Texas metalcore mavens Memphis May Fire are back with their latest album This Light I Hold. The band’s fifth studio album features a guest appearance from Jacoby Shaddix of Papa Roach. Frontman Matty Mullins gives us the lowdown on the record, working with Shaddix, tour plans, his take on the presidential election and other subjects.
Chad Bowar: Was there anything unique about the songwriting process for This Light I Hold compared to your previous albums?
Matty Mullins: Definitely! For the first time ever, we took two months off the road just to write. Having that time to be secluded and focus made a world of difference on this album.
How did you decide to work with Matt Good on the instrumental part of the production and your longtime collaborator Cameron Mizell on the vocal production?
Kellen wanted a fresh perspective on the instrumentals and Matt came to mind. He was a great addition to
the production team. Cameron is my dude! I’ll work with him forever.
What will be your strongest memory of the recording of the album?
Working with Jacoby Shaddix was rad! He’s different than any other guest vocalist we’ve had in the past
and he became a good friend of mine in the process.
Did you struggle with song order at all?
Jake had the idea to put the songs in order of dark to light (lyrically). I didn’t write with that in mind, but it
ended up working out perfectly.
How has the band’s sound evolved/progressed on this one?
This record is definitely more rock driven. It feels natural and it’s an overall giant step forward for us.
How did Jacoby Shaddix’s guest appearance come about?
The first time I met Jacoby was at the Revolver Golden Gods Awards when we presented an award
together. When I finished writing the lyrics for “This Light I Hold” I knew he would be the perfect guest
vocalist for it. The rest is history!
How was the video shoot for that track, which also includes a couple of cameos from Miss May I’s Levi Benton and Asking Alexandria’s Danny Worsnop?
We wanted a video that made a big statement visually and thematically. Our manager has a background in
film so he took a shot at writing the treatment and we loved it. Caleb Mallory directed the video and killed
Your last album debuted in the top 5 of the Billboard chart. What are your expectations for This Light I Hold?
Record sales are so sporadic these days, so I don’t know. If a lot of people buy it, awesome! If not, it’s still
our best record yet.
You’re in the midst of the Rise Up tour. How many new songs are you playing, and what has been the response?
We’re playing three new songs on this tour. The response has been insane! This is the by far the best
reaction we’ve ever had playing new songs.
You’re headed to Europe after that. How does the band’s level of awareness, popularity, venue size, etc. compare between North America and Europe?
These days it’s pretty comparable. We expect to have some amazing shows over there this time around!
When you’ve had time to see the sights on tour, what’s the coolest thing you’ve seen or done?
We took a tour of Jerusalem when we played in Tel Aviv. That was incredible.
What’s your take on the upcoming presidential election?
It’s a nightmare.
What’s currently in your heavy musical rotation?
I don’t listen to a lot of heavy music these days. When I do it’s Blindside or Beloved .
Anything else you’d like to mention or promote?
Check out This Light I Hold October 28th and come hang out with us on tour!
(interview published October 27, 2016)