One of the most interesting acts scheduled to appear at Liverpool Psych Fest, Brixton-based five piece Meatraffle aren’t easy to categorise. Declared by the Fat White Family as “the greatest band in the country right now bar none“, they released their genre blending full-length debut ‘HiFi Classics’ at the back end of 2015 and are currently working towards completing their third with the aim of avoiding the “difficult second album syndrome” by skipping it altogether.
Although the title to their follow-up album has yet to be revealed, we do have an idea of what it may sound like thanks to airplay their excellent latest single ‘Brother’ has been receiving over on BBC 6 Music. Marc Riley also recently had them in for a live session, during which they agreed to write a song for the festival titled ‘Psychedelia Smith’ about the TV cook. In the second in our series of interviews with the Liverpool Psych Fest congregation, we spoke to Meatraffle vocalist Zsa Zsa Sapienabout their upcoming appearance at the festival.
Bastard music, music without care, South London alky salsa, prison folk, trapdoor jazz, cross-eyed soul, erroneous funk, bad trip hop. Any of these will do.
Who or what have been the biggest influences on your sound?
This water cooled transformer that keeps the lecky supplied to the trains behind Streatham Common station, it is a giant of a machine, looks really impressive and sounds amazing, a continuous low slung ominous hum that really gets me going, free music for the masses. I am its biggest and only fan. I recorded it once on my iPhone as a demo to send to Pye Records. That would be a great signing for Pye but they didn’t get back to me. I’d love to be asked to do Meltdown one year and have it as an act, along with Saxon Sound System, John Maus, Lieutenant Pigeon, Rush, Paranoid London – all that kind of stuff… Oh and one of our favourite bands called SEX CELLS!
What made you want to play at Liverpool Psych Fest and will this be your first time?
If there was a festival called The Liverpool Festival of Snorting Blue Asbestos we would go, just for an excuse to visit the first best city in England cuz none of them lot read The S*n in that city, which is a sure sign of a healthy society. We never heard of your psyche festival before and are honoured to have been invited. Really, we mean it .
How well do you know Liverpool and what’s your favourite thing about the city?
Our old friend Rob Ashley lives there, and Tingle’s Brother too. That’s our connection, always had a good time up there. Good souls the Scousers. Good souls give good looks, much more pretty than the Mancs. Although Manchester folk are all fucking good at tennis. I don’t know why. I really can’t understand why a Manc ain’t won Wimbledon yet.
Indoor festivals have been growing in popularity in recent years, have you played at many of them and how do they compare to outdoor events?
Never done an indoor festival before, bit worried about fire escapes and stuff like that though.
Seeing Genesis P. Orridge at Reading all strapped up with his Disgusting dangling out, walking amongst the great unwashed. We went to the North American festival of Forest Fires back in ’81 , that was intense. Smelt like a kipper for years after that. Too many festivals though makes life not worth living sometimes, it’s a mechanism for collection capitalism, purchase prices are another form of taxation, don’t get fooled into thinking payment is not a form of taxation. Ripped off all the time, packed lunches are forbidden, especially at Glastonbury, that is one big bad hippy Richard ‘Pickle’ Branson springs to mind.
Have you ever dabbled in psychedelics? If so, how would you describe your experience?
Yeah course we all done acid, we’re 60’s children. It changed my life. It’s the cognitive equivalent to first pulling back your foreskin and touching it for very the first time, it really hurt me but in a nice way. I do blame LSD though for making me go bald at quite a young age. We saw Pink Floyd at Wembley Stadium once on these window panes trips, but actually from the outside of the stadium cuz we couldn’t get in. I don’t think they ever played better than at that gig, so good …hah! On the way back on the tube a family moved house using the London Underground – beds and Grandfather clocks – I am not even joking! Ask Tingle if you don’t believe me. That was so trippy.
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Apart from yourselves, who would you recommend people see at Liverpool Psych Fest?
Adrian Sherwood. We consider the man a genius. The On-U Sound label has produced some of the finest music in the universe. We love him. He’s a real gentleman too, met him a few times. If you know the true meaning of psychedelic music you will be well aware that Drastic Seasons by African Headcharge (On-U Sound) will buckle your mind every time you listen to it . A masterpiece. I also recommend Sex Swings. We played with them once, I think they blew us off stage. But I did have bad knees that night, great band, right moody cunts to talk too though. We ain’t heard many of the other bands, but looking forward to seeing them all.
Why should festival goers take time out to come and see you play? What can they expect from your live set?
Why should people see Meatraffle? Well if I was a person I wouldn’t want to see them. They are shambolic, rude, usually intoxicated on stage, they forget lyrics and are always out of tune. See them outside instead and ask them for your money back.
You can follow Meatraffle on Facebook and on Twitter. Their debut album ‘HiFi Classics’ can be heard in full over at Bandcamp.
The sixth edition of Liverpool Psych Fest will take place at Camp & Furnace on 22nd and 23rd of September. Check out our review of last year’s festivalhere. For more details about this year’s event head over to www.LiverpoolPsychFest.com. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased here.
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