Interview: Meg Myers
Thu, 18 Jul 2013 17:36:22
Meg Myers demands attention. She's got a voice so powerful it could wake the dead, but she taps into a fragile mystique that's all too effervescent in this day and age. To be honest, there hasn't been a singer as unique and undeniable as Myers in decades. She's in a league of her own and you can hear it on the latest single "Heart Heart Head".
ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino spoke to Meg Myers in this exclusive interview about "Heart Heart Head", Stephen King books, and so much more.
Your delivery is intimate, but still explosive at the same time.
Thank you. That's awesome.
How important are ups and downs to the music?
They're very important. It's really like therapy. In a way, that's all it is. Whatever I'm going through or feeling contributes. Most everything is about things that are going on in my life. Sometimes, it's just a feeling. It may not be going on necessarily. It's whatever is inside me. I have to get that out. It's crazy to me. Although I have albums I love where most of the songs sound similar, it's really important to me to be able to do it all. I feel so many different things. I'm all over the place inside my head so I have to be able to get that out. I'm a really, ridiculously emotional person. I'm also really introverted so I had a lot of things in. That's the one way I'm able to try out different things and let them out in various ways.
What's the story behind "Heart Heart Head"?
It's about having this yearning for something that doesn't exist. I'm not really sure what it is. Doing music is the thing that keeps me satisfied. That's the only thing that can satisfy me. A lot of people will have that—whether it's love or something you can't seem to express or put your hands on. It could be a human or something else. It's something inside of me. It's a deep yearning. You could say true love, but it's not necessarily true love. It can also be about a ghost. To me, it's turned more into being about the unsatisfied feeling and craving something. It's so powerful. It eats you up. You don't know what it is that you want. That's why a lot of people become alcoholics or end up using substances. It's so much more. Do you know?
There's an intangible longing for completion? It's like filling that missing piece.
For sure! That's what it is. I'm terrible with words and describing things. I can do it in songs [Laughs]. It's hard for me to say exactly what things are because there's so much involved in them. There are so many emotions. I can't explain what goes through my head.
Where did "Cold" come from?
"Cold" is more about not being able to be in a relationship. You want to have something real and you want love, but you're not able to completely give in and be vulnerable. You're affected probably from past hurt. You become hardened after relationships and over the years. It's about wanting it so bad. I am a very emotional and open person. It sounds so impossible to open up completely.
Is it important for you to paint pictures with the songs?
I think so. Andy Rosen has helped me a lot of that. Back in the day, I used to write a lot of songs by myself on an acoustic. It was much more metaphorical. Even though my music is still metaphorical, it's more upfront than it used to be. I think I used to be a little more weirdly poetic. We go back and forth. It's easy performing-wise to connect to the song when it's more upfront and painting a picture.
What else influences you outside of music?
I do love reading so much. I haven't been able to much these days. I think it's important for me to have other things in order to always love doing music. It's important to have other ways of creating and different outlets. I need to do that. I should get back on that. I love movies. I love hiking and the outdoors. Honestly, I love being alone and doing things alone. I love listening to music alone. Movies are huge. I'm into acting. I like documentaries. I really enjoy comedies. I like Curb Your Enthusiasm a lot. Since I am in such a dark with the music and I tend to write really dark things, I hate to get away and do more wholesome things like hiking and being in nature. I'm a very spiritual person. If I don't do these other things, I go into a downward spiral and land in a really dark place. I have to stay away from bad things. I draw and paint.
What books and authors do you come back to?
I grew up reading Stephen King. I'm a huge Stephen King fan. The last book I read was a fourth grade book called The Hatchet. I love murder mysteries and weird things. As I get older, I have to keep my mind in better places so I stick to more romantic things. I grew up loving horror and sci-fi. I still love sci-fi so much. Now, when I watch a movie, it has to be a romantic comedy. I watched so much Alfred Hitchcock, Tales From the Crypt, and X-Files. That was pretty much all we watched growing up. It's ingrained in me. When I'm showering, I'll keep opening the curtain to see if anybody is going to come and kill me [Laughs]. I'm crazy now because of it!
What artists shaped you?
I still listen to The Police and Sting. I love Dire Straits. I've been listening to them a lot lately. I just started getting back into Randy Travis. I love country music. I go through phases. As for people who shaped me, I'd say again The Police, Sting, and Heart. James Taylor was my first concert in Nashville. I was nine- or ten-years-old. I listen to a lot of good old rock 'n' roll and folk music. I really like Tracy Chapman and Led Zeppelin. When I got into my tunes, I got really into the grunge stuff like Nirvana and Alice in Chains.
Have you heard Meg Myers?