The 90’s saw a million bands come and go, and more than I can count were absolutely AMAZING bands that had a massive influence on me musically and personally, and there might never be another time so FULL of such boundless creativity.
That sentence makes me happy AND sad in equal measure.
The one band that completely and totally stood out from the pack, an excellent pack at that, was Oklahoma’s Chainsaw Kittens. I don’t want to talk TOO much about it here cause we go into it in a ton of detail in the interview, but- as a young, confused, angry, and socially-fucked teenager in the Midwest, Chainsaw Kittens spoke to me in ways that even my other favorite bands couldn’t. Tyson Meade, the singer, wrote lyrics about loneliness, confusion, and feeling like an outcast with a sense of deep melancholy but also a sense of CELEBRATION. Celebration of life, celebration of yourself, and as a gay man he spoke to a whole OTHER section of people that weren’t being spoken to very much. It was just cool music for weird people, and the combination of Tyson’s lyrics and Trent Bell‘s fucking fantastic guitars is something that is still intoxicating to this very day. I’m fucking listening to them RIGHT NOW.
Regardless of sexual orientation or your station in life, Chainsaw Kittens was a band that paved the way for countless others, and nobody has ever managed to sound like them since. They also never QUITE broke as big as the other alternative bands around that time, even with glowing praise from The Smashing Pumpkins and a high-profile signing to Scratchie Records (James Iha & D’Arcy Wretsky’s now defunct label)- but you’ll come to find out during the course of our conversation that it was actually a GOOD thing.
Tyson Meade is one the humans I admire and respect most in this world, and in the years since Chainsaw Kittens parted ways he’s been INSANELY busy. He’s had a prolific solo career populated with some of the most diverse and interesting music you’re likely to hear, he’s an accomplished painter who is lucky enough to make his living from his art, and he even moved to China to teach English for 5 years a while back. On top of all THAT, he’s working on a book and he’s also launching Meade– a premium cannabis brand cause WHY THE FUCK NOT?!?!
Don’t worry, there’s plenty more of me being a TOTAL gushing idiot where this came from, and I could go on forever right here talking about all this shit but then you don’t have much reason to listen to this interview and that’s kinda the main event here. A quick note, Skype kinda fucked us after about 55 minutes or so and we got cut off. I sorted it out, but the chunk where we went into detail about The Flaming Lips and the coronavirus pandemic got cut out. So, I salvaged the interview in two parts, one long one and one small one. Listen to both of them, I didn’t edit a single thing because I enjoyed the fuck out of just listening to Tyson’s brain working, so it truly sounds like a conversation between a couple of people who DIDN’T just “meet” for this interview. You can hear the birds singing on his gorgeous front porch, you can hear the airplanes flying overhead, and I don’t give a shit if it’s fucking proper or not.
I hope you enjoy this as much as I did, and I’ll be talking to Tyson again soon once things with Meade come along a little further, or he finishes up any one of his 10,000 other projects. I’m extremely honored to present to you, my wonderful Ghosties, my interview with Tyson Meade from one of my favorite bands of all-time, Chainsaw Kittens.
And just in case you don’t believe me, here’s “Angel On The Range” for consideration as one of the raddest songs ever.
You can find Chainsaw Kittens on Spotify, everything Tyson Meade right here, and if you want to check in on Trent Bell he’s got a lovely studio where you can record your shitty band called Bell Labs if you’re ever in Norman, Oklahoma. It seems like a delightful place even taking into consideration my conditioned disdain for the Midwest-ish area in general. 🙂
And seriously, you’d be doing your musical-self an extreme disservice if you didn’t dig into Tyson Meade and everything he’s done over the past 30 years or so. Some of the best music I’ve ever heard came from this guy and there’s so much more beautiful humanity where that came from. We could ALL use a little bit more of that right now so I implore you to dig deeper and maybe you’ll find your next wonderful obsession. Ok, I’ll shut the fuck up now.
A blog/website where these happily married, 30-something parents of 2 little minions rant, rave, and speak in tongues. Raw, honest, and riddled with profanity. Get on board and let’s make The Ghost Generation awesome together! http://theghostgeneration.com Twitter.com/Gh0stGeneration