Saturday, June 8, 2013
Pheaturing Phile Alum Tish Meeks From 3 Kisses
Good evening, kids, and welcome to the Phile on a stormy Saturday. There's a big storm brewing outside again. It is hurricane season after all here in Florida. So, are you a fan of Game of Thrones? I have never seen it, but I can tell you this... why doesn't George R.R. Martin use Twitter? Because he killed off all one hundred forty characters. I know some of you readers would like that joke. Actor Steven Seagal is now in Russia. He is meeting with Vladimir Putin. Is this what American foreign policy has come down to? Dennis Rodman is in North Korea. Steven Seagal is in Russia. What's next? Are we air dropping Gary Busey into Syria? Maybe Snooki goes to Iraq? President Obama says he is renewing his efforts to close Guantanamo Bay. How about closing the IRS? Why don’t we do that? How about shipping the IRS to Guantanamo Bay? This latest California wildfire is getting pretty scary. But Governor Jerry Brown has it under control. He said he is going to tax and regulate the fire until it gets fed up and moves to another state. In Pakistan, the Taliban's No. 2 man has been killed by an American drone. In a related story, today the Taliban's No. 3 man said he's stepping down to spend more time with his family. In case you didn't know, Kim Kardashian is having a baby, and they announced that it was a baby girl, and they made the announcement on their reality show. The Kardashians are now pleading with the public to respect their never-ending pursuit of self-promotion. Starbucks is now banning smoking within 25 feet of its stores. It will get even worse for smokers once they realize every Starbucks is about 25 feet from another Starbucks. During his trip to Brazil on Friday, Joe Biden said he was having such a good time that he didn’t want to go home. And that was just while he was riding on the baggage carousel at the airport. Many Republicans want President Obama to fire Attorney General Eric Holder after he seemed to contradict himself under oath. When asked if he’s worried, Holder said, “Yes. I mean, no.” A new study found that drinking soda is just as bad for your teeth as using meth. However, soda is still less likely to make you live under a bridge with a guy named Snake. So, did you hear about the East Midlands earthquake. Me neither. But they released a poster to raise money for the people affected by it.
LOL. That's one of my favorite running jokes here on the Phile. I never get tired of that. This past week, JC Penney was in big trouble over a tea kettle that is supposed to look like Hitler. This is real. Personally, I'm waiting for the Menendez Brothers salt and pepper shakers. Anyway, I saw a picture of the teapot and I don't see what the big fuss is about. I don't see any resemblance to Hitler. Check it out
I'm so stupid. Last week I think it was I showed a picture of an ad for a Pop Tart vodka. I don't think it's true. Anyway, a Phile reader sent me this picture, and I'm not sure this is true either, but if it is, it's cool.
Star Wars Pop Tarts... I don't like Pop Tarts, but those I would try. A few weeks ago I showed you a picture a Phile reader sent me of a car he saw with a "Slow Ride" license plate. Well, another Phile reader sent me a picture of his car and his license plate.
Is that car for sale now? It looks like it. Anyway, thanks to whoever sent that in. I have to mention this a few days ago was Bad Wolf Day, on June 3rd. I said to write Bad Wolf on slips of paper, anywhere in public and take pictures and Twitter them. People did, so the for the rest of this month I will show you some that people sent in.
Thanks for the "Doctor Who" fans that took part. Okay, now let's see who got turned into work food this week.
Feb 28, 1960 - June 7, 2013
The Night Struck Back.
Aug 8, 1921 - June 6, 2013
Sleeping with the fishes.
If you see the mind phuck email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Okay, so, you know there's The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, right? Well, the Phile has a Rock and Roll Hall of Phame that's even better. We actually use the words rock and roll. So far we have inducted Savoy Brown, The J. Geils Band, Status Quo, Sparks, Mick Ronson, ELO, Rockpile, Dr. Feelgood and The Stranglers and The Jam. Today there's gonna be a new inductee. Please welcome to the Phile once again, raconteur, entreprenour, Jah Paul Jo in a past life and co-owner of Berdan Records, and member of unHOF... Joseph J. Ramsey with today's induction to...
