Sometimes, especially when the temperature is below freezing and the wind chill is so cold it freezes the sun, you feel the hard New York days drag you into the breathless depths of The City and the taunting mind-space that makes you wonder about your position in this world and how it defines you. It was during one of these peculiar moments I found myself conducting an interview with Marta DeLeon, the lead singer and bassist of The Meaning Of Life (an appropriately named band based out of New York), needless to say due to my own mind wanderings and personal life, I was in no mental state to proceed with a phone interview. I was tired, listless, and still thinking about the thousand things I had to do by the end of the day, mirroring the millions of others in the city who shared this consciousness with me.
But from the beginning of the conversation, after the usual journalistic tantric banter of “How did you get started making music?” and “What is your favorite thing to perform?” we both took a breath and realized that we enjoyed speaking to each other and our conversation was deeper than just a regular interview. As nervous as I was conducting the conversation so was Marta, and after noticing this mutual shyness we began to actually speak and truly listen to each other, sharing intimate details of our lives, our passions, our expectations of our lives and our passions, and all the little (and sometimes monumental) things in our lives that shape us in every way possible into who we are on a daily basis. The real stuff. After the glittery grime of the city is washed off in the decrepit sixty year old shower and depositied into the drain, when we are cooking our Top Ramen or other cheap materials on our leaky stove and smoking the cigarette out of the window and the noise of the sirens and people cursing turns from ostentatious cacophony into a slumbering hum like a chainsaw that is falling asleep after a long day of cutting things down. It was grand, I think it is important to know who the person behind the song is, it gives further meaning to the music, to the art of it and creates a deeper truth that keeps hold long after the song ends.
Meaning Of Life is a Brooklyn based trio made of singer and bassist Marta DeLeon who began playing cello in Arizona as a child and is known by a small circle of people to drool over Loretta Lynn, Chilean Christian did most of the video for “I Want To Do To You What Spring Does To The Cherry Trees” and Sanal who is from Kalmyk grew up playing Jazz with his father who is a guitarist and who plays in a heavy metal band.
Marta and I spoke about the future of music, where it is headed, where it is now. We both agreed that music is turning into something that is commercial, a buyable product anyone can put stock into, sometimes losing its value and integrity but also maintaining its allure and beauty despite its jaded composition. Marta, though disappointed that music is something people can fake, believes in it as an eternal entity that technology cannot break and it is the utter possession that captures her during her performance that makes every bit of difficulty she has to swallow, worth it. Marta is not only an accomplished musician she also has a degree and works hard everyday during a multitude of things, including applying for work as an Elementary school teacher (which we do need more of and if you can read this you should thank one) and her counterparts are just as full of energy and zeal and are always on the move, artists that are just as multidimensional. Recently this thought provoking band played a show in Brooklyn. On February 18th 2015 Meaning Of Life performed their release party at Palisades in New York with The Rizzos, Happy You and Painted Zeros.
The EP the band was celebrating had been recorded at Converse’s Rubber Tracks Studios in Brooklyn, Diamonds and Junkfood showcases The Meaning of Life’s Waking Life genre in NYC’s music scene. The Meaning of Life earned a nomination in the Artist of the Month September 2013 poll on The Deli Magazine, who said The Meaning of Life “will have you leaping up into the air ready to proclaim the answer to everything.” Notable tracks on their newest EP are “I want to do to you what the spring does to the cherry trees” (the title, a quote from Pablo Neruda) an intricate and bittersweet ballad that reminds one of the reflections bounding of the waves and ripples of a body of water during the warm embrace of spring or those moments when you are drinking a warm glass of Oolong tea (or Vanilla Latte, your preference) and you relaxing on your bed, wearing fuzzy socks and nothing else, the window slightly ajar and the curtains gently dancing with the wind. Two Birds One Stoned, is another interesting ballad, written by Chris and Marta when they first met, before they even had a drummer. River Phoenix, an improvised song was recorded live while in their studio in Brooklyn, even the lyrics are improvised which is quite a feat.
If you want to check out this life changing band then you should check out their bandcamp , the video for “I Want To Do To You What The Spring Does To The Cherry Trees”, a unique, surreal, and visceral video with a lot of sex appeal, good dancing, and love induced hypnotism with some people you may recognize and “Laura V”, with a great opening of “The Cosmos Are A Joke” and beautiful women running on the beach BayWatch style.
Article by: Marissa Mireles