Interview – Dead Meadow

Taking their cues from the psychedelic heyday of the 60’s and hard rocking vibes of the 70’s, Dead Meadow’s acid jams have been expanding minds since 1998. Bassist Steve Kille told M3 all about their new album and life on the road…

M3 – First of all, could you tell us a bit about yourself, and what it is that you do?
Steve – I am Steve Kille, bass player for Dead Meadow. Recording Engineer, label head for a small indie and inspired and involved in creativity wherever I can.

What inspired you to form Dead Meadow? What is your own musical background?
Myself and Jason Simon, the guitar player/singer of the band, had been in a small but successful band when we were in high school that prematurely ended. We spent a couple years trying out different sounds and playing with different people and then while living in the same townhouse in DC after some time of revisiting 60’s and 70’s records and “Old Gray Whistle Test” video performances we got inspired to do Dead Meadow.

Many people have claimed that there is no longer any money in record sales, and that touring is the most efficient way to earn an income as a band. How much truth do you think there is in this sentiment?
Unfortunately completely. We as the music buying public have demanded everything to be free and devalued the medium and in the end made the voice of our time completely be unimportant. We are living in a time that does not really embrace our own culture and to make a mark. We are in the jaded time and for better or for worse to be a musician is not too different then that of a circus performer. It is a life now of the open road.

Do you feel the idea of an album, as a piece of art that people will listen to from start to finish, has been undermined or forgotten about in the digital age?
In a classic sense, no. I think plenty of people are still digging and experiencing tons of classic albums from start to finish  but for new material and new bands I think it is going to take time for it get the same attention.

Much has been made of the supposed death of the record store in recent years. Do you believe the digital age has killed the record store, and if so, do you think that this is a necessary part of progression, or a tragic loss?
Digital has definitely killed the big guys, but I think the small indie shop is really returning as albums are becoming more of a comic books store collector market. Its not a time for the mass population to dig what we all do but it is however the time of the connoisseur.

What is your take on the current SOPA/ACTA controversy?
Yes we invented and use the internet and probably without discretion at the demise of creative people but at the same time to regulate free speech is the end of the great society. We can’t change what we have and strangle the flow of information we just need to be creative in how to flurish from it and provide revenue for all of us that rely on money to continue our good deeds of the flow of art and music.

What would you say are the main challenges facing an up-and-coming musician/band in today’s cultural climate?
How to be able to survive financially to be able to create.

What do you personally believe the future of music distribution will look like?
I think it will be all about the traveling market place. Selling your items at your shows and selling direct to stores you personally know and get your head out of the myth that you can sell a million albums anymore. That was the past.

Finally, what does the future hold for Dead Meadow?
A new album, currently in the works.

For more information about Dead Meadow, check out their website and follow them on Facebook.

About M3 Event

The music industry is rapidly changing. The internet has enabled widespread piracy, as well as a variety of new business and distribution models. We want to offer an engaged audience in and around the Euregion an opportunity to develop a coherent and detailed picture of the future of music distribution. On the 31st of May 2012 a music conference in Maastricht, consisting of oppositional debates, creative workshops and lectures, will provoke opportunities for intellectual stimulation, debate, as well as networking. We hope to utilise the skills and ideas of some of most forward thinking minds and operators in the industry in order to highlight some promising new ideas and areas which can be improved upon.

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