An Interview with Levi Benton of Miss May I

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Miss May I

With the release of their sixth album Shadows Inside less than three weeks away, Miss May I are on the verge of providing yet another monster record to eagerly awaiting metalheads. Earlier this week lead singer Levi Benton took time out of hectic schedule to chat with GSM. We talked about his relationship with fans, the new album, and how he protects his trademark voice.

Lizzi Pena: How do you feel that fans react to your music in Europe compared to America, especially considering that metal is so popular abroad?

Levi Benton: The fans in Europe do a lot of old school metal things than in the US. In Europe, there is a lot of circle pits and a lot of fist and chants whereas in the US we find a lot of fans jumping and crowd surfing. I equally love both territories though.

LP: With the European tour moving straight into the North American dates, how is your voice holding up? Is there anything special you do on tour to take care of your voice?

LB: I am defiantly feeling the 9 months off but I am also so stoked to be back out. I really am taking it easy on the first weeks but now I am back into the OG groove and ready for anything! My warm ups and diet really keep me prepared for any show.

LP: I only noticed a couple festivals on your summer tour. Do you like playing festivals? Are there any festivals you hope to play or headline one day?

LB: I LOVE LOVE LOVE playing festivals. The energy is always very high and the atmosphere is different because you aren’t just playing to your fans but you are trying to win over new fans at the same time. Festival goers are always ready for a good time from start to finish and that’s what really makes those shows shine!

LP: How do you think your lyrics have developed on this record? Are there any new topics or themes you explore?

LB: The lyrics for Shadows Inside really developed around the changes the band was going through internally and as a band. We got out of a huge management deal and moved on. I moved to the other side of the country and Ryan got out of a 7-year relationship. So all across the board, there was a lot happening. The lyrics had no direction at first and then sort of naturally blended itself around being about changes. The newest topic for this record is a lot of self-doubts we were going through because of the team we were with and now that we are clear of that we see everything in a new way so we decided to write some tunes about it.

LP: Do you have a favorite lyrics you can share with us as a preview of what’s to come?

LB: My favorite lyric is from the last track “My Sorrow”: “Buried deep, no one can reach, my sorrow.” This song is about no one knowing about what you are going through as an individual and no one will ever know.

LP: How was the process of creating the documentary on the recording of Shadows Inside? Do you plan to do that again in future releases?

LB: We felt something special was happening when going into this record and we really wanted to document it. This was our first time really putting together something like this and we felt it really took this album to the next level and we are happy we can finally show our fans this side of us.

LP: The VIP package for your tour dates sounds pretty exciting. What motivates you to offer so much to your fans?

LB: We love giving back to our fans. I know every band says that but it really is true. We know they are why we are here and we want to give them the opportunity to have a one on one and hang with the band!

LP: Where did the title for this record Shadows Inside come from? When in the writing process did you come up with this title?

LB: This title came from the idea of the record being about the past. Everyone has a shadow inside them which represents what they have gone through whether it’s good or bad. These are our shadows.

LP: What is the next step for Miss May I after this record release and tour?

LB: We are wanting to take MMI to the next level. We are bringing a real show to everyone and we are really giving people another side of Miss May I live and we can’t wait to make it bigger and better with every show.

LP: Have you already started working on more new music? Any side projects or solo projects planned?

LB: There isn’t a time when we aren’t working on music. Everyone in the band always has ideas and is always documenting them for the next time we enter the studio. We might have a song or two already in the works. Nothing solo just Miss May I forever and always.

Miss May I Levi Benton

Miss May I’s forthcoming album Shadows Inside comes out on June 2nd via SharpeTone Records. To pre-order the album, click here!

The band will be playing the Whisky A Go Go in Hollywood, CA on June 3rd. Click here for tickets.

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