Miss May I
Miss May I is an American metalcore band from Troy, Ohio. Formed in 2007, they signed to Rise Records in 2008 and released their debut album, Apologies Are for the Weak through the label while the members were still attending high school. The album reached 76 on the Billboard 200, No. 29 on Billboard's Top Heatseekers, and No. 66 on Top Independent Albums. The band has also had some of their material featured in big name productions; the song "Forgive and Forget" is featured on the Saw VI Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, and their song "Apologies Are for the Weak" is included in the video game Saints Row: The Third.
Miss May I
Miss May I in 2014. From left to right: BJ Stead, Justin Aufdemkampe, Levi Benton, Ryan Neff and Jerod Boyd
|Origin||Troy, Ohio, U.S.|
|Genres||Metalcore, thrash metal, melodic death metal|
|Past members||Josh Gillespie|
The band has retained the same lineup since its formation, with the only exception being bassist Ryan Neff, who left the band in 2007 and rejoined in 2009. Miss May I released their second studio album, Monument, on August 16, 2010; their third album, At Heart, on June 12, 2012; their fourth, Rise of the Lion, on April 29, 2014; and their fifth, Deathless, on August 7, 2015. On June 24, 2016, the band left Rise Records and signed with SharpTone Records.
Formation and early releases (2007–2013)Edit
Miss May I was formed in 2007, in Troy, Ohio with the original members being Levi Benton, Justin Aufdemkampe, BJ Stead, Jerod Boyd, and Ryan Neff. Neff left in late 2007 to join Cincinnati band, Rose Funeral and was then replaced by Josh Gillespie.
In late 2007, the band released a five-track EP titled Vows for a Massacre followed by their 2008 demo the next year, both of which were self-released. This demo contained 6 tracks, including "Architect" and "Tides", which would later on be featured in their first full-length album, Apologies Are for the Weak in 2009. It was after this release, that the band was signed onto Rise Records.
According to the website of producer Joey Sturgis' Foundation Studios, the band had booked studio time in May 2010 to ostensibly record the follow-up to their debut album. According to Ryan Neff's Twitter, the new album would be released sometime in August along with a new music video.
On June 11, 2010, Levi Benton announced that there would be a track on the new album called "Colossal" and that the album would be called Monument and confirmed its release to be on August 17 of that year. The artwork for it was also later revealed, featuring the iconic MMI Lion from the cover of the band's debut. On September 2, 2010, they released their music video for "Relentless Chaos" Directed by Thunder Down Country. In December 2010, they confirmed plans to appear at Warped Tour 2011. The album peaked at 10 on the Top Hard Rock Albums chart, 15 on the Top Independent Albums chart, and 31 on the Top Rock Albums chart. The band toured with Abandon All Ships, Sleeping with Sirens and Bury Tomorrow to support the album.
The band appeared on the We Came as Romans Merchnow.com + Arkaik Clothing "I'm Alive" Tour (September - October 2011) with Close To Home, Of Mice & Men, and Texas in July. Following the "I'm Alive" Tour, the band co-headlined the 'No Guts No Glory' tour with Pierce the Veil, Woe, Is Me, and Letlive. The band also appeared on the 2011 Scream it Like you Mean it tour with We Came as Romans, The Word Alive and This or the Apocalypse.
On March 8, 2012, the band announced that they had completed work on their new album, At Heart, and were set to release the album on May 29, 2012. To make last-minute changes, the band bumped back the release, to June 12, 2012. They released "Hey Mister" on May 3 on Rise Record's YouTube page.
The band soon set out on tour with Whitechapel, After the Burial, The Plot in You, Rescued by a Sinking Ship, and Structures throughout March 2012, followed by a European tour with Parkway Drive, The Ghost Inside and Confession through April. The band also set out to tour with Whitechapel, The Ghost Inside, Within the Ruins and The Plot in You in the US during May 2012. The band played on Warped Tour in mid-2012. They supported Killswitch Engage for the United States Disarm the Descent tour in mid-2013 with others.
Recent work (2013–present)Edit
On December 14, 2013 the band announced that they are looking for a fan to get a tattoo of their infamous lion design for the cover of their forthcoming album. The band osted three studio updates on their new album-dedicated website, www.mmiriseofthelion.com, which briefly detail the drums, guitars, and vocals for the new album. On February 25, 2014 Rise of the Lion was announced as the title of the new album. The album was released on April 29, 2014.
The band recorded their fifth studio album with Joey Sturgis, who recorded the band's first two records. Deathless was released on August 7, 2015. The first single, "I.H.E.", was released on June 17, 2015. On July 29, 2015, the title track from Deathless was released as the second single for the album.
The band performed a headline North American tour in support of their sixth album, Shadows Inside, in 2017. In 2018, they toured North America once again on the Gore Core Metal and More Tour, as support for Gwar and Hatebreed. In early 2019, the band supported August Burns Red on their Dangerous Tour. They played Monument in its entirety in mid-2019, they co-headlined the tour with The Word Alive.
Musical style and influencesEdit
Miss May I's musical style has been described as metalcore or melodic metalcore, mixing melodic death metal and thrash metal riffs with hardcore punk. Almost all of their recorded songs feature both unclean vocals, provided by the band's lead vocalist Levi Benton, and clean vocals, provided by their bassist Ryan Neff (and formerly Josh Gillespie), in similar fashion to many other melodic metalcore bands.
