Interview With Miss May I - 26th April 2011

Photo Of Miss May IEllie caught up with Miss May I backstage in Leeds to talk about their current album, their artwork and much more.

First off could you introduce yourself and tell us what made you pick up your first instrument?
I’m Levi Benton, I’m the lead singer of Miss May I and we started playing cover songs and stuff. I could not really play instruments apart from bass so I started singing, we played an Underoath song where there was a screaming part and I did it and everyone thought it was pretty cool. We just kept getting heavier and now we are like a big metal band.

You have been together since 2006 how have the changes in the music industry within that time frame affected you?
It’s actually pretty cool, I know CD sales and the economy is horrible but our type of music is getting really mainstream well at least in the USA it is. It’s cool because before we started it was really underground and now it’s on the radio and all over the TV.

What would you consider as your best achievement?
Well it’s getting ready to come up but we are playing Warped Tour which is like the best tour ever and that’s a big achievement. We are not even on a tiny stage, we are on one of the main stages and it’s like twenty thousand people a day.

Have you ever played Warped Tour before and what bands are you going to check out?
No I have never even been to Warped Tour so I’m freaking out. Yeah A Day To Remember, The Devil Wears Prada, August Burns Red, Asking Alexandria, Attack Attack just so many big bands there.

You released your second studio album (Monument) last year which had over 7,500 sales in the first weekwere you happy with these figures and are you pleased with the records overall success?
Oh yeah it’s pretty cool because our first album only sold a thousand copies in the first week, which was ok as we never left Ohio as we were like a high school band. It’s just crazy that in a year we went from one-thousand CDS to 7,500 epically with CD sales being worse now. We also still sell over a thousand a week and we are getting ready to break a hundred thousand.

What are your main influences when writing for a record?
With Monument we were really into As I Lay Dying, Darkest Hour, All That Remains and a lot more legendary metal bands because we didn’t want to be just really heavy we wanted to be more mainstream so everyone can listen to us. We all like a mixture of different stuff the guitarists like Hardcore, I like a lot of RnB stuff and our drummer likes really soft stuff so basically everyone has their own little intake.

Have you started work for the next record yet?
We have messed around with it, we just recorded three songs that come out in June on the re-release and DVD. Those songs are like drafts for the new album and we just locked in our producer which we are really excited about, we plan to start recording in January. After this tour we are off for a month and a half and we will probably write a lot then, we are also pre recording it on Warped Tour.

Is the album re-release a CD and DVD?
Yeah the DVD is over three hours long, its us in Japan, us in the UK, in the studio and just hanging out, there are three new songs, posters and a load of other cool stuff that comes with it too.

You guys have some pretty interesting artwork, who does the designs and is there a concept behind it?
Well it started off with the lion thing on our first CD and we just thought it would be cool to stick with that, like that’s our image. There is not really a huge meaning behind it, we just wanted that to be our symbol like king of the jungle so we picked something powerful like the lion. After the first CD we tried to make it more authentic, for Monument the World of War Craft art team did the artwork, which again featured lions and so will the re-release. I think we are just going to keep the lion theme with all of our albums, hopefully with our third album we can have a symbol that everyone will recognise as Miss May I.

How have the shows on this tour been going for you and what do you like most about touring the UK?
The shows have been pretty cool, it’s way different for us as we have to start over again here. Over here we play to three or four hundred kids a night which is cool but back home it’s really different because all of these bands would draw in three thousand people or so. It’s cool to go back to though as back home the venues are huge with barriers and on this tour kids are stage diving and they can come and hang out afterwards.

Do you have any funny tour stories you would like to share?
Yeah, I will tell you this most recent one. We had a five am bus call, in the states we can’t drink because we are all 19 or 20 so we all just went crazy and went out as we had this 5am bus call. Some of the dudes went to this strip club as It was free admission and one of the guys from the opening band who is really quiet told the strippers he had never been there. So they took him up on stage, stripped him down, whipped him with his own belt and then put it around his neck and started riding him around the strip club. He came back with big welts all over him and was like “You guys will not believe the amount of stuff we just did.” Then we all went off back to the strip club but it was closed but the stripers came out, we all thought he was making it up but they were like “we just did all this stuff to you.”

How would you describe a Miss May I show and what is your favourite song to play at the moment?
We like to be a better live band than we sound on CD, we like to be memorable, and we like to go crazy and climb on stuff and throw stuff about and get the kids involved as much as possible. My favourite song to play is probably Relentless Chaos as kids just freak out.

You guys are from Troy, Ohio are there any local bands from that area you think we should check out?
There is this local band there called Ludlow Falls and you should really check them out because they sound actually like Lamb of God but with singing.

If you were not in Miss May I what would you be doing right now?
I was going to go to college to be an advertiser.

Okay one final random question that we ask every band, if you could be an animal out of a zebra or a giraffe which one would it be and why?
I would be a giraffe because I think it would be cool to be that tall.

Do you have a message for your fans reading this?
Just keep doing what you’re doing because we were just a bunch of best friends who liked playing music, if you don’t like what you do then don’t do it, dreams always come true.

Interview By Ellie Pockley
 Band Members

Jerod Boyd
Justin Aufdemkampe
Levi Benton
B.J. Stead
Ryan Neff
 Latest Releases
Miss May I - Monument
Release Date - 17th August 2010

1. Our Kings
2. Masses Of A Dying Breed
3. Answers
4. Relentless Chaos
5. Creations
6. Gears
7. Colossal
8. We Have Fallen
9. In Recognition
10. Monument
 Band Related Links
Miss May I Myspace