First off, for a band whose music is so heavy and full of rage, the dudes in Miss May I are some of the nicest guys we’ve ever interviewed. So we treated them to a five star experience by cornering them in a stable next to a hay bail and asking them why they weren’t invited to the WCAR vs Memphis May Fire eating contest. Both MMI and For Today were left out of the event, so we’re thinking a round two is in order. And for the record, Levi Benton is definitely down.
The Rock’n Derby was a weird little festival very much off the beaten path. In Schaghticoke, NY, bands from Stray From The Path, to Halestorm, to A Day To Remember gave performances on Saturday, May 21st–just one of the three days of the event. Nestled in rural New York, the festival featured not only bands, however, but wrestling and demolition derby. It also featured some not so cool things, like a surprising number of Confederate flags, only further proving my personal theory that if you drive far enough north (or in any direction, really) you eventually hit The South.
Check out some shots we got from this one-of-a-kind festival. Banged-up cars, face-painted wrestlers, and Levi Benton? Yup. All here.
Blessthefall always puts on a fantastic live show, exploding like a sucker punch to the throat and then transporting the venue to a slow-moving, slow-dancing, lighters-in-the-air pop concert. Until vocalist Beau Bokan asked for a brief break, Webster Hall was filled with blinding, raging awe. Older Blessthefall music has a way of tapping into the listener’s raw emotion, and the crowd was definitely thankful that half the set was dedicated to some of the best metalcore to date.
We caught up with vocalist Spencer Maybe of Detroit, MI band A War Within after their set on the New York City date of the Drop The Gloves Tour, featuring Sirens & Sailors, The Plot In You, Miss May I, and Blessthefall. Bathed in the red light of the lounge we probably shouldn’t have had access to, we chatted about Backstreet Boys, what it’s like to be an unsigned band on a major tour, and how he and Levi Benton of Miss May I (who appears mid-interview) have a very, very special relationship.
Who at one point or another hasn’t wanted to shout “I hate everyone/I hate everything” at the top of their lungs? Miss May I take care of that deep-seated urge in the fiery opening track of Deathless (“I.H.E.”), and it’s a visceral ride from there until the guitars fade out at the end of the final song.
Without question, Deathless is an adrenaline rush. The instrumentals are as deadly as ever and songs like “Trust My Heart (Never Hope To Die)” and the title track bring the intensity you crave from a heavy record. But that’s to be expected of a band like Miss May I by now. What’s surprisingly well done is the way the band manage to flesh out their rage while managing to remain vulnerable. “Psychotic Romance” ventures into the poetic when Levi Benton screams, “I’m not worthy of such beauty/I’m not worthy of a love like this.” “Empty Promises” confronts disappointment with the words “You always let me down” in an instant that’s more sad than aggressive. These noticeably softer moments add much needed depth to the record, rounding out the full meaning of what it is to carry so much resentment. Simply, you can’t have true rage without admitting pain.
Though some of the songs can blur together, one that sticks out is the closing track, “Born From Nothing.” The introductory guitar riff that runs throughout the song is as catchy as the “To hell I was!” that repeatedly shouts back an answer to the title. Under this rallying cry, Miss May I end the 10-track effort proving that Deathless is ferocious, inspirational, and above all, real.
Miss May I have released a single from their upcoming LP Deathless, and it certainly packs a punch. The new song entitled “I.H.E.” starts off strong and intense with biting screams and edgy riffs. After listening to “I.H.E.”, it seems as though the Ohio metalcore band have returned to their heavier roots. The vocals, both clean and screaming, are raw and ruthless. About two and a half minutes in, a quick but satisfying guitar solo brings us back to the chorus, chanting “I hate everything, I hate everyone” and closing the song on a powerful note.
Singer Levi Benton’s words about the upcoming LP gives fans of the band something to be excited about. In a recent interview with AP, Benton said the following about Deathless:
“This record is about how the last two years have tested us on many levels and how we have come through it all stronger and better. That’s where the title comes from, because we are deathless.”
Deathless is currently available for pre-order on iTunes and will be released on August 7th. You can also catch Miss May I on Warped Tour this summer. Stream the song below and let us know what you think in the comments.
by Kelly Fay
Deathless Track Listing:
01. I H.E
02. Trust My Heart (Never Hope To Die)
03. Psychotic Romantic
05. Bastards Left Behind
07. Turn Back The Time
08. Empty Promises
09. The Artificial
10. Born From Nothing