Before writing this, I had to go to Google to make SURE that I wasn't mistaken; HOW in the WORLD could Todd Rundgren NOT be in something calling itself a Rock'n'Roll Hall Of Fame? I mean, I would consider him for his production work alone... never mind his groundbreaking work with The Nazz, solo and beyond. Well, it's true, folks... he's not. And this time, they don't even have the "He belongs in the British version..." excuse to fall back on. Nope... this one is just out and out criminal (and dumb!). I first heard Todd as guitarist, main songwriter in the sixties psych group, The Nazz. A friend had bought one of their singles that had a song called "Under The Ice" on it. I believe it was the B-side because it was so heavy, I don't think it could possibly be the main song. We played that thing over and over... great early hard rock with plenty of stunningly good lead guitar, courtesy of Rundgren. Then, I lucked into getting a red vinyl copy of their second album, "Nazz Nazz" (There was "Nazz", "Nazz Nazz" and "Nazz Nazz Nazz"!!!) in the 50 cent bin at Poo Bahs... easily, the best deal I have ever gotten at a record store... ever. Opening song, "Forget All About It" blew my mind. Everything... the song structure, the clever arrangement, the vocals, the guitar and drums... all amazing and, in retrospect, all Todd. The Nazz introduced the world to Todd's inner Carole King (and probably, Laura Nyro) in the form of "Hello, It's Me." Todd would later perfect this song on his masterpiece, "Something Anything." This type of ballad would become a mainstay in Todd's repertoire with hits like "We Gotta Get You A Woman" and "I Saw The Light." There are just too many twists and turns in this amazing career to list here. He's had smash pop hits, played amazing lead guitar, was a pioneer of prog and electronic music... he even produced The New York Dolls, Grand Funk and The Tubes. Here's a nicely written piece by Phill Marder that originally appeared in Goldmine Magazine that makes Todd's case with a lot more detail than I supply here: goldminemag.com/blogs/bang-the-drum-all-day-until-todd-makes-the-hall-of-fame. I hate the term but it's apropos here... Todd Rundgren's selection is truly a 'no-brainer.'
And who can forget his classic "Bang A Drum"? I don't know if you kids know this, Todd took part on the first Foghat album. Okay, a phriend of the Phile wanted to come on and tell us a story what recently happened to him. He is a singer, patriot and renaissance man. You know what time it is.
Rainy nights like this are only good for one thing. Staying in bed and screwing your brains out. Was gonna say snuggling... but fuck that. Waiting outside a pub for my client to finish his pint... I see these two vapid Tyra Banks wannabees laughing and making fun of an elderly homeless man sitting on the steps by the corner. "Oh my God... Did you smell him? Ewwww." I got out of the car... called them cunts and handed him the $50 my client gave me to get myself dinner. I wasn't hungry anyway... and some people are just shallow fucking assholes.
Thanks, Laird. He called them the c-word. LOL. Great job. Alright, the 26th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...
The author and artist Ben Filipiak and Rob Rhine, both Phile Alumni, will be a guest on the Phile next week.
Today's pheatured guest has been a pheatured guest more than anyone. I think this is her 5th appearance on the Phile. Her band 3 Kisses has a brand new fantastic album out called "All Or Nothing Hero" which is available on iTunes. Please welcome back, one of my favorite guests ever... Tish Meeks!
Me: TISH!!! Hello, welcome back to the Phile. How are you?
Tish: I’m staying very busy and doing great!
Me: I think this is the 5th time you've been a guest on the Phile. That's so cool you have been a pheatured guest more than anyone. I am guessing you do a lot of interviews though, right?
Tish: Very cool that this is my 5th interview with you. I do a few… never as many as I’d like. There’s no such thing as too much exposure. I’d love to be doing a lot more of them.
Me: You are one of the reasons I love doing the Phile, Tish. If it wasn't for this stupid little blog I would never have known about your music, and 3 Kisses is one of my favorite bands. I thought of stopping the Phile a few times in the last 7 years. Did you ever think of quitting being a musician? I doubt the answer would be yes.
Tish: Well, thank you, Jason. I appreciate that. Absolutely, I’ve thought of giving it up. Working as an indie musician can be very trying, at times. There’ve been multiple occasions I’ve considered throwing in the towel. The closest it has come to actually happening was when I moved from Texas to Alaska. I gave up everything to move up here to get my kids closer to family. It didn’t last, though. I almost went crazy not being able to play, so it was only about a month after I moved that I started playing with Nate Lankford and we began rebuilding 3 Kisses. Indie bands are so underestimated. If you are not a gigging original musician, there is no way you can even fathom the amount of time, money, dedication and commitment it takes just to play local gigs... not even taking into account recording albums, shooting videos and touring. Playing music is a driving passion and that keeps me doing it, no matter what adversity must be overcome. Q: How are your kids, Tish? I bet they are getting big. Any of them playing music? Benji and Hannah are both doing awesome and yes, they are growing like crazy. Benji is bigger than me… it’s weird. Time certainly flies. They are both in middle school, they’re good students and just good kids all around. Benji plays trumpet in band and he jams on guitar from time to time. Hannah is still heavily into art. That’s her creative outlet.
Me: And any new tattoo's? You know I have to ask you that every time you are here. I still think a flying filing cabinet tattoo would look good on you.
Tish: It’s been awhile since I got a tattoo. My last one was done by Jeff Staha at East End Tattoo in Anchorage. It’s a Taurus with wings on my right forearm. I’m due for another one, for sure. Don’t think it will be a flying filing cabinet, however. ;-)
Me: Okay, fine. LOL. Are you still living in Alaska?
