Houston Calling

10 Questions for meoWcifer

August 7th, 2003 · No Comments

Lollapalooza’s in town on Sunday, but it’ll have some stiff competition with the GoGirlsRock show at The Proletariat. GoGirlsRock features UME, meoWcifer, Mock Run, The Kimonos, Chickenhawk, and more.

One of my favorite local acts, meoWcifer, opens the show around 5 p.m. I’ve mentioned them in Houston Calling before. They are a good band to see live. And there will be drink specials. No Perry Ferrell or QOTSA though (oh well).

I recently asked Erica of meoWcifer a few questions about the band. She was gracious enough to respond. Enjoy.

10 Questions for meoWcifer

HC: How did meoWcifer get started?

November of 2002, Westbury Squares broke up and Mikey (the drummer) and myself were both in that band. Nearly without a word, we both continued to show up at the space and write songs. Eventually we figured it felt right and, in a sense, had a band. We were writing songs left and right…probably had a full set in three weeks, if that. We started a record in the studio and were forced to do it alone b/c we couldn’t find the right people. Jen came along probably two months ago and picked up incredibly fast and things have been smooth sailing ever since. It was a bit refreshing to know we didn’t have to do it alone and put up with all The White Stripes comments. And now we have the perfect combination of attitudes, styles, and talent.

HC: What do you consider to be your musical influences?

It’s hard to say anything influences my music other than my day-to-day goings on. My music selection doesn’t even get the back seat on this one. I’ve been compared to Built to Spill, Pavement, or Velocity Girl, but they’re only accurate for split seconds so who’s to say? I like to hear what people say though, I’m always amazed or shocked!

I listen to: Long Pigs, Fountains of Wayne, Blur, Modest Mouse, Sonic Youth, Catatonia, Flaming Lips, Wilco, Ash, Gay Dad, Supergrass…and that’s just currently.

HC: Having caught your first show (at Rudyard’s) and not being an idiot, I think I get the band name. Tell me about the costumes. Is that an every gig type of thing or was it for the first show?

Originally the name had nothing to do with cats or lucifer. It just shows what idiots we are. Mikey and I were sitting in the practice space throwing stupid names around (that I won’t mention) and chuckling he said, “meowcifer.” There was no question that it was the worst/best of all! I think it’s light and humorous. People will certainly assume we’re a goth band until they come and see us goofing off on stage. I like that. The costume idea came about 5 minutes after the name. I said we definitely have to wear kitty noses and devil horns–even when we practice. While we don’t keep up with that during rehearsal, we are into dressing up at every show so we can make fun of each other at all costs.

HC: What is the one description that you hate to hear about your music?

As much as I AM a GIRL, I sometimes get a bit offended by hearing the word girl in it. It can be so misused. I should be treated as any other musician. I recently heard singer/songwriter and was a bit taken but Jen put it simply, “Wait, you do sing and write songs…I guess this is okay?!!!” (yawn)!!!!

HC: What’s your take on the state of the music industry?

Ooh. Well, I’ll try to put this in short answer form. Nothing feels sacred anymore. Not enough feels sincere. But there are some excellent musicians out there so I feel strong enough to be supportive of them. I could have it all wrong, ya know? How do I really know what’s going on when they write? I’d just be happy if kids weren’t trying to step on someone else’s band to make theirs look better. I see a lot of that. As any musician would want–it would be nice to have more of a scene. I really love it here, though. Houston kicks so much ass.

HC: Are you for or against the MP3 “revolution”? How are you (or are you) using the internet as a tool to market yourself?

If I had time, or someone helping me, I’d get some mp3’s out there in a heartbeat. At first, meoWcifer seemed self-serving in a way that: “If i wrote it for myself, who else should give a shit?” but now I realize that it feels good to connect with people using that second language. I’m all for sharing it.

As far as the internet goes, I don’t have what it takes to set up a website right now–I’d love help on that! I do have a rather large mailing list so that’s about the only way I get the message out there right now.

HC: If you could have any band cover one of your songs, what song would it be and what band?

Well, most of my songs aren’t user-friendly (?). We do have a straight-forward garage-rock song called “Big Mistake” that’s super noisy and I would like to maybe hear the Rolling Stones or someone random do it. I used to joke on tour (on the Westbury Squares/Schatzi [Austin] tour) that we learn each other’s songs and play them the whole tour. I think that would be exciting!

HC: You seem to be getting a lot of gigs for a band that just started playing live a couple of months ago? Are you finding good success in Houston?

You know, I feel like we do and will always connect with the right people. It is a sincere sound, and there are tons of people out there who naturally click with that. No one would just pretend to like this style of music, and that’s refreshing to know we can expect honesty just because of a sound. Considering that we are pretty much the only band that has the specific sound we do, we end up getting on many shows regardless if it fits perfectly. We know a lot of people and have all been playing in the music scene for some time now so that probably helps. Things are always going uphill for us.

HC: I think after I saw you guys play, I touted the band to my friends as Josie & The Pussycats meets The Stooges (or something similar)… Do you think it’s an accurate description? I hear a bit of that NYC/garage sound in your music, but it doesn’t feel like a rip-off.

It’s funny, we were just talking about that possible description a few nights ago. I look pretty similar to Rachel Leigh Cook (I guess?) and I think that movie is still fresh on people’s minds. And there goes that whole…girl-band thing again!! I don’t mind it though, it’s not offensive in the slightest way. They’re pretty cute and catchy!

There is a bit of the NYC/garage sound, especially with the stuff that Jen and I have been writting together. She’s got a good feel for rock n’ roll, I have my pop side and Mikey is about the most versatile and amazing drummer on the planet. (He’d kill me for that one)…or buy me a beer?

I would never rip anyone off, and if I come close I expect someone to smack me!

HC: What is in your CD player right now?

Air – Moon Safari

Ed. note: meoWcifer’s website will be online soon, complete with demos and photos.

There you have it. Hope you can make it to the show at The Proletariat. Remember Magic Bus? That’s where it is.

Now Playing in My iPOD: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club — Take Them On, On Your Own

Tags: Music