Meek Is Murder has announced the May 5th release of its third full-length album: Onward/Into the Sun. As Noisey’s Brad Cohan warns, it’s a “face-ripping sonic assault of dizzying riffage and bloody-throated screamoidness… Damaged-era Black Flag in a car crash with metallic hardcore merchants Botch.”
Comprised of guitarist/vocalist Mike Keller (ex-The Red Chord), drummer Frank Godla (also of Enabler), and bassist Sam Brodsky, Brooklyn’s Meek Is Murder has cemented itself as one of that city’s new DIY powerhouses. Churning out six releases in six years and playing countless shows with a who’s who of modern-day heavy – Converge, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Retox, Fuck the Facts, Mutoid Man, Cult Leader, Loma Prieta, Old Wounds, and so on – Meek Is Murder is a machine with its controls set to “maximum.” Through a nonstop shedding of blood and sweat, what began as Keller’s bedroom solo project has evolved into a unique beast of a band and perhaps the most formidable live act in town.
Meek Is Murder’s third full-length album, the aptly titled Onward/Into the Sun, sees the band team up with Rising Pulse Records, the label founded by Candiria guitarist and fellow Brooklynite John Lamacchia. Onward was recorded by Kevin Bernsten (Full of Hell, Magrudergrind) at Developing Nations, while Into the Sun… was engineered and mixed by Kevin Antreassian (East of the Wall, Gridlink), produced by Jesse Korman of The Number Twelve Looks Like You, and released digitally by the band in 2012. Both EPs were mastered by Alan Douches (Converge, Mastodon).
Where the Onward EP is directionally themed (“Inward,” “Upward,” “Outward,” etc.), Into the Sun… finds its inspiration in sci-fi flicks like Aliens and Back to the Future. (This is the band that also made a Christmas EP called Infant Worship. Like Graf Orlock, the concepts can be fun but the music is brutal realness.)
You Indie recently caught up with Keller to discuss another nihilistic pursuit, skating. This is what he told us.
What are the best places you’ve skated?
I went to YMCA skate camp in Visalia when I was a kid, where I learned how to drop in. It was beautiful there. They built this crazy park in the middle of a forest and it was next to a lake so obviously there was a ramp to launch in.
Lot’s of love for Greer Park in Palo Alto too.
What is the most difficult trick that you’ve landed? How does the feeling of landing that compare to the feeling of conquering a difficult riff or part in your music?
I’m really not very good, I just have fun. I recently did a line with a tre flip and a back 50-50 *up* a ledge with a shuv out. I was pretty stoked on that.
I’ve had completely obsessive bouts of both guitar or skating at given times in my life- there’s something uniquely personal and satisfying about getting lost in either of those things. Whatever else is going on in your life, writing a riff or trying to land a trick let’s you focus your mental energy and push out all of your negativity.
What kind of deck, trucks, wheels, or other gear are you currently using?
Bad Idea 8”, Gibson SG Standard, Indy Trucks, Orange Rockerverb 100, Spitfire 56mm, Orange + Mesa 4x12s, Bones Reds.
Sometimes I rock the Santa Cruz Bart Simpson.
What other bands who have members who skate have you toured with or skated with? Were you impressed?
I did the Mayhem fest tour with The Red Chord one summer a while back. The 36 Crazy Fists drummer skated and I was bummed I didn’t bring a board, so an old buddy of mine brought me one on the CA date. We skated almost every day the rest of tour after that. I also played a shit ton of Skate (the video game) that summer on Suicide Silence’s bus with their guitar player, Mark.
Do you seek out skate shops on tour? What are the best ones?
Not really, I just bring a board and I’m fine. I don’t skate too hard on tour because I don’t want to break myself.
Growing up, Skate Works in Redwood City used to host pretty sick demos. KCDC in Brooklyn is legit, but I miss when they had a ramp inside.
What is the worst injury that you ever suffered skating and how did you recoup from that? Did it affect your playing?
I broke my foot when I was 16 or 17. I bailed kickflipping a ledge and landed on my truck. There’s a pretty gnarly Hi-8 video somewhere out there of me popping my dislocated toe back into place so I could keep skating. I remember changing out of my hard bottom orthopedic shoe to ride bowls like a week later, which was really dumb.
Last year I broke my other foot getting hung up off a nose grind and it has taken close to a year to even be able to ride again. I played a few shows where I would take off my air cast to play. I couldn’t even walk without it, so I’d be like wincing in pain any time I had to hit a pedal. That was also really dumb.
Which of your band’s songs are the best to skate to?
“Ghost Moth” maybe. Or “Upward” (a new song).
(Visit Meek Is Murder here: http://facebook.com/meekismurder.)