Meg Myers is a musician that you can't put into a corner. Not only because her music is different than that of her peers, but also because she'd probably kick you if you tried. Hearing her on record is one thing, but seeing her live is truly an experience, one that'll leave you quite stunned for days after.

Meg is currently gearing up to release her debut album, Sorry, and with that comes a massive tour schedule to support it. Ken Grand-Pierre met up with her recently in NYC to find out what fans can expect from the new album.


"I write from my heart, and I have to write from experiences. So to do that with another person is... it's very huge."

So last time I saw you was at Governors Ball and it was super early on a Sunday but you played such an exhilarating set. Nobody knew what to expect but you totally won over the crowd. When did you start playing live like that and what informed such ferocity for your live shows.

Wow, well thank you! I started playing a couple of years ago without holding an instrument at all. It was a first for me because I didn't spend my entire life wanting to play music or knowing how to play music. I picked up the bass when I was about thirteen, and played coffee shops with a guitar and stuff like that. I played in a punk band with my brother and I think that experience helped me towards how I perform live now. I've never been able to perform on stage without an instrument; it just always scared me a bit.

I started working with my producer, we put out an EP and then came the inevitable of 'we have to put a live show' which I just didn't think about much until the time came. So the live show was somewhat born from that [laughs] especially our first rehearsals. I remember he'd go 'you should move around a bit more...' and I'd be like 'Don't tell me what to do! If I move around it'll come from my heart!' and then we played our first show and he was a bit taken aback by the energy [laughs]. Being on stage to me is just an extension of being able to exert myself and just being as expressive as possible.

It was interesting reading up on the working relationship between you and your producer (Andy Rosen, aka Doctor Rosen Rosen). There seems to be a lot of mutual trust there.

Yeah! We've been working together for about five years now. It took us a little time to really find our niche together but there was definitely something magical from the get go between us. Over time it's just gotten better and better. It took me a while to open up but after I finally did... he's just become the only person I can really do that with. The only one I can really expressive myself with in that environment. We work on the music 50/50, so whenever we're in the studio writing lyrics... I write from my heart, and I have to write from experiences. So to do that with another person is... it's very huge.


" I've never really been that great with finding the right words for a feeling or a situation. I'm all emotion."

That is something that's quite massive. I think it's only just now that people are starting to realize what a massive task it is being a producer, and how crucial the relationship is between artist/producer.

And they do so much. There are songs on the album where it feels like he wrote more of the lyrics than me. It's definitely 50/50 but I feel that way because I'll sing something and he'll find a way to take my words and make them understandable for others. I've never really been that great with finding the right words for a feeling or a situation. I'm all emotion and he just knows how to shape things well for an audience.

That must be especially important considering how a song changes so much from beginning to end. You announced the title of your album today (Sorry). What was it like creating it and how does it feel to have it ready for the world?

It's been hard work. It's been a lot harder than I expected. So what happened was 'Desires' got received well on the radio, and that happened without a massive push for it, it just happened. So after releasing that we were supposed to make the album but all these opportunities came up that we couldn't say no to. Opportunities to play festivals and tour. The last couple of years have been a whirlwind, especially last year. I'm super grateful for all of it but because of that we didn't have a lot of time to work on the album. So all of the sudden a few months back it was kind of a realization of 'wow things have taken off...'

That made the last couple of months kind of tough because I do love performing, I do love being a musician and writing but it was just a big realization of... it just made writing harder, just knowing an album had to come from it.

I can imagine how brutal that'd be. Especially considering how tedious being in a studio can be.

It totally is! You have to sing the same parts over and over and for me I always want to put emotion into my vocals so it can be very trying to do so after spending so many hours in a studio. I hope it all pays off because I feel very good about the album. Rosen is getting the album done now with mixes so I've been listening to those on my headphones [laughs].

Well I'm sure it'll pay off, especially because you have an audience that you want to return to, that you want to play for. It must be rewarding living that.

Yeah! It feels great being able to go out and play shows again. Tonight (at Webster Hall, NYC) we'll be playing four new songs, including our new single, 'Sorry'. There are still some songs on the album that we have to learn as a band still. It's such a massive process and it all has to happen so we can go out and play the album.


"I feel that I've done so much growing especially over the last four years, and I've come to find that there are things that I love doing just as much as music. "

One of the things that struck me when I read about you was how often the term 'expressing oneself' came up in relation to you - how you always feel a need to express yourself. What do you feel was the start of that need and do you find that need to be just as important now?

I think I've now found other things and... I'm growing, I'm twenty-eight, and I think my perspective on life is just always changing. When I started writing music I was an angsty teenager, and an angsty twenty-something. I feel that I've done so much growing especially over the last four years, and I've come to find that there are things that I love doing just as much as music. I think that's important, to find those other outlets and to just feel fulfilled in your life.

I think that's important too, because without those moments you could find yourself lost in things, even if you love something so much.

