Let this be known – Matthew Flory Meade loves Taylor Swift. Originally a member of the band Friend Roulette, who have toured with the likes of Tiny Hazard and Celestial Shore, Meade’s newer songs were called to attention for a side project when he started writing songs that weren’t quite “weird”enough for Friend Roulette. Shake up some bubblegum pop – very much inspired by Taylor Swift’s “1989”, with a little grunge and inspiration from Beck, 20th Century Classical music, and some killer players (Meade’s “dream team”) – and you get Spritzer.
Meade caught my attention last weekend, when they played a killer set at Rough Trade and Meade’s mom was in the audience. “She dyed her hair purple while she was visiting from Texas,” (Now that’s a family I want to hang out with). Towards the end of Spritzer’s set, Meade jumps off the stage (dangerous, as Rough Trade’s is, unlike many Brooklyn venues, actually elevated) whilst playing a cover of Swifts smash hit “Shake it Off”and – even though the lyrics may not have been 100% correct – he was winning at life. Dancing with the crowd in the audience, singing a Taylor Swift cover, and hanging out with mom – who may or may not have had a few scorpion bowls at King Noodle prior to the show. A stellar moment not to be forgotten.
There’s something very disheveled about Meade – like you want to take him home to your mother, give him a shower and a good meal, and send him back into the tumultuous wild tundra that is the New York City music scene. During the interview, Meade stopped a couple of times to lift a finger to the air and guess the song playing on the overhead speakers. Clad in a mismatched track suit and an orange hat, Matthew Meade really doesn’t give a fuck. And that’s part of the appeal.
A key track (below), Melt, is something to be talked about. Meade’s vocals resemble a similarity to The Get Up Kids or The Hold Steady – a little off tempo, with a distinct 90’s vibe. He’s got that sweet side, that comes out via his lyrics – “Oh no you left me on again / and then these old flames burn right through / All I really wanna do is melt right through / and simmer down till all is cool / No i don’t want to be a friend / I wanna run around the whole wide world with you.”
Meade is a graduate of New School, where went for classical composition. “The Spritzer stuff was the stuff that was too pop to play in Friend Roulette. It wasn’t weird enough. We just have a really fun time onstage.” The band has only played a few shows and is already creating a good amount of buzz. We caught up with Meade over Mimosas and Bloody Marys before their early show on Sunday at Baby’s Alright.
Sam from Celestial Shore produced the Spritzer record, and Spritzer’s guitarist Ryan – who “rips Eddie Van Halen shit,” according to Meade, is in Tiny Hazard. The bass player, Brian, is also in Hospitality and White Rabbits. The dude has some talented friends. We talked about how supportive the Bushwick community is. “We all play together and we’re all friends. It’s chill.” I’ve been playing with the drummer Kyle in the band for around 10 years – he’s also in Friend Roulette.
P&W: What motivated you to start Spritzer, after gaining a good amount of success with Friend Roulette?
M: The idea of starting Spritzer was to have something laid back. Playing is one thing, but it’s just about hanging out. You know, you have rehearsal and you slam a bunch of beers. I mean, it’s not anything serious. At least – I’ve never had a serious rehearsal.
Meade goes on to explain that the appeal of Spritzer is just that – their laid back feel during those rehearsals. “I was listening to a demo of a song we rehearsed the other day, and the banter that was happening when and before we started the song we were talking about was was better – shitting or puking. And it ends with the keyboardist Paul saying puking was better because you get it over with. And then, 1, 2, 3 – song starts.”
P&W: So you played a show the other night with your other band, Friend Roulette at Pianos. What do you think about the scene there?
M: That might’ve been like the 40th show I’ve played there. I just decided that if there’s such a place as hell, my personal hell would be at Pianos – waiting for a set to be played, but it never happens, and you can’t get a drink from the bar, and you’re just in this madness. Its almost like a Hieronymus Bosch painting – where you just see chaos everywhere. It’s just like, fucking, drunk people and loud music.
P&W: Where do you see the music industry in five years?
M: I can see a musical revolution happening. And I wish PR was eliminated from the game. But I understand why it’s an important thing. But then this dude named Steve Jobs invented stupid Garage Band, and I think it’s awesome that everyone’s able to record music, but it went to the next level. Anyone could have a band at any time. And that’s cool. Everyone should be able to. But what ended up happening that there was so much shit out there. PR isn’t what it’s supposed to be. Journalists don’t go out to shows anymore. They wait for some PR dude to send them out and cover the show. Music should be just going out to shows and listening to demos, but there’s just too much.
P&W: We feel you there. Real talk.
P&W: What CD’s do you have in your van?
M: A lot of bootleg hip hop CD’s that we bought in Atlanta . Beck’s “Odelay.” Sinead O’Connor’s Greatest Hits. Electric Light Orchestra. A lot of 20th Century Classical shit.
P&W: Favorite kind of whiskey?
M: I like a good chilled Mr. Beam.
P&W: You can do better than that. You gotta get into Laphroaig.
M: My Scottish friend was trying to get me into that.
P&W: But you’re obviously into spritzers, beverage wise.
M: The idea of a spritzer is that you’re hydrating whilst drinking. You’re supposed to drink a pint of water for every drink.
P&W: Do you like boxed wine, like Franzia?
M: Of course. That’s the only way to do it.
P&W: So you love Taylor Swift.
M: I do love Taylor Swift. It’s not an ironic thing. Everyone thought it was ironic for a while. “1989” is a fantabulous album.
M: Let this be known – I’m going to play “Shake It Off” at every Spritzer show until she comes. My friends tell me to stop with the Swifty love. I heard “Shake It Off” while I was home for Christmas in Texas. It was funny because I had to ask my sister who the song was by when I heard it.
P&W: How old is your sister?
M: 25. She knows a lot more about pop culture than I do. And then I got really drunk when I got back to Brooklyn and accidentally bought the whole album. Also, I think it’s kind of awesome that she’s giving song royalties and pumping them into New York Public School music programs. And then I posted an article on facebook about it and people were like, making fun of me. I was like, no – that’s really cool.
P&W: You don’t think it’s possible she’s just doing that because she was named the NY Ambassador and she wants to look good.
M: I don’t care what her intentions were genuine or not. It was still a really cool thing to do. Here’s how I want to meet Taylor Swift – I want her to jump onstage in the second chorus when I play “Shake it Off” and sing backup vocals.
We hope that happens, Matt.
Spritzer’s next show is at The Living Room March 28th.
Article by: Hillary Barleaux
Photos by: Kayla Klein