You might have caught Cheap Meat at 2000 Trees or The Great Escape in recent years but now the power rock trio are here with their first full-length album which delivers poppy hooks with an upbeat aura that has bleak lyrics to boot.
To celebrate the release of ‘People Are The Worst’, we had a chat with vocalist and guitarist Ross Drummond who told us about a bunch of great bands that have influenced Cheap Meat.
Ross: I watched a documentary with Noel Gallagher where he talked about people telling him he couldn’t open ‘Don’t Look Back in Anger’ with the chords from ‘Imagine’. To which he said, “I can, I will, and you’ll fucking buy it.” I doubt we’ll sell 250 copies of this album, let alone 25 million or whatever ‘What’s The Story (Morning Glory)’ did, but I liked the ethos. (And we ripped off the structure for ‘Love Song Reject’ from ‘Champagne Supernova’). There’s that phrase isn’t there; “Good artists copy, great artists steal”. Well here’s the five finger discount action happening to write a Cheap Meat song.
If I wanted to be cool, I’d say we were inspired by Cheap Trick, The Cars and Pixies. All bands that I discovered and love because Weezer was inspired by them. ‘People Are The Worst’ is a nine-track album because I wanted it to be the same as the first The Cars album, with a big long song at the end. But, ultimately, this band exists because Matt and I both love Weezer. Though, I’d say my fandom borderlines on the obsessive.
John K. Samson is one of the finest lyricists and songwriters on this earth. I love, love, love The Weakerthans. ‘Left & Leaving’ by them? That’s a kick in the gut every single time. It’s a heartbreaker. A proper, leaving the city, staring out of the window, did I make the right choice, just before the end credits roll song. Don’t think I’ve got there yet (maybe not even close), but I’ll keep trying.
Cheap Meat wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for Weezer. I wouldn’t play the guitar if it weren’t for Eddie Van Halen. The undisputed king of the guitar, an icon, a genius and just the fucking best. I’m forever thankful I got to see them live before he passed away. I wrote a song about them I love them so much, hell, I’ve even got a marginally successful podcast about Van Halen!
I’m going to take a bet that Dead Press! hasn’t had the band Crowded House featured in their hallowed pages before! Well, I cannot lie, I listened to Crowded House almost exclusively the year we made this album. Pop, rock, weirdness. They’re Beatles songs written in the 80s/90s. Raid your parent’s CD collection and check them out.
Obviously, I’m going to mention Wilco. A contractual obligation for any punk rocker once he hits his late 20s. I would love it if we could sound as smart and cool, interesting and mature as Wilco. I tried with ‘Eddie & Valerie’, but you get what you’re given. Did manage to get some sweet guitar tones in trying to sound like their records though.
Cheap Meat‘s new album ‘People Are The Worst’ is out on January 29th, via Jerk Store Records
You can pre-order the album online from the band’s official BandCamp (here)