Last spring, Life+Times premiered indie songwriter and songstress Meg Myers’ “Heart Heart Head” video. Much like the intense visual aesthetic of the video (she drags a fiery dead tree!), Meg’s powerful vocals along with her potent soul piercing lyrics highlights her vulnerability and emotional fearlessness. “I think one of my biggest times that I’ve grown as a songwriter and just human in general has been just really this past year,” Meg says. Her growth as both an artist and person will be even more evident on Meg’s debut album as it’s already a stunning feature of her two previously released EPs – Daughter In The Choir and Make a Shadow.
You can catch Meg at this weekend’s Governors Ball Music Festival in NYC. She’ll also be performing in select cities this summer. Here, Life + Times catches up with the songbird during a pit stop while touring with Broods.
Life+Times: Not that I sing or anything, but I’m insanely jealous that your toured with the Pixies. You have to tell me how that was.
Meg Myers: It’s funny yesterday I went to get breakfast at a diner and after playing [Music Hall of] Williamsburg the night before and when I went into the diner they were playing Pixies, like, their album. I was like, ‘Oh, that’s random.’ I know it’s a popular band to play, but just the next day when I go in, like, I had opened for the Pixies at Williamsburg the last time I was in New York. It was cool. Yeah, we did two shows in LA and one show in New York. We didn’t really hang with them that much, but we met them. They’re so nice. We’ve been really lucky with the bands that we’ve got to play with so far. We’re all, like, really big fans. It was a huge privilege and, like, yeah. It was awesome. It was cool too because it was a little nerve racking playing to their crowd because that’s none of our fans. We definitely won some fans, and like, the crowd seemed to have really loved it too.
L+T: That’s good. To your point, the crowd was there to see the Pixies, but I know personally for me as a journalist and music fan, that’s the best way of finding out who’s up-and-coming. That exposure is good. I see the correlation and it makes sense that you opened for them because lyrically you have a ton of songs and they all have a lot of depth and rawness to them. The Pixies also with their lyrics is the same. Not too far-fetched.
MM: Yeah, it’s all really a raw thing.
L+T: I know you’re a solo artist, but obviously for your EPs and when you’re touring you have a band. Tell me a little about them. Have you known some of these guys or girls for a while? How did you get your band together?
MM: The cello player – me and my producer met him like a couple of years ago. We found him through a friend or something and we had him play cello on “Monster.” He plays on the recording. And we just were just like, ‘Hey! Would you be down to do a few shows with us?’ He said, “Yeah” and after a few shows he gradually was a part of this. He said he was gonna be dedicated and stuff. That was awesome because we really like him and he’s just really amazing.
Sam, my drummer, like I’ve known him since I was 20. I’ve known him for like seven years…when I needed a drummer I just asked him. It was cool because we were already like good buddies. The guitarist is the newest member. We’ve only played a few shows with him. My producer was playing guitar, triggering all of the tracks and stuff and he did the Pixies show with us and everything. It was like, ‘He manages you and produces you, we need to get somebody else to play guitar.’ We just hired Michael recently. (Laughs) Speaking of the devil… (Michael steps inside the tour van)
L+T: So, that’s cool. They all have diverse and different stories. As far as songwriting goes, I find that for both Daughter In The Choir and Make a Shadow – I appreciate both those EPs – they both tell a story. It’s like taking a snapshot of a diary by Meg. When you write these songs, do they serve as a catharsis for you? Tell me more about your process.
MM: Yeah it is. Every song, even though they’re all different, in a way they’re all about the same thing. It’s just about my life and the things that I go through and feel. I think more than anything just things that I feel which I think it’s hard for me finding meanings of them a lot at times. I give it my best shot, but like, I feel like words never do the songs justice because I have these deep emotions. That’s the only way for me to express them to get them out in that way through writing music, melodies, and these lyrics. Yeah, it’s the most therapeutic thing for me. Even though it’s very therapeutic, it’s also deadly. It’s really dark for me sometimes too. That’s kind of everything for me and with performing. I love it and it feels so good, but it’s also so emotional. I want to let it out, but then I let it out and I feel more after that. Then, I need to cry or something. It’s weird.
L+T: No, I understand. The fact that you’re honest with yourself about exactly what it is you write about – that speaks volumes. The golden question that I’m sure you’re getting asked this a lot and you can’t get mad. I know you’re working on an album. How is that coming along and do you have a date set?
MM: We’re working on it. We’ve been writing songs and working on a little bit of production, but we haven’t really dove into the production part of it yet. There will be a few songs off of both EPs on the album. Actually, quite a few of the songs will be on the album, but there’ll be a bunch of new songs. We just really need to figure out what songs we want to put on it. We’re still writing a little bit more. We still want to write a good 5-10 more songs. We don’t have an exact date, but I think some time at the end of this year or early next year; and I feel like it’s gonna end up being early next year. It just seems more realistic because we want it to be good.
L+T: You don’t have to put a timestamp on anything. Don’t let anyone rush you. Based off of interviews I’ve read, you’re compared to Fiona Apple and Alanis Morissette. I don’t believe in comparing songwriters, so I won’t do that to you. What I find interesting is your list of inspiration – Sting, Nirvana, and Fleetwood Mac. How have these muses coupled with your background in music – such as what you also listened to as a child – molded your overall sound?
MM: I think I grew up listening to a lot of classic rock [and] so many different styles. I listened to a lot of classic rock, I listened to Enya, and I listened to a lot of classical music and jazz. I got so into the whole grunge scene in the ‘90s and a lot of folk music. I think all of that has definitely made me not who I am, but a lot of it has. Growing up you see things and you hear things that you like. I take the things I do like out of everyone and maybe that’s inspired [me] to add into my own thing and my own sound. It’s not a conscious thing, it just becomes a part of my songwriting. I’m sure that’s for everybody. What you listen to, you bring that in and that becomes added into your style. I grew up hearing a lot of people playing and sounding like something else and like that was one thing that even if it was good, that’s the one thing I never wanted to do. Even though I was inspired by the things around me, I still wanted to be my own person and make my own sound. I think the only way to do that is if you really feel what you’re doing, go for it, and pull that out whatever you’re feeling. However it comes out, that’s you. That’s who you are.
Meg Myers Tour Dates:
June 8 – New York, NY – Governors Ball Music Festival
June 9 – Brooklyn, NY – School Night Party @ Brooklyn Bowl
July 11 – Cincinnati, OH – Bunbury Music Festival
August 2 – Chicago, IL – Lollapalooza Music Festival