We Chat to Meat Puppets' Frontman Ahead Of Australian Tour

We Chat to Meat Puppets' Frontman Ahead Of Australian Tour

The Meat Puppets are one of the most important alternative bands of the last 30 years. In fact, they influenced the majority of the most important acts of the last 20. There you go, how 'bout that. That's why you should check them out at Astor Rocks on the 2nd of June in Perth. Or for interstate readers, the other dates at the bottom of the page, along with some awesome art show tickets!

Alex Griffin caught up with Curt Kirkwood regarding touring, musical transformations and art.

What's it like playing in a band with your son? How have you been finding that experience? Was it something you ever imagined happening when he was growing up?

It's great playing with him. We sound good together and he's a really fun musician to jam with. I never thought about it happening when he was growing up...we never really played together until he was a teenager and had started his own bands then we began to do some acoustic tours together. 
What (else) do you enjoy about the touring lifestyle these days? How do you find the audiences and your relationship to them changing?

I love the opportunity to travel and see the sights and to meet new people. At the end of the day you get to play music...always fun. The audiences change with every show. You never know how it's going to be and that's the way it's always been...that doesn't change but I really appreciate the way folks give us a chance to stretch out and explore by and large.

I read this quote from your original drummer, Derrick Bostrom: "We're not hardcore but we have a hard core," which I thought was really illuminating in terms of figuring out the Meat Puppets' to the whole SST and hardcore scene; I mean, I can't think of anyone who has a harder core than Hank Williams, for example. Has that idea been a guiding principle for you? 


It has. We've always been unafraid to try anything.

How has the way you go about writing songs changed over the last three decades?

That hasn't changed much. I just have to wait around until something starts to pop up in my head and then make sure I get it dow on tape. I've never been disiplined enought o tell myself "OK, time to sit down and write some music" ...that's never worked for me.

When you were making that transformation from a hardcore band to one that was still hard at core but playing a different kind of music, was it something that mainly came from being dissatisfied with the conformity and the nihilism of where the whole hardcore seemed to be heading?

That was part of it but at the same time it was just a natural impulse to want to explore different things in the band that we'd been tinkering with since we started...we didn't want to feel redundant.

What's it like to have Cris back in the band and healthy? Is it something you ever saw happening this time fifteen years ago?

It's great... I love playing with him and the band's not the same if he's not there. It's like business as usual, though I would have been hard put to predict this happening 15 years ago

This maybe a bit out of left field, but what are your thoughts on this whole Chad Channing not being included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? What do you think of a HALL OF FAME for rock music as a concept, like, putting music that's barely two decades old under glass?

That sucks for him. I love the stuff he played on. I don't really know what I think about any hall of fame...kinda reminds me of the song in the Wizard of Oz when the Munchkin tells Dorothy "you will be a bust in the hall of fame"...did he mean good bust or bad bust?

How big a part of the Meat Puppets identity to you was the visual side, your artwork on the record covers?

The artwork is mostly a hobby and has been a good way to have some fun with the covers without thinking about it too much. Over time I've come to associate the pictures with the tunes.

To me, Rat Farm was the kind of record you sorta take a big deep breath and just try and relax to: it's not a stress-free record, but it definitely feels like it deals with the idea of trying to put things down and be as carefree as possible. "Leave Your Head Alone", as it were. Does the kinda laid-backness of it reflect where you are personally these days?

I guess I'm pretty laid back but in a lot of ways I feel more twisted than ever...cool, calm and conflicted.

-Alex Griffin

Tickets are available at The Astor's website, huge lineup on that one, including The Hard-Ons, Brant Bjork (Kyuss), and local babes The Love Junkies, Axe Girl, The Shakeys, FAIM, Sun Gods, Doctopus, PainKillers, Coalminers Sect and Heard of Cows!


Meat Puppets are also playing a slew of dates nationally: 

Saturday 24th May 2014
$49.50 + BF. Doors 8:30PM / Tickets on sale Thu,17th April
Tix on sale via  www.mona.net.au 

Sunday 25th May 2014
MELBOURNE, CherryRock014 - VIC
12 Noon - 9:30PM Tix www.cherrybar.com.au

Tuesday 27th May 2014
Doors 7:30PM - ONLY $20.00 - Tix: Door Only

Wednesday 28th May 2014
Doors 7:30PM - Full band show
TIX: www.oztix.com.au On-Sale Monday 28th April.

Thursday 29th May 2014
ADELAIDE, Fowlers Live - SA
Doors 7:30PM
LTD TICKET FOR ART SHOW & GIG:  www.nightmaremusic.com.au

Friday 30th May 2014
Doors 7:30PM.
LTD TICKET FOR ART SHOW & GIG:  www.nightmaremusic.com.au

Saturday 31st May 2014
SYDNEY, CherryRock014 - NSW
From 2PM Tix www.factorytheatre.com.au

GALLERY - Groovin' the Moo, Bunbury, 2014

GALLERY - Groovin' the Moo, Bunbury, 2014

The Love Junkies - Flight Test EP

The Love Junkies - Flight Test EP