METAL PULP AND PAPER: First off, are you excited to be a part of this year’s Monster Energy Aftershock Festival? It’s two days, and 35 bands in beautiful Sacramento, California?

BEN FLANAGAN: Hell yes we are really excited. I live in the Bay Area and I’ve been coming to Aftershock as a fan the last three years. Now, to be asked to play is a huge honor. 

MPAP: Do you enjoy playing festivals? 

BEN: I do. The fact that so many people are gathered in one place to see so many different artists and just kind of share in a community is a different feeling then doing a club or theatre show. There will be the people that have come specifically to see you but then many people that perhaps don’t know who you are and you get to try and win them over. It’s a fun challenge.  
MPAP: What are some of the best things, the highlights about being a part of a music festival and playing at one this large? 

BEN: Just like I said, really getting to show your music to new people but also get to go watch other bands and some true legends of rock n’ roll. The playing part is fun but its just really about the whole experience and when the scale is this big it’s just really fucking cool. Besides, if you are on early, there is nothing better than finishing your set, grabbing a couple beers and walking around the grounds and checking out the other artists.  
MPAP: This year’s bill has Ozzy Osbourne, Nine Inch Nails, A Perfect Circle, Five Finger Death Punch, along with many others, including Stone Sour, Highly Suspect, Gojira, and Code Orange. Is there anyone you’re looking forward to watch from the side stage?  
BEN: I’ve actually never seen NIN live even though they are a band that I have loved for years. Listening to them on headphones has always been such an experience because of all of the depth and layers that Trent lays down. Tons of ear candy. Really looking forward to hearing that live and sure his current band is just silly good. Other than that, I saw Mastodon and A Perfect Circle at Carolina Rebellion back in May but definitely want to catch both of them live again and soak it in. Couple of the best live bands out there. At Rebellion, Ryan from Highly Suspect (great band as well of course) was telling my how badass Gojira are live and I've since kind of delved into their music as well. Really cool stuff. Definitely want to try and see that from a close proximity. 
MPAP: What’s in the crosshairs for Black Map after the Monster Energy Aftershock Festival? Another tour, more shows? Time off? New music by any chance?

BEN: We are really trying to stay as active as possible. We are doing 3 more festivals in October (Louder Than Life, Houston Open Air and Rock Allegiance) and will announce shortly who we will be touring with around that time. It's been a really full year of music for us: we put out our album In Droves on eOne back in March and have done two tours with Chevelle and Dinosaur Pile Up as well as runs with Nothing More and 10 years as well as some shows with HellYeah. Looking forward to seeing what 2018 will bring!  
MPAP: Thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions for Metal Pulp And Paper. Any last words for your Black Map fans, and all the Monster Energy Aftershock Festival fans out there that will see you soon? 

BEN: See you at the Festival. Learn those words and sing loud! I want to hear you!