Real girls in their own place.
Not too crazy and just a pinch of naughty...
Photographs by Michael Edwards @meinmyplace
Words by Sophie Saint Thomas @TheBowieCat
The grey area can be uncomfortable. Humans crave answers and labels, we like to stand on solid ground and organize things in tidy boxes in the library of our brains. Sticking a genre on Dead Meadow has always puzzled fans and critics, but the band members themselves have found solid ground being different.
“I like un-categorizable. It’s cool when you see our fans and you can tell some came from a heavier background, some came from more of an indie rock background. We’re used to being called stoner rock and now there’s psych-scene, which I guess fits better, but it still seems like it’s just another name, you know?” Jason Simon (vocals/guitar) told me after their sound check on a cold grey night in New York City, backstage at Glasslands in Brooklyn where I caught up quickly with the guys. “Bands that I like, or writers, anything, it seems like it’s cooler when they’re creating their own thing that’s not easily classifiable. And it’s not really our intention, we’re just making each step of the way up,” he continued.
Originally from DC, where they left because “it was never that hospitable of a city, or that big of a city in terms of music scene,” for L.A, Dead Meadow released their seventh studio album, Warble Womb (Xemu Records) last fall. They’re currently on tour, playing new songs from the double LP.
“People wonder why we didn’t make it more concise,” Mark Laughlin (drums) said. “It got to the point where we had created all this material and we just wanted to put it all out there. To cut it down to one record really seemed like cutting it in half. I don’t know, a lot of times double records come out these days just because people make records that are too long for one album. I was like, if we’re spending the money and putting out two records, let’s have two records of music, because vinyl’s expensive. Let’s just put it out there and let people decide which songs they dig and which they don’t. Hopefully they’ll dig it all.”
After a decade and half of playing together, Dead Meadow has attracted a diverse and devout fan base who has seen a variety of material. I was curious how the audience responded to the new album. “The crowd’s reaction has been getting better and better,” said Jason. “It’s funny, a lot younger people, when it first came out, were like ‘Why did you change it up! It’s different,’ which is funny because we didn’t do anything different, we just let it develop and do its own thing. It seemed like for a month or two when a few song plays you can tell they’ve heard the new record and are stoked.”
“Yeah it got better, when we first started playing it was like crickets after the first few songs, and now people are psyched to hear it because they heard it on the record. We never play anything the same, as it is recorded anyway, always something new,” added Mark.
To hear Dead Meadow’s new songs in the wild for yourself, catch them on their 2014 Puff Tuff tour.