- August 2014 -
HAVE A BEER WITH MEG MYERS
California-based singer-songwriter Meg Myers is fucking rad. The haunting, emotionally forceful tracks on her 2014 EP Make A Shadow strike a perfect balance between rock and raw, a vibe she also channels effortlessly in her live performances. Her sultry, mysterious sound has been compared to musical icons like Fiona Apple, Joan Osborne and Alanis Morrissette, but Meg also draws inspiration from Sting, Fleetwood Mac and Nirvana. She has toured with The Pixies and sold out multiple headline shows at venues in Los Angeles, including the famed Troubadour.
Most recently, Meg wrapped up North American tour with Broods and performed at our very own Lollapalooza, where she rocked The Grove Stage and played an official after party gig at City Winery with Kate Nash. With a newly-released single “Desire,” Meg proves that her forthcoming album will take her provocatively haunting sound into fresh territory.
We sat down with Meg at the festival to discuss what it's like to be an introvert in a big city, the bipolar nature of being a musician and the most important advice her dad has ever given her.
The Show: Meg Myers at Lollapalooza // August 2, 2014
Drink of Choice: Red wine // Tequila
Kristen from A Beer with the Band: How has the festival been so far?
Meg Myers: It's been good. I haven't gotten to see anyone play yet, but
I did have lobster corn dog earlier. I got it from a food tent out in the festival. We were walking around and I was like, “Lobster corn dog? I have to get that!” It was good but weird. Weird things are happening.
Kristen: Yeah, the food at Lollapalooza is kind of a staple. There’s a lot to choose from. Tell me about your background. From what I’ve read, you’ve moved all over the U.S.
Meg: Yeah, I was born in Nashville and lived in the Smoky Mountains until I was about five. Then I moved to Ohio, then down to South Florida for eight years, and finally out to L.A. when I was 20. I've been out there for almost eight years now.
Kristen: What's your favorite thing about living out there? Or has it been difficult to adjust after living in so many places?
Meg: It's actually been a really big struggle being out there. I didn't actually start appreciating L.A. until I moved to Pasadena. In Pasadena there are mountains. There's hiking. There are normal people around. It's not a crazy packed city. It feels so much more like home. I've been out there for over a year now, but before that, all those years were so hard. It just got harder and harder and harder. Now that I live outside of it, I feel like I want to keep moving farther and farther away.
Kristen: What made living in L.A. hard for you?
Meg: I think it had to do with being from a small town. My dad's from Tennessee, so I grew up and spent a lot of time in the country. I'm a country girl at heart, and I'm also really introverted.
Kristen: I am too. I'm an introvert-extrovert. I can be extroverted when I want to be, but being around people all the time makes me tired.
Meg: Yeah, you get drained really easily. That's how I am, too. And being in a city—especially when I’m doing what I’m doing and around people so much—there are times where I just need to get away. I need my personal space and I need privacy. I also really love nature. I have to be around trees and animals.
Kristen: I'm sure when you're trying to create you want to feel inspired and not claustrophobic. What are you currently working on?
Meg: We're working on the album right now, which will be released early next year. We’re spending two weeks in the studio following Lollapalooza, and working on it into the rest of August. In September we’ll be touring and have quite a few date, so hopefully we can finish the album in the next few weeks before that starts.
Kristen: What has that creative process been like with the album so far? Has it been a slower process or do you feel like it kind of all came at once...or is it still coming?
Meg: It's still coming. It's always coming. But sometimes when you go out on the road, come back, and go out again, it can be weird adjusting and figuring out how to balance the creative stuff with the press stuff and the photo shoots and the interviews. Going from that side of things into the creative world can feel very strange.
Kristen: It's almost kind of bipolar in a way.
Meg: Which I feel like sometimes I am, so maybe it suits me.
Kristen: But I understand what you’re saying. You're doing something really raw and emotional and then there's this whole other side to being an artist that isn’t what you expected.
Meg: Yeah, to figure out how to combine the two has been an adjustment. You just really want to make sure you’re representing who you are, especially when you're a very raw singer-songwriter. But I think I’m figuring it out. You just have to be you. I just remind myself that we're all humans and no one is against you.
Kristen: Who are you looking forward to seeing at the festival? Anyone in particular?
Meg: I really want to see Blood Orange. I have a couple of his albums and listen to him all the time. I don't really know the whole lineup, but I do know it would be cool to see Outkast tomorrow night. That's somebody that I've always listened to and I bet they put on a really good live show.
Kristen: Do you have regimen on tour? How do you keep yourself sane?
Meg: It's hard. The first tour I did I was breaking down by the end of it. I've been getting more sleep on this tour. I have to really be careful about drinking. That was a problem with the first tour. I think I just boozed too much. This one I've been being careful. Two or three drinks max.
Kristen: I'm sure at shows people are trying to buy you drinks and you're like, "Sure! Yeah, whatever!" That's what I would do.
Meg: Yeah, and I like to have one drink before I go on-stage, too. If I’m performing these intense screaming songs, I have to have some sort of shot or a glass of wine. My theory is just stick to whatever you're drinking. I like red wine, but it's too acidic to drink before you play. I usually do tequila, white wine or vodka before going on-stage. I’ll usually I'll have a beer after the show, but I can't do too much mixing.
Kristen: Hangovers are not good these days. The older I get the longer they last.
Meg: Oh my god. If I have a real hangover, I'm done for the day.
Kristen: Speaking of hangovers, what's the least rock-'n'-roll thing you've done in the past year?
Meg: Everything I do when I'm not doing this. I go hiking a lot, so I think that's probably not very rock-'n'-roll. I'm a big hiker nerd.
Kristen: Do you have a favorite place to go out west?
Meg: I don't even want to say. It's my private place. It's becoming more congested out there and I've seen these hiking spots over the past few years become more popular. It's like, "No! What are you doing! That's my spot!" They have boom boxes and they're like partying in nature.
Kristen: Not cool. Bummer. Well, we won't give away your spot. What's the best advice you've ever received?
Meg: My dad has always given me really good advice. He lives in the Smoky Mountains, so I talk to him on the phone a lot. We’re so much alike. My mom always says, “You’re so much like your dad.” Whenever I call him to talk about stuff he’s like, "What does it matter? Who cares?" He's so nonchalant. I get off the phone and I'm like, "Yeah, who cares!" It makes life so much easier. My best friend Rachel always says that, too. She says, “Hey it doesn’t matter.” And not that nothing matters, but that none of the bad stuff matters. None of those bad vibes. Those kinds of reminders are nice.