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Miss May I - DeathlessIt’s an exciting time for Ohio’s Miss May I right now. Reuniting with long-time collaborator Joey Sturgis (producer of the band’s first two albums, as well as The Devil Wears Prada, Asking Alexandra and others), the metalcore outfit emerged from the studio earlier this August with their fifth full length LP, Deathless.
A non-stop barrage of demonic vocals, wrathful, breakneck guitars and machine gun drums, the album is equal parts sinister and scintillating, making for one of the most exciting new releases of the summer.
Not that Miss May I are ones to take any kind of break after releasing such a punishing collection of songs. No sooner had the band returned home from their third successful Warped Tour jaunt, than they’re already packing up and heading out on the road again, this time on a global tour in support of Deathless.
In between all that, Miss May I frontman Levi Benton took the time to talk exclusively to Ampkicker about the new album, the joys of recording, and NASCAR.
The new album, ‘Deathless’ was just released this month. What’s the reaction been like to the new songs so far?
The reaction has been the best we have ever had. We’ve never had so much traffic from just releasing one song. Live, we’ve been playing IHE and the crowd has gone the hardest to our new song. That’s never happened before and it definitely gets me excited for the release.

Which tracks on the album would you class as your personal favourites?
Psychotic Romantic and Bastards Left Behind would have to be my favorites. They are the most personal to me and closest to my heart. They also turned out being some of the heaviest songs on the record as well.
As time goes on, how much pressure do you feel as a band to top your previous albums in terms of creativity?
The pressure is real! It’s one of the most stressful things about being a musician. I think with this record though, we sort of blinded out the pressure and just released the anger through the tracks. We didn’t focus on making anyone happy, and I think thats why it came out so true and great.
What would you say was the hardest part of writing and recording this new album, and what was the most enjoyable?
Starting the recording process was the hardest part. Everyone was in a very rough spot, making it hard to get that fun vibe of recording. But once we realized we wanted to write a record about our last two years, then everything popped. This record is different when it comes to lyrics because we are all in the same place mentally so we are all a part of the lyrics this time, and I think that was my favorite part of this record.
The word ‘Deathless’ has been used by other bands as an album title, most notably by Revocation just last year. This is something others have pointed out, but how much of a concern was this when naming the album? Was it something you were aware of when naming the new album?
I was aware that Revocation used the same title but I am also aware of the fact that we have two different fan bases completely. I don’t think the title affected the album at all. It’s about getting the meaning across. Deathless was exactly what this record was about and I know this is not the only title that has been used twice. That’s besides the point though. We wanted to the record to be about MMI being Deathless, and that’s what stuck.
What does ‘Deathless’ mean to Miss May I? How would you say that meaning comes across in the new tracks?
The title Deathless is to represent the band as a whole. Especially recently we’ve gone through a lot together and we had a lot of close calls continuing the band, but we have been through bumps since the beginning and we were there for each other like always and made it through. That’s what makes MMI Deathless.

How much of the new album is influenced by the current musical climate, and how much of this is just you guys doing what comes naturally to you?
Going into this record we went with our old friend Joey Sturgis who did our first two records. Going back to him made us feel like kids again, and the natural heaviness we found in ourselves thanks to him came out and shined through this record. We didnt try and follow any equation, we just played our hearts out.
What bands are you into at the moment?
I am really into the new Parkway Drive album [Ire] and into the new August Burns Red [Found in Far Away Places].
Could you give us any recommendations for bands we may not have heard of yet but probably should check out?
You should definitely listen to Citizen. We became friends with them on Warped Tour and they are also from Ohio like us. They have very passionate lyrics and an amazing chill vibe to them. Also a fantastic live band.
You’ve toured and gigged with a lot of different bands so far. Any favourites, either in terms of the music they play or just what they were like to spend time with on the road?
One of our favorite bands to tour with is Bless The Fall! We are so close with those guys and we don’t get to tour together as much as we would like but when we do its a great time of pranks and being weird!
Which do you prefer; being in the studio recording new songs or out on tour performing them, and why?
I like recording new songs because in the studio you can try different things. The fun in writing a song is the ability to make it the best you can and really vibe out on each part and throw away some parts that don’t fit. Then listening back once you’re all done is priceless.
What’s next for Miss May I?
Tour, tour, and tour! With the new record out we will be touring a lot all over the world. There’s so many good tours on the way that I can’t even announce but I promise you won’t want to miss out!
And finally, let us in on a little secret: Tell us one thing about Miss May I that your fans don’t already know about you.
One cool new thing about Miss May I is that we have befriended some Nascar racers who are fans and now friends, Bubba Wallace and Ryan Blaney among them. I know that’s not crazy to everyone, but being from Ohio where racing is a very popular sport, it’s something cool for us to hang out and talk to racers. They want to know all about our tour, we want to know all about racing, it’s a good friendship.
Thanks for the interview Levi! It’s much appreciated!
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