Summer Survival Guide: Levi Benton and Ryan Neff of Miss May I

miss may i warped crowd 2015

The start of the summer music festival season is here and Miss May I are no strangers to touring all summer, in a van or a bus. We met up with Levi Benton and Ryan Neff at The Rockin Derby in New York, and right before they headed to Europe for a tour. They also had stops at Rock On the Range, this weekend’s Amnesia Rock Fest, Chicago Open Air, and many more. We asked the guys how they survive the grind of the road in an interview with Ghost Cult.


Levi: For me, it’s been the front man, and trying to direct the crowd. Festival crowds are the easiest to direct. It’s a blast to have them do crazy, insane stuff that they can’t do at a venue. That’s my favorite.

Being touring veterans like you guys are, I’d love to ask the question what is your survival kit like? What do you need to take on tour for the summer, five things, a bag of things, specifically what is it that makes your touring experience bearable?

 


Ryan: We’re about to try and do the U.K. without suitcases, which is not normal for us. Normally, the tour is so long that you’ve got to have one. We’re about to do it backpack wise. I think it comes down to … You’re going to get soap everywhere, that sort of thing, you need a toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, and a phone charger.

Levi: Phone charger. A phone charger that works in the U.K.

Ryan: If things work … Yes, yes. If things work out for you there, then you’re going to be in good shape. You’ll probably get good luck. You find soap. You find all that sorts of stuff. I shave my head every couple of days, so maybe some razors for me, but you really don’t need that much because you’re going to run into … the venues are usually really generous to you, especially on the festivals, they’re sort you out with anything you need. A good attitude would probably be … if you can buy a good attitude, that would get you through a lot of tours.

Since the band has a big following already in the USA, we asked what they look forward to most when touring Europe. What is the bigger draw: sight seeing or the food?

Levi: Yes, the food.

Ryan: They’ve got different food than we do.

Levi: I’m trying to think. Food, big thing. There are other things … I love the shopping there.

Levi: The stores they have. It’s really weird, like the Nike store, or anywhere else there, it’s different stuff than you see in the U.S. It’s awesome because it doesn’t cost any different, but you get that there, and then you come home, and everyone is like “Where did you get that?” You just giggle because you know they can’t get it. It’s pretty … I love the shopping over there.

Ryan: Yeah. Man, the Wagamamas and Nandos, two of my absolute favorite foods.

Levi: Two more days!

 

Ryan: Yeah. We’ve been counting down. There’s only two Nandos in the entire country, I’m pretty sure, here in America, and you go over there, and you find them every five minutes.

Levi: They have Wok To Wok will be everywhere.

Ryan: Wok To Wok. That’s another one. Loads of them.

 

KE_MMI_08 Miss May I


We next asked about essential tour bus music:

Ryan: We are very eclectic. We are very eclectic as a group. Different guys like different things, like I go CD obsession. I don’t go song obsession. I go CD obsession until the CD is just so played out that I can’t even stand it.

Levi: I think Jared, our drummer, is the DJ of the bus.

Ryan: Yeah. He always, he finds goofy songs or like happy songs, like he just … The most outrageous things, and he always will grab the chord. No matter where we’re at, if he hears something playing that’s ridiculous, he’s over there giggling with his iPhone playing it.

 


Describe ridiculous.

Ryan: I don’t know if you’ve heard of … Group X is one.

Levi: Group X. Turquoise Jeep.

Ryan: Turquoise Jeep is one.

Levi: That’s a band with these two like rapper dudes.

Ryan: A lot of goofy stuff.

Levi: Talk about fertilizing some eggs. Yeah, so that’s the stuff we listen to.

 

turquoise jeep

KEITH CHACHKES

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Miss May I – Deathless

Miss-May-I-deathless

Despite possessing one of the least pernicious of names imaginable, indeed one that summons memories of primary school lavatorial permission-seeking  (could their moniker imply anything less metal if they tried…?), metalcore quintet Miss May I have been around long enough to use the facilities of their own free will, with Deathless already their fifth album (all Rise Records) in seven short recording years.

Stacking up against its predecessor, the anaemic Rise of the Lion, it was imperative that Miss May I brought the thrash, aggression, groove and above all conviction to banish their previous misstep. And, thus, lo, and ye-gads, they do, as crushing ‘I.H.E.’ (I Hate Everyone/thing) makes the required statement of intent from the off, seguing from a dark build up to hit thrashing triplets and a feral almost black metal howl to one slab of a breakdown. It might not be the most progressive move they could have made, but there’s something about doing what you do, and doing it well, that a lot of bands would be served paying attention to.

It has to be said, most of Deathless could be glibly dismissed as metalcore 101, but to do so would be to deprive yourself of what is close to a masterclass in the art. Roll up, roll up, for we have Avenged Sevenfold melodic twin guitars, we have breakdowns, we have ‘core throat vocals, we have clean choruses (that either pick a track up and take it to sing-along town, or provide a darker twist) and we have Adam Dutkiewicz inspired post-classic metal entwined with thrash riffery, but what we also have is the sound of a band who have returned to their roots to show that they can smoke the opposition when it comes to metalcore.

