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Interview: Memphis May Fire - 08.15.12
 

Memphis May Fire - 08.15.12

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Memphis May Fire - 08.15.12Memphis May Fire has certainly been at it for awhile. I remember seeing the band back in 2009 in Florida, and being a fan of their "southern" sound. Fast forward to 2012, and you'll find that Memphis May Fire has taken a bit of shift musically, more akin to the signature sound you might associate with Rise Records. I sat down with lead vocalist Matty Mullins not too long after the band's performance at the Seattle, WA stop of the Vans Warped Tour.

Official band Facebook, and Twitter. Matty Mullins Twitter

So Warped is pretty much done for this year, what has your experience been like on this year's tour?


Phenomenal. I think it's the best summer tour in America, atleast that I'm aware of. We're just stoked to be a part of it, because it's a big family now [sic].

How has it helped your band?

I don't really know. We had a pretty successful release right off the bat at the beginning of the tour, I'm not sure how much that helped, I'm sure it did, I'm sure it helped a lot. We play to a lot of kids every day, it seems like they all know the music, but they could be new people and that would be awesome.

Above everything else, what's the one thing you're going to take away from this tour?

Relationships that we've built, for sure.

Memphis May Fire released Challenger on Rise Records earlier this summer, and it absolutely demolished the expectations people had, as well as sales records in the first week (18,000 + sales first week). Did you expect those numbers in the first week? What were your reactions to the success?

No, not at all, we didn't know what to expect. We had a number in our heads that we'd be stoked if we hit, and then it doubled that. So yeah, it was totally unexpected for everyone in our camp -- our agent and our manager, etc. No one knew it was going to do that well.

Considering you guys knocked it out of the park with The Hollow, did you guys feel any significant pressure with this album to maintain the same level of intensity?

Yeah, I try to not make this feel like a job, so there's no real significant pressure involved. What it does is what it does, and with the first week sales, there's not much to worry about at all.

For the most part, the album is pretty self explanatory as far as lyrical content goes, challenging other people and yourself...

Yeah, and it's about our lives -- things we go through, things we struggle with, and who we are as people. I wrote a really transparent record to let fans to see what it's like to be us. So that's what Challenger is all about.

What's one thing you'd like someone to know about the album?

It's real, it's very real, and I think kids can already pick up on that, and not something that I need to tell them. Also, it's really special to me, just like every other record we've written for sure.

Are there any lyrics that people have taken the wrong way?

A lot of people think Vices is about me, but it's not. It's about the fellow dudes in bands, that have struggled with addiction and substance abuse, and how it takes over their lives. And since they're so close to me, it's almost like it's a big part of my life too. Vices is not about me, but I think people have thought that.

What was the most strenuous song to write on this album, lyrically?

I don't know if any of them were real strenuous really, but I'll say that "Generation: Hate" was a lot slower than anything, the chorus felt like it was dragged on a lot, so it wasn't as easy to write; but I'm stoked on it, it feels like a Killswitch chorus.

How does your faith influence your lyric writing?

In every way. My faith is the foundation to my life, and even though I'm not preaching or doing alter calls at shows, I think my faith definitely shows. It's an undertone in my lyrics, but it's very present, and kids can see that I think.

Taking a trip back to 2008, you were in a band called Nights In Fire. What can you tell us about that band?

Dude, it was fun, I think it was one of the first really serious bands that I was in. Nights In Fire had musicians from my hometown that we really well respected, so it helped. Who knows, if I wasn't in Memphis, I probably would be playing music with some of those dudes, whether it was under that name, or another.

Since being in that band, how have you grown as a musician?

Ten-fold, man. With every record comes another year, and with each passing year, we've grown as musicians and writers. And I've said this in other interviews, this new record is a crystal clear representation of our growth as a band, and I think that's the way with every record, and if it wasn't that way, then it's time to give up, because you should never plateau as a band, making the same record twice.

Are you blown away constantly at where you've been? You're 23, and you've been to Japan, the U.K., etc. Have you ever just sat down and thought "wow, this is really happening?"

I don't think I've had much time to sit and think, when I'm home. But I'm very thankful, and I feel blessed, and I think there's other people in the world that deserve to do stuff like this, so I'm just glad it's me.

What were the crowds like in the U.K. and Japan, compared to the U.S.?


Both of those tours were headliners, and being our first time being there and previously had not supported other bands on other tours, it was hit or miss, especially in the U.K. Both tours were great, Japan was phenomenal. But we're going back to Europe in the fall with Of Mice & Men, so it's going to be huge.

