By Eileen Tilson
The Meat Puppets are just one of those bands you pledge your allegiance to. With fellow dedicated pledgees like Nirvana, Soundgarden, and countless other iconic bands, you are in very great company. We chatted with the legendary Curt Kirkwood as he was feeding his birds, and the conversation is filled with new words including, “band-amateur.” The band plays The Earl this Saturday as part of the Little Five Points Fest.
The Meat Puppets are referenced as influencing some of the most well respected bands in rock, what do you think of the current music scene? Are there any bands you see as being influential?
Man, I am not much of a critic! The only thing I recently heard was Maroon 5 with Christina Aguilera, doing a song about Mick Jagger. The thing is I never thought we were cool. MTV was making people look really good, and we were there just doing our thing. Musicians want the young people to like them. Things like American Idol and the charts, those are just scrambling to make more money. I just believe that it is about finding your audience and playing towards them. There are so many people playing right now, I swear Hell is full of Band-amateurs.
What is the main difference you see between the MP’s circa 1995 and the band as it is today?
Well in the 80’s the hope of a band was not to get signed, cause no one was signing! People were just playing to whoever would come out to a show. A band toured….a lot, with the thought that maybe with each record “this one would be the one to make it.” I just think maybe now we spend a little more time going through our songs. We don’t have any misguided ambitions anymore.
What inspires you?
Music inspires me. Well in its purist sense where it remains fun. I never want to become the goose that lays the golden egg, and then hopes it doesn’t sour. I have been really into model building lately, kind of becoming my hobby.
We do a series called 5 GB, would you be a part of it?
First gig you ever went to?
Cheech & Chong! My mom took us, and it was like being in the Black Market. My second concert and first rock concert was David Bowie, when I was like 14-15. It is was back in the Diamond Dogs days, and all I kept thinking, is here is what you are not. You gotta remember I never wanted to be a musician. I moved to the back country of Ontario when I was 17, fully intending to be a Park Ranger, or something like that. I clearly didn’t make the cut, and came back home looking for something else cool to do. Music just sort of happened.
Best show you’ve ever performed at?
These last few shows with Soundgarden and Queens of the Stone Age have been awesome. It got me back on stage with that feeling of surfing. They got me into that other worldly space inside my head.
Best show you’ve ever been to?
George Jones is great. Wide range of emotions that man inspires. Lynyrd Skynyrd was one of the best shows I have ever seen. Lots of Grateful Dead shows, but haven’t seen them since Garcia died.
Gig you would most like to play?
Playing with Soundgardern is always great. I would love to get all my friends together on one stage. The festivals would be nice…honestly, as long as there is a show, I’ll be there.
Dream Lineup for a gig?
Hank Williams and Led Zeppelin. And you gotta throw some Jimi Hendrix on there. Let’s just put all the greats on one stage!
The Meat Puppets play The Earl, Saturday 9/24