Hailing from Joplin, Missouri, the indie rock band Me Like Bee’s sat down to talk with us in Pittsburgh, PA. We took a short walk from the venue to Heinz Field, home of the Pittsburgh Steelers, one of Me Like Bees Luke’s rival football teams. Overlooking the beautiful cityscape, we spoke about how they started as a band, how they got on their record label, and an upcoming EP. You can read the interview below.
BTS: How’s your tour going with Never Shout Never?
Luke: It’s going really well. We’ve known them for a really long time, we’re from the same town. It’s like hanging out with friends and playing shows in between.
BTS: And being from the same town, Joplin, what’s the local scene like there?
Luke: We have a lot of really talented music for being a smaller place. There’s Ben Miller Band, they’re a national act. They play with ZZ Top. They’re like punkabilly, I don’t know if that’s the right word. It’s just gritty, kind of soulful music. Then there’s an americana band called The Too’s from Joplin. Carter Hulsey, who has toured with Never Shout before. Actually, Tof, who plays keys for Never Shout used to play with Carter Hulsey touring. There is a band I really like from Joplin called Sardis, and they’re like an Iron Maiden band. They’re just so good. They’re not a cover band, they write their own music, it’s just that kind of vibe, and it’s so good. For being such a small place, we are pretty rich with musicians and really good bands.
BTS: What does your name mean?
Luke: Me Like Bees was something we just threw out there and kind of stuck with. We googled it and the only thing that came up was this bible verse from the psalms that said “They surrounded me like bees, in the name of the lord I cut them off”. It’s from psalm 118 and it’s just a rad piece of text. In context, it’s just talking about burning villages down and stuff. We were just like “its kinda rad” so we stuck with it. Other than that, if that’s the only thing that comes up if someone googles this name, we’re the only thing that comes up aside from that, that’s pretty important. Being accessible, people being able to find you.
BTS: Where did you guys all meet?
Luke: I met our guitarist Pete, I played high school football with him. Then I went to the same college as him, but after college is when I started playing music with him. Then we connected with Tim through some friends a couple years later when our drummer left. Nick, none of us knew, he worked at a music store and we asked somebody who we knew from that music store if they wanted to play with us and they said “No but you may want to try this guy” and he’s been great for us.
BTS: How’d you get hooked up with Loveway Records?
Luke: It’s kind of a funny story. We weren’t very big at the time, not that we are huge now but we were like nobodies. I was sick, I had this fever and I had been kind of delirious. I knew who Chris was, I knew who Never Shout was, I heard a couple of songs. I knew Taylor who used to play with them. We were pretty good buddies, but I didn’t really know Chris that well. I was sick and I was literally having hallucinations. I had such a high fever, I was taking all these medications trying to get well again. I got a call from this Joplin number and I said (the phone call goes as follows)
Chris: “Is this Luke?”
Chris: “This is Chris Ingle from Never Shout Never”
Luke: “Hey man, What’s going on?”
Chris: “Do you guys wanna be on my label?”
Chris: “You guys wanna do a record?”
Luke:“Yeah that sounds great man”
Chris: “Cool let’s get together soon and we will kind of hash out what we wanna do”
Then about a day and a half later, I was still sick, I called my guitarist and I said “Hey I’m like 50% sure that Chris Ingle just called us and wants us to be on his label, but I also saw a squirrel run across my living room floor so I’m not sure” . Then I looked through my phone and saw that he had texted me and I said “Oh yeah thats real, he wants us to meet”. That’s how we got hooked up with Loveway Records.
BTS: Your first record, The Ides, was released in 2013. Your newest one, There Will Be Time came out in 2016. What was the wait between the records?
Luke: That was just a lot of shows. Also, we recorded that EP in December of 2014 with John Feldmann. We went on Warped that year. We also were shopping that EP out to some labels who were showing interest. During that time you can’t really release anything from it because they want the whole package. So we were sending it out and none of them really worked out so we put the content together ourselves and released it.
BTS: How was Warped?
Luke: It was hot, it was good though. Really fun. We had a lot of good crowds and played some pretty good shows.
BTS: What’s the recording process like for Me Like Bees?
Luke: We usually try to track everything ourselves first. We don’t do a lot of writing in the studio so we pretty much have the songs how we want them. We play around with some things in the studio, or if it is just vibing differently we will change the structure. Me and Pete come up with the music. I write the words and the melodies, then we workshop it with the guys, go back and forth until we like it. We were just actually in the studio the saturday before we left for tour. We recorded a song with a guy in Kansas City. I think we are gonna release an EP this summer.
BTS: Do you have a favorite city or venue that you like to play?
Luke: I love Kansas City, that’s my hometown. We live in Joplin but I’m from KC. I love being home and playing in front of those people. KC’s just got a great vibe to it and it feels like it is getting bigger and bigger as far as culture. It’s a pretty cool time for Kansas City. I think they’ll be the new Austin in a year or two; the new place to be.
BTS: Are there any bands you’d like to shoutout?
Luke: Definitely. The Travel Guide out of Wichita, Kansas is a rad band that I feel like nobody knows about. The Too’s from joplin just came out with a new record called “Outer Sounds” and I think it’s baller. There’s a pop rock band out of Kansas City called Yes You Are. They just had a song on a Pepsi commercial during the Super Bowl, and I feel like they’re not getting enough credit. They’re a pretty rad band. They have a song I really like called World Without End that I really like. I could go on and on, but I’ll stick with those.