Exactly. And I'll always love music and want to be a part of it. We all use music in our lives and that is so important to me, having music in my life. But there are other things I love too, like animals and nature. There are things in the world that move me just as much as music and it provides balance in my life. I think balance is such an important thing to have. All my music is quite dark so to have balance in my life is very important.

Your music is quite dark but what sets it apart to me is that it's very relatable.

Thank you! Well I think if you're going to have dark music than it better be relatable! [laughs]

Otherwise you're just listening to Charles Manson's soundtrack...

Exactly! It (music) has got to help you out in life some way. It can be dark music but if the sadness and anger are relatable than it can truly mean something. There are two songs on the album I'm really proud of called 'Motel' and 'Feather'. They are dark songs but I feel that there's also a strong element of hope in the lyrics, especially in the chorus. I wanted to find a way to express myself while being able to show people that there is hope. As I've gotten older that's just become something I really want to do.

When you were writing the album and going through your hardships, did you find solace in other things apart from music that helped you to write? Especially considering how more aware you are towards loving other things now.

That's a good question. I think that the songwriting itself has remained the same, and went about the same way but I think the music itself is just changing, especially because of whatever it is I'm going through. I'm finding myself being influenced by other emotions and not being scared about that. It's just not about being angry and sad as much anymore.


"To feel sick all day and then to go on stage and see an audience being so kind to you every night really made me think 'oh wow I have to give back more then just angry and darkness.'"

Do you think that element of anger came from being young?

Absolutely, it definitely did. When you're younger you rarely feel focused with your emotions and now that I'm getting older I just feel... there's got to be hope [laughs]. It sounds so cheesy but that's just where I am now.

Well that definitely does come with age. When you are older you start to realize that hope itself can be an emotion and that it's just as much for you as it is for others around you.

It's such a powerful thing and it doesn't... like when you're younger you associate hope and happiness with corniness and 'ew I don't want to be that, it's not cool.' But when you're older you realize 'wow hope is beautiful.' I mean it can still be chessy and 'ew get that away from me' but I'm realizing now that hope can be beautiful and relatable.

One of the bands I work with often is Royal Blood and I saw that you toured with them last year! What was it like opening up for their audience?

Oh wow, I love those guys! That was such a great tour because they're such a talented group but also just genuine human beings. They're two super mega dorky guys [laughs]. I specifically loved touring with them because their fans... they're a band that plays 100% for their fans and their fans are just true music lovers. I've been on a couple of tours where you could feel the casualness of the crowd towards the music but Royal Blood fans are just all about the music 100% They'll dance and mosh like other audiences but you can tell that they're paying attention and taking it all in.

And Royal Blood are such a heavy band so it felt nice to open for a band that my music complements. I've opened up for some folky acts and pop acts in the past, and I've liked that but it's just really nice to finally have opened up for a band as heavy as me.

Has the experience of touring with a band like that gone onto the album?

Mmm... that's a good question. Well this is a bit of a segue but I actually got really sick during that tour [laughs]. Literally no sleep, and crazy long drives that made it very exhausting. And with touring you really don't get as much physically activity as you need. So going back to touring with them and writing, I think that going through all of that is when I wrote 'Motel', at least I think it is [laughs]. But honestly, I was sick a lot of last year while touring and I think a lot of that made me realize how I needed hope in my life. To feel sick all day and then to go on stage and see an audience being so kind to you every night really made me think 'oh wow I have to give back more then just angry and darkness.'

I'll always remember that tour though because those guys especially were just super kind to me, even though they barely knew me and that really meant a lot, even with me being so sick [laughs].


"I guess that's just another example of getting older, you realize that there's so much you said you'd never do that you end up doing."

Lastly, is there a venue that you're looking forward to playing again and a venue you're looking forward to playing for the first time.

Mmm... to be honest...

... no?

No [laughs]. I'm sure venues are going to hate me for that but it honestly has nothing to do with venues, it's just that the crowds differ so much from show to show. I think above everything else I'm looking forward to how the crowds will change and shift as the tour goes on.

And that can be a positive experience because it'll make you experience different things.

Totally, especially the smaller rooms. Last year really made me realize that I actually love the smaller rooms over the bigger rooms. But I think that's probably from never headlining a really big place.

I don't mind supporting musicians, and I know I'll be doing more of it but I just really love being able to play for my own audience. There's just this intoxicating energy about headlining shows that make everything difficult that can happen in a day worth it. Seeing people singing along to your songs is just amazing.

I remember reading once that Bruce Springsteen found all his energy for his three to four hour concerts by looking at the audience and seeing how badly they wanted him to play music for them.

It's so beautiful! I Was joking around with my band yesterday about how sometimes singers give their fans the microphone to sing and I used to say I'd never do that [laughs] but now I'm starting to realize that I probably would. Actually, I've probably done it already once or twice. I guess that's just another example of getting older, you realize that there's so much you said you'd never do that you end up doing but the best part about it is that it isn't so bad, it's not bad at all.


Meg Myers' debut album, Sorry, is out this summer. Check out the title-track below.