Good guys do not always wear white hats or come riding in on a white horse. Sometimes, the good guy is the one right beside you. In the case of Matty Mullins, frontman for Memphis May Fire, the good guy is the man on stage who puts his heart and soul into every performance. Joined by Kellen McGregor (guitar), Jake Garland (drums), Anthony Sepe (guitar), and Corey Elder (bass) Memphis May Fire have ignited the scene with motivational metalcore music that connects with each listener.
It isn’t easy, but being good starts early. Mullins states, “I think that when you feel so much pain growing up, you know how to not treat people. My heart goes out to anybody that’s picked on or bullied, and stuff like that, because I was there.” His mother’s patience and his father’s wisdom, combined with considerable knowledge, allowed Mullins to discover the man he wanted to be. The unpleasant and hurtful parts of life were balanced by unwavering support at home. It is not necessary to have the same opinions, but a willingness to understand and accept the differences in people are tantamount to creating a safe and loving environment for everyone.
Close the generation gap. The song, “My Generation”, describes the passion of youth in lyrics that say, “My generation is dying to be heard/Dying to be heard and understood/But no one is listening.” But how do we get our elders to listen? Mullins explains, “There is a chant in the song that says, ‘We are the youth/We are the future’, whether the older generation recognizes that, realizes it, or respects it, it’s inevitable we will become the leaders. We will become the future.” As time passes, the younger generation will naturally take over the leadership of our society. Mullins added, “With age comes wisdom and comes growth. I think that even if these kids in the scene right now feel totally different in twenty years then they do right now, they still deserve to be heard. They still deserve to be loved and to be understood.” No matter what kids are interested in, Mullins believes that a little understanding would go a long way to avoiding the serious issues this generation faces. Listening more can keep young people from falling into the wrong crowd or believing undesirable messages.
It’s a long and winding road. Mullins points out that, “Everybody has the ability to be a horrible person or a great person. I think, honestly, the majority of growth in life comes from thankfulness. When you wake up in the morning, you have the choice to be thankful, to show gratitude, or to be bitter.” It is a simple concept, but one of the hardest to accomplish. He disclosed, “You have to constantly choose to be thankful. You have to constantly choose happiness over sulking in your sorrows. It’s inevitable that we’re going to have off days and sometimes we need to remove ourselves from the crowd and take some time to just listen.” While it is impossible to control everything, we do have the power to design our own perspective and the type of person we want to be. With a daily dose of reinforcement and the wisdom to know when to step back, anyone can be the good guy.
The past and future can benefit each other. There is a rather substantial age difference between Matty Mullins and I. We grew up in disparate generations, but none of it mattered when we sat down to chat. I was fascinated by his open honest responses to my questions that provided valuable cultural insight on the youth of today. I admire his strong Christian beliefs and dedication to his family and music. When I listened to him, I found that Mullins and I share the same view on so many important issues. I was inspired by a young man who has merged his message with music, successfully encouraging millions of fans to connect and discover the power within themselves. There was no generation gap or age difference as we spoke openly on numerous topics.
The proof is the bottom line. Signed to Rise Records, Memphis May Fire have seen their share of success. Their critically acclaimed album, Unconditional, has been wildly popular with fans worldwide, because it resonates with relevant lyrics and complicated, compelling music. They have toured the world, playing to packed houses and sold out shows. One of the largest crowds at Warped Tour gathered to watch Memphis May Fire perform, responding to Mullins with smiles, positive energy, and lots of jumping. He also released a self-titled solo album in 2014 through the same label. All in all, I believe Matty Mullins is definitive proof that good guys do not always finish last.