It’s been 3 years since their last show in Paris, Memphis May Fire are back in town with their new record This Light I Hold. RockUrLife had the chance to talk with Matty Mullins about this new record and his philanthropic life.
Hi Matty! It’s been a while! Do you remember your last time in Paris?
Matty Mullins (vocals/keayboards): Yeah! I think it was at Le Bataclan in 2013. It was a great show, as always when we come in Paris. I think this is because we don’t have the chance to come as much as we want so when we do, people are very excited.
I think you know what happened in this venue almost a year ago today.
Matty: Yes, it was a disgusting act of violence but I think that the way french people react to this is amazing. A huge sense of No Fear and the rest of the world was with them.
Can you tell us your best memory in Paris, or in France?
Matty: The first time we came in Paris, we played at Le Batofar so, basically we played in a boat! That’s crazy, it’s the only boat we ever played in the world! It was a pretty incredible experience to do that. But I also love when I walk out and see the Sacré Coeur, it’s a magical and romantic place. People are amazing, we always love to come here.
Your last record, “This Light I Hold”, came out a few months back. What are the first feedbacks that you heard?
Matty: I feel like this is the best response we ever got for a new record. And we knew that it was our best record. We took time to make sure that it was our best record yet and when it came out, people were just choked. I think a lot people fell in love with the record and it’s been great.
Why do you think it’s your best record?
Matty: We’ve putting out records for long now and for this one we decided to change our way to do it. We put a big financial risk, getting out of the road for 4 months to take time to write this record and make sure that all the songs are exactly what they need to be before we get in the studio. We spend a ton of time on it, we worked very hard on it and I think it’s a crystal clear representation of how we grow up as a band. I think it’s a mirror of who we are as people and who we are as musicians. This is why people get very attached to it.
The artwork is very dark and cold but the songs are pretty hopeful. Why this difference?
Matty: In this album, the songs are from dark to light. So the firsts few songs of the record are dark and it starts to get more hopeful at the middle of the record. We wanted to feel like your in this tunnel and you start to see light at the end of the tunnel. That’s what the artwork represents too. Going through the dark seasons of your life and find the light at the end of the tunnel.
We heard that you wrote this record with the idea that not being okay, is okay.
Matty: Yeah it’s okay to not being okay. It takes a lot of time to learned for a lot of people. It’s so often that as human beings we try to run out from our pain, to escape our pain. But I think that when you sit in your pain and let you teach you something, those are the moments of your life that you really grow.
It’s pretty related to your wife fondation, Beneath The Skin.
Matty: Yeah! We are on the same page but writing this record wasn’t about doing promo for her nun-profit association! (laughs) I think her and I have a heart for the scene, and for the kids in the scene so yeah, this is quiet related for sure.
Can you tell us how the fondation was created?
Matty: Beneath The Skin was created by my wife a couple years ago, it’s a nun-profit association. It’s a mentory program for young adult in the music scene and what she wanted to do is foster young adults in the music scene. They have a mentorship, they follow a program where they have 4 appointments in the month. It gets young adults away from their phones and help them to have real conversations. I think that talk with them is the best way to help them to get them out. She’s doing an amazing job.
Jake from August Burns Red has kind of the same association with Heart Support. Do you feel related to him?
Matty: Yes, I love Jake, he is a great friend of mine and definitely we have a lot in common. But those two nun-profits are pretty different though. My wife it’s a mentoring program that happens is person when Heart Support is more an online thing. My wife’s goal is to help kids to get away from their phones and away from their computers.
Do you think you can work together?
Matty: I think that every associations of this kind can help each other, and it’s a beautiful thing. If there’s a way that we can help them or they can help us, it would be amazing.
This record sounds more rock. It sounds like Papa Roach sometimes and, what a surprise, Jacoby is singing on the title track! How did you connect?
Matty: I met Jacoby a few years back at the Revolver Golden Gods Awards and we became friends. He is a great dude. When I finish the lyrics of that song, I thought that it would be the perfect person for this song. And we got him involved and it went so well honestly. The record has a rock feeling but it’s a natural evolution I think. We really want to say “this is who we are right now” and hopefully fans will join us.
The video for this song is amazing. It must have coast a lot of money.
Matty: Yeah, this was a huge budget, it was so fun to do it, we are really thankful for the label to dish out all this money to do it. I’m stoked about it.
What are the bands that you really want to get close on this record?
Matty: We don’t have particular bands in mind. But, for example, Kellen is a big Sevendust fan so I think this influenced our bands in a way. I don’t often listen heavy music but I love the way how the record came out.
We heard that you just finished your second solo album.
Matty: Yeah! It’s not a huge secret that I signed in an other label for this project. This project has a huge turning on christian radio in USA. It’s a very specific vision but that’s the music I grew up with so I have a big heart for it. It’s total opposite of the band but it’s very pure for me.
The Devil Wears Prada and you are categorised as christian bands. What do you think of all this christian metal scene?
Matty: I think this is because I believe in God that people say we are a christian band but we’re not. I don’t think a band could be a christian band, this is weird to put a label on it. I think we are 5 different people with different opinions and different views. It’s just mine in the lyrics because I am the one who write the lyrics for the band. And of course, I believe in Jesus and faith is the biggest part of my life. But I can’t speak for the rest of the guys so I don’t think we are a christian band.
Why do think bands that are categorised as Christian have bad reputation?
Matty: I think this is because when bands Underoath or Dead Poetic came out, everybody saw that Christian bands were famous and everybody put Jesus on a flag to release music. But when you start to play something you don’t actually believe, it won’t work out. That’s why I don’t call us as a christian band. I’m a believer, if you want to talk about my faith I’ll talk to you all day long but, I won’t label the band that way.
Do you listen to christian bands or artists?
Matty: I listen to christian radio when I’m home but it’s something that I choose. My solo project is very much like that but I don’t push people into that, this is very different from the band. It’s not for everybody, you have to be in peace with that.
To finish, as our website is called “RockUrLife” what rocks your life?
Matty: My wife. She is always awesome dude, she always rocks my life. Nashville, Tennessee, where I live, my community of friends rocks my life too.