The Meddling Kids
You guys have a great name. Can you tell us the story behind it? Is Scooby Doo involved at all?
Thank you — yeah, we borrowed the name from Scooby Doo. As you may know, at the end of most episodes the villain usually says, “And I would have gotten away with it too if it weren’t for those meddling kids.” I always thought that was such a classic line. Plus, we’re a fun rock-n-roll band and we really wanted the name to reflect that.
How did the band initially get together?
Jeremy, Brian and I started playing together back in high school. Jeremy had played with Tyler previous to that in another project. We all went our separate ways in different bands and then said, “Hey, we all have the same influences and we’ve been friends for years, let’s put something together.” The rest is history, as they say.
I understand that when you started the band, your goal was to give the audience the type of show you always wanted to experience. What type of show did you mean? And do you feel like you’ve achieved this?
We’re all fans of bands like KISS and Cheap Trick that put on as much of a visual show as they do musically. Throughout the 1990’s, it seemed like every band out there prided themselves in being the “anti-rock star.” Staring at their feet, no interaction whatsoever with the crowd. I’ve always said, if a band isn’t going to be entertaining live, the audience might as well sit home and listen to the album. We know especially today how tough it is for bands to get people out to shows when you’re competing with computers, YouTube, satellite tv, etc. We give people a reason to come out and see us.
I know that your influences include classic rock acts like KISS and The Rolling Stones, yet you also note that growing up, you listened to pop artists such as Michael Jackson and Huey Lewis. With the sound you’ve created, do you feel like you’ve incorporated elements from both genres?
I think so. Sometimes there really isn’t that much of a difference between genres, other than that one band may be playing Les Pauls through Marshall amps and the other band is playing with the keyboards more up-front.
It’s been said of your music that “The Kids prove melody doesn’t always have to be placid or soft.” Can you comment on that?
That kind of goes back to the previous question. A lot of times people hear that a band is melodic and they automatically think that it’s going to be real light, limp-wristed stuff. We take melodies that probably could be used in a more pop-type atmosphere and put an AC/DC guitar tone to it and then you basically get The Meddling Kids sound.
The band released its self-titled debut album in November. Can you tell us a little bit about the record, and take us through a few of your favorite tracks?
We finally got it out this past November after going back and forth with some labels. We actually started recording it over a year ago, and then realized we had to remix it to get it up to our standards. We hooked up with a small indie label, Mister Cat Records, who put it out for us and basically let us be in control of things rather then having to answer to someone. I really love every song on it and think it turned out great. I’d say a few of the standout tracks would be “Let Her Go,” which is a straight-ahead rocker with a Cheap Trick/Ramones feel to it…“Goodbye” is another great tune that someone commented on to me by saying, “It has more hooks than a tackle box”… “It’s Over” is a crowd-participation favorite as well.
Have you been pleased with the response the album has received so far?
We’ve been very pleased. We’ve received a lot of really nice press and a lot of radio play, both on commercial radio stations as well as college and internet radio. We’ve been selling a lot of copies on cdbaby.com all over the world. It’s almost overwhelming when you see that people in Australia are buying the cd that we wrote in my basement!
You contributed your take on “I’ve Done Everything For You” to “Working Class Dogs,” a Rick Springfield tribute cd. Tell us about this – and how would you describe your version of the song?
That’s coming out on FastLane Records. They got in touch and asked if we wanted to be a part of it and we said sure. We had toyed with the idea of doing that song live anyway, so we figured, let’s go in the studio for a night and knock it out. As far as our version, we slightly changed the arrangement a little bit, beefed it up a little to give it a modern edge, but tried to keep the song intact so Springfield fans will dig it. Sort of like when Van Halen covered “You Really Got Me” by The Kinks. I guess it sort of sounds like Rick Springfield on steroids.
You’ve played with bands such as Blues Traveler and Warrant, as well as with members of KISS and Motley Crue. Any particular favorite?
That’s a tough one, because all the bands we play with and the shows we do are cool in different ways. The Blues Traveler show we did this past summer was really a special show for the four of us. We did it acoustic which isn’t something we do that often. It was at a sold-out club that holds about 1,200 people, and there must have been 1,500 there! It was totally crazy — we stepped out on stage and the place went crazy. Playing with Warrant and KISS and Motley Crue was cool in the fact that those are bands that as kids we looked up to, and to share a stage with them and hang out and actually have them tell us that they loved the show is an awesome feeling.
This past weekend, we did a special show with Chip Z’Nuff from the legendary Chicago powerpop band Enuff Z’Nuff. Chip came into town for my wife’s birthday and we played a whole set of Enuff Z’Nuff with Chip on bass, which was awesome. The four of us are huge fans, to say the least, and that was a blast and really an honor.
Who would be your dream band to tour with?
Probably bands like KISS and Aerosmith, just for the fact that there’s a guaranteed sellout crowd every night! Butch Walker, who was in The Marvelous 3 and other bands, would be very cool too. (Butch give us a call!!)
What’s the most important thing for TWRY readers to know about The Meddling Kids?
We’d just like to thank everyone for their support, and you haven’t heard the last from us! We hope to see everyone out on the road soon. Feel free to stop by our MySpace page at http://www.myspace.com/themeddlingkidsrock and drop us a line. Our official website is http://www.themeddlingkids.com and our cd can be purchased at http://www.cdbaby.com/meddlingkids.
Overall, what’s the 2008 plan for the band?
We have some out-of-town shows in the works and we’re going to keep pushing the radio market and see what we can do. We have another album that is already written that we may start working on later in the year. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for checking us out. Happy New Year and we’ll see you soon!