Miss May I Vocalist Levi Benton Talks Touring, ‘Rise of the Lion’ + Musical Influences
Miss May I recently completed a tour with August Burns Red, and we had the chance to chat with MMI vocalist Levi Benton about touring, the band’s 'Rise of the Lion' album, an influential meeting with The Used when he was younger and much more. Check out our interview with Levi Benton of Miss May I below:
I recently saw Miss May I on the NYC stop at Irving Plaza, and the show was incredible. How would you describe your relationship with August Burns Red and the rest of the acts on the tour?
This tour unlike any other we have done in the past -- all the bands our like our brothers. August Burns Red is the first band we have toured with that we have really looked up to and learned from. They have mentored us into being better live musicians and I think it really shows. Love those guys and the rest of the guys on the tour.
What is one band out there you would love to tour with that you haven’t toured with yet? Why?
I would love to tour with In Flames. They are one of my favorite bands. Their vocalist [Anders Friden] is one of the best to me and I would love to watch them every night.
What for you are the most challenging parts of these lengthy tours?
The hardest part of a long tour like this is missing holidays and birthdays with family while your gone. Along with the condition it puts your body in playing many shows.
What is one non-electronic thing you must have on tour with you and why?
I have to have my kettlebell to workout with. It's my stress reliever to work out on tour and to just stay in shape because all the truck stop food on long drives really adds up.
You guys have been out touring in support of your latest album Rise of the Lion. What does that title mean to you personally?
The lion to us is a symbol that is fierce and dominant and that is what we want to be perceived as along with our fans being attached to the symbol in their every day lives. The title of this last record is the rise of our fan base and the rise of the band.
What do you think it is about Miss May I's music that has caused fans to gravitate towards it?
I think we have a very dynamic sound along with a very old school metal vibe that has lived on throughout the years. We aren't trying to follow along with any hype or fad but be a band that sounds like our influences and plays what we like whether they want to hear it or not.
As a kid, was there one show in particular that had a long-lasting impact on you?
My mom took me to metal shows throughout my childhood and I loved it because my mom is a metal head. I remember going to the first Taste Of Chaos when I was about 14-years-old and I waited in the back to meet my favorite band The Used.
It was freezing and they didn't come out of the bus for hours. When they finally came out they didn't just sign everything and take pictures but they actually hung out with us. I still remember that night and it is the main reason I treat the fans the way [The Used] treated me.
What are your future aspirations for Miss May I?
I really want to finish touring the world like Russia and Africa -- those are the only places we have not been. I also would love to be a worldwide headliner.
What does the rest of 2015 have in store for you and the rest of the band?
Touring the USA -- the most we have ever toured this year, which we are very excited to announce.
Our thanks to Levi Benton for the interview. Pick up Miss May I's 'Rise of the Lion' album at iTunes.