by Maddy Cristall
Dead Meadow is one of the most important gems in the ever-changing and beloved sea of psych rock. The genre is perhaps now more popular than ever with the array of artists such as King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, Thee Oh Sees and Ty Segall perpetually releasing innovative music. Dead Meadow is a 20-year-old band that may just be the epitome of psych rock. Their music is simultaneously heavy yet melodic; it’s an accessible mosaic of sound. They’re known for generous concerts that melt the faces off drooling audience members, present company included.
The band has always consisted of lead singer and guitar icon Jason Simon as well as Steve Kille on bass and sitar. Every strong psych band requires a sitar. The two primary members have rotated drummers over the years, but each original member is featured on their latest album The Nothing They Need. This is the band’s eighth studio album and arguably their best yet.
“It felt like a reunion – we got into the studio and it was like 1999 again,” Simon says. Perhaps that’s what makes this record so special. It doesn’t feel nostalgic; it feels brand new. The band is originally from Washington, D.C. but now resides in L.A. When asked if they are famous in L.A., Simon coyly laughs.
“Who knows, are we famous anywhere?” he says. The answer to that question is that, to most, they’re not. To some, though, they make the world’s most important music.
“The music industry has changed so much over the years, it’s hard to know if there still is an industry,” says Simon. “We signed with Matador in the early 2000s and I don’t know if bands can just do that anymore.”
Their latest video for “Here with the Hawk” features Michael Horse a.k.a. Deputy Hawk from Twin Peaks. The video is a wonderful representation of the infinite magnetism that Dead Meadow so seamlessly emanates. Dead Meadow remains interesting because they are authentically excited to make music.
Dead Meadow plays at the Rickshaw Theatre on February 23.Dead Meadow