I noticed that on this tour's setlist, you're not playing any material from Sleepwalking. Is this an album you're trying to slowly phase out?

Not necessarily. The record A) doesn't really represent us as well anymore, and B) those songs don't translate as well live as well as some of our newer stuff does.

Can we expect you guys do a proper headliner in the U.S., you'll throw in a few of those songs?

Yeah, we'll definitely throw in a few Sleepwalking songs for sure.

What's one book and one band you'd recommend to someone who listens to your band?

I'd recommend Paper Tongues, they're amazing, they're from Charlotte, North Carolina

I'm not entirely sure on what book to recommend, I'm not a heavy reader...but the Bible's a dang good one.

What is your fall/winter touring plans look like?

After this tour, we head to South America, and then we go to Europe with Of Mice & Men, and then we come back to do a fall U.S. tour with a bunch of phenomenal bands that I can't talk about, we're not headlining so I can't really can't talk about it.

Anything else you'd like to add?

I think that's about it, go and pick up Challenger.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 29
11:55 AM on 08/15/12
#2
Supernovacaine
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nice little read, glad to hear they plan to play songs off Sleepwalking again.. eventually
12:18 PM on 08/15/12
#3
Ihaddreams
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This guy is ridiculous.
12:23 PM on 08/15/12
#4
seymourbuttes
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nice little read, glad to hear they plan to play songs off Sleepwalking again.. eventually
Doesn't really sound like that to me. He said it doesn't accurately represent them anymore... AKA, it's not a Rise record, we can't play those songs due to our contract... I'm kidding, but I doubt they'll play anything from that record, or release any songs that sound that good ever again.
01:13 PM on 08/15/12
#5
kidinthebushes
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I enjoyed their song about a Cowbell. That is all.
01:22 PM on 08/15/12
#6
iseejosh
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Sleepwalking is their best record, with The Hollow closely following. Challenger just didnt really didnt didnt really do it for me, it has a couple great songs but I really wanted to like it more. Also, I wish they would've played Action/Adventure live at Warped, that song would've killed it live.
01:40 PM on 08/15/12
#7
alexalexalex
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This guy is ridiculous.
I'm confused, isn't jezebel about groupies and how he doesn't like them?
01:44 PM on 08/15/12
#8
RabidNewz
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This guy is ridiculous.


I don't see the contradiction or issue with that. Seems "Jezebel" is about temptation in a lot of ways.
01:47 PM on 08/15/12
#9
MikeyJam
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I'm confused, isn't jezebel about groupies and how he doesn't like them?
yeah really, getting annoyed by starfuckers and not letting band sluts fuck you seems pretty in line with the married christian man's faith lol
02:03 PM on 08/15/12
Mario57
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"Not necessarily. The record A) doesn't really represent us as well anymore, and B) those songs don't translate as well live as well as some of our newer stuff does. " not convinced
02:16 PM on 08/15/12
RabidNewz
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"Not necessarily. The record A) doesn't really represent us as well anymore, and B) those songs don't translate as well live as well as some of our newer stuff does. " not convinced


The scene kids who go to Memphis May Fire shows are going to dig breakdowns more than Southern riffs, so I can see how they wouldn't get as much crowd input on the Southern songs.
02:28 PM on 08/15/12
Supernovacaine
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Doesn't really sound like that to me. He said it doesn't accurately represent them anymore... AKA, it's not a Rise record, we can't play those songs due to our contract... I'm kidding, but I doubt they'll play anything from that record, or release any songs that sound that good ever again.
seeing bands like ETID and Senses Fail on warped tour really made me appreciate the catalogue of music they play for their fans - songs spanning from 4, 5 different albums. of course early records don't have as strong a meaning as they once did, you progress as a musician and grow/mature as a person. i mean Sleepwalking came out what, barely 3 years ago? just sucks to see them only pandering to their Rise audience.. wish they signed to Epitaph or Equal Vision..
02:33 PM on 08/15/12
RabidNewz
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I wonder how much their prior label drama drove their decision to sign to Rise.
02:55 PM on 08/15/12
Mario57
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The scene kids who go to Memphis May Fire shows are going to dig breakdowns more than Southern riffs, so I can see how they wouldn't get as much crowd input on the Southern songs.
that's the sad truth. Supernovacaine said everything i wanted to write after that comment
03:03 PM on 08/15/12
Spencer Control
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This guy is ridiculous.
Don't get it.

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