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Exclusive Interview with Vocalist Luke Sheafer of Me Like Bees

12803010_1097207766966562_285258410548688449_nMe Like Bees is an indie rock/pop band hailing from Joplin, Missouri. Consisting of Luke Sheafer (vocals, guitar), Peter Burton (guitar), Tim Cote (backup vocals, drums), and Nick Bynum (backup vocals, bass). Me Like Bees came together in 2009, and almost immediately took to the road, playing hundreds of cities across the United States. Their first CD, “The Ides,” was released to critical acclaim in 2013. Me Like Bees are noted for their witty, catchy lyrics and melodies. At the end of 2015, the band released an EP, “There Will Be Time” and went back on the road, touring with bands like Never Shout Never and Tin Can Diamonds.

Me Like Bees won the 2013 Ernie Ball Music Man Battle of the Bands, outlasting over 20,000 other bands. This year they played SXSW, the iconic and very large festival held in Austin, TX yearly. When not touring, the band is hard at work on their second full length album. Talk Nerdy With Us recently had the pleasure of interviewing Luke Sheafer.

How did you all meet, and how did Me Like Bees form?

Pete and I met playing football together a century or so ago in Kansas City. We fell out of contact for several years and then ended up at the same college. We started the band after college and then Tim joined us after our original drummer Jared left. I met Tim at the first practice we had with him. I technically met Nick while climbing up to the roof of the gym at my alma mater, but we didn’t put that together till years later. He joined in 2012 when our original bass player Asher left to start a colony in the Canadian wilderness (or something).

At what point did each of you realize that rock and roll was going to be your day job?

(laughs) Still waiting on that realization.

You list Modest Mouse, Arcade Fire, The White Stripes as some of your early musical influences. How have your tastes changed (if they have changed) after touring with so many diverse bands?

Good question. I feel even more stubborn about my musical tastes having toured with so many bands. I pretty much listen to these bands still with a few additions. I’ve been listening to a lot of Alabama Shakes recently.

Your band description on Facebook is very funny – “Four narcissistic friends run an Indie Rock band where their juvenile behavior brings situations from uncomfortable to hysterically horrible.” Your lyrics feature a lot of that same wry wit. Can you describe your songwriting process?

Songwriting feels a lot like trying to ring out every drop of water from a towel. It’s a lot of hard work and you never feel like you quite got all the way done. Pete and I write songs or parts of songs and then we collaborate on structure and musical parts then I write the words after it’s all our together (and during).

How would you say that your EP “There Will Be Time” is different from your first record, “The Ides”? Where would you say your second full-length CD will fit in?

TWBT is a lot more full and richer than The Ides sonically. It’s got a lot more harmonies, though the Ides has an edge that is missing in the EP. We’re writing the songs for our next record which will speak a lot about how we treat the poor and how we see them. I’m excited to get going on it.

While out on the road, how do you maintain your stoic impressionism, cheers, whistles and yelps while still practicing expert discernment? On a more serious note, you’ve had a grueling tour schedule for the last few years – how do you take care of your voices and do you try to maintain something of a routine on the road?

Lots of Airborne and hot tea with honey. The only routine I know is to be flexible.

Who have you had the most fun touring with, and who would you like to tour with in the future?

I love our fellow Joplinites in Never Shout Never. We’ve toured with them the most and I have always loved hanging with them. I’d like to tour with anyone who make sense for us.

What are your touring plans for the rest of the year?

We just started working with a booking agent, so we should be putting together a couple of tours for this year. Stay tuned!

Who is the prankster on the bus?

Man, I mean no one really pulls any physical pranks. I feel like that would probably result in a fist fight. We all take turns ribbing each other. We even have a hashtag for the rare times Pete chimes in: #burtonburn

Our site is called Talk Nerdy With Us; do any of you have any hobbies or interests that would fall into the nerdy category?

Our merch guy Jake and I are both gamers. We play Halo 5 together. Tim and Pete love the classic video games too. Nick watches an inordinate amount of Ancient Aliens and gets a little snippy if you suggest any of it is nonsense. I also like to read articles about the findings at CERN, and space/time and just space in general. Feel free to talk nerdy with me anytime.

Written by Arlene Allen

Hello, my name is Arlene Allen, and I love all things nerd: genre tv and movies, books, loud rock and roll music, kittens, conventions, books, graphic novels and superheroes, RPG and tabletop games, and did I say books? Oh, yes. I spent 25 years as a librarian (nerd) mainly working with youth (creating nerds), a number of years as a teacher (more nerd indoctrination). I have my own spawn, leveled up to 22 and my partner in nerdiness. As a nerdy writer, I have found a home at Talk Nerdy With Us.

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