THE MEEK (… the return of …)

14 Apr

THE MEEK

“Awwww, White Light – It’s Gonna Drive MEEK Insane”

It’s been just over a year since we became infatuated with the dark, driving, dramatic daggers of detached rock and roll delivered by the L.A. band known as The Meek. Born out of the curiosity of seeing the band listed as performers at Austin Psych Fest 3, our infatuation grew when we had the good fortune to conduct an interview with The Meek prior to the festivities – and that growth rapidly turned to resolute fanaticism upon witnessing the dark-of-night performance of The Meek at said festivities.

The sound of The Meek, of course, also has a not insubstantial impact on our infatuation. Case in point: According to our iTunes statistics, we imported a four song promo CD from The Meek between 3:21 and 3:22 AM on April 24, 2010 (day one of Austin Psych Fest 3) and since that time, each song has been played a staggering (and potentially embarrassing) fifty-one times. That figure does not, however, include the countless spins on the car stereo, the de rigueur inclusion in any DJ sets we’ve engaged in over the past year, or even the presence of The Meek on mixes featured on this site.

If The Meek don’t inherit the earth, at least we can say they’ve invaded our eardrums. One year later, we’re pleased to present this follow-up interview with Amy Lee.

When we last spoke to you for this site, you were preparing for The Meek’s trip to and performance at Austin Psych Fest 3. Nearly twelve months later, what are your strongest memories about the trip? How did you feel about your performance that weekend? Were there any performances in particular that made an impression on you?

Seeing the bats under the bridge at sun down was a neat southern Gothic thing to do. We loved the oil rig projections on us. Von Haze made an impression. Hearing The Black Angels play “Phosphene Dream” in its entirety was a highlight.

Photobucket

How – if at all – did your experience at Austin Psych Fest 3 color the other performances engaged in by The Meek over the past year? Outside of your trip to Austin, are there any other shows that really stick out in your mind where The Meek performed?

Last year we played the Saturday late night spot (same as this year) and people are rolling by that time so the energy all around is good. It’s interesting to hear the diversity in psychedelic modern music. The Filmore with Cat Power. That was a wonderful experience. I love the history. I felt an energy on that stage that I had never experienced before. And, her and her fans are very gracious. We just played at the Ace Gallery in LA for Fashion week. We collaborated with Designer Henry Duarte and had visuals curated by Paul Young who put together the “Art Cinema” book for Taschen. The Black Ryder played. It was a real cool time.

The Meek this and The Meek that! What about the rest of the world?!? What bands did you see perform over the past year that strike you as notable?

Searing/hearing Peter Hook perform Joy Division’s “Unknown Pleasures” album was the best concert of the year for me. He is doing the “Closer” album in England now. We performed with Spectrum – that was a sonic education.

Related, what music have you been listening to most over the past year? What has been your most surprising or unexpected musical revelation or obsession in that time?

La Dusseldorf, Spiritualized, Suicide, Link Wray, Singapore Sling, Psychic TV … Recent records from Wire and A Certain Ratio. I have an unexpected obsession with the beats coming out of the Los Angeles jerkin street movement.

And in an effort to make this interview as reminiscent of “Tiger Beat” magazine as possible, we asked during our last interview what books or magazines you have read recently that made an impact on you. What have been your literary discoveries over the past year? What are you reading now? How are things going at The Daily Planet? Has Amy Lee succumbed to the seductiveness of e-Book readers (Kindle, Nook, etc.)?

There is nothing seductive to me about reading a book on a hand held device. Owning a bookshop implies I love the real thing. I adore Father and Daughter Poets Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Christina Rossetti. Nick Cave’s second novel, “The Death of Bunny Munro” was a fun read – it is his “On the Road.” “Mr. Manchester and the Factory Girl,” by the late Tony Wilson’s wife. The new Velvet Underground book, “New York Art,” is a must have. Black Flash Magazine, Flux, Paris/LA.

Twelve months isn’t necessarily a long time over which we might chart a band’s evolution, but what has changed notably within the band in the past year? Can you pick up on alterations or revisions to the sound of The Meek in just the past year?

We have Gregg Foreman (Delta 72, Cat Power) joining us on guitar and keys. He adds color to our sound. We slow old tracks down a bit. We add instrumental endings and beginnings. We loop and drone more than we used to. Deep bass and haunted piano are my soul’s delight at the moment.

Certainly, being asked to play at Austin Psych Fest 4 speaks to some degree to strength of The Meek’s performance last year. Is there a particular mindset change that comes along with playing a show of such size, or do you find your mental preparation stay relatively consistent from show to show? Is it even something you think about, or does it occur more organically?

I suffer from a certain amount of performance anxiety. Any degree of mental preparation never seems to change that. With that said, the bigger the crowd the more excited, exponentially, I am.

How would you describe the – for lack of a better word – vibe in California amongst your contemporaries in bands, or with other artists as well? Do you feel a kinship that is unique to California? Or do you perhaps feel slightly out-of-step with the approaches and ambitions of others, and is this feeling of not quite fitting in something that drives the music of The Meek?

We are fortunate to live in a vast, sprawling city so if we want to engage, we can, or we can be reclusive. There are many vibes or waves to ride on the West Coast. We have a pretty insular existence, kind of on the fringe of things I suppose. Love and life drive the music, other contemporary music has little part in it. I enjoy the kinship with other artists who are confidently off center.

In her book “Storming the Gates of Paradise: Landscapes for Politics,” Rebecca Solnit says the following:

“The anthropological theorist Paul Shepard writes, ‘Humans intuitively see analogies between the concrete world out there and their own inner world. If they conceive the former as a chaos of anarchic forces or as dead and frozen, then so will they perceive their own bodies and society; so will they think and act on that assumption and vindicate their own ideas by altering the world to fit them.’ The loss of a relationship to the non-constructed world is a loss of these metaphors. It is also loss of the large territory of the senses, a vast and irreplaceable loss of pleasure and meaning.”

Your thoughts?

He went on to say, “The foundational grounding from the inner and outer connectedness with nature is weak or missing in many people today, especially those who live most of their lives distances from nature’s power and nurturance in industrialized, high-tech, polluted mega-cites.” It is important to have a meaningful mature connection to the earth. There is nothing dead and frozen about this glorious planet … yet!

What’s next for The Meek?

Videos and Vinyl.

The Meek
Original photo of The Meek by Wilson Lee

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One Response to “THE MEEK (… the return of …)”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. THE MEEK (… third cut is the deepest …) « Revolt of the Apes - April 3, 2012

    […] very first bands interviewed on this site, while being absolutely the first band we insisted upon interviewing twice and, now, unquestionably the first band to be interviewed three times for Revolt of the […]

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