Interview: Miss May I

Photo by Joshua Platt

Photo by Joshua Platt

It's been quite the year for Miss May I. A run on Warped Tour, a stellar fifth album, Deathless, and now they're on the road with Aussie metalcore vets, Parkway Drive. We caught up with lead singer Levi Benton a couple days prior to Miss May I's show in Calgary.

Miss May I's latest album, Deathless, is out now via Rise Records. Catch them in Calgary with Parkway Drive tomorrow, November 4, at the Marquee.

You're only a few days into tour, but how's it going so far?
Levi Benton: The tour has been insane! Very rowdy crowds and almost every show so far has sold out. All the bands are great guys and the next month is going to be a blast. 

You're offering TEI workshops on this tour, which is so cool. Is that more of a unique experience for fans, instead of just a meet and greet, they can learn from someone they look up to and have more than just a casual encounter?
Yes, it's a great experience for not only fans but myself as well. I just started a conversation series on this tour and it's been great having fans come in and learn more from me than just vocals. They can ask questions about anything they want and really get to know everything. As for the vocal technique class which I have been teaching, I really love teaching students everything I have learned from the road and my teachers. All I want is for students to become stronger, confident and not injure themselves. 

What was it like working with Joey Sturgis, who produced the first two Miss May I records, again?
It was great working him again. We are LONG time friends and we picked up right where we left off when we started working together again. He really challenges our band in ways that make us better musicians.

What was the experience recording Deathless like? Did it differ from previous records? 
Recording Deathless was really great. We worked on this record over the last two years just demoing and constantly writing after our release Rise of the Lion because we were in a very fragile state mentally. I think that mentality really brought this record to life though and showed the aggression we have never expressed before. Working with Sturgis as well really brought the album together because he already knew how we worked and how we felt. 

You guys finished a run on Warped Tour this year, and now are on this tour with Parkway Drive, so it's been quite a busy year! Are there aspects of Warped Tour that you prefer to non festival shows and vice versa?
I love festival shows obviously because the outdoor crowds are infinite and gigantic which is always fun. As for a tour like Warped Tour as well, you get to play in front of fans that would have never gave our band a chance if it wasn’t for a diverse tour like that. Venue tours have their pluses too. I love to be intimate and have a great lighting production that really makes a show spectacular and you can't feel when outside. 

What are your thoughts on the controversies surrounding Warped Tour this year?
The controversies didn’t really effect us as Miss May I. We were just happy to be on Warped and headlining again for our fifth album. The crowds were amazing like always and the circle pits were large and rowdy! That's all we can ask for. 

What's it been like playing some more new material live? Has the reaction been what you expected?
It is really crazy, because with previous releases it was difficult to play new songs and for them to go over well. But on Deathless, playing a majority of new songs live is insane! The crowd loves it and we couldn’t be happier. 

In an interview with Alternative Press, you shared how you bought a house but then lost the investment due to management gone wrong. Has your music been a driving force to keep going, and served as an outlet for you amidst all that chaos? 
Yes, my music and fans have been my savior. All the rest is just static and chaos that I do not enjoy. I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for having amazing fans that support me and I support them.