An Earbuddy Interview with Meenk

Photo by Jenna Marsh

Photo by Jenna Marsh

In late June, singer/songwriter Meenk debuted with a 4-track EP: Scamu Scau. We really loved it, and if you like melody, you’ll love it too. We got a chance to talk with Meenk about her EP, Sugar Ray, Pokemon, and her first live shows.

Hi there! Tell me about Meenk! Is it a person, a group of people, a project, an idea? The people have a right to know.

Right now, Meenk is just my personal music project. For live shows in Austin, I have a couple of friends backing me up. But I’m moving back to Brooklyn in August and am hoping to put together a solid band there.

And “Scamu Scau”?

“Scamu scau” was defined for me in a dream. It’s kind of like when you look up at the sky and can’t tell if it’s going be a really gorgeous day or if you’re going to have to run for shelter.

Interview protocol, page 130, section 2A, line 7 says that I have to ask about the music that influenced you. What was the first record you bought?

I feel like it was probably Smash Mouth or Sugar Ray.

Nice! I think my first cassette was Sugar Ray’s 14:59. Or maybe it was Floored.

It’s a classic.

Are you still rocking out to Smash Mouth, or are you listening to other stuff? What bands should I be listening to?

Lately it’s been Pavement, Pavement, and Cate Le Bon for me.

There was a time just a few months ago where you couldn’t really move three feet in any direction without getting hit with that horrible song “Happy” by Pharrell Williams. Can you go on the record as Pro-Pharrell or Anti-Pharrell?

I actually have yet to hear that song! I’m usually behind on that stuff. I remember showing one of my friends this awesome new song “Pursuit of Happiness” and the response was “Yeah, that’s been on the radio for about two years.”

Speaking of new music, how’s it feel to have your debut out in the internet ether now? Was Scamu Scau a long-time-coming kind of record?

It was pretty scary at first. It wasn’t something I was comfortable advertising, so almost no one knew I was even doing it. I have to say, it feels like a big relief finally sharing it.

Who else is featured on your EP? Or did you play all of the instruments yourself? Follow up question: do you need a trombonist? I know a guy.

Ben Scherer [of Pale Hound] and Julian [Fader] and Carlos [Hernandez] from Gravesend Recordings [and Ava Luna] are all on all the songs.

Carlos and Julian also produced and engineered Scamu Scau. What was it like working with those guys? Don’t worry, you can be honest – they’re not going to read this.

Julian and Carlos are so great! Super nice, super funny, and super talented. I honestly could not talk up those guys enough.

How biographical are the songs on Scamu Scau? I mean, hopefully besides “Happiness Forgets”?

Well, “19” is 100% autobiographical. The rest borrow bits from my life, but I usually think of them each as being centered around a different character.

Have you taken these songs on the road yet? How many fireworks do you use in the normal course of one of your shows?

So far I have only played small spaces like house shows or zine releases, but I’m playing my first show at a real Austin venue, The Mohawk, on Tuesday [July 8], and I’m super stoked about it! My friends Camille and Kirby from Dead Recipe are backing me up, and they are just so much fun to play with.

Is it too early to talk about any new music on the horizon?

Not at all! I currently have a few songs in the making. I’m debuting one of them at the Mohawk show, which is pretty exciting.

What’s the last book that you read? Why’d you read it? Was it Bleeding Edge by Thomas Pynchon? I hope so. I want to talk about it with somebody.

I’m currently doing some lazy summer reading and rereading Trainspotting. I’ll be sure to add Bleeding Edge to my list though.

What is your favorite pokemon? And please, let’s keep it to the original 150, because who has the time, these days, am I right?

I’m gonna dedicate this answer to my friend Kirby and go with Kirby. Definitely Kirby.

What can we expect from Meenk in the back half of 2014?

More shows, more songs. It would be great if I could get back into the recording studio at some point. I guess at this point I’m not sure what to expect either.

We’d like to thank Meenk for taking time out to speak with us! You can download her new EP, Scamu Scau on Bandcamp for whatever price you’d like. That means free, too, if that’s your thing. But you should probably kick in a couple of kopecks because it’s great. You can keep up with Meenk with Facebook, where you can find out about upcoming shows and releases. But why are you still reading this and not downloading this music?