'Rome's Liberal Commie Speaks Out!'
Bands tend to spring up out of nowhere recording and promoting themselves from the most popular cities to the smallest mud huts along a creek bed. Some of them come and go without anyone noticing. The more tenacious groups move ahead, and some go on to become famous, selling out numerous stadiums across the globe. One particular group from Rome GA started off with a dream of being one of those tenacious groups. There was a bit of a difference however… this small punk-influenced rock group had fans coming out of the woodwork, from chat rooms on the Internet to shows the band had played over a span of 12 tours nationwide all booked in classic DIY fashion.
They are known as Sloppy Meateaters.
It all started in 1999, when Sloppy Meateaters, (aka SME) recorded their first full-length album, Shameless Self Promotion. Shortly after the release of their debut CD, they entered a contest on the Farmclub TV program on the USA Network; where a band would be invited to perform live on the program if they received the most votes by its fans. With over 10,000 responses in less than two weeks time, Sloppy Meateaters went on to perform with Eminem, Mya, and MXPX. Afterward, SME agreed to a distribution deal with Orange Peal records and later signed a contract with the same label that same year.
In late 2004 the band started recording their new album titled Conditioned by the Laugh Track. With two new members, Seth Smith on bass, and Lee Howell on drums, both formerly from the band Punchdrunk, (and adding to both Josh Chambers – Vocals, Guitar, and John Elwell on Lead Guitar) the band has taken on a different face intellectually and musically.
Chatting recently with Josh Chambers, I first wondered where the bands name had originated? "A dead beat town. A back woods blue collar hoe down. The antithesis of high school football, God fearing Christian, and Blue Collar 9 to grind. It originates from a struggle to break the bubble
of the geological and cultural placement I happened to grow up in. I
could sense that I was being indoctrinated to be a cog in the wheel at
an early age, and I was punished and shunned accordingly. Sloppy Meateaters is our cape and mask, hiding ourselves and our motives from the mass thought police. They can't attack us if they can't get past giggling at our name. Plus, if we mess up and make a mistake in the future and wind up being a walmart sensation, imagine my delight at the thought of a billboard in Times square with a kid in pink socks and blue shoes sporting the new "SloppyMeateaters" clothing wear. At least the smart people will have something to giggle about."
What else could it so easily have been?! "The meticulous sprout eaters!"
With the new album entitled Conditioned by the Laugh Track, I'm
wondering if you have a comedic TV show favorite that has one of these
...? "I've replaced all memories of banal television programming with the sound of infinite oneness ... resonating nothing but happy
thoughts. A lie. A wishful lie, I still remember those wretched one
liner nothings. 7 minutes of mediocre dialogue/slap stick and then cut
to a billion dollar advertisement onslaught promoting an empty
superficial existence. Sorry to seem so agitated and cynical, but I'm
trying hard to dismantle the illusory popculture from my soul. Though
on a lighter note I do love Larry David!"
... and flashing back to the album at hand, which one song
encapsulates Sloppy Meateaters at their musical finest? "Musical Finest? I'm not sure, but I'd love to hear which one you think is. My favorite SME song is always the song not yet heard. The song still on the wood block. The next song is always the best song. It has to be, or there would be no bother to continue."
Being an independent artist always has its risks, so what has been
the biggest risk that you as a band have undertaken thus far? "Demanding respect for our musical and verbal contribution to
the universe, while proudly and unflinchingly calling ourselves "sloppy meateaters!" Swimming uphill and dodging all the sophomoric poppunk stereotypes. We were what we were. We is what we is."
In the beginning, your group motto was "No lives, friends, or jobs"
... does that still apply today?! "Yes. I remember that caption being on the front page of the daily newspaper in our hometown of Rome, Georgia when we did this TV show a few years ago, they asked for a description and I shamelessly and almost proudly spit out the description you are asking about. Imagine how proud my mother was. But yes, We most certainly have a life, a quiet adventurous and unusual one at that.We lived in a rehearsal space last month. Three cots, no bathroom, no kitchen, a water cooler, our studio and equipment and it is one of our favorite musical moments to date. We, in ourselves are best friends and family we have a strong and wonderful supportive family members and music biz team that inspires fuel to our motion, and miraculously enough paper
debt (cash) is generated to eat, scrub, and snooze uur way to another
day (at least for the moment!). So I would say it most certainly does
not apply anymore."
What cheesy '80s song would you love to cover if asked ... and why?! "I would say 'Take On Me" by Aha, because it's not like that
song hasn't been rehashed from ska to punk to metal to polka, plus it
reminds me of sweet mid western girl!"
If there were just 3 words that described 'Sloppy Josh', what would
they be ... and why?! "NOT sloppy josh". Think of me more as the republican neo-con and the liberal commie, the theory of evolution and intelligent design, the 'Porkys' AND the 'Star Wars' trilogy, the white aristocratic slave owners of our constitution, and the passengers of the
underground railroad. The pepsi, the coke, the giggle and the
spiteful glare of angry dwarf!!!"
If you were asked to record a single for charity, and had to choose 3 other KNOWN musicians to aid you in the project (and no one from your
own band!), who would they be, what instruments would they play, and what would the name of the NEW song be?! "Dead: Buddy Holly, John Lennon, and Elliot Smith. I would play the triangle and let them have full control. I would observe and melt away in a delightful utopia. If I was forced to obey the laws of life as we know it and had to pick living musicians I would say Jack White, Tom Petty and Vincent Gallo. Only this time Vincent Gallo would be on the triangle, Jack and Tom would have full control and I would made audio bootlegs to sell on ebay to buy a mountain in Montana."
10) Finally, I like Penguins, ... do you?! "I can't particularly say I do or do not. However, I DO fancy reptilian hybrids, and water. I LOVE Ice water. Especially if it has fluoride in it. I love intellect suppressors. OOH! I love Aspartame & MSG!! YUM! Melt away my thinking powers!! YAY for the NEW WORLD ORDER! Resist the CHIP and buy our new record!!"
Interviewed by Russell A. Trunk
If you would like to win an AUTOGRAPHED copy of Sloppy Meateaters' brand new CD, just answer this easy question: In 2002, the band were lucky enough to play the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame, but who introduced them to the stage that day?!
Send me your answers and if you're correct you'll be in the running to win one of these great new AUTOGRAPHED CDs! Just send us an e:mail here before October 31st with your answer and the subject title 'SLOPPY MEATEATERS SIGNED CDs' to: email@example.com
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