Tish: I’ll be staying in Alaska until my kids finish school. So, I’m looking at another 6-7 years here, minimum. I may end up staying even after they graduate, but I really would like to move someplace warmer.
Me: How do you like living there? I bet it's cold most of the time, am I right?
Tish: It’s nice being close to my family and getting to spend time with them. I love the music scene in Alaska. There are some great people here and I love their organic appreciation for live music. Concert goers aren’t as jaded here as other places because the market isn’t over saturated here. People tend to take entertainment for granted more in heavily populated areas. We don’t get many shows up here and there aren’t even that many local bands. The winters are very long and the cold gets to you after awhile. I miss the Texas weather tremendously.
Me: You're originally from Texas, and have been living in Alaska for awhile. Have you been back to Texas since you moved?
Tish: I went back to Texas last year for SXSW and played with the guys who were in my band back there. I got to spend 10 days down there. Then, about a month later I went back again when one of my best friends was killed in an auto accident. That was right at a year ago. I was hoping to get to go back this year, but I just have too much going on to leave Alaska for any length of time at the moment.
Me: So you guys play there again? What was that like?
Tish: We played the Invasion of the GoGirls and MusicGorilla showcases during SXSW, then played two shows at Nightrocker and Zombies in San Antonio. It was great getting to jam with Jeff, Andy and Bryan, but it wasn’t the same. We are all still friends and keep up with each other, but life has moved on for all of us. Next time I play in Texas, it will be with Nate, Nate and Scott. They are my band now.
Me: Do you think you'll ever move back to Texas?
Tish: There’s a chance I might move back to Texas when Benji and Hannah are grown, but that won’t be for a few years. Then again, I might go somewhere completely new. One day at a time... and for now, my life is in Alaska.
Me: Let's talk about your new CD "All Or Nothing Hero". When I first heard of that title I thought you were referring to a sandwich or some sort and it made me hungry. What is the title really referring to?
Tish: “All or Nothing Hero” is a song about people with constant drama in their lives. It has a little wordplay on TV soap operas, but the gist is that I’m not here to save you, you’ve got to choose to stop being a victim… and while you’re at it, leave me out of it completely.
Me: How long did it take you to write the songs for this album, Tish?
Tish: That’s a tricky question. We’ve been jamming little ideas here and there and recording them for months. The album has been in development, I guess, since the summer of 2012… maybe even earlier. When we started getting serious about flying Eric LaBrosse (Cherry Pit Studios) up here to record, that’s when we buckled down and started evolving all of the ideas we’d been collecting into actual songs. Some of the songs didn’t fully come together until we were in the studio in December 2012. But that is usually the way it goes for me. There were quite a few last minute pieces of the puzzle, but it came together neatly as it always does. We probably had the album just a little over halfway finished by the time Eric got here. I was sitting in the floor rehashing lyrics while listening to Eric track Nate’s guitar parts. Being in the studio can be very inspirational, though, so this isn’t necessarily a bad way to do things. I get last minute ideas which can “make” the song.
Me: Who is in the band with you now? Different members then before, am I right?
Tish: Nate Lankford is on lead guitar. We’ve been playing and writing together for just under 2 years. Nate Rouse came on board on drums in October 2011, then Scott Roseman was last to join in June 2012. So, I’ve been playing with these guys for awhile. They’re ‘new’ to the 3 Kisses international audience, but not new as far as the local scene goes… and not new to me, either. We’ve got a lot of history together, already. We lost one of our managers to lung cancer last fall, which was a huge blow to all of us. Nate Rouse just got married. When you go through things like weddings, funerals, buying houses, illness, etc., it bonds you to one another. We celebrate, we laugh, we cry, we fight, we hug and make up… it’s a family. I don’t know what I’d do without them.
Me: You guys look like you have fun though judging by the new band publicity photo.
Me: Where was the album recorded, Tish?
Tish: The album was recorded in Nate Lankford’s house. We flew my producer, Eric LaBrosse (Cherry Pit Studios), up from Milwaukee and he worked his magic. I’ve recorded 64 songs with Eric since 2008 and we have a remarkable working relationship. Not to mention, we’re really close friends, so it shows in the music… he “gets” me. He knows what 3 Kisses should sound like and he captures the pure essence of the songs and of the band’s signature sound. He’s almost like a silent member of the band. We bounce ideas off each other all the time, our bands have toured together in the past, he’s really like a brother to me and I feel 100% confident about placing my songs in his hands when it comes time to record.
Me: I love the album and I think it's 3 Kisses best one yet. Do you have a favorite?
