Interview: Miss May I’s Ryan Neff
It was great to meet up and get an interview from a fellow Ohioan, let alone a talented musician.
Ryan Neff is the bassist for the metal band Miss May I and he gave me this fantastic interview on Day 3 of Rock on the Range. Make sure you buy his band’s new record Rise of the Lion – it’s tremendous.
First off: how does it feel to be back in Ohio?
It’s great! Such a great atmosphere and crowd here – especially since this is our first time at Rock on the Range. We actually don’t play that often in Ohio; we’ve been playing in Europe a lot because of our fanbase there. The last time we played in Ohio was I believe Warped Tour, and even that was in 2012. Hell we haven’t played in our hometown since 2010. Our normal, hometown spot to play was The Attic and we always would have great gigs there. It closed down, but The Attic helped us get attention so we always loved the place and it was our home venue essentially. So we really do not have a venue in Dayton to consistently play at anymore.
In Ohio, you play Cincinnati or Cleveland because Dayton isn’t even a B-level city [for concerts]; it’s like a C-level city with a lot of rural area surrounding it. But for us Cleveland is like playing in a different world, and while in Cincinnati it is easier to sell out crowds and sell tickets, it’s still not that easy to get tickets sold even though Cincinnati isn’t that far away from Dayton. So it was great to play to this crowd in Columbus.
It was even more awesome because my entire family was here today! My family got to meet all the managers, the band members, everyone! It was fantastic really. I got to play in my home state, in front of my family, and in front of so many loyal and energetic fans. I loved it.
How did the band form? Were you guys friends before the band began?
The four other guys [Levi Benton, Jerod Boyd, Justin Aufdemkampe, and B.J. Stead] all went to the same high school, while I went to a different one. I was 19 at the time and in a different band when I saw them first play and I thought, “Man, these guys are just children (because they were only 16 at the time, while I was 19) and they’re just so damn good!” Even though I was only a few years older than they were, it still felt different that these young guys were just so amazing at such a young age already.
At the same time, these young guys probably thought I was just this older guy that was just merely a bassist for some metal band, but we ended up meshing really well together and it all came together so well.
I checked out your Twitter profile, and it says you’re a “cat dad.”
(Laughs) That’s right I am a “cat dad.”
What’s the little guy’s name?
Dale! His name is Dale and he’s such an amazing thing.
My girlfriend and I have this apartment back in our hometown and we wanted an animal of some sort. We really love corgis, greyhounds, whippets, and dogs like that, but with all the travelling it would be so difficult to take care of such high energy animals. It just wouldn’t be fair to the dog, so my girlfriend asked if a cat would work. I thought, “Hmm, yeah a cat could work.”
I had never owned a cat before in my life, so I wasn’t completely sure if I would be a cat person. Then my girlfriend was at a local animal shelter near us and sent me a picture of this cat (Dale). I instantly replied, “You have to get this cat! He’s so damn cute we have to have him!” And that’s how we got Dale. I love’em to death and now I’m a cat person.
Lastly, what’s your favorite alcoholic beverage?
I’m definitely more of a whiskey drinker – Jack Daniel’s.
But we recently were sponsored by COLDCOCK, which is similar to Fireball [Cinnamon Whisky] in taste and power. And man, this stuff is so damn good, but my heart, my heart (smiles and clutches chest) is definitely feeling it after so much of that stuff. COLDCOCK is amazing and I feel like I have had bottle after bottle, box after box, of the stuff while at Rock on the Range and on tour!
Thanks again, Ryan!
Please check out Miss May I’s current tour schedule to see them live and I highly advise buying their new album Rise of the Lion.
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