Interview: Meg Myers
Thu, 08 May 2014 10:05:09
In this day and age, it's extremely rare to find an artist as emotional and honest as Meg Myers. She lays her soul out there on Make a Shadow. [iTunes link] Musically, it could very well be the child of Layne Staley and Fiona Apple, but Myers emanates a raw spark that has the power to burn down all of the plastic pop in its path. She's doing something fierce, fiery, and focused. It's also undeniably different as she slips from haunting and hypnotic croons to piercing and pummeling screams. At the same time, there's a stark sexual undercurrent that's both mesmerizing and intensely strange. This Shadow looms over the future, hinting at a revolution when Myers drops her full-length...
While on tour with Broods, Meg Myers spoke to ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino during this exclusive interview about Make a Shadow and so much more.
What ties Make A Shadow together for you?
I wrote Make A Shadow a while back, but we changed some things about it and finished some other things. During this recording process of the EP, I wrote "Go" and "The Morning After" really close by. "Heart Heart Head" is the oldest one. It might have a bit of a different vibe. What I've been going through and writing about is up and down, but somehow it does come together. Musically, the songs are all pretty different. I never try to write a body of work that goes together. I write what I'm feeling. If it goes together, that's cool. It usually does because it's me. I'm writing everything with my producer Doctor Rosen Rosen. We wrote the last EP and this one together.
What's the story behind "Go"?
That day, I was probably feeling a little tired of people. A lot of times when I come into the studio, I'll be in this mode where I feel like writing something slower, or I'll want to write something darker and heavier. A lot of times, Doctor Rosen Rosen and I will be in the same mode. That day we did "Go" we were feeling the same thing. I was telling him that I was tired of everyone and feeling closed in and claustrophobic from people and a relationship. It just came out. Musically, we were messing around a lot on guitars and noises. That song was really fun to write. He did the whistle. It was the first whistle he did, and we kept it.
Where did "The Morning After" come from?
That one really flowed out. Doctor Rosen Rosen was goofing around on the classical, and he was singing something really pretty. It went from there. He came up with that melody. I started writing lyrics. Those lyrics come from a really personal place for me. It's too personal to explain, at least right now. It's a one take on guitar and vocals. We were just going to put it out acoustic. We felt like there was something missing though so we just added the bells and the choir. All of that really brought the song life. I'm glad we did that and didn't just leave the song acoustic.
Was the "Desire" video your idea?
Originally, Doctor Rosen Rosen's wife came up with the idea, but it morphed into something else. We got it to the director, and he added his touch. It was a big collaboration. The song is dark and very sexual. I didn't want to have this video be "super sexy" with black. I don't want to go too far and get real cheesy. I wanted to make it mean something. It's awesome that the director and his crew could pull off the invisible guy. It's weird, and it pushes something uncomfortable on people. I have a teddy bear on my shirt and socks on. It is very sexy, but I'm not dressed sexy. It's young. There are cartoons on the TV. I thought that would give it a strange twist that it wouldn't have had if we went the simple black lingerie direction [Laughs]. It's the innocence mixed with the sexual.
How important is that visual expression?
Music and visuals go hand-in-hand. When I'm writing, there's always visual stuff going through my head. It's hard to get it out there in a typical way. "Make A Shadow" is a really important part of me. It's about the way I feel on a day-to-day basis. It's about getting older and not wanting to stay a child but sort of. It's about how sad life becomes because you lose that innocence. It's the sadness of getting older. You just want to drop everything and be like, "What am I doing?" and live like a child again.
Is music a way for you to tap into that childhood energy, whimsy, and expression?
Yeah, it is definitely. It's a way to tap into that. It's also a way to express the sadness I feel. I have emotions towards so many things. That's just one of many emotions I feel. It's a way for me to let all of that out.
What bands captured that catharsis for you?
I'd say Kurt Cobain of Nirvana and Layne Staley of Alice in Chains were really big inspirations. I was probably 14 or a little younger when I first started listening to Alice In Chains. I grew up listening to The Police and Led Zeppelin. I wasn't really allowed to listen to Nirvana and bands like that until I was in my teens. That was when I crossed over. I loved all of this classic rock, and I crossed into the world of grunge and punk rock. Jewel is a female artist I should mention. It was heart-wrenching and they were going through shit.
What do you dig most about Alice In Chains?
I love Alice In Chains's heavier songs, but their softer songs like "Nutshell" and "Down in a Hole" that drew me to them. Those were the songs.
Find Meg on Tour!
May 10 Barboza Seattle, WA (sold out)
May 11 Mississippi Studios Portland, OR (sold out)
May 13 The Independent San Francisco, CA (sold out)
May 15 The Observatory Santa Ana, CA
Jun 08 The Governors Ball Music Festival New York, NY
Jul 13 Bunbury Festival Cincinnati, OH
Aug 02 Lollapalooza Chicago, IL