Music has always served as an emotional release for Meg Myers. Born in Nashville, she spent the first five years of her life in Tennessee’s Smoky Mountains, where she was raised by a truck driver father and a Jehovah’s Witness mother. After her parents divorced, her mother married a fellow Witness, who moved the family first to Ohio, then to Florida, where they bounced from town to town throughout her teen years. During this period, Myers began singing, writing songs, and teaching herself to play guitar. Alongside her brother, she played bass in a band called Feeling Numb, performing in clubs in Fort Lauderdale and Miami.
A few days shy of her 20th birthday, Myers made the decision to move to Los Angeles to pursue a career in music. It was there that she met acclaimed producer Doctor Rosen Rosen — whose previous work includes tracks by Britney Spears, M.I.A., La Roux, and Lady Gaga — who signed her to his production company. The two began writing songs, and in 2011, Myers released her debut EP, Daughter in the Choir, featuring ferocious anthems such as “Monster,” which earned her rave reviews and evoked comparisons to Fiona Apple and Sinéad O’Connor, though Myers cites Tracy Chapman, Joan Osborne and Ann Wilson as inspirations, along with Kurt Cobain, Layne Staley and Trent Reznor.
Myers’ latest EP, Make a Shadow, was released by Atlantic Records in January of 2014, and on songs such as the raging, unapologetic “Desire,” Myers explores the tension between dark and light, sweet and sour, and sex and death via her cathartic songwriting. Her richly powerful voice, which can slide from a delicate trill to an anguished howl, is the perfect instrument with which to express her fiercely raw lyrics about craving that which is just out of reach.
For more information, visit www.megmyers.com.
I think it made me a more spiritual person. It’s always been important to me to have a connection with something bigger, which I find through music, animals and nature. I try not to look at the negative side of it, which I’m sure messed with my head there for a bit growing up, but I’ve let all that go. I appreciate all the material it’s given me to write about. :)
What were your first few months in Los Angeles like? Did you struggle to fit in?
They were hard. I couch-surfed a lot and struggled to find people to play with that understood what I wanted to do musically. It took me years to find myself and discover who I am today. And to discover that who I am is a total hermit introvert and that there’s nothing wrong with that.
How did you first meet Doctor Rosen Rosen, and how has he helped you evolve musically?
I met him four years ago. It was magic from the start with him. He’s pulled things out of me musically/vocally/poetically that I never knew existed. I still can’t wrap my head around it. There are no words.
What is your songwriting process?
It changes up constantly. Lately we just start from scratch together, coming up with chords on piano, bass or guitar or some weird instrument, and then writing a melody and then lyrics and then building the track. The thing is, if I don’t feel emotionally connected to what we’re writing, then it can’t go on. I have to be connected to what I’m writing about, and he can always tell if I’m connected or not. Which is really good for me, because sometimes I have a hard time speaking up and he reads my mind.
Is there any such thing as a lyric that’s too personal? If so, where is the line?
No, I don’t think so. I think if it’s too personal, then you’re onto something great. There are no lines with creating. If you are not crossing those lines in everything you do, then it will never be great.
In your opinion, can great music come from happiness? Or does it always require a touch of sadness, loneliness or despair?
I don’t know. Even the love songs and the upbeat, happy or humorous songs I’ve written have loneliness in them. Even when I’m positive and writing, there is sadness. I’m the wrong person to ask. :)
How much creative input do you have on the look and feel of your videos?
It’s definitely always a collaboration, but I have a lot of creative input always in the look and feel.
What goes through your mind in the moments before you walk onstage?
Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck.
What was the atmosphere like backstage at Lollapalooza? In an environment like that, do you hang out with the other bands, or do you keep to yourself?
I like to keep to myself as much as possible before every show. Listen to classical music and go within. Festivals are always strange for me because there’s a lot of interviews and press around the shows. But my team is really great about giving me space an hour to half hour before so I can get in the right headspace. Which is getting out of my head. I had my own dressing room so that was great and everybody stayed outside, including my band. Those guys are angels. Angels.
What’s the most memorable concert you’ve attended?
Lindsey Buckingham solo acoustic. Also he was one of my biggest influences growing up. So much emotion.
When you have a day off from recording or performing, what do you do for fun?
Hike, go to the gardens, catch up with my family, read or watch a movie.
What’s the best movie you’ve seen recently?
Talihina Sky (Kings of Leon documentary).
What would you like to do that you simply haven’t found the time for yet?
I’ve always wanted to work closely with animals, especially gorillas.
Do you still miss Tennessee?