Combining the Internet’s 2 greatest assets, cats and ska, come the Meow Meows from Brighton, UK. Despite some general silliness, we had a chance to catch up with the band to talk about their formation, politics, collaborations, and….MORE SILLINESS!!!
How long has the band been together and how did this line-up come to be?
We got together 10 years ago and stayed together through bloody-mindedness. We’ve had a few line-up changes. Particularly drummers. We’ve been through more drummers than Spinal Tap. But this line-up has been going strong for some time.
You have started making some waves in the states as of late. How does it feel to be making an impact across the pond and do you have any plans of coming over to play soon?
Try and keep us away! We would love to play America. When we’ve played outside the UK we have been so welcomed and found fantastic and frantic audiences in the unlikeliest of places, and we know we would meet amazing dancers and stage divers across the pond. So invite us soon! We won’t let you down!
This is your 2nd time working with producer Prince Fatty. How did you begin working with him and what is your relationship like?
Prince Fatty is a super star. We first worked with him on our second album SOMEHOW WE MET. He was quite bewildered by us and our funny old ways, but we got on so well and we just think he is ace. He worked hard and whipped us in to shape. He made us slow things down and remove some of the musical clutter (he calls it “trimming the bush”). It was so fun. We love any opportunity to get him involved.
The genesis of the new EP was a commission by a theatre to encourage dance. Can you explain how you got involved and how it turned into a new release for the band?
We were approached out of the blue by the theatre and dance company who were looking to commission 12 songs by various bands and composers and match then up to different choreographers. We assumed they’d made a mistake and were after the much more famous cabaret act Meow Meow! But they said, ‘No no no…we really want you.’ So we said, ‘hooray!’ And then worked as fast as we’d ever worked to write, record, and produce the song in under two weeks. Quite a challenge for a bunch of malingerers. But it was a great way to work and we were really pleased with the very danceable sound that resulted.
A number of band members came out of the ska-punk scene but you went with a more traditional sound for the Meow Meows. What was the evolution of your current sound?
We were never really ska-punk even in previous bands, though we love traditional ska, punk and two-tone. The evolution of our sound was having 9 very pig headed, out spoken individuals with very different musical influences pulling in many slightly different directions.
I wouldn’t classify the Meow Meows as a political band but you have been outspoken about issues as a band. How do you tread that line and what is the dynamic in the band like to make a decision to speak out about something?
I think we are quite a political band right now. It’s hard not to be in the current climate. Though we like to approach it in a daft and frivolous manner, we are passionate about the subjects we cover. Generally we all have a similar outlook and so the whole band is happy to speak out. Plus half the band doesn’t listen to the lyrics that me and Hanna (the other singer) write, so we could probably get away with it even if they disagreed!
Seriously though, how often do you get asked silly cat pun related questions? When is your next EP Meow-core, the Feline, and More due out? Ha ha.
I’m afraid we are probably the worst offenders when it comes to silly puns. We are a very silly bunch.
Where can fans of the band find out more about you?
We have a website with gig dates, news, photos and shop at http://www.themeowmeows.com/
You can also follow us on twitter here @The_Meow_Meows
and on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/themeowmeows
I like to find out some fun things through quick fire questions:
First music memory
I remember crawling around in a 1970s brown and orange baby-grow listening to my mum and dad singing along to Leonard Cohen “Suzanne”
First album you bought with your own money
The first album I thought I bought was “Big Red GTO” by Sinitta for 50p. It was actually only an ep but I was too young to understand and played it at the wrong speed for weeks believing Sinitta was a man. With a voice like Barry White. The first album I actually bought was much later. It was “Nevermind” by Nirvana and it blew my mind!
Favourite record when you were 16 years old
Something by The Beatles. I was obsessed. Probably Abbey Road.
First show you attended
So not cool, but it was The Bootleg Beatles. I wore horrible clothes and was utterly delighted.
Last show you attended (not counting your own band’s shows)
Sparks. No one else could make it so I went by myself and drank ginger cocktails and had the best party for one. Though it was only Ron and Russell, no other band members, they made the most amazing huge sound that filled the whole room and our whole chests. I was in heaven. Whups..just remembered…These were meant to be quick fire? You can edit em down!
Tell me one thing about you that no one would ever expect
I once made a sandwich for Pussy Galore. She did not like it.
Current thing you are obsessed with, it can be anything
Oliver Reed’s cock. I’ve created an entire comic strip based upon his naked wresting scene with Alan Bates in Women In Love. You can see it on my twitter here @MundyMorn