Miss May I are currently out on tour with Parkway Drive, and we had a chance to interview Miss May I from the road. Levi and I spoke about the tour, finishing their new album in the studio, meaning of the album art, future touring, and more!
State your name and role in the band, please.
Levi Benton Vocalist in Miss May I
You’re currently on tour with Parkway Drive; how is the tour going for you guys? Is it nice playing to a different crowd than maybe you guys are used to?
It’s been great so far on this tour and HUGE! Also yes it’s been so nice to play to a real metal crowd and the fans are being great to us as well. Most of them are seeing us for the first time and they are great! Can’t wait to come back!
I noticed the release date for At Heart has been pushed back to June 12th; was it due to a change in the album cover? I know numerous people have wanted the lion to come back.
I know we have been bashed quite a bit on the new album cover but I feel like since we are finally having an OFFICIAL Lion Logo for Miss May I then the story and meaning of At Heart would be lost with just the logo. Also the packaging is great so just you wait ;) The push back was due to some last minute changes on the album.
Speaking of: what’s the significance behind the album title, and how does it tie in with the album art?
Throughout the album artwork it shows how each song is sang from the heart and that is all that matters. No more just trying to be tough and in a metal band but play music worth playing and feeling. The child on the cover shows that even from the beginning of life you have to speak from the heart.
What’s one thing that you can tell us about the album that everyone wouldn’t know on their own?
The album is actually all recorded with the same microphone I play with live a SM58 and its the first time I ever held a mic in hand and recorded on a album.
How is At Heart a progression from your last album, Monument?
Well, we definitely spent way more time on this album more than we have ever spent on a album before. We actually got a chance to do pre-production and sit back and listen to the album before we tracked it so we made sure the best of the best made it to the album.
What song changed the most during the recording process?
The biggest track of the album and the most meaningful song “Hey Mister” probably changed the most and got rearranged at least 3-5 times before ever officially tracking. But the final product turned out great!
What guest vocals did you have on the record, if any? I’m guessing Telle from The Word Alive returned the favor since you appeared on “2012”.
We actually didn’t have any guest vocals this time on the record. We are more about playing live as good as possible and we feel the more guest vocals that clutter the album the more it would not sound the same live.
Did you return the favor on Attack Attack’s newest album? (not This Means War; they made an announcement that they have completed ten songs, produced by John Feldmann, for another album)
Actually I didn’t and I wish I could have!
At Heart is your third album on Rise; that being said is your contract fulfilled, or can we expect another album on the label?
It is our last album on Rise Records but we have not yet looked into new labels yet. WE have put most of our time into making At Heart as large as possible first.
Any more songs about video games like Rust?
Not yet haha. If it was up to us though there would be one about Skyrim or Battlefield 3 on this record.
In your live performances, as soon as your start screaming, you have a much harder time doing more demanding vocal parts. Eventually by the end of the set it sounds like you find it almost impossible to hold a scream out. What impact has this had on how you arrange your set list, and how you take care of your voice outside of your performance? Have you considered going to Melissa Cross for vocal lessons?
I have went to Melissa Cross and I have had a great performance ever since!
I’ve read in other interviews that you’re influenced by As I Lay Dying but what do you say to the critics who think you’re a watered-down version of AILD?
Well we are very big fans of AILD and I know sometimes it seems like we are alike but I guess thats what happens when you are inspired.
What do you hope the remainder of the year holds for MMI, with a new album looming and everything?
Well we will have the year packed with tours and magazine press and have some surprises already scheduled so keep your eyes peeled.
Last question: What are one book and one band that you’d recommend to anyone that listens to your band?
I don’t read books and As I Lay Dying.