Me Like Bees, an Indie Rock band out of Joplin, Missouri are set to release a new EP on April 8th. The band recently wrapped up a tour with Never Shout Never. Lead singer Luke Sheafer spoke to NEO Music Scene about the anticipated release of their EP “There will be Time” and life on the road.
Greg Drugan: Hi Luke, thanks for giving me a call. Are you guys still on tour with Never Shout Never?
Luke Sheafer: No, we are actually home now. It was a long, cold tour.
GD: How did you come up with the name for your band?
LS: Our guitarist actually threw it out there and we Googled it. It was a Bible verse in Psalms that said “And they surrounded me like bees” and we like it. It was the only thing that came up, so if you Google that phrase, we would basically be the only thing that comes up. If you get a name that’s too generic, it gets lost in all of the internet. So we like that it has a bad ass sounding thing in the Bible so we stuck with it.
GD: Well, I think it works and it is definitely unique.
GD: You have been together since 2009, when did you first get your break into the business?
LS: Our first real break was getting on a label. We only had an EP out that we self produced. Then we got a call from Chris Engle from Never Shout Never and he asked if we wanted to do a record under his label and I was like “Sure, man!” So he paid for our record and we recorded it.
GD: How would you describe your sound?
LS: I think we are punchy, indie rock. We are mostly rock and roll with a kind of indie vibe to it. We are aggressive at times and melodic at other times. I would describe us as kind of eclectic.
GD: Who are some of your musical influences?
LS: When I was a kid I wasn’t allowed to listen to anything that wasn’t Christian music. When I got older, I like Stevie Ray Vaughan and blues kind of stuff. Then when I got into college, I liked indie rock like Modest Mouse kind of stuff and Arcade Fire.
GD: The band recently won a contest to work with producer John Feldmann (5 Seconds of Summer, Panic! At The Disco.) What was it like to work with him?
LS: It was awesome! He is like a ball of energy where you better be on your toes and ready to go. When you are writing by yourself, you go at your own pace, drink some coffee and settle in. With this guy, it was like “Now’s the time!” He was making me re-write lines between vocal takes. He is such a fun person. It was the most fun I ever had recording even though it was high stress. I think he’s a genius.
GD: That contest you were in, I read that you beat out something like 20,000 bands. Where did that take place?
LS: It’s Ernie Ball’s annual battle of the bands. Everyone and their sister who can play an instrument applies to do it. There was something like 25,000 bands. We applied online and we got picked to do the regional contest in Kansas City on the Warped Tour. We played the show and kinda forgot about it. We thought we played an ok show, but we had to use all of their equipment. So you just try your best and put on a good show. Then two months later we got a message from a fan, it wasn’t even from Ernie Ball saying “Hey, congratulations on winning this.” So our bass player responds and says thanks. Then the guy says “so you guys are going to play in Hollywood.” And our bass player said “No, we already played that show two months ago.” And the guy responds “No, I think you are in the final four.” So we look on Ernie Ball’s website and they announced the bands and we were one of them. So we were surprised because we hadn’t heard from them. They flew us out, we played the show and a bunch of stuff went wrong. I broke a string and Pete’s amp cut out on him. It was kind of a train wreck but it was a train wreck enough to win it! I guess they liked it, its rock and roll!
GD: Your new EP “There Will Be Time” is coming out soon, how would you describe it and how many songs does it have?
LS: There are four songs on it.
GD: I really like the new single “Tundraland” I hope that get’s you some airplay.
LS: Thanks, me too.
GD: Do you have any plans to tour this summer and how many dates to you play each year?
LS: We usually tour twice a year for two or three weeks. So it’s only six weeks out of the year. We are talking with a booking agent to see about expanding that. We are definitely playing “South by Southwest” and we’ll play some dates on the way down and on the way back up. Then we will tour on the EP when that comes out for a couple of months. Then we will try to record a full length album this summer.
GD: Thank you so much for giving me a call and I wish you all the luck with your new EP.
LS: Thank you, Greg.
For more information on Me Like Bees, please go to http://www.melikebees.com. Their new EP “There Will Be Time” will drop on April 8th and it will be available on iTunes.