Monday, April 2, 2012
DEAD MEADOW frontman JASON SIMON tells RACHEL BARNES that while they’ve regained a founding member of the group, time has continued to change both how the band writes and how they sound.
Formed in 1998, Dead Meadow was actually created out of tragedy, with each of the original members coming into the project from various dead punk and post-punk style bands. “I feel like we just came together and figured out what we were meant to be playing, what kind of sound, and what not,” Jason Simon explains.
With each member inspired by artists like Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, and Jimi Hendrix since they were kids, it’s no wonder Dead Meadow started playing the style of music that they did. In the band’s early days the music was centred around the use of “far out imagery” that allowed them to distance themselves from each song’s true meaning. “I think sometimes using imagery like that makes it easier to talk about more direct things in a way,” he says.
However, Dead Meadow has slowly been moving towards a more confronting style of music. “I think over the years there’s definitely a lot more direct style of songwriting that has emerged, especially on later records,” he says. Although there has been no drastic change to the band over its lifetime, it only takes a comparison between the band’s first album to the new stuff they’re cranking out live right now to see just how far the boys have come. Simon hopes that the fans are enjoying their progression in writing. “Despite everything, I think all the way through we definitely have a sound that is ‘Dead Meadow’.”
This slow change was definitely assisted by the coming, going, and coming again of their original drummer Mark Laughlin. After he left the band in 2002 to become a lawyer, Dead Meadow found a replacement and pushed forward. However, when their latest addition decided it was his turn to move on, Laughlin was simply in the right place at the right time. With the news that Laughlin was moving back to New York and looking to get back into music full time, it simply took what was supposed to be a one-off show to solidify their decision. “We just had a lot of fun, it just felt good playing,” Simon says.
The band has a new record half recorded and a bunch of new songs that they are ready to try out while on tour Down Under. “I feel that over the last year and a half that Mark has been playing the music has really started developing in a new way.” Simon says that people who come out to their shows will definitely be able to see the bands new direction.
Their Australian tour sees the boys with just one day off which they are hoping to fill with some of our most clichéd tourist attractions. “I think I’ve seen our drummer write emails to our promoter various times, all he wants to do is hug a koala. Every time I come to Australia that’s what we want to do. We still need to make it happen,” Simon laughs.
Dead Meadow’s latest album is expected to be released either mid to late 2012, but if you can’t wait that long to escape from the troubles of the day to day, Simon says an immersion in their psychedelic music at a live show will do the trick.
DEAD MEADOW play The Zoo on Thursday Apr 5 with special guests Pink Mountaintops. www.deadmeadow.com