Continuing their blistering trajectory over ten years of growling vocals and superhuman guitar riffs, Ohio rockers, Miss May I, serve as a testament as to where dedication and infectious passion can take you. Crushing stages worldwide with their brutal speed and Metal attitude that riles up massive crowds, get ready to rage with Miss May I who are currently on tour with Motionless In White. I caught up with the always cheery and down-to-earth lead vocalist, Levi Benton, to discuss enduring a curveball that demonstrated the band’s strength and devotion to their die-hard fans, ‘Shadows Inside’, the tenth anniversary of Miss May I, tattoos, and more.
Congrats on the release of your sixth studio album, ‘Shadows Inside’. Tell us about the songwriting and creative process behind the album.
Writing this record was such a great experience. We were fortunate enough to work with two producers for the first time WZRD BLD and Nick Sampson. WZRD BLD worked on vocals with me and Ryan while Nick Sampson worked on Instruments with the rest of the guys. This amount of focus was the first for us and I think it really gave us the time and space to be creative in ways we have never been before.
As ‘Shadows Inside’ was your sixth album, do you look back at your albums as time capsules? Looking back now, how do you feel about the band’s back catalogue?
I love looking back on our catalogue. It’s sometimes crazy to me to see where we were in our lives in each album. I can listen to songs and remember the takes in the studio and what I felt when I recorded them. There are so many ups and downs through our lives that our catalogue holds.
You guys are gearing up for your tenth anniversary as a band. Tell us about some of the greatest lessons that you have learned over the years.
I think the biggest thing we have learned was to just be ourselves and remember why we do this and why people enjoy our music. Its very easy to get lost in the suits and contracts with all the bells and whistles people throw at you and you learn to be yourself through that the older you get.
Tell us about the history and meaning behind some of your tattoos. What are some of your favorite personal pieces and the artists that you worked with to bring the pieces to life?
My favorite memory of my tattoos goes all the way back to my first one. At the time we just got picked up as a local band by the guitar player of The Devil Wears Prada who was our favorite band at the time! So not only were we fanboys, but we got to hang out with one of our favorite artists! He started tattooing because he was an amazing artist and I know it’s not the safest story but he tattooed my forearm as my first tattoo in his kitchen while he was starting out. Thankfully, he was a quick learner and it came out great and still one of my favorites to this day!
Photo Credit: Timmy Farmer Photography
Any upcoming or current tour or festival appearance plans that you can fill us in about?
Oh yeah! We never stop touring. We will be heading to South East Asia and Australia for a headliner after this Motionless In White tour. Then we are off to Europe in January for a headliner and after that, there is still more but you have to wait 😉
Touchy subject. You guys really came across a very unfortunate incident that consequently placed you in a tough position. Tell us about the response that you received from your fans and how you were able to work toward turning the tough experience around for the better.
It was such a touching event for us because as a band it was the lowest we have ever felt but when we made it public people from all over came out to help us. It was honestly amazing. We made sure to battle through it and not miss a show just so our fans didn’t have to miss out. The hardest shows we have ever had to play but we did it and we made it!
Let’s talk tattoos. Are there any certain tattoo artists who you are really diggin’ at the moment? If so, tell us about a dream piece that you would love to get tattooed and which artist you would choose to get it tattooed by?
I’ve really been into Matt Curzon from Australia. I would love to have him do my back. Now that I am finally done with my arms I am ready to move on and get that back BLASTED!
Are there any fellow bands/musicians that put out a release that you’re really diggin’ at the moment?
I really am loving Fire From The Gods. They have a great sound I really haven’t heard before. Its great mix with an exotic vocal performance. Also, we got to play with them recently and they were amazing live which just added to me liking them.
How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you were?
I am for sure a child. I get excited over little things and I am happy all the time for no reason. Just loving life.
Last but certainly not least, any closing messages for your fans?
Keep an eye out on our tour dates because we are playing everywhere and you do not want to miss any of these shows!