The band has stated their main influences are: Metallica, Pantera, Deftones, Unearth, White Zombie, As Blood Runs Black, All Shall Perish, As I Lay Dying, Arch Enemy, Killswitch Engage, Lamb of God, Atreyu, Underoath, All That Remains, In Flames, Five Finger Death Punch, Avenged Sevenfold, The Black Dahlia Murder, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Darkest Hour, Bleeding Through, Trivium, Winter Solstice, Bring Me the Horizon, Anti-Flag, Parkway Drive, and It Dies Today.
In an interview with Guitar World, the band discussed how their influences have changed over the years. Guitarist Justin Aufdemkampe said he started by covering basic blues, then moved to pop punk by covering Blink-182, and Green Day, then eventually learned lead guitar by listening to and copying his dad's Stevie Ray Vaughan records. In the 10th grade, Justin started learning Taking Back Sunday, Underoath and Avenged Sevenfold songs. However, once he saw Atreyu at Warped Tour, his taste in music abruptly shifted. He then discovered As I Lay Dying, All That Remains and Darkest Hour, and began writing fast, aggressive originals.
According to bassist Ryan Neff, his influences are: Unearth, Deftones, Pantera, As I Lay Dying, Darkest Hour, Underoath, As Cities Burn, August Burns Red, the Bled, the Color Morale, Florence and the Machine, Marilyn Manson, A Perfect Circle, Nine Inch Nails, Oceana, Pierce the Veil, PMtoday, Saosin, and Tool. In an interview with Alternative Press, Ryan said his favorite band of all time is White Zombie.
Guitarist B.J. Stead stated "I had been playing guitar for years, but not much metal. I mostly listen to Pink Floyd and straight rock." In an interview with Alternative Press, it was said that B.J.'s favorite band is Iron Maiden.
The band has stated on their influences:
Basically, any metal-core band that doesn't have keyboards and who aren't fake guys who just play instruments. We're trying to be as old school as possible, as it's been working out. So I'm happy with that.
In an interview with WIDB, Levi stated on behalf of his biggest musical influences: "As I Lay Dying is definitely the biggest one that really sets Miss May I where we are. We like a lot of All That Remains, Unearth, Darkest Hour and, recently, In Flames. This is weird, because it’s not really the thing that everyone would say, but we're really interested in Five Finger Death Punch. We’ve been researching how they do everything because their story’s really cool. But As I Lay Dying and All That Remains are probably the biggest ones, along with Killswitch Engage" Levi has stated his "dream tour" would be Lamb of God, As I Lay Dying, It Dies Today, and Atreyu.
In another interview, Levi Benton stated that he tries to make inspirational music rather than angry music. Through this, he uses his contemporary R&B influences such as Justin Timberlake, Jamie Foxx, and Usher. He also openly admits he listens to a lot of hip hop. His favorite artists are Dr. Dre, Yelawolf, Savage, Jay Z, and Eminem. The band has covered the song "Run This Town" by Jay Z featuring Kanye West and Rihanna for the Punk Goes Pop 3 album.
"We have been asked a lot if we are a Christian band due to our lyrics. And the answer to that is no, but some of us are Christians and others are not. But myself as a Christian, I try and not put the wrong negative message out in our lyrics. Most of what we stand for is just a band that plays for the crowd to be happy, and to love what we are doing as much as we do."
|2009||Apologies Are for the Weak||Rise||—||—||66||—|
|2014||Rise of the Lion||21||6||4||2|
|"—" denotes a release that did not chart.|
- Vows for a Massacre (self-released EP; 2007)
- Demo 2008 (self-released demo; 2008)
|2009||"Architect" (demo version)||Thunder Down Country|
|"Forgive and Forget"||Spencer Nicholson|
|"Forgive and Forget (Saw VI Soundtrack)"|
|2010||"Relentless Chaos"||Thunder Down Country|
|2011||"Masses of a Dying Breed"|
|"Relentless Chaos (Live)"||Cole Dabney|
|2012||"Hey Mister"||Thunder Down Country|
|"Day By Day"|
|"Ballad of a Broken Man"||Unknown|
|"You Want Me"||Unknown|
|"Hero with No Name"||Unknown|
|"Turn Back the Time"||Unknown|
|2017||"Lost in the Grey"||Ramon Boutviseth|
|2018||"Under Fire"||Nadeem A. Salam|
|2010||"2012" (featuring Levi Benton)||Deceiver||The Word Alive|
|2011||"Napalm" (featuring Levi Benton)||Conviction||The Crimson Armada|
|2011||"Set in Stone" (featuring Levi Benton)||The End of Times EP||Ludlow Falls|
|2011||"Growing, Caving, Searching, Sinking" (featuring Ryan Neff)||Echoes & Answers||From Atlantis|
|2014||"The Void" (featuring Levi Benton)||Bloodwork||Texas in July|
|2016||"Stacking Bodies" (featuring Levi Benton)||Deathgrip||Fit for a King|
|2018||"Everything" (featuring Levi Benton)||Persevere||Sink the Ship|
|"Paradigm Shift" (featuring Levi Benton)||Single||Classic Jack|
|2019||"An Eye for a Lie" (featuring Levi Benton)||Reborn EP||Out Last|
- Shumate, Neil. "Interview: Miss May I lead vocalist, Levi". OOTB Publications. Retrieved June 13, 2012.
The perseverance of Northeastern Ohio's young thrash metal band Miss May I continues to land them success.
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