Soundtrack for a Hurricane: DIY Band Meek Is Murder Says "The Meek Will Not Inherit the Earth."
Meek Is Murder might be the perfect soundtrack for a hurricane. The Brooklyn grindcore trio's EP Into The Sun Where It Falls From the Sky (released today) blasts your ears with five tracks that collectively clock in at less than eight minutes. Each song offers a brief but powerful gust of ferocity.
Those who follow extreme music may not have heard of Meek Is Murder, but they probably know the website Metal Injection, which delivers real-time news of all things happening in heavy music. (The site earns about one million page views per month and on Twitter has over 31K followers.) Metal Injection co-founder Frank Godla is the drummer of Meek Is Murder. Mike Keller (who goes by his last name) is Meek's guitarist and principal songwriter, and he coded the Metal Injection iPhone app.
Despite the band members' web domination, Meek's music is relatively little-known, due to a staunch DIY stance and a refusal to leverage the enormous Metal Injection fan base to promote the band.
We asked Keller, Godla, and bassist Sam Broadwax to discuss this minimal approach to self-cross-promotion--as well as the whiplash intensity of their music and (rather hazardous) live performances.
Many of your songs are short bursts of fury. Why do you like writing brief songs?
MK: In this Internet generation, attention spans are short, and life is fleeting. A song should have a point, of course, but I find repetitive choruses self-indulgent at times.
SB: Think about it this way: my train ride to work is about 25 to 35 minutes. It rules when I can listen to two whole albums in one sitting.
How and when did Meek Is Murder come together?
MK: I recorded the first Meek song by myself in Santa Cruz in 2005 and posted it to some message boards. People really liked it, so I wrote and recorded a song per day the following three days. Those songs ended up on the Mosquito Eater EP.
FG: I met Keller while he was playing with [grindcore band] The Red Chord. It was inevitable since The Red Chord might be the most-interviewed band in Metal Injection history. Keller gave me a CD of his solo project. I instantly fell in love with it...I usually refer to the start of the "band" when all three of us were writing for Algorithms in late 2009 and early 2010.
Your music seems complex and tightly composed. What do you think of the description "math metal"?
MK: No complaints here. Metal is pretty cool, and math is certainly awesome. I usually just tell people we're a punk band.
Keller, you seem like a mellow guy. Where does the explosive energy of your live performances come from?
MK: Vegetables. Black coffee.
Have you ever had any onstage mishaps during your performances?
SB: I once took a huge dive off a small stage, kicked Keller's pedal board off, thereby unplugging the guitar, and seriously hurt my wrist. I've knocked over cymbals. I regularly hit people in the audience, spill drinks, snap bass strings, break cables. The list goes on.
MK: I was so hot and exhausted after one of our first shows I threw up. One time I hit myself in the head with my guitar and wouldn't stop bleeding. We have broken every piece of gear at least once.
Why did you choose the name Meek Is Murder?
MK: It's from a lyric off the first Mosquito Eater EP (and also the name of a song). The meek won't inherit the earth because they spend their whole lives waiting. If you want something done, you have to do it yourself. It was sort of a personal mantra and seemed fitting for a band that started as a solo project.
How is it that almost every metalhead knows Metal Injection, but Meek Is Murder is still underground?
FG: I personally think shameless self-promotion is incredibly tacky and not something I'd ever want to be accused of. I like to be able to look at everything I have and know it's because I busted my ass for it...Even though I know a lot of people, I let them come to me if they're genuinely interested. I'd like to think we earn everything we get because we're a good band.