Let us introduce to you:
Miss May I
Did you really go to a metal festival, like Welcome to Rockville, if you didn’t catch Miss May I? I think not. Bred out of Troy, Ohio, the 5 members of Miss May I, have been putting serious work in for the last 9 years and their success has been earned. With a sea of crowd surfers who screamed along to every single song, there’s no doubt that Miss May I is making moves in the music industry. We got to sit down with front-man Levi Benton at Welcome to Rockville to talk about festival experiences, his recent move to LA, touring preferences and some major news.
DHN-Tv: Levi, how’s everything been, buddy?
Levi: It’s good! We just played our first Rockville. It was awesome. Never been here before. We love all these festivals happen every year on the East Coast. We’ve only ever played Rock on the Range, this is our first real time branching out and doing all of them, it’s great.
DHN-Tv: How many do you guys plan on playing this year?
Levi: Uhm, I think we’re playing three. I’m hoping we get Louder Than Life, we don’t know yet, because it’s still down the road. But we’re doing this, Carolina Rebellion and Rock on the Range.
DHN-Tv: So you guys love the festival aspect to music?
Levi: Oh yah. It’s a whole other like, it’s weird, like a big get together. It doesn’t even feel like a real show. It’s just like a big camp with a bunch of friends. The show’s always great, the food is great. The fans are fun. And then there’s always crazy headliners that are like “Holy Crap! I can’t believe I get to see them!”
DHN-Tv: Oh yah your fans, you guys had a BIG crowd today. Probably one of the biggest crowds we’ve seen at one of your shows. Fans were going nuts for you guys
Levi: Oh Yah! It was insane. Festivals make us feel like we’re at home. I was actually talking to our merch guy about that. A lot of bands freak out when there’s a festival setting, or a big stage or being far away from the crowd. But, I feel like with Miss May I, we’ve played so many festivals- and the genre of music that is our band, festivals make us feel like we’re at home. It’s like the staple for a metal show. Like a big festival, and a big crowd.
DHN-Tv: So you guys are on tour right now. Is this the first stop, or have you guys been on tour?
Levi: Well, we’ve been on tour. We did 10 days with We Came as Romans for some warm-up shows and then just now we’re 3 days into the actual tour. It’s been awesome. The shows have been insane. Every night has been really crazy, it’s really cool because they’re all bands we’re friends with and it’s all bands that are main stage Warped Tour bands. But it’s also really cool lineup, because there’s not really an opener. It’s just 4 bands playing and like all the same type of stuff.
DHN-Tv: So pretty much just like a big jam session?
Levi: It literally is just one big jam, like a hang-out every night. Everyone’s just like screwin’ around, it’s really easy.
DHN-Tv: I know you just moved to LA, how crazy is it going from your hometown in Ohio to LA?
Levi: It is REALLY crazy. The music aspect makes it really crazy because living in Ohio, when I got off tour, there wasn’t ever a lot of music stuff happening for me to go to. And now, living in Hollywood, it’s like every night of the week there’s something for me to go to. The craziest thing, on a TUESDAY, I was just at a bar, and met the HellYeah guys and gotta say what’s up. Somehow, throughout the night me and my wife, Vinny Paul and like Ron Jeremy and his girlfriend, were all just sitting at this booth at the Rainbow drinking eating food, and I was just like “Wow! This is just a Tuesday night.” Then I got home , hammered and was like ‘This is the craziest life’. It’s crazy out there.
“Wow! This is JUST a Tuesday Night…This is the craziest Life”
DHN-Tv: So you moved to LA, and I know you have a clothing brand that is blowing up. Since moving have you made any major changes to it, or anything coming out that your fans need to go pick up?
Levi: Yah, we moved out there mainly for that. We brought on a whole team, basically like a brand-managing team. It’s only been me and my wife for the last five years and it definitely got out of hand a couple of years ago. Like, we’ve been trying to figure out who to bring on board. It’s really cool being out there, the whole fashion district, we get everything made in the U.S. now. And we can be there and have it be more hands-on. The whole last line was all custom, made in the U.S.. We’re working on denim and stuff outside of just tops, working on some jeans, shorts, and a bunch of stuff. It’s all U.S. made, and we get to be there the whole time. I’m really excited for the ‘U.S. made’ and get to be there and experiment. Now that we’re there, in the factory, we experiment and if we mess up and like experiment with a color and it looks really stupid, we never release it. And then we experiment something else, and it comes out awesome.
