They’ve released an album via Delayed Records, played alongside bands like Fat White Family and Warmduscher, and had a track mixed by the legendary Andrew Weatherall, so it’s easy to see why Meatraffle are one of the most talked about bands in the subculture art scene
The South London based six-piece are abrasive and upfront, a raw sense of realism and honesty embedded in their music. Lyrically the band have no filter, which is a real breath of fresh air, their tracks confronting topics like sexism, capitalism, and the shabby state of modern day politics. Meatraffle played Werkhaus last month for Denial Clothing’s S.O.D, supporting The Ninth Wave alongside Silkarmour and Storm Spent. We recently sat down for an in-depth with Meatraffle’s Zsa Zsa Sapien (vocals and trumpet), who has also curated an exclusive playlist for us
Tell us a bit about Meatraffle; what’s the story behind the band?
Yeah… Meatraffle started out as a joke. My friend Clarry McDonald was organising a Beatles covers all dayer to raise money for charity and he didn’t know if I had a band or not. I didn’t have a band and couldn’t play a musical instrument but I took up the challenge anyway. I lied and said I had a band called Meatraffle and he accepted the offer so I had to go away and figure out how we were gonna do this. A plan of attack. I looked at the easiest Beatles song to play and that was Revolution 9, which wasn’t an actual song, just a load of tape loops.
We turned up on the day with a transistor radio that we mic’d up, a turntable, a Billy Joel record that we played backwards, I told a few jokes, Clams Baker from Warmduscher was bashing away on the drums, Tingle Lungfish on the radio and that was it, we got a massive round of applause and that was the kinda genesis of Meatraffle really. I decided to take up the trumpet and that was it, we started out as a band.
Gigs aren’t currently a creative outlet for artists or venues, so what are you doing to keep creative at the minute? Has the current situation introduced you to any new ways of creating your music and staying occupied?
Yeah, gigs are kinda less creative in a way, unless you wanna say that improvisation is creative but I don’t know. Real creativity starts when you’re just walking and an idea comes in your head, or in rehearsals sharing ideas. So being in isolation with the virus and stuff has kinda given you more time to think about things, it’s kinda spurred on a lot of creativity in a sense. The only problem is the exchange of ideas with other members of the band but we’re managing to get round that with the internet and zoom and that.
You performed an exceptional gig for us back in March for Denial Clothing’s S.O.D. Can you explain the importance of DIY brands and promoters like Denial, alongside the importance of grassroots venues like Werkhaus?
So thankful to Joe at State of Denial to invite us to play that gig at Werkhaus. Kinda reminded me of how I see the punk DIY ethic. When I think of punk I don’t think of bands like UK Subs, Discharge and all that second generation stuff, even The Clash and The Damned, though I like some of their songs. To me, punk was a multi-faceted kinda movement, you know when I think of punk I also think of the futurists, the Italian futurists, I think of bands like X-Ray Spex, it was more of a mixed pollination, more an art movement, it wasn’t just about the music it was about the art as well I think. That kind of, androgyny as well, that David Bowie thing, it was all kind of a mixed bag and what State of Denial remind me of is that original spirit of punk and it kinda brought me back a bit. It was such a great night, you could tell by the audience, people seemed kinda clued up when it comes to art, music and having a broader sense of connection to alternative music and art.
What projects are Meatraffle currently working on, or planning to work on?
We released a video two weeks into lockdown of a song called Oh Corona and we invited our fans to make the video for us, sending in clips of them in lockdown, and our friend Niall Trask edited it for us. It kinda captures a moment of those early days of lockdown, in a slightly dark humoured way. View here.
The guys at the Windmill Brixton invited us to contribute a track to their fundraising album Live at The Windmill, a version of The Bird Song is on it that was recorded at our SXSW fundraiser back in February
We’re also putting out an EP of new stuff launching on Tuesday. Black Metal Music is a collection of songs written and recorded in isolation with the band all recording their parts separately then put together at home, discussed, tweaked and mixed.It‘s back to basics recording but it seems to be working.
Meatraffle – Black Metal Music is released on Bandcamp on Tuesday 5th May with additional songs dropping following Tuesdays. Track listing: Abstinence Blues, Oh Corona, New Maps of Hell, and Oh Corona [Treasure Isle Mix]
Zsa Zsa has also curated a playlist for your listening pleasure:
Follow Meatraffle here