“They surrounded me like bees; they went out like a fire among thorns; in the name of the Lord I cut them off!” Psalm 118:12 – No, this isn’t a Sam Jackson quote from the latest grindhouse-inspired Tarantino film; it’s the impetus behind the Joplin, MO, band Me Like Bees.
Formed on the heels of the 2000s indie rock scene, the band was started by college dropout Pete Burton and former gas station clerk, Luke Sheafer in 2009. The pair met while playing high school football together in Kansas; only to lose touch and serendipitously end up at the same college town in southwest Missouri several years later. The duo shared a mutual affinity for the music of the aughts. Bands like The Strokes, Modest Mouse, The White Stripes, and Franz Ferdinand, would serve as the catalyst to the danceable, guitar-driven rock that Me Like Bees would become known for:
“I remember the way I felt when I first heard Ball and a Biscuit by the White Stripes” Sheafer says, “That’s the moment I decided that yeah, this music thing is what I want to do with my life. I’ve been chasing that feeling ever since.”
Throughout its history, Me Like Bees has undergone several member changes, with Burton and Sheafer serving as the bands only constants.
In 2017, the pair were joined by current bass player, Jake Bennett. Bennett was already familiar to the band, having served as the group’s touring merch manager for several years prior:
“You know it’s funny because, he was our merch guy and didn’t even really know how to play the bass,” states Burton. “Our former bass player had suddenly quit, and we had a whole string of shows coming up and needed someone immediately. Jake locked himself in a room for three weeks straight and came out a monster bass player on the other side.”
The most recent addition to the band is drummer, Ben Davis. Davis had been working as an elementary school counselor when he, through an unlikely series of events, heard that Me Like Bees was looking for a drummer. In true Kurt Warner fashion, Davis left his position at the school to pursue his lifelong passion of playing music. And yes, Me Like Bees is the NFL in this analogy.
Notably, the band released their first full-length album The Ides through Loveway records in 2013.
In 2014, they won first prize at the Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands in Hollywood California, beating out 20,000 other bands and securing a coveted spot on the Vans Warped Tour.
They worked alongside Goldfinger frontman and well-known producer, John Feldmann for their EP There Will Be Time released in 2016.
In 2018, they partnered with Image Comics and artist Jeremy Haun for the release of their graphic novel-inspired EP, Songs From The Realm.