We recently conducted an interview with MeMe Detroit before their performance here at The Snug on the 23rd of April, READ BELOW!
Who are your biggest musical influences?
MeMe: As a whole, myself and the band have quite an eclectic taste. For me, my biggest influences have been classic greats such as the likes of Foo Fighters (My heart goes out to everyone affected by the heartbreaking news of our beloved Taylor Hawkins recently) and Radiohead. But then I love anything that moves me emotionally from old skool ska to EDM and pop and beyond. Strong women performers were a huge influence on me growing up, artists such as PJ Harvey, Madonna and Sia, right through to Miss Lauryn Hill. Kallum’s influenced by his 2 all-time favourites Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Pink Floyd then Joey’s hugely into his pop-punk. So together there’s quite the variety there which is a great blessing when it comes to writing new material.
What are your favourites parts of performing LIVE?
KALLUM: There’s just something magical about performing live, it’s hard to explain. People listen to our music and it’s an amazing feeling knowing people enjoy it, but it’s on another level playing directly to them in the same room. When you play well, the audience reacts – their singing along and their cheers inspire us and make us play better. It is to this positive feedback loop that I owe some of my best live playing, and from which I extract the energy to absolutely smash up the drum kit.
MeMe: Yeah! Totally…what Kall said, for me nothing beats that buzz and that connection with our crowd. To pinpoint favourite parts….ALL of it haha. For me, the audience is as much a part of us and the shows as we are. It feels like one big beautiful musical cohesion and I guess for me, that’s the best part.
Do you have any LIVE performance bloopers that you can recall?
KALLUM: Bloopers happen more often than we’d probably like to admit. Just recently at our last gig, my bass pedal beater decided that it wanted to strike it out alone and ditched me midway through our first song. We’ve taken to calling such issues ‘technical opportunities’ in order to keep a positive mental attitude. For example, while I was fixing the pedal, MeMe and Joey continued into Mean Rock ‘n’ Roller with a more acoustic feel, which ramped up once I jumped back in. Now, if my pedal hadn’t broken, the audience wouldn’t have experienced a slightly different and irregular rendition of the song – so there’s always a silver lining.
We love Meme Mondays here at The Snug and I know a few of our customers do too, What brought about this idea?
MeMe: MeMe Mondays basically came about from the pandemic. What started out as just playing a handful of songs every Monday, just to help stay connected to our fans, grew and turned into this amazing community where we all meet up virtually, I play some music of course but we also just chat and hang out via the chatbox on Facebook, Youtube and Twitch. It’s created what I can only describe as a newfound family, there’s so much unconditional love amongst everyone and through it, new friendships have formed outside of MeMe Detroit too which is such a wholesome and awesome thing to witness. It started off as just something to do whilst we were all on lockdown as well as to help people by providing a bit of weekly light entertainment….and it still continues to this day. In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s the 2 year anniversary soon! That’s mental!
How and when did the band form?
MeMe: After departing from an old band, I decided to break out on my own. I had a good chunk of material and a good friend of mine (Alastair Jamieson) invited me over to his studio to lay down an album. That’s kind of where it all started. I put that record out in January 2016 but I feel that the band didn’t really start until a year or 2 after that release. It took me a while to properly find myself and then of course the joining of Kallum and Joey has just taken it to that next level. I feel we’re a great unit now that just keeps going from strength to strength (even if we have just had a pandemic ha). I’m looking forward to hitting the live circuit ground running this year!
How did you guys cope as a band during the COVID lockdown?
MeMe: I, unfortunately, caught Covid in March 2020 the same week we went on lockdown and it kicked off a 20-month adventure with Long Covid aftermath. I’ll be honest it was mega tough and totally rank (I’m still affected by it today but SO much better than I was) so for me personally, my main priority was getting my strength and health back. We did, however, manage to put out a single towards the end of 2020 ‘Mean Rock N Roller’. We had a pre-production demo recording of the track and the Amazing Thomas Mitchener worked his mixing magic to make it into a releasable track. There were some extra added bits I had to record at home on Garage band haha…it wasn’t exactly ideal but I’m well proud of what we put out. We also (off the back of MeMe Mondays) asked our fan community (now called our Mean Rock N Rollers :)) to help us make the video for it. The dedication and commitment that came through for it all blew us away.