it had been a journey of both highs and lows. During points of his hospital stay, May showed improvement, leading doctors to provide hope to May’s family that he would be able to go home. But this week, May developed another infection that put his body in shock and caused him to have liver failure, Conner said.

On Friday, May was surrounded by people he loved, May’s son shared. “People he poured into relationally. People that he continually has been Uncle Rick for time after time again. He had such a heart for those that needed purpose. He had vision that was always beyond what others could see. He was always calling out more in people like a true father always would.”

“My mom and I love him deeply,” Conner continued. “We know his legacy lives on. We know it runs deep in our veins. My dad told me this past month he wanted to see heaven on earth. We told each other when he gets out of the hospital, we were going to change the world. The truth is, he has already changed the world. His life is a true example of what it looks like to be a world changer.”

May’s son encouraged those who knew his father to “change the world for Jesus” as his dad set out to do. “Dad, I love you,” Conner concluded. “You’re with me in my heart.”

TobyMac told ChurchLeaders, “We called him ‘Mayday’ because if you were in trouble or needed help, he was always there for you. That’s just the kind of guy he is, a loyal and dependable friend. A guy that made work light because he made you laugh and was always wind at your back. I know he’s in a better place, but I will miss him deeply as I know so many others will.”

Commenting on Conner’s posts, TobyMac wrote, “A great man, who has obviously poured greatness into his son…he was always inspiring, always wind at our backs, always wise, and always loving…I always left his side feeling better about myself because he spoke life into my soul.”