Affliction Sits Down with Miss May I

Affliction Sits Down with Miss May I

We caught up with metal musicians Ryan and Levi from Miss May I while recording their upcoming album with legendary producer Terry Date.  While most believe that recording studios consist of sound boards and an endless supply of booze and hot girls, Levi and Ryan painted a different picture for us, revealing one of the little known recording secrets from Terry Date.

How is the recording going for your upcoming album?

Ryan:  “It’s really going great.  We are really excited about this one, and we were able to take a lot more time with each of the songs.”

What is it like recording with Terry Date? (Producer for bands such as Pantera & Limp Bizkit)

Ryan: “I think we were more prepared for this one.  Our schedules were crazy on past albums.  We were just ending a tour for one album and ended up being exhausted in the studio.  The third album we recorded came during management changes and came out much better.  This time around we feel more prepared.  We showed up with 14 songs this time, knowing what they sound like live.  We played everything live before recording to test it out.  Terry is the biggest name we’ve worked with, though it’s kind of cheesy to say, but I think this one is better organized.”

So when is the potential release date for the new album?

Ryan: “I’m thinking April.  Not sure if it will be the beginning or end, that depends on how the tour goes, but we have our heart set on this spring.”

Is drinking a no-no when recording, or is that the secret?

 Levi: “One of Terry’s secrets is drinking port wine while doing vocal recording.  I think we downed at least 3 bottles of port wine during recording- [Laughs]

Ryan: “I think I was getting progressively more drunk as recording went on.  Not to the point I was wasted, but stress free.”

Favorite beer/drink ?

Levi:  “We are a whiskey band.”

Ryan: “I’m a big JD fan, and Fireball is rad too.”

Levi: “I drink girlie drinks like Bloody Marys with the occasional shot.”

Who writes the lyrics and what is your process?

Levi: “For each record it’s different- we try to keep it different to get different results each time.  For this record I think the biggest subject is letters back to the fans.  We went through each of the letters from our fans and picked their subjects this time, which was really exciting for me and Ryan.

Ryan: “Terry set us up with recording at such a renowned studio- we ended up rewriting every song at studio 1-2 times, then we went back and perfected each song individually.  It was much different from our last albums in that way.”

Musical influences?

Levi: “I think it’s cool that it changes from album to album.  Our influences change and I think you can tell.  For this album we had influence from In Flames and Five Finger Death Punch.”

How did you come up with the name?

Levi: [Laughs] “We have multiple stories- we wanted to be different and we were in high school- now we are stuck with it.  Our goal was to find a name that was different, something that stood out.  But no, there is no cool story or deep meaning behind it.  We do get called ‘Mother May I’ a lot.  [Laughs]”

Most fun music video to shoot?

Levi: “For me it would be “Hey Mister” because there were multiple things we haven’t done before.  Being able to have fun and do stuff you wouldn’t normally be able to do was awesome.”

Ryan: “We did the video for Relentless Chaos in Mansfield prison where the movie ‘Shawshank Redemption’ was filmed.  We had to carry amps up 5-6 flights of twisting stairs just so they’d be in the shot to look cool.  Other than that it was awesome.”

Favorite Affliction clothing?

Levi: “My new jacket.  It’s definitely my favorite jacket I’ve ever had.  Affliction shirts are all we have and we love it!” (Get the Still Standing Jacket here!)

Ryan: “Everyone pretty much rotates the same Affliction shirts.” [Laughs]

Rituals before going on stage?

Ryan: “BJ and I flip each other off.  It’s kind of a tradition before playing.”

What was it like having a Billboard 200 hit while still in high school?

Ryan: “It was weird- going to class was hard and all we wanted to do was tour.  The last 3 months of high school felt like 2 years.  Everyone really supported us along the way, and that was great.  Some of our cool teachers let us do our work in the studio and then let us sleep through classes.”

Who is the dirtiest on tour?

Ryan:  “Jerod.  He is just one of those guys that sweats.  There’s like a haze of sweat around the drum set during some shows, but that’s pretty standard.  We don’t even notice it any more, but I’m sure everyone around us is not as pleased.” [Laughs]

Coolest roadside attraction found on tour?

Levi:  “We like to go to Mid-Evil Times- We all get together, yell and eat chicken with our bare hands…it’s a blast.”

Craziest story from touring?

Ryan:  “A bunch of us got beat up on tour, but Levi didn’t have a scratch!  On our second tour we stopped at the wrong gas station in Texas- it was like going back in time.  The gas station was old like what you see in the movies, and the pumps were the old fashioned ones too.

We got jumped by these big hill billys that were calling us out for wearing tight pants.  After all that our transmission blew up and we ended up going from $500 up to being down $10,000 in one trip.”

Most annoying habit on tour?

Ryan:  “Oh yeah…’s usually the typical room mate stuff that you wouldn’t normally notice unless you were living together.”

Blonde or brunette?

Ryan & Levi:  “Brunette.”

Favorite home cooked meal to have on tour?

Levi: “Spaghetti.”

Ryan:  “There’s a place in the UK that is great.  I love their sauce.  Also Chipotle is awesome too.

Miss May I hits the road in February 2014 for their European tour.  Follow them on Twitter @MissMayIBand and stay tuned to Affliction’s Facebook and Twitter for updates from the band on tour.