Pumpehuset, Copenhagen, DEN - 21/4
Miss May IPrevious Next
author PP date 25/05/12
Levi Benton is the singer in Miss May I, one of the hottest modern metalcore bands at least when it comes to chart success and popularity within the younger crowds following scene music. They were part of a tour with Parkway Drive and The Ghost Inside, which stopped at Pumpehuset in mid April for a night of metalcore madness. We caught up with the guy in their tour bus to discuss their upcoming album "At Heart" among other things. Check out the interview below.
RF.net: So how's the tour going?
Levi: It's awesome. It's huge. It's the biggest tour we've done in Europe.
RF.net: How are the Parkway Drive fans treating you guys?
Levi: They're awesome. They definitely love Parkway Drive, but they're being good to us. It's going to be good next time we come back because there's a lot of people that we've never played to before.
RF.net:The new album is called "At Heart", out on June 12th. Can you tell me a little bit about the album?
Levi: We went to a new producer this time. We went with Machine, he did Lamb of God, Gym Class Heroes and bands like that. It's the longest time we've ever spent on an album, and I really love it. We did a lot of pre-production, worked really heard. We called it "At Heart" because lyricwise it's about really deep stuff we never really wanted to write about but we were just like let's do it and see what it turns out to be, and it came out awesome.
RF.net: So what is it about lyricwise?
Levi: There's a bunch of stuff. It's just songs that a lot of people don't write about. There's stuff straight from the heart. We weren't trying to be like a big badass scary metal band, we're just trying to be real. So there's a song about growing up, there are songs about money, songs about friends... just real stuff.
RF.net: So you just made sure just there to separate yourself from the metal scene. So you don't identify yourself as a metal band more than as a post-hardcore or a metalcore or?
Levi: It gets all mixed up. I think that we're like a real metalcore band. Like As I Lay Dying, All That Remains, those bands. Actual metalcore.
RF.net: So did the producer then have a lot of input into it?
Levi: Oh yeah, he helped a lot. He pushed us just to make it real and to have more feeling. Because it wasn't just like 'this is what the song is, record it'. It was more like 'what are you trying to say in this song'?
RF.net: Would you say it's a heavier or a lighter record, or more melodic?
Levi: It varies. There's a couple of really heavy songs for old Miss May I fans. There's a lot of melodic songs for the newer Miss May I fans. And then there's some new sound stuff we're doing. It's got everything; it has a lot of old Miss May I, new Miss May I, and the new, new Miss May I, I guess.
RF.net: Who's holding that record?
Levi: It was Of Mice(? 3:30), then Attack! Attack! has it right now. We're trying to smash Attack! Attack!'s. We have to do over 18,5k. We're hoping we can do that. We have some crazy pre-order ideas that are coming out. We have denim jackets and stuff, so.
RF.net: So how much does chart success mean to you guys then?
Levi: The charting? It's really big business-wise, like when you get tours and how much you get paid and all that stuff, it all depends on what you do the first week. I don't think kids understand that, that's why we're always trying to say "please buy our CD first week, we don't care if you buy it next week, but buy it this day".
RF.net: I read in a previous interview that you were doing part-time college, I think it was in 2009, is that still the case, or have you transformed into a full-time band?
Levi: We're a full-time metal band now. Well, we tour probably almost 10 months every year. We tour every day. Like after this tour, we go home for three days, we do a music video, and then we go straight back on tour.
RF.net: So like we mentioned before, they have a lot of those really polished and overproduced bands, and like you said not 'real' metal bands so to say. I guess that it kind of carries a certain stigma being on the label, I mean among even people here in Denmark, who know that it's a Rise Records release. So people have even compared the label to maybe like a modern Victory Records sort of thing. Does that sort of thing ever worry you at all?
Levi: It sort of does. But this is our last release on Rise, so even if people feel that way, so hopefully our next release will be on another label, so it should be different. It's our third CD with them and our contract is expiring.
Levi: I'm hoping it's crazy. They hit us up literally every day like "when are you coming? when are you coming?" for years, and now finally we're heading over there.
RF.net: I also see you guys are playing Groezrock this week. The festival is stacked with absolutely amazing bands left and right. So why should people go see Miss May I instead of whatever other band is playing at the same time slot?
Levi: Umm... I don't know. Well, yeah, I always make the crowd do crazy stuff so that's something to watch for. And if you just wanna watch an old school metal band and you wanna head bang and go crazy, just come see us.
RF.net: Are you planning to check out any other bands over there?
Levi: There's a lot of friends. I'll probably hang out with my friends I know in For Today, The Ghost Inside dudes obviously on this tour. I'm excited to see Rancid.