With just over a week until Farm Fest takes over Bruton, Somerset, I caught up with Meeking who are playing not one but two sets over the weekend. An album is on it’s way, there is a buzz in the air about their new single ‘Wheels’ and Theo’s birthday is coming up. It’s all going on at camp Meeking!
Hey guys! Exciting time for you with an album making it’s way to us in October. What has been involved in making this album? Have you had to overcome any hurdles to make it?
A huge amount of time! People talk about the ‘creative process’, but we’ve really stretched that phrase for all its worth! October will mark the 2-year anniversary when we started tracking the skeletal form of the album, and it’s really taken since then for us to get to a stage where we’re happy to say it’s finished. And that wasn’t easy either – our producers, James and Lottie at Orchard Studios, had to say to us ‘OK guys, enough is enough now’ – I think they knew we’d still be tinkering now and we needed someone else to say that. But it’s certainly been a labour of love; 2 years ago this summer the 3 of us plus James spent a week in a house over-looking the river Dart to write, and we came home with most of the album. It didn’t take long to get recording, but it certainly took time saying it was finished.
New single ‘Wheels’ was well received. Does this give you confidence in the album? How did you decide this would be your first single?
We didn’t really pick it as a ‘first single’, and actually that in itself has been hard because it’s quite difficult to represent the album in a single track. Although it’s been crafted as an album – and the tracks definitely have an inclusive feel about them – each song kind of has its own sound and can stand up on its own. Miguel approached us to do the video and we were very happy to use this track.
You worked with Miguel Santana Da Silva on the video for ‘Wheels’. How involved were you in the creative aspects of it? Did you go to him with an idea or was it based on his?
We were really grateful that Miguel found some time to squeeze us in. After his Arcane Roots video, he’s been even more busy but we grew up with Miguel and went to school with him, so it was really nice to be working with an old friend. And also, being that close with somebody, there was a real mutual respect and great level of trust on both parts. But basically we gave Miguel free run of the album and let him choose the song he felt he could get behind. He had a vision for Wheels, and I think it captures enough of everything from the album – a little darkness and grit, a nice tempo and feel but also some dark jazz thrown in for good measure!
Your heading to Farm Fest at the end of the month. What will you be bringing to the event?
A lot of energy and passion – we’re really excited to be playing and that we have the opportunity to share our music with new people. We put everything into our live shows and hopefully we’ll leave with a few new fans.
You are playing two slots are Farm Fest. How did that come about? Will there be differences between to two?
I think we got lucky! Jake’s played the event with a previous band before, but there’ll definitely be differences. We’re going out as us at 4pm – live, loud and full of energy, but we’ll also be playing an acoustic set at 8pm. And they’re always really fun to do to, because everything from the audience’s reception to how go back to each song’s roots and craft them back to something that’s worth sharing is always good fun.
Will you able to spend any time relaxing at the Festival? Will you be part taking in the cider rituals?
It’s actually Theo’s birthday that weekend, so we’re hoping to relax and enjoy the festival. We’ve got lots of friends playing which is always really nice to share the stages with friendly faces; there’s a great scene in the South West at the moment and a lot of great music which we’re fortunate to be a part of and share with a lot of good friends.
Where do the influences of Meeking come from? Where would you say your roots are?
I think the album has really captured our influences – John Mayer, Jeff Buckley and Eddie Vedder have all been name-dropped by people who have heard snippets of what we’ve released, which we’re very happy to agree with. It’s fair to say we’ve nodded to those artists, but as individuals our own tastes quite diversely come together in a melting pot of Incubus and Tool to Arcane Roots and a lot more inbetween. It’s important to keep listening to what’s out there, and it’s great to be able to draw on a huge range individually to refine into our sound when we come together.
You have spent quite a bit of time in the industry, how much would you say it has changed since you first started out?
I guess we’ve been fortunate to be more selective of the types of shows we play, and the time we’ve spent in the industry has afforded us the understanding about a show we might play. When you start off young and quite naïve you want to play everywhere to anyone that’s listening – now that we’re really trying to pay our way through releasing the album independently and all that comes with that, we want to make sure we’re working to build up a fan base whilst making sure we’ve got petrol money to get home!
If you could describe than band as a tv series. Which would it be and what would happen?
FRIENDS would be a really cheesy answer right…?! Let’s got with Band of Brothers haha.
And most importantly … Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead?
Collectively, it’s definitely GoT. If it’s just Theo and Jake, Walking Dead would be a very, very close second!