Interview with Steve Kille - Dead Meadow


Dead Meadow have been together for a few years now, they've published one great record after the other, before on Joe Lally's Tolotta records and now on Matador. Their new album Feathers came out a few months ago and we sent a few questions to Steve Kille.Here are his answers.

1.I remember the first time I heard DeadMeadow I was immediately hooked: the things that came to my mind were so diverse from what I listened in the majority of other bands; there was a different kind of urgency in DM…When you started the band was the direction you took clear to you or was it a natural evolution?

Steve.I think it was clear that we wanted to do something different then what was going on around us. Maybe an anti-DC DC band. Not that what was going on there wasn't cool or viable but it was a chance to have our own musical experience. Once the initial sound was set in motion it of course like all bands it developed and began to represent all the different sounds we were picking up and getting into.

2.I’ve always felt that both in your music and in your lyrics the narrative component was a big part – it’s so difficult for a band to accomplish this and you have since your very first record – how do you think DM has accomplished to create such a distinctive feel?

Steve. I think we have always been fan of song oriented bands. The Stones rocked and made beautiful music but if you listen to vocals it becomes amazing. If a band can't capture all elements it is not a very good band. I am sorry, but to my ear you need to be strong in all areas to be solid. Of course music can be minimal but it needs to be right.. it needs the secret soulful part... decent lyrical content helps move it along.

3.Feathers is, in my opinion, a different record from Shivering Kings & Others; I feel that both in the structure and the sound there have been some changes, did this happen unconsciously between all of you? And having a new band member has helped you along this line?

Steve. I think it was pretty conscious decision to go about this new record differently. I don't think it is good to try to redo what we have already done so where SK was a record we wrote in the studio we wanted to make Feathers more of tight and worked out sound. Having more people to bounce off ideas with and more importantly be able to perform the music live in the studio helped a bunch to keep the tightness and live feel. It is even more interesting to me hearing some SK songs on live tapes we make from shows. They are so different and closer to what is happening on Feathers but then maybe that isn't right to the audience since they are familiar with the recorded material.

4.How have things been working with Matador, since this is your second record with them, are you happy the way things are going? Have you ever felt the need to start your own label or maybe start recording\producing other musicians music?

Steve. Matador has been great. Things can always be better, but that is the music industry. It is a hard business from the major down to the kid putting out his friend's band in his basement.. There is a ton of work to do.

Recently I have been producing some bands.. the Child Ballads who are exJonathan Fireeater... amazing stuff.

5.How does the writing process work for you? Do you stumble on ideas while jamming or does each band member bring in his ideas to work on? Did you have all the songs ready before entering the studio to record Feathers or did some writing take place while recording?

Steve. Basically we do create a bunch of the initial ideas during jamming and then take them to the next level by tweaking out sitting around the practice space debating different options. Of course there is some material the individual members bring in and that also goes through the process. Where Shvering King was a work in progress most of the Feathers songs we worked out in demos before going into a studio.

6.As a listener I’ve always wondered what kind of records you felt like inspiring to make music – and aside from the obvious influences that come across in your music – what bands are you into right now?

Steve.We have been digging a bunch of hiphop, old Wutang. I have been enjoying Super Furry Animals a lot recently... We are sort of record collectors at heart. anything goes.

7.How was it do start DM in Washington DC, and now that a few years have passed how do you feel people have reacted to your music in the place you live? Have you – as a person or as a band - ever considered moving somewhere else or are you happy about living in Washington DC?

Steve.Well I think the scene has lightened up a bit over the years. Probably the whole music scene everywhere in the states is a little more laid back now from New York to LA. When we started there was sort of a pretension that ran through a bunch of punk rock. I guess what was once this "real" scene was replaced by college punk kids trying to protect their cool level by hiding behind name dropping hip movies and books, I am guilty of that too. I think now in the circular nature of humanity the DC experience and probably of most places I have been seem more natural and toned down. Maybe people are enjoying life a little more? I prefer it that way... though at the moment I live in New York city DC is still a beautiful and amazing place... probably the prettiest city on the east coast.

8.I think you’re about to go on a full Us tour, are you looking forward to it? Did you record anything that didn’t end up on Feathers that you might want to release in the future, maybe as an ep? Do you already have new material on witch you are working on?

Steve. We actually just finished the tour and it was a great experience. Lots of inspiring shows and new friends. Certainly was a boost for future gigs. As for new material and I think we are always working on new material. We are fairly serious about it and have a bunch of recording gear to keep the songs flowing... so hopefully there will be not only a single but maybe a new record around the corner.

Thank you very much Steve for having this interview with us.



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