Pictured from Left to Right: Jake Garland (Drummer), Cory Elder (Bassist), Kellen McGregor (Band Founder, Lead Guitarist, Background Vocalist), Anthony Sepe (Rhythm Guitarist), and Matty Mullins (Lead Vocalist, Keyboardist).
For those of you who may never have heard of Memphis May Fire before, chances are that you will be hearing a lot about them soon enough as they quickly rise in popularity. These guys are not only musically talented; they are also incredibly positive individuals and role models. They’ve maintained their original integrity, musicality, and originality as they have continued to evolve through their music.
Formed in 2004, they are an American Metalcore/Post-Hardcore band based out of Dallas, TX and signed to Rise Records. They have released two EPs, one Self-Titled, the other Between the Lies. As of yesterday, March 25, 2014, Unconditional has joined their three other studio records Sleepwalking, The Hollow, and Challenger. I haven’t stopped listening since it dropped!
On “Inside UNCONDITIONAL with Matty Mullins,” Mullins shares his artist intention behind the lyrics of the album.
He brings up the issues of anxiety, depression, panic and self-doubt and what they truly mean by sharing his own experience. His outlook is that he experienced those feelings himself so that he could fully sympathize with the band’s fans when they share their stories and connect with them so that they know they’re not alone.
Matty is openly Christian, and he stays true to this part of himself through his writing while not being mutually exclusive to only those who share his faith. “I don’t ever want people to feel that I’m preaching to them or that I’m shoving my ideas down their throat, or that I’m trying to make them believe in God at all,” Mullins said. “All I can do is share my story of where I was, the things that I went through, and how I got out of that and how I got to a better place.”
Whether you have the same beliefs as him or not doesn’t really matter, there’s a certain amount of respect that you have to have for a person and band that doesn’t conform to the norm of their genre. Memphis isn’t a Christian band, but their desire to positively affect the lives of their listeners, and their redefinition of metal (known to many as devil worshipper’s music) is pretty awesome.
As the frontman, the image that Matty brings to the band is completely different than what society generally has come to expect from Rock Stars. He wears shirts on stage that say “Party Sober,” lives out that lifestyle, and is in a long time monogamous relationship with his wife Brittany Mullins. It’s definitely not the Matty Mullins show, though. All of the guys, covered in great tattoos, and sporting sick facial hair, are not typical of the mainstream rock scene.
Kellen McGregor, founder of the band and the only remaining original member, believed in his creation so much that he put time in to produce the original EPs and Albums himself, and still has a hand in coproducing their music together with their label.
This dedication is perpetuated in the care and focus that all five of the guys have for their craft. They don’t just settle for good enough. They are constantly pushing themselves to be better, and it shows musically. I’ve seen Memphis live at least four times, and every time they set a higher precedent for what a high energy live show should be.
The guys are also extremely personable with their fans! They’ve performed in countless small venues, and are constantly keeping contact with the rest of the world through social media. Follow any of their instagrams, and you will find goofy pictures and videos of the them just having fun and being themselves. They also have a web page used to answer questions from fans, http://memphismayfire.fanbridge.com/fan_questions/. Fans are free to ask whatever they want, and their answers are promised to always be from the band members themselves (often Kellen), not their label or management.
The men behind Memphis May Fire are real life role models. They are examples of what hard work can produce. Their idea of success is not about looking for fame, though plenty has come along the way. They define a success that is more about loving and relating one on one with their fans, friends, and families alike through the music that they produce.
Pictures used in this post came from: