Christian hard rock band Memphis May Fire is getting ready to release their seventh studio album. No official release statement with the date or title. But, the album's first two singles, "Blood & Water" and "Death Inside," show great promise. Each song showcases the heavier side to the music and the deep, relatable lyrics that the band is known for.
While we await the exciting announcement of the name, tracklist, and artwork, I spoke with lead vocalist Matty Mullins about the new songs and about some growth in his life.
What are some of your musical inspirations for the new record?
I never really know what inspires us musically because we're so all over the place. We listen to such a wide variety of music that I wouldn't say that there were any particular artists that influenced this new release.
We listen to our peers, both old and new, as well as different genres. I guess it's more of an emotional thing where we channel where we're at and what we want to do with these new tunes. Songs may change over the writing process. But, that's the beautiful part about making art. For example, with "Death Inside," I wanted to get the message across in a way that we haven't really done before. It was fun to find that sound. And, exploring allowed us to showcase pain in a new way.
What are some of the stories or topics being tackled on the record?
Conceptually, there's no one real theme that carries from song to song. Every song has its own life and its own purpose. And that's why they've been released as singles thus far. There's only so much I can say without giving too much away, but you know what's coming up is going to be different.
How does your faith influence your songwriting?
It depends on the song. Memphis May Fire is not a Christian band. We never made that claim. But, we have created music in the faith realm because of my own outspokenness of my faith and playing certain festivals or shows. My perspective on faith has determined the lyrical content that has evolved over the years.
I've always wanted to communicate the rawest form of emotion, from joy and freedom to pain and rage. Christian or not, we all feel happy and sad emotions. You can have a day where you feel weightless and so connected to God and days where you're overrun by everything. We need to be honest about that; otherwise, people feel alienated by Christians. We're all on the same playing field, experiencing the same things, and need a savior to help us. For me, that's my faith. It all comes down to honesty in the end.
How have you seen growth in yourself after being with the band for many years?
There's been a lot of natural growth. Not everyone grows up in the public eye as I have. But, we all have natural growth inside of us. We have moral compasses that evolve and grow as we get older. Our worldview changes and we value things differently.
In the band's early years, we were chasing the highest moments and successes. That's not as important to me anymore. I have a family, and even taking the last year off of touring has helped put some things in perspective for me and the band.
Our mission has always been the same: to write songs that help people battle loneliness. And, over the last 15 years, we have learned how to better communicate that message. And, over the last 15 years, we've also learned how to better use our platform.
What can you tell us about the organizations you are supporting with the new music?
My sister has a non-profit organization for counseling and my wife started the organization Beneath The Skin, a mentoring program for young women. So, I've always been around them. The closer you are to organizations that help others, the more you see the impact and want to get involved.
I've supported the HeartSupport organization, which helps others battle depression, anxiety, and other struggles, personally, but wanted to do something different with these songs. We want to make a more eternal impact. So, what we've done is partnered with a different non-profit organization for each song. Each song topic is related to the chosen non-profit.
For "Blood & Water," we partnered with Bridges, an organization focused on domestic abuse, just like the song's theme. This has been my favorite part of the releases so far and I think this is just the start for us.
Anything else you want to share?
Thank you so much for your support. The first few songs we've released in a long time have been wonderfully received (we're glad you like them). Be ready for more. Plus, we're going on tour with mainstream rock acts Breaking Benjamin and Papa Roach in September.
How can we be praying for you?
There's a lot going on in this world and in my life. So, please pray for wisdom that'll help me to continue to look for the will of the greater good, not just my own will. Thanks.
Ryan Adams lives with his family in Montana. He has been NRT's Rock Reporter since 2018. He graduated Boise Bible College in 2017.
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