Most bands, at their core, are genuinely best doing one thing and while there is often a rush to abandon a sound or style because it’s not “cool”, anymore, there will always be those who want to hear their favourite style performed well.  There is no denying Miss May I are convincing and amongst the best of the current second wave of American metalcore acts. There may not be any need to abandon ship if they keep delivering the goods.

 

7.0/10

 

STEVE TOVEY

Video: Revocation Releases The Blackest Reaches Lyric Video

 

Revocation  Blackest Reaches Lyrci video still

Revocation has released a lyric video for their song ‘The Blackest Reaches’. You can see the video at this link or below:

‘The Blackest Reaches’ comes off of 2014s Deathless (Relapse). Revocation is hitting the road with Cannabis Corpse, Archspire, and Black Fast.

revocation-cannibis-corpse-tour-admat-522x800

Revocation tour dates with Cannabis Corpse, Archspire, and Black Fast:

Aug 07: Heavy Montreal – Montreal, QC
Revocation with Cannabis Corpse, Archspire, and Black Fast
Sept 03: Dusk – Providence, RI*
Sept 04: Studio @ Webster Hall – New York, NY
Sept 05: Chameleon Club – Lancaster, PA
Sept 06: Ottobar – Baltimore, MD
Sept 08: Now That’s Class – Cleveland, OH
Sept 09: Reggie’s – Chicago, IL
Sept 10: Ace Of Cups – Columbus, OH
Sept 11: Full Terror Assault Fest – Cave in Rock, IL**
Sept 12: Rail Club – Ft Worth, TX
Sept 13: Walter’s On Washington – Houston, TX
Sept 14: Dirty Dog – Austin, TX
Sept 16: Launchpad – Albuquerque, NM
Sept 17: Club Red – Phoenix, AZ
Sept 18: Mystery Box – Los Angeles, CA
Sept 19: Oakland Metro – Oakland, CA
Sept 20: Analog Cafe – Portland, OR
Sept 21: Studio Seven – Seattle, WA
Sept 22: Red Room – Vancouver, BC
Sept 24: Starlite – Edmonton, CAN
Sept 25: Riddell Center – Regina, SK
Sept 26: Windsor Hotel – Winnipeg, MB
Sept 27: Skyway Theater Studio B – Minneapolis, MN
Sept 29: Shelter – Detroit, MI
Sept 30: Hard Luck – Toronto, ON***
Oct 01: Maverick’s – Ottawa, ON***
Oct 02: La Source – Quebec City, QC***
Oct 03: Great Scott – Boston, MA***
* = Revocation Only
**= Revocation & Cannabis Corpse Only
***= No Cannabis Corpse

 

Revocation Books Headline Tour, Names New Drummer

revocation cannibis corpse tour admat

Revocation has announced they will be hitting the road this fall for a headline tour. Playing 26 shows in 30 days, support will come from Cannabis Corpse, Archspire and Black Fast. Starting in Rhode Island and ending with a home town show in Boston at Great Scott on October 3rd, this is the first headline tour for the band since the release of Deathless (Metal Blade) in 2014. The band is also appearing at next month’s Heavy Montreal Festival on August 7th and will also appear at September’s Full Terror Assault Festival.

Ash Pearson (3 Inches of Blood) has also been named as the bands new drummer, following the departure of founding member Phil DuBois.

Pearson commented on joining Revocation:

I am very honoured to be joining Revocation. Phil is a good friend of mine and I feel privileged to have his blessing and to be his successor. I take seriously the challenge to keep the caliber of this band high and look forward to continuing the legacy of Revocation.

 

Revocation tour dates:

Aug 07: Heavy Montreal – Montreal, QC
Revocation with Cannabis Corpse, Archspire, and Black Fast
Sept 03: Dusk – Providence, RI*
Sept 04: Studio @ Webster Hall – New York, NY
Sept 05: Chameleon Club – Lancaster, PA
Sept 06: Ottobar – Baltimore, MD
Sept 08: Now That’s Class – Cleveland, OH
Sept 09: Reggie’s – Chicago, IL
Sept 10: Ace Of Cups – Columbus, OH
Sept 11: Full Terror Assault Fest – Cave in Rock, IL**
Sept 12: Rail Club – Ft Worth, TX
Sept 13: Walter’s On Washington – Houston, TX
Sept 14: Dirty Dog – Austin, TX
Sept 16: Launchpad – Albuquerque, NM
Sept 17: Club Red – Phoenix, AZ
Sept 18: Mystery Box – Los Angeles, CA
Sept 19: Oakland Metro – Oakland, CA
Sept 20: Analog Cafe – Portland, OR
Sept 21: Studio Seven – Seattle, WA
Sept 22: Red Room – Vancouver, BC
Sept 24: Starlite – Edmonton, CAN
Sept 25: Riddell Center – Regina, SK
Sept 26: Windsor Hotel – Winnipeg, MB
Sept 27: Skyway Theater Studio B – Minneapolis, MN
Sept 29: Shelter – Detroit, MI
Sept 30: Hard Luck – Toronto, ON***
Oct 01: Maverick’s – Ottawa, ON***
Oct 02: La Source – Quebec City, QC***
Oct 03: Great Scott – Boston, MA***
* = Revocation Only
**= Revocation & Cannabis Corpse Only
***= No Cannabis Corpse

