You have one of these names that do not really tell what kind of metal you play. How hard was it to come up with the name?
Ari – We needed a name that described the sound.
Dan – I have two decades worth of notebooks and paper scraps full of lyrics, song titles, potential band names, etc. Meatwound was on a page of ideas from when I lived in Miami a few years back. Everyone agreed on that name from the list that I came up with. It generates a clean Google search and that’s helpful these days.
As I am sure of we are quite a few that are rather new to you guys could you give us a short introduction to the band?
Dan – I met Ari at a Sepultura show in 1997. He was playing in a Big Black cover band and I was doing combatwoundedveteran at the time. We always talked about doing something together but it took til 2014 before it happened. Ari met Mariano when he was walking home from work and heard a house blasting British Steel at 3am while someone played nonstop guitar leads over it. He waited for the record to end and the person responsible came outside to smoke a cigarette and that was Mariano. I asked Leo to join on drums after I saw him playing with a calypso band at the beach when I was on vacation.
We all carry baggage with us that affects us in one way or another but what would you say have been the single greatest influence on your sound?
Ari – Anger.
Leo – If it has to be ONE specific thing, I personally, find it meaningless to try to narrow it down to a musical influence. I hope I speak for the rest of the band when I say that I believe the one largest influence is the idea and practice of musical cross-pollination. Leaving absolutely nothing at the door in the writing process. We all have some similarities in our record collections, but so do a lot of people, so do people I hate. I think where the strongest bonds happen are where things DON’T conventionally fit and the ways in which we MAKE them fit.
No two of us are listening to the same things at the same time and I think that is the most fertile and influential ground for writing music together.
Dan – Greatest influence on me were the times that I tried to live a normal life and not make music. Those were bland and terrible times, I won’t do that again. I will never stop making songs, whether anyone likes them or not.
What is the scene like in your area? Is it important that there is some sort of local scene for a band to develop or can a band still exist in a vacuum of no scene/no bands?
Leo – The scene in Tampa has always gone in waves as many do. Right now, in a particularly low spot although, there are many people doing great work.But, I honestly feel that if a band can acquire a strong work ethic and work cycle of writing/recording/touring it can indeed thrive outside of it’s local community or lack of. With that being said, it’s always nice to play a great show at home when they come up.
Something I have often wondered about is if you feel that you are part of something bigger and greater when you play in a band, that you are part of a movement sort of?
Ari – Personally, no. I’m sure most bands do.
Leo – We all have our “movements” in music history that are obviously inspiring to us, but i don’t feel that the importance of these eras were necessarily realized in the moment. Free jazz in the early/mid 60’s or DC punk in the 80’s certainly weren’t. And for every great communal movement in music, there were plenty more bands that just stuck the fuck out in their time of activity for better or worse. Thinking and wondering about your own music in the grand scheme of things can be fun (or super dark), but I don’t believe it does much at all to dwell on it. Productivity/output is the most important thing. Whether someone gives a shit now, later or never is out of our control.
When you play the sort of music you play I guess you cannot have birds and bees on the cover of your album? What is a great album cover to you?
Ari – We can have birds and bees or anything we want. A great cover makes me want to have it without knowing what it sounds like.
Dan – I think the cover art so far has helped us stand out from whatever people see us next to, either in a record store or on Spotify/Apple music. I also like that it’s hard to tell what kind of music you will get from it. We have something ugly in mind for the next LP cover.
What is your opinion on digital verses physical? Is digital killing music?
Ari – Bad music is killing music. It’s easier and more affordable to record and put out our own music, which means ANYONE can do it. Some bands are great, some are ok, most bands suck…plus the the old dinosaur record labels keep repressing their back catalogs on this obsolete format that a few nerds will always buy. Streaming services are great to discover new music but I’ll always buy something if it’s good. There’s just too much old and new garbage at the same time. TOO MANY BANDS!
Dan – I don’t like excuses. Music will always be around and the industry behind it will forever be evolving and people making music must be ready to adapt. First. make good songs. Everything else, good luck.
What kind live scene is there for bands like yours?
Leo – The positive thing about Meatwound that I’ve found, is that we’ve been able to feel at home in a variety of heavy shows (metal, hardcore, noise, post-whatever-the-fuck). I think this might be due in part, to our answer to question 3. As we all get older, it becomes more exhausting to sit through or play a sort of “pure-bred”, genre specific show. So we tend to gravitate to the more open-palette, ridiculous and genre-mashed shows which usually attract an audience with a similar degree of lunacy.
When you play live is it a happening or do you see it more as a party?
Ari – It’s a happening to me, for the audience it can be whatever they want.
Leo – I think we enjoy a mix of both, depending on the venue, overall bill, stage and sound system, distance from audience, etc.
a mix of both also feels to be a healthy thing. Obviously bigger shows with a better system and whatnot are taken a bit more seriously than a house show where I can’t make out Marty and Ari from everyone else in the room. However, we think of it as a goal to make these fun party shows still precise in delivery and to make these larger, sometimes more sterile shows a lot less “distant feeling”, if you will.
What would you like to see the future bring?
Ari – Death to all infidels.
Leo – Hopefully more road time with this new record and the others to come. There’s a lot more studio time on the calendar so far which can only be balanced out with more live shows.
And of course, more ridiculous music videos.
Dan – I hope the future brings a greater appreciation for freestyle music. Not just the group Freestyle but also Debbie Deb, Stevie B, Trinere, Shannon, etc. Planet Patrol, too.