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American metalcore band, Miss May I, will be headlining Krank’d Up Festival alongside SikTh.

Take a look at what vocalist and founding member, Levi Benton, had to say ahead of their South African debut. 


Firstly, The Metalist would like to thank you for your time. Miss May I are heading to South Africa in late September for the annual Krank’d Up Music Festival presented by Turning Tricks Entertainment, what are you most looking forward to when visiting our beautiful country?

We have been traveling for years and its always been one of my favourite parts of touring. We have seen a lot of the world but its our first time to your country which is rare for Miss May I to do something for our first time so late in our career. But with that said I think it makes this trip so exciting and anticipating for us. We are excited to meet a whole new world of fans and give them the show we have given around the world.


Did you ever think you’d be taking your music to the African continent or that’d ever reach this far?

No way! Its for sure a bucket list item you think would never happen and with us touring for so long we didn’t know if we would ever make it there. But now we are and its going to be a trip to remember!


Having mentioned influences such as Metallica, Pantera, Deftones, White Zombie, as well as As I Lay Dying… with this your music could be described as thrash influenced Metal-core, how would you say your sound has evolved over the course of your career?

I honestly feel we are always growing and our influences are always changing. You can hear it through our albums and the new doors we open up each time. The big reason for that is our passion to discover new music and branch out of our comfort zone. Thrash will forever be our core and being fast and loud is what keeps us alive. I don’t see that changing anytime soon but I do see us getting into more bands we have yet to know exist and have them influence our future music.


South Africa has had a recent surge of attention when it comes to the alternative music scene, using Vulvodynia as an example, have you heard much about the local bands who will be performing alongside you at Krank’d Up?

I have not yet but I have started to listen to the bands. Like I said previously traveling is my favorite part of music and with that comes meeting new people from around the world. Not only do you see the different societies but when we play with local acts we get to see a world of new influence for music. I am excited to see what the “South African” shredders sound like!

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Will you be performing mostly from your latest release ‘Shadows Inside’, or will South Africa get to hear fan favourites such as ‘Hey Mister’ and the like?

Well since we have not been there before we want to make up for lost time and we want to make sure our fans hear what they want from all of our albums. I can assure you this set is filled with a ton of classics as well as new jams throughout.


What would be your gents’ most memorable tour moment of recent times?

I think our South East Asia tour really was life changing. We got to go to a monkey temple up in the jungle which was infested with wild monkeys jumping all over you. Defiantly something I never thought I would see in my life and it was incredible.


While you’re visiting our country, will you guys be going around and seeing what South Africa has to offer? What’s something you’d all love to do while you’re here?

That’s what we are most excited for! We have 3 days to explore while we are out and we cant wait to see what we encounter. We are really trying to go shark diving while we are down there because our friends in The Ghost Inside have always told us how incredible it was and we’ve wanted to go ever since.


South Africa has in the past few years seen massive Metal-core staple acts such as Bring Me The Horizon, Killswitch Engage, Norma Jean, Memphis May Fire and Fit For a King grace us with their performances. What will Miss May I bring to Krank’d Up that will differentiate themselves from other bands who have visited our shores?

We always bring the rowdiness. Our shows aren’t just about us playing but its about the crowds being just as much apart of the show as we are. We make sure to get the crowd going and we have a special way of doing so. For the first time ever South Africa will get to experience what I mean just like the rest of the world has.


If someone who is attending Krank’d Up isn’t acquainted with your music at all, where would you advise them to start in your expansive and impressive discography?

I would tell them to go jam Shadows Inside and Hey Mister. Shadows really shows the unique sound Miss May I has and Hey Mister will show them just how deep a metal song can be and show them that there can be so much emotion along with with aggression.


You’re playing alongside djent and prog legends Sikth, are you guys fans and have you shared a stage with Sikth before?

We love Sikth! We have played a few festivals with them around the world but we have never been able to catch them! This trip will be great because not only will we get to see them but we will get a proper intro to them which we cant wait for!

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Are there any bands currently in the scene who you feel deserve more attention or to make it ‘big’ within the genre?

I really love Phinehas. They are an incredible Metal-core band that has been around for a bit but hasn’t really broken out yet. They have the riffs! That’s my favourite part of metal and they have it all.


Could you mention a couple of do’s and don’ts whilst on tour?

Oh I could probably mention thousands haha. But a good don’t to do on tour is forget your suitcase at the venue! Our bands has actually gone down this road way more times then you should. You are left playing on stage in pyjamas and wearing the same tee the rest of tour!

A good do would to be bring neck pillow! They aren’t just for the plane. You can use them in the green room, in a cab, at the bar or wherever else you’re trying to find some sleep on tour.


Lastly, could you give any advice to the local scene on how to up their game and continue growing?

The biggest thing for local bands to me is the music and the presentation. Its about being confident and knowing you are on stage for a reason and you will play as many shows as you can to perfect your craft. Its not about going on tour or making money. Its about playing great and looking like you care. If you can execute that and let the other aspects come to you when the time is right then you will go far.


Levi, thank you so much for taking the time to speak to The Metalist, we look forward to seeing you in September at Krank’d up Music Festival, which will be hosted at Sundowners in Alberton, on the 29th.

Cheers! See you then.


Interviewed by:

Cayden Nel


Answered by:

Levi Benton (Vocalist)



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