DHN-Tv: Quality control for sure. Do you guys do anything with the stuff you never release?
Levi: Haha, Yah we have like a box with the ‘one-of-a-kind’ stuff. If it didn’t get released it’s probably because it came out really dumb. We probably thought it was really cool, and then when we built it we were like ‘mmm…nope.’
DHN-Tv: So I’ve known you for a few years now, and you guys still travel in a van. Is there any reason you guys have stuck with a van while other bands have started traveling more in buses and stuff like that?
Levi: Yes we do. We really travel in a van to save money now a days. People don’t really buy records. So we have it down to a system, and people freak out. We used to do buses, for like 2 years, and some bands freak going from a bus to a van. But we just do hotels. Instead of having a bus and all the flashy stuff, we just do all of that at hotels every night. Basically, our van is a shuttle bus getting us from hotel to hotel and taking us to shows. I actually prefer hotels and a van over a tour bus. I get a clean bed every day, I get however long of a shower I want, I get a gym, breakfast, awesome internet. Seriously. We have talks all the time, because our crew gets bigger every tour, and obviously when you have a crew, you can only fit so many people in a van. And we’re like man, maybe we should just get ANOTHER van and keep doing hotels, and just get like 2 vans and tour.
DHN-Tv: Do it! Start a new trend
Levi: Well yah, and all of our new gear is digital. So we don’t have anything on stage. So we have like NO gear. Just drums and a unit. We just jam. Obviously, today no one cares if we have cabs or not. They just want to hear the music.”
“No One cares if we have cabs or not. They just want to hear the music”
DHN-Tv: So you guys have some projects coming out in the future. What do people have to look forward to?
Levi: We have a lot. This summer, it’s our first summer off, and we have a couple festivals we’re doing. Amnesia Rockfest in Canada, which we are super excited about. It’s crazy, Ice Cube! Blink-182! It’s insane. We played it a couple years ago, and it was awesome. Then we do Chicago Open Air, which it’s the first year, so we’re happy to be a part of that. And then, we’re taking the rest of the summer off. Probably write, because we don’t really like to take time off. Jam definitely. Actually enjoy being a human for a summer. I’m excited to like GO to summer festivals and enjoy them, which I never get to because we’re always like PART of them. I can’t wait to go to Warped Tour and NOT play, and just watch my friends play. And then we have a lot of big announcements coming in June, that we can’t really talk about. But look out for them!
DHN-Tv: So maybe some new music to look forward to?
Levi: Mmh, You’re close. But it’s a big one I promise. It’s definitely the biggest thing for Miss May I, since we started. It comes out in June.
DHN-Tv: Speaking of the summer. So there’s a tour coming soon. The Blink-182, A Day To Remember Tour. What’s your view on that?
Levi: I think that tour is… I feel like The Blink 182/ A Day To Remember Tour people felt like it had to happen sometime. So it was like every time Blink played a show, it was like come on, you’re not gonna take A Day To Remember out? It’s the only band that makes sense! So that tour to come up, AND they added even more bands that made sense, I think it’s awesome, and it’s perfect timing. Without Mayhem Festival this summer, it’s good that they have all these separate shows. They have the Slipknot tour, the Rob Zombie tour, the Blink tour now, the Hailstorm tour, all these tours that sort of make up for there being no Mayhem this year. I think it’s cooler than just having Warped and Mayhem.
DHN-Tv: So you’ll definitely be there this summer. Thanks for hanging with us. Is there anything else you wanna add?
Levi: Yes ! Our new record, Deathless, is out. Go check it out. Touring the U.S. and the end of the year, doing a lot of international stuff this year.
“June! June is the big thing. So keep an eye on Miss May I. Big stuff!”