Memphis May Fire talk “Unconditional” release

Photo by Derrick Austinson, via WikiMedia Commons 

Claudio Zelaya/Contributing Writer

Texas’ own Memphis May Fire made a stop at the Culture Room on Feb. 27 while on their headlining tour in support of their latest release, “Unconditional.” This would be the band’s third release on Rise Records and promises to be the hardest hitting “riffy” album of 2014. The album’s title is based off vocalist Matty Mullins’ experience so far with the band and the unconditional love of his creator and how it pulled him out of the darkest time of his life. FIUSM was able to sit down with guitarists Kellen McGregor and Anthony Sepe to talk about the album at the Culture Room.

You’re here on your Unconditional Tour. Tell us about the new album?

Kellen: Well, it’s our third release on Rise Records. It’s hard to describe an album. You always want to tell people everything, but you don’t want to tell too much.
Anthony: Definitely. We don’t want to spoil any surprises, but I can say that anyone who is a Memphis May Fire fan they’re going to love this record. There’s a wide variety of tunes for your enjoyment that I’m excited for everyone to hear. For every song that’s released I’m super excited for people to hear them.

Can you tell us about the inspiration behind the first two singles “No Ordinary Love” and “Sleepless Nights?”

Kellen: It’s kind of funny because with “Ordinary Love,” Matt had a certain vocal pattern that he had written on it. Originally, it had a lot more screaming and Matt said this one little line on it and sounded so cool. I was like, “that sounds so cool you should do it all singing.” We kind of took a risk. We haven’t really done a song with almost no screaming. We haven’t done anything like that since “Sleepwalking.” I love hearing melodic stuff with powerful singing behind it. Anybody can scream over something with crazy riffage, but not everyone can sing well and sing memorable melodies over it.

Anthony: Yeah, I think Matt does a really good job using his voice as an instrument rather than just a voice. I totally believe there’s a difference between someone who can be on key and yell and key, but then there’s someone who truly uses their voice as an instrument. That’s what I love about Matty’s vocals and the message is powerful also. It captivates you in this whole way with the lyrics he writes that I, personally, really like.

What would you say is the main difference between this album and your last album, “Challenger”?

Anthony: I don’t like to use the word riffy, but it’s a lot more musically challenging. It’s not to say the others aren’t challenging, but it’s just better written. The guitars are more busy in a complementary way. It’s a mature Memphis May Fire. It’s a more adult version of what we want to become.

What do you guys think of the scene here in South Florida?

Kellen: I don’t remember too many South Florida shows, but Florida shows go pretty awesome.

“Unconditional” is out now. 

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