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Miss May I are one of the highly anticipated international acts headlining Krank'd Up Festival this year. We caught up with bassist, Ryan Neff, all the way from the states to chat about their latest release and to see what they have up their sleeves for the show.

Q: Are you guys excited about your visit to South Africa? Besides headlining Krank’d Up Festival, are there any other things you are looking forward to seeing or doing while in the country?

A: We are so excited to finally be playing South Africa. This is a place we've hoped to play for a long time and we can't wait to finally make it happen. We have some days off planned on both sides of the gig and are looking forward to seeing what we get into. It feels like we are about to head into a once in a lifetime vacation.

Q: Listening to your latest album “Shadows Inside”, I couldn’t help but feel a deep sense of empowerment and a series of hopeful messages to rise above your circumstances. Can you elaborate a bit on this topic and the core message that you aimed to portray with this album?

A: There have been plenty of difficulties and struggles in our career, and lives just like anyone else, and talking about facing those obstacles and overcoming them has always seemed to be the best way to identify and reach our fans. Shadows Inside was the opening of a new chapter in our career and we had a lot of goals and high hopes for the future, and it came out in the song.

Q: The album also fits very well together as a whole. Each songs flows beautifully into one another. Is there a specific approach you guys take to achieve this sense of unity across the different songs?

A: Lots of time! We spent around six months in and out of the studio working together on these. That was a very expensive and difficult process compared to our previous releases but it was important to us to do it right. The songs were written and rewritten many times to make sure we had them where we wanted. We even tossed out some songs that didn't make the cut.

Q: Can you delve into the artwork of “Shadows Inside” a bit as well as the recurring lion imagery found across several of your releases. Does the lion hold a specific symbolism for the band?

A: The lion means a lot to us. When we started as a band we named ourselves “Miss May I” which really had no meaning but stood out and got us recognition. The more time that went on as a band we really wanted to have a logo/symbol/name that stood for what we were about and the lion was created. The lion for us stands for a fierce being that is the king of wherever it is and whatever situation its in. Through our career and life we have had obstacles that we overcame and we felt as if that persistence and courage could be seen as an image it would be the lion. We want our fans and followers to feel that same power and have that symbol mean the same thing for them. With our music being positive and inspirational and our symbol as well having the same characteristics it felt it completed what Miss May I is as a band. As for the album artwork for Shadows Inside the lion is seen as a 3D object for the first time as a mask that you could interact with and touch and feel. This felt as if you could hide behind that lion and have it represent you. We all go through times that we need to be fierce and stand up for ourselves even with the dark pasts that follow us all and those dark pasts are our Shadows Inside.

Q: What’s your favourite song to play live and why?

A: Under Fire a massive crowd interaction song, and Shadows Inside has grow in popularity very quickly so those are always my favorite songs to play.

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