Femme on Fire: Meg Myers

By Vanessa Butler

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Femme on Fire: Meg Myers:

Musician Meg Myers is someone you’ll start hearing about very soon. Her second EP, Make a Shadow, came out February 11th to rave reviews. This former Jehovah’s Witness hails from Tennessee’s Smoky Mountains and lets her inner demons shine in her dark gritty single “Desire.” You wouldn’t expect lyrics like “Baby, I want to fuck you / I want to feel you in my bones," to come out of this petite brunette’s lips, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. Rock on!

Playboy.com: Congrats on your EP! You must be excited for listeners to finally get to hear all five songs. Is there one in particular you’re enthusiastic about finally having out there?

Meg Myers: I’m really excited to have “Make a Shadow” finally out in the world. That’s the one that I think I’ve been playing the longest. I’ve been playing “Heart Heart Head” for a while too, but I wrote “Make a Shadow” a very long time ago so I’m definitely excited for that one to be out there, both lyrically and musically. It’s always been my favorite to perform too!

Playboy.com: Have you been touring all of your new stuff or just a few of the songs?

Myers: We haven’t gone on tour yet; we have been playing shows kind of randomly. We opened for The Pixies, actually; we did two shows with them in L.A. and one show in New York. We’re hoping to do some touring this year. Other than that, we did a show at the Bootleg in L.A. for the release of the EP. We did a few new songs at the Bootleg that we never even recorded, along with the songs from the album, obviously. We try to do our best to do new songs at live shows because that’s where people can get a little glimpse of what we’re working on.

Playboy.com: How long have you been working with your band?

Myers: Well me and Andy, my producer, who goes by the name Doctor Rosen Rosen, we’ve been working together for about three years. We collaborate on all of my songs together. But when it comes to my band, it’s only been about a year and a half. My drummer is an old friend of mine, we go way back, and the cello player recorded on my song “Monster” and came along for the ride. We actually just recently found someone to play the guitar. My producer had been playing in my band for the past couple of years so we replaced him with another guitarist. The release party show was actually his first gig with us! So it was a lot of new beginnings.

Playboy.com: I love your sound so much. It’s like Robert Plant, Enya and Kurt Cobain had a sexy baby. What were your inspirations for this album?

Myers: That’s so cool! Those people are huge inspirations to me. I love Led Zeppelin but I grew up listening to a lot of Robert Plant’s solo work. My mom used to listen to Enya a lot and got me into her. She’s one of my biggest inspirations; I always go back to her! And of course Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain was a huge influence on me when I was growing up. I was also a really big Police lover and I still am. I love the solo albums, too. Dire Straits is a big influence, Mark Knopfler, Fleetwood Mac… This is funny because I’m naming all of these bands, but in reality I got into a lot of their solo work. Like Lindsay Buckingham’s acoustic stuff he was doing on the side. It was dark, heavy and passionate. I love him. It’s safe to say that I grew up with a lot of classic rock in my life. In my teens, though, I got pretty heavily influenced by grunge, I listened to a lot of Alice in Chains. [laughs] But I was really influenced by a lot [more] males than females, which is something people often point out. With women I listened to a lot of folk, but never really got into any female singers in rock, I was always into the guy rock singers.

Playboy.com: How long ago did you write these songs? Your writing is really intricate so I wondered if there was something else at play.

Myers: It changes up. Sometimes I write something at home on guitar or piano and I’ll bring it into the studio with Andy who’ll start adding to it and it’ll progress from there. But lately, because we’ve been working in the studio so much for the album, we just have been starting from scratch together. There’s a piano at the studio so we’ll write melodies and go from there. Generally it’s him making a melody on guitar or piano and I’ll then make a melody to go over that. A lot of the time lyrics will flow out of me after the music is down. Usually the first lyrics that come out of my mouth will match what I’m feeling or going through and it’ll evolve from there. It’s weird how that happens.

Playboy.com: You got to work with Steve Stevens on your first single, “Desire.” He worked on a lot of great stuff in the past with Billy Idol, Michael Jackson and Vince Neal. How did that come about?

Myers: Andy is a huge fan. I knew the songs that he played on, but I didn’t really know of him. We were trying to brainstorm who would be a good fit for the song and we wanted a crazy guitar solo. It can be a cheesy thing to add, but there was something about this song that I just didn’t care, it just made sense. Andy mentioned [Steve] and thought he’d be really perfect for it. So we sat down and watched a bunch of his videos and a lot of the stuff that he played on had that dark, sexy feeling that just made sense. He was so fun to work with. He’s so nice. You don’t know what you’re getting into when you go into the studio with someone like that. He’s all crazy with his hair and lip ring, but in reality he’s the nicest guy ever. [laughs] He’s a sweetheart and so crazy talented.

Playboy.com: There’s been a lot of talk about your awesome new video “Desire,” it’s so cool! How did the ghost sex concept come about?

Myers: It was ultimately collaboration with everybody on my team. My producer’s wife came up with the idea and then Andy developed the concept of the man being invisible. In the end it just made sense. Instead of having a real guy in the video with me, there’s something way more impactful and powerful having the other invisible. The mix of the dark sexual music and lyrics along with the visuals of innocence like the cartoons on the television and the fact that I’m wearing socks and underwear kind of gives me this strange innocence. My team, luckily, is really easy to work with and have really great ideas. Thank goodness! I feel like I’m really picky and I have these visions, I know what I want, so when you’re in this deep with a group of other people, they better be on the same page or I would lose my mind.

Playboy.com: You’ve got a few shows coming up and will be heading to Governor’s Ball in New York! Have you already been touring all of your new stuff?

Myers: Yeah, so much I can’t even tell you. I’m going a little crazy right now. Although I love writing and being in the studio, I’m just so burnt. When I’m here there are a lot of photo shoots and interviews and stuff and I feel like I’m not myself. It scares me. I love performing, that’s what I love about music. Playing and touring can be incredibly tiring and I’m sure there will be difficult times, but it is what keeps me doing this. If I ever have doubts about having to do all this, I just think about hitting the road. That’s where the love is. That’s my therapy.


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