Curse Of Existence

Curse Of Existence

For a band that’s basically been on the road since they graduated high school in 2007, the pandemic lockdown hit Miss May I especially hard. In addition to being stuck at home, the members of the Ohio metalcore outfit also had to take up new occupations to support themselves and their families. As if those major life transitions weren’t enough, a couple of the members became first-time dads. “Lockdown was the craziest time for us,” vocalist Levi Benton tells Apple Music. “It was just this huge storm of changes that we’re reflecting on with this album: learning how to be parents, the stress of taking jobs and then quitting them when a tour got scheduled—only to have to get those jobs back when the tour got canceled.” “All of us were just trying to figure out how to keep the lights on and food on the table,” he adds. “It’s a learning curve most people go through when they’re 18, but we did it when we were 30.” Below, he discusses each song on Curse of Existence. “A Smile That Does Not Exist” “This is a very personal song for me. I’ve always been the optimistic, happy guy in the band, but that’s not always how I’m feeling. So, I have to put a front on. Especially with me being a dad now, I can’t really sulk and be bummed out because I have my family, and I’ve got to be the rock. So, on this song, I’m just sharing that with other people because I know I’m not the only one that puts those pants on every morning. But it’s not always the easiest task.” “Earth Shaker” “This is about breaking the cycle in your path or whatever you were born into and just making waves in your current state. The chorus talks about flying through turbulence and going through the rough stuff to get to the clear. I know that can make waves within what you currently have going on, and that’s sort of where the metaphor for ‘Earth Shaker’ came from because it really isn’t always the easiest to try to change for yourself or to go the path least traveled. But when you do, it’s like shaking the earth.” “Bleed Together” “This is a really cool follow-up to one of our biggest singles, ‘Hey Mister.’ The song is about being a father, whereas ‘Hey Mister’ is definitely the pinnacle of our many songs talking about not having a parent or that figure in your life. So, ‘Bleed Together’ is the opposite. It’s from the parents’ view because now I’m a dad. It’s about when your kid goes through pain or struggles, but you’re right there with them—you’re going to bleed together and get through it. It was actually hard to not write every song about my daughter because that’s all that was on my mind.” “Into Oblivion” “I’m the sort of the person that is never satisfied and wants more, which is definitely a curse of mine. ‘Into Oblivion’ is written in the perspective of taking myself past the horizon, past what you can see, and into somewhere I don’t know. I can’t tell if it’s safe, but I just always want more. It’s a self-destructive trait.” “Hollow Vessel” “This was written by our bass player, Ryan, who also sings. He didn’t adjust very well during the pandemic and was struggling with a lot of demons. They were kinda blocked out during all the touring and momentum we’ve had over the last decade, but when everything stopped, we had to deal with that. There’s a lot of self-loathing in this song, but the resolution at the end is that even though you feel like a hollow vessel and you’re fighting with yourself, that confrontation is what’s needed to keep moving forward.” “Free Fall” “I feel like a lot of people have this trait where they make up these tasks to put off the inevitable. You’re procrastinating and delaying what you really need to do. ‘Free Fall’ is talking about getting to that edge, but you have to take the leap. You can’t just keep putting it off. It’s cool that it comes right after ‘Hollow Vessel’ because it’s kind of a follow-up to that song.” “Born Destroyers” “Whether it’s global warming, environmental issues, war issues, economic issues, a lot of those problems—at least from our band’s point of view—come from how we’re taught. ‘Born Destroyers’ is talking about how we’re put into this system that kind of plans these things out for us. It’s not really a natural thing. We really started seeing that after our last album, when we went to all these countries in South Asia. In America, you’re taught that some of these places are our enemies or that they’re horrible people. But it was completely the opposite.” “Unconquered” “This is probably my favorite on the album because the lyrics were originally written completely opposite of what they became. We’ve always been a very positive band, but this was a song about suicide and someone hitting the really low lows. We brought it to the studio and our producer Will Putney was like, ‘You cannot release this. It’s just too negative, and your fans don’t want to hear this.’ That upset us at first because he was sort of telling us what to do. But it ended up being really therapeutic because we rewrote it as a resolution to a really dark time.” “Savior of Self” “Being isolated was, obviously, a very common theme throughout the pandemic. Everyone’s stuck having to deal with these realizations about themselves. ‘Savior of Self’ is about what we had to do to keep ourselves alive through that situation. It’s about all the phone calls and stuff you would have with family and friends that really does help at the end of the day.” “Bloodshed” “I originally wrote this for the singer of In Flames to be on, but it didn’t happen. It’s a song about how violent the world is and who is actually calling the shots. A common thread through the pandemic was the rules changing back and forth all the time, and it just felt like there was an ulterior motive even though there were so many lives being lost. There was a lot of contradicting information, and it seems like no decisions were actually being made. It just felt like a higher power was doing a sleight of hand to benefit themselves and injure the pawns while they do it.”


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