On The Road with.. Revocation and Black Crown Initiate

revocation at the mid east nite club

Revocation recently undertook a short headline tour of clubs in the US. Touring almost non-top since the release of last year’s Deathless (Metal Blade) album with are plethora of different bands. The band has been remarkably consistent as a live band throughout there career and shows in their hometown of Boston have been the stuff of legend. Joined on this night by Black Crown Initiate, themselves hardcore road warriors of late and locals Sexcrement and Coagula at the famed Middle East Night Club for a fun night of metal. Check out these photos by Evil Robb Photography, who caught the wild Dave Davidson of Revocation, in his natural habitat, on stage shredding.

 

Revocation, by Evil Robb Photography

Revocation, by Evil Robb Photography

Revocation, by Evil Robb Photography

Revocation, by Evil Robb Photography

Revocation, by Evil Robb Photography

Revocation, by Evil Robb Photography

Revocation, by Evil Robb Photography

Revocation, by Evil Robb Photography

Black Crown Initiate, by Evil Robb Photography

Black Crown Initiate, by Evil Robb Photography

Black Crown Initiate, by Evil Robb Photography

Black Crown Initiate, by Evil Robb Photography

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Revocation – Deathless

      Sample

 

Many people in New England have a sense of pride for their sport teams, battle tested perseverance through the coldest winters and the most brutal of summers, and that really obnoxious “Bahsten” accent that we think is cool. However, the metal scene of New England can chalk up another addition to their lists of things to be proud of, and that is Boston’s very own, Revocation. This four-piece death metal outfit has been dismantling dictators through their onslaught of epic death metal for years now and they continue to get better and better. Revocation’s newest release, Deathless (Metal Blade), has certainly pushed Dave Davidson and the gang up another notch on the death metal ladder. Ten tracks coming in at around the 48 minute mark will still leave you itching for more, even if all of that shredding has melted your face. Just when I thought this band might have been getting close to their ceiling with the previous self-titled release, Deathless has come around and shot right through this proverbial ceiling and into my ears, and boy does it feel good. This album also marks the Metal Blade debut for the band as they were recently signed to Relapse Records since 2009 and Metal Blade should be quite happy with this pickup. The hardest part about reviewing this album is probably picking out which songs to talk about as every song has the Revocation feel to it, yet each track has its own personality.

The first half of this album is so perfect that Revocation could have released just those 5 songs, called it an EP, and could probably get album of the year. Not saying the second half isn’t as good at all by the way! In fact, the second half is as good as the first half if not better. The first five songs (‘A Debt Owed to the Grave’, ‘Deathless’, ‘Labyrinth of Eyes’, ‘Madness Opus’, and ‘Scorched Earth Policy’) each have their own distinct memorable moments in the song, yet still stay loyal to their sound. ‘A Debt Owed to the Grave’ starts off with in your face riffing and aggression, then builds itself up only to end in one of the grooviest endings to a song these guys may have ever written. ‘Deathless’ was a familiar song as it was released awhile back. On top of that, the song exemplifies everything Revocation has to offer and was certainly a great pick as a single. ‘Labyrinth of Eyes’ is one of the heavier songs on the album that will guarantee to get your head banging and may just cause a muscle or two to get pulled in your neck. Don’t worry, it is certainly worth the energy and pain! ‘Madness Opus’ also does a great job of sticking to that Revocation sound but has an eerie interlude halfway through the song that sounds exactly like a freak show at a carnival. And if you liked the interlude, no need to fear, the song closes out with a refrain on this part as well. ‘Scorched Earth Policy’ is a return to arms if you will for these Bostonians, as this track is the most “thrashy” of all the tracks and reminded me a lot of the tracks from their second release, Resistance is Futile. Another song I could not leave out is ‘United in Helotry’ as this song goes all over the spectrum of heavy music. Start off with a base of Revocation, add what sounds like an Opeth, yes Opeth, bridge around the 2 minute mark, and then finish it off with a groovy outro that Dime would be proud of. For the listeners that love the instrumental tracks that this band put out, check out ‘Apex’, I promise it will not let you down. Dave must really look forward to writing the instrumental tracks on each album as they usually contain the best shred work on each release.

Quite honestly, I could have written an entire review breaking down Deathless track by track. However, I did not do this for two reasons: 1) I like to leave room for imagination and curiosity to grow in everyone’s mind so they actually go and pick this album up and, 2) you, the reader, would have stopped reading a long time ago and just started listening to the album after my praises. Without a doubt in my mind, Deathless will be in my Top 5… scratch that I feel bold, I am going with Top 3 Albums of the Year for 2014! Revocation has now put out 5 albums, 1 EP, and has been touring relentlessly since 2008 and they show no signs of slowing down. New England should continue to be proud of their Stanley Cups, World Series titles, NBA Championships, and Vince Lombardi trophies, but make room for Deathless from one of the greatest bands of the last 10 years to come out of Boston.

revocation band

9/10

Revocation on Facebook

 

TIM LEDIN