Saturday, July 14, 2012

Album Review & Interview with Mr. Meeble - Nostalgic for Now EP, Star Power Single

Mr. Meeble is an electronic glitch rock band from Phoenix, AZ. They just released their latest album and first in three years - "Nostalgic For Now." The album is a collection of music that captures the spectrum of introspection and emotion that nostalgia creates. Its electronic-oriented percussion and ambient synthetic overtones evoke a sort of happy-sad feeling - that contradictory experience of looking back on amazing times with both fondness and regret. Don't get me wrong - this isn't sad music. Mr. Meeble creates a very meaningful energy with this approach.

The single "Star Power" is a perfect example of this balance. Its chilled and glitchy wave of percussion drives you forward and relaxes at the same time, while melodic elements create space in the song which the vocals fill perfectly - telling the story of a man who longs to return (or remain?) in the world of another who makes him reach the upper limits of his potential. The video for the song is also incredible. It's a representation of what it'd be like to see Mr. Meeble live. Devin, the band leader, dons a mask called the "Ghost Portal" which projects an eerie but compelling visual of his likeness on a giant screen.

Mr. Meeble connected with me to share their new album and the video for "Star Power." I did a short interview with Devin, the band leader, and they've made a free download of Star Power available for one week only - announced exclusively via Downbeatscape! CLICK HERE FOR THE FREE TRACK (via Soundcloud)

Downbeatscape: Why the 3-year hiatus between albums? What was the impetus for a new one?

Devin, Mr. Meeble: Well, we have a lot of other things going on and 3 years goes by faster than I wish it did. I don't make a living from Mr. Meeble, so I have to juggle quite a few things. Add to that my tendency to be a perfectionist, and there you go. No real impetus - we just finally got a video done so
we released the EP.

DBS: There's a lot of emotion in your music. How does the balance between analog and electronic elements help create this emotion?

MM: Emotion is kind off an intangible component of music, but yet so fundamental. I would hope that our music feels like something... anything. Nothing annoys me like hollow music. As far as electronic and organic elements go - I don't know if we balance the two. I like both, I need both. Why not have both? Maybe Mr. Meeble is something like the corpus callosum. Right meets left.

DBS: What does "downtempo" mean to you? How does your music fits into your definition, if at all?

MM: Not sure what it really means, other than a very literal meaning of slower tempos. We use a lot of slowish to mid tempos, but I also really like fast tempos, so go figure.

DBS: What is it like to wear the "Ghost Portal?"

MM: I would like to answer something like "exhilarating" or "surreal" - but in reality it's a bit heavy and quite awkward. The only joy I get is sensing the energy of the crowd. The last time I wore it, I could really feel the peaked attention - a strange mix of wonder, excitement and confusion. That's fun, no doubt, but I still couldn't wait to take it off.

DBS: More and more artists are adding aesthetic entertainment elements - like the "Ghost Portal" - to their live shows. How do you see the live experience evolving ?

MM: Are more bands doing stuff like that? I still see a TON of bands touring with zero visuals. I don't know much about the future of the music business, except that music will continue to exist. I'm pretty sure about that. Oh yeah, did I mention that I love lasers?

DBS: What's your favorite song on Nostalgic for Now?

MM: hmmm... I would have to say Gift, with Star Power being a close second. I dunno why, I just resonate most with Gift. It's hard to pick a favorite when you've spent so many hundreds of hours deep inside of the innards of these tracks. I think artists lose all sense of objectivity.

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