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Posted September 8, 2014 by Jeff in Tunes
 
 

Meg Myers: Leaving it on the stage

Meg Myers
Meg Myers

After spending the summer on the festival circuit, Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Meg Myers has lined up a club tour this fall. Her latest EP, Make a Shadow, has yielded two singles: “Desire” and “Heart Heart Head,” both of which show off her incredible intensity (think PJ Harvey or Sinead O’Connor). We caught up with Myers backstage at Lollapalooza where she talked about her various influences.

What’s the process of promoting your EP been like?
It’s been really cool to perform the songs, especially doing radio performances and headlining shows. The response has been so positive.

Did you always have a band?
I’ve known my drummer since I was 20, so over seven years. I just asked him to play drums a few years ago. My cello player played on “Monster,” one of my early songs. My producer played guitar for me early on but then became my manager and it was too much, so we found a new guitarist about a year ago. I’m so lucky. They’re such good guys. Amazing musicians.

Do you write the songs with them?
No. I write everything on my own, but my cello player helped write “Say Nothing.” It’s not out yet.

How did you get your start?
I started messing around on piano and guitar when I was 12 years old. My brother took jazz lessons and showed me what to do. I never cared about being really good at an instrument. I just wanted to be good enough to do it live. I just love writing songs.

You’re in L.A. now but you didn’t always live there.
I was born in Nashville but I lived in the Smoky Mountains for a few years and moved to Toledo, Ohio for eight years before moving to South Florida. I moved to L.A. when I was 20. My family is all spread out in the East and Midwest. I live in Pasadena. I like it there.

Did you start playing out when you were in Toledo?
My family has always been into music. I would go visit my dad and sing Jewel songs. We would just mess around. I messed around on guitar when I was 9. I started taking it seriously when I moved to Florida when I was 12.

Is there a music scene in Tampa?
I moved to Coral Springs which is where Marilyn Manson is from. I didn’t go to school and was just home schooled. The first show I played in front of people was at a coffee shop. I played bass and my brother played guitar. We started doing that regularly and then started playing at bars. I played in a band with him for three or four years and I wanted to do something different, not punk rock or grunge. I left that and started playing acoustic.

It’s so weird to think back on that time. It’s such a long road that’s led me here.

Who do you think of as your influences?
Not the people I sound like. The people I get compared to – Fiona Apple, Alanis Morissette, Sinead O’Connor, Tori Amos — that’s such a compliment to me. They’ve never been put in a box. They are who they are. They’re powerful females who can do whatever they want. I feel like I’ve hoped to be that. Getting compared to them is great. I grew up listening to Joan Osborne and Tracy Chapman and Jewel and Heart. Sting is one of my biggest influences. Dire Straits is another big one and I love Enya. I listened to classical and Celtic and country. Nirvana too. I had a teen angst phase when I listened to them and Alice in Chains and Soundgarden and Pearl Jam.

You’re so much different in person. Where does that intensity on stage come from?
I think it’s always been a part of me. I feel like if I didn’t have that place to let that out, then I wouldn’t be as nice in person. It helps me keep calm to have that outlet. I think a lot of people need that. I just happen to have a lot of dark stuff to get out. It’s good because I’m not doing drugs or other stupid things.

Do you think of the songs on your EP as love songs or breakup songs or a little bit of both?
It’s a little bit of both. Generally, more painful things. Maybe it’s just where I’m at. I’ve written a few love songs [but even as] I get happier, I think most of the stuff is more painful. Even if I’m in a healthy relationship, it’s always something.

Where does “Desire” fall?
I don’t know. It’s not about anybody. When I wrote that, it was just a feeling that I had. It was so powerful. I don’t know how to explain what it’s about. The song is so much deeper than the lyrics. The lyrics are sexual and it’s very vulnerable. I went into a deep place when I wrote it and it’s so much stronger than just sex. I think people hear that when they listen to it. It’s not just about sex. There’s something more in it.

What was it like making the music video for it?
It was strange. We shot in one day. The main day was hard. My boyfriend at the time broke up with me over it. He had a hard time swallowing how dark it was. It has this innocence about it but it is dark. I wanted to make it uncomfortable. I just couldn’t explain it to him. It was an art piece.

 Upcoming 2014 Tour Dates

9/13

9/18

9/19

9/20

9/21        

9/22

9/23

9/24

9/26

San Diego, CA – Music Thing Fest 91X Stage

Los Angeles, CA – The Echo

Minneapolis, MN – Mill City Nights

Iowa City, IA – Blue Moose Tap House

St. Louis, MO – 105.7 The Point Big Summer Show

Chicago   –  WKQX Queued Up At House Of Blues

Houston, TX  – The Studio at Warehouse Live

Dallas, TX – Trees

Tucson, AZ – The Rock


Jeff

 
Jeff started writing about rock ’n’ roll some 20 years ago when he stood in the pouring rain to hitch hike his way to see R.E.M. on their Life’s Rich Pageant tour. Since that time, he's written for various daily newspapers, alt-weeklies, magazines and websites. Feel free to comment on his posts or suggest music, film and art to him at jeff@whopperjaw.net.