Global Metal Apocalypse caught up with American Metalcore / Thrashers Miss May I to talk about their tour in the UK and what future plans the guys have,
So, first time headlining in the UK - what are you looking forward to at most and do you have anything to say to your British fans?
We are always looking forward to the UK fans because they are some of the best fans we have in the world! They go harder and louder than any crowd out there and not to mention they are some of the most appreciative people we have ever met. Always a pleasure playing in the UK.
Over the band's career, how would you say the band has changed musically and as a whole?
I think after all the touring and all the time spent in the studio we have truly found our sound and who we want to be as a metal band. We have read reviews and changed for the critics here and there but especially in the new album and recent tours we have done away with all those critic changes and broke down all the walls of the normal structure and just wanted to be the group of metal heads that are Miss May I.
What songs can fans expect to be blasted out in venues across the UK?
Well I don’t ever like to spoil a surprise but I can let you know that we are playing a good bit off of every album and our own little spin to the live performance for the fans.
Your recent album 'At Heart' charted on the Billboard at #32, would you say this is the band's biggest achievement?
I think that is a pretty large achievement especially for a band that isn't really changing music or defining anything. We are just playing what we grew up listening to, classic old school metal. We are just lucky enough that there is enough metalheads in the world that like our music to make this all happen!
What does Miss May I mean in terms of 'how would you define its meaning?'
We actually don’t have any cool meaning behind it. It’s sort of a blessing and a curse. It was something that stuck out as a local band but then sadly stuck around when all of our success happened.
If you could give any upcoming musician one little bit of advice, what would it be?
I would tell them to focus on every step that’s in front of them and not jump the gun. A lot of bands want to tour and be signed right off the bat but that isn't the way to go about it because if you did do those things no one would buy your records or come to your shows. You need to focus on playing locally and being the best you can until your selling out each local venue an must move on because that’s the next step which will naturally come to you if your being the best you can be.
Do you feel metal music in general is not getting enough exposure that it deserves or is it getting 'over-exposed'?
I feel like music isn't getting the exposure it should be. A lot of bands that sell out 2-3K rooms are not even recognized in press or in stores. We have been there. Before or new album was released we sold out venues on our headliners and packed out signings but in stores they would barely carry an MMI album and in magazines you would never hear about us. I just feel there is a lot of successful talent that no one has read or purchased because no one is giving them a chance and maybe they will blow it but either way they need a shot.
Finally, what can fans expect from Miss May I this year and in the foreseeable future?
We have a lot of touring worldwide coming up. We will be going to South America after Warped Tour with Asking Alexandria and then hopefully soon after doing a headliner in the states which will be followed by the UK headliner that will finish our year!
How did you guys get recognised and signed? Was it being at the right place at the right time? Knowing people already in the industry? Or constant hard work touring demos? (Asked by fan #1 - Dex Jezierski)
We actually did all of the above. We always worked hard locally and became one of the largest local bands in Ohio which lead us to having one of the members of The Devil Wears Prada at one of our local shows watching us. Then soon after that show he told us he would like to manage us and liked what we were doing. After he contacted Rise Records about us they already knew about us because we have been sending out digital demos every month to every record label we were interested in. Around 2 months later we were signing a deal and changing our lives.
What is your favourite song to play? (Asked by fan #2 - Tom Weller)
My favourite song to play live would have to be "Our Kings" because it’s the song I usually make the crowd do the craziest things to whether its 100 crowd surfs or a marathon pit the crowd gets crazy.
Have you guys ever considered playing in India? (Asked by fan #3 - Debojyoti Sanyal)
We would love to play in India and everywhere in the world! Just waiting on the right time to make our trip out there.
BAND: CATTLE DECAPITATION
MUSICIAN: TRAVIS RYAN (VOCALS)
How long has the band been going and who came up with the band name?
The band was formed in late 1996 by a few guys, one of which was in the Locust and the other one was to be in the Locust a year or two later and is still in that band today. The other guy I replaced right before they got their copies of the 7" record they put out right after starting the band called "Ten Torments of the Damned". With the Locust being busy and all, they kinda just placed Cattle Decapitation in my lap and the rest is history. I connected with the guys because of a love of Carcass and I thought it was cool they were carrying the veggie torch that Carcass dropped years earlier.
Describe your music genre without using clichés or genre-tagging.
Its very frantic, energetic, blurry, bipolar... Brutal, intense, bizarre at times as far as note choice and structure. We constantly go against the grain, even if its to our disadvantage.
How big are the California and the San Diego Metal scene?
California as a whole is fucking awesome. There's a TON of communities... you could easily do a two week tour if you're worth a shit here. Just in California alone. Lots of kids going through phases though, that's the only downfall. SD has maintained a strong scene for years now. You have Mexico right there and there's alot of metalheads down there that like to come up for shows.
You have just released your seventh album ‘monolith of inhumanity’, what do the lyrics primarily focus on and who is the sole lyricist?
That would be me and they really are all over the place. The overall theme of the record is a warning and I feel the cover explains it well enough. I do this thing where the record will have a concept but not all the songs cater or fall in line to that concept. A song like "Forced Gender Reassignment" obviously has very little value in terms of any kind of environmental cause or anything that has to do with human interaction with life on Earth. So our records' lyrics tend to be all over the place honestly.
If you had to change one thing about Heavy Metal in general, what would you change?
Leather. Plain and simple. We don't need it. Keep the varying degrees of bad attitude, elitism, etc - that's fine. Just get rid of the bright shining brand new leather. Most of it looks, well... gay. I have no problems with people wearing recycled leather or reusing leather items from a second hand source.
When you signed to Metal Blade records, what was your immediate reaction?
"Seriously?" That was also my reaction when I was told not to sign an agreement with this other label that was courting us and to give them a chance. Boy, am I glad we did. We would have been doomed with that other contract, a real career-staller. It was an honor and a huge excitement I remember at the time. We smoked cigars like total idiots while we signed the contract. So stupid.
You’re going to tour with Fear Factory, Voivod and many other bands, where are you touring and what are you hoping to achieve on the tour?
We're doing the US and Canada with em. I just honestly hope I get into Canada. I've been told in the past that I could go to jail if I didn't get a pardon of if the 10 year anniversary of my "DUI" hadn't passed by the time I come up, which it has by now. I got charged with drunk driving in 2001 and it got reduced to a minor reckless driving conviction because I wasn't even drunk. It was stupid. But to Canada, I have a DUI. I don't understand that logic but then again they have less crime than we do here so they're doing something right. Can't fault em for that, just wish I didn't have this kind of trouble for something that I didn't really even do.
What plans are there for the band in 2012 and beyond?
Tons of touring but we're going to work on more international touring as well. We've hit the US so many times, we need to start going other places in the globe. Dying to hit Australia, South America, Southeast Asia, Japan, South Africa, etc. Gonna do another video with the same director as Kingdom of Tyrants. We're working on something very fucked up, revolting and something people probably just won't want to watch because its too much. At least, that's what the idea is like to us right now!
Finally what advice have you got for bands who want to get known?
Just don't suck. There's so many shitty bands out there right now and every idiot out there thinks they can be in a band. Maybe at least just keep your schooling going, don't drop out for music. NEVER do that. You gotta be damn good and on top of that be extremely lucky to do anything that will be anything from profitable to simply making you happy. Just have a plan B. Always have a plan B. That's this world's problem... there's no plan b.