Tish: Thank you! I’m extremely pleased with the way this album turned out. I agree that it is the best one to date and a lot of that is due to my own personal growth and to having a cowriter who matches me in ability. Everyone in the band contributes to writing, but Nate Lankford and I spend the most time giving life to new songs. He compliments my abilities so perfectly; it makes it easy for us to come up with new ideas. We just bounce ideas off each other until we are happy with the direction the song is going. I don’t have a favorite 3 Kisses album or song… each song and album represents something different to me and they are all equally important on a personal level. I am very proud of this album, though, and all of the individual effort from my band members who made it all happen. The quality of the songs on this album has a tremendous amount to do with the quality of players in the band and their creative abilities. “Terminal Adolescents” was the result of us shooting footage for the reality show, passing around a bottle of Jameson, killing it off, then just having a wild, crazy jam fest in Nate’s living room. We recorded it, listened later and we were like, “WOW, there’s a kick ass song in there!” I think just the way we work together as a group provides the perfect environment for great songs to come together.
Me: I watched the video for the song "We're Through" and was shocked that you threw a guitar out a window. I have a screen shot of it here...
Me: I had a guitar expert look at the footage and he said that guitar that was thrown and broken is a 1968 Fender that is worth over ten thousand dollars. What do you think of that?
Tish: Ha! That was Nate Lankford’s first guitar he ever owned. It was pretty much junk, so he offered it up to take the dive in the video. I’ve actually smashed two of his guitars for videos. I think we’ve exhausted our supply of junk guitars.
Me: I am just kidding about that. I didn't ask anybody. Anyway, who is that poor guy who had to pick up the broken guitar in the snow?
Tish: Lucas Jolivette was my co-star in the video. He’s a good friend of ours, a killer guitarist and just a great guy. He also sang on the gang vocals on “Raise Your Hands.” He’s always around to lend a hand when we need it.
Me: Last time you were here we talked about a reality show you were doing. It's called "Kiss Off", right? How is that going? Do you still have camera crews following you around?
Tish: Yes, “Kiss Off” is the tentative name for the reality show. We’ve gotten close to the end of filming for the reality TV show pilot. It’s in editing, as we speak. I hope that we have gotten all the footage we need to tie the story together. It’s been a long process... over a year of shooting for one pilot, but we are doing it all on our own with a small team of volunteers, so it’s not like working with a big pro crew. We’re hoping to take it to that level. With the pilot, we are attempting to communicate to a national network that our content is compelling enough to create a full series. The dream is to sell the show and be able to tour and have a crew following us around capturing all of the action. As it is, currently, all of the band members are so busy with day jobs, college, kids... we only have two days a week, max, to work on all things band related. So, we’ve managed to write and record an album, rehearse, play shows, shoot a music video, shoot all the video footage for the reality show, promote the band, do a record label pre-release on Rat Pak Records and manage all other band business on a very limited schedule. If shooting the reality show became our full-time job, I can only imagine how much we could accomplish for 3 Kisses.
Me: Of course you were already on one reality show a few years ago... "Wife Swap". Do people ever recognize you from that show?
Tish: They used to a lot. When the episode first aired, there was a 15 minutes of fame period. Not so much anymore.
Me: I would think that show gonna haunt you forever. I am betting you get introduced as Tish Meeks from the reality show "Wife Swap" a lot, right?
Tish: It doesn’t really haunt me too much. I guess it is pretty cool that people still remember the episode. We did it, it was fun, it was almost 7 years ago… I’m over it. I’m divorced, I’ve moved on, I prefer to just close that chapter and focus on the present. It’s a fact that is used in marketing because it is a big deal having done national reality TV, already, but aside from that, it doesn’t come up all that often. And I never get introduced as Tish Meeks from “Wife Swap,” thank God! Shudder.
Me: Tish, do you think you'll ever release a live album? That would be great if you did.
Tish: I’m not a fan of live albums, personally, so I don’t know that I will ever release one. I know that some people are big fans of capturing the live sound, but I like studio production. I’m not saying it will never happen, but as of now, there are no plans in the works.
Me: What would be better if you played in Orlando and took your kids to Disney World. Any plans on going on a big tour?
Tish: That would be pretty sweet, I must admit. It would also be awesome to do a European tour and take the kids along. They’re getting big enough that it would be enjoyable for all of us. I think that would be an excellent way to start out the “Kiss Off” series.
Me: So, what's next for you, Tish? Any plans for another album? More videos?
Tish: We’re doing a string of CD release shows in Alaska, at the moment. We’ve already started writing songs for the next album. Of course, it’s in the very early stages and we’re still putting the majority of our focus into promoting “All or Nothing Hero.” The airplay is picking up and I’m always trying to get DJs to add us to their playlists and get as much buzz going out there as possible. We’d like to do a couple more videos and we’re discussing flying in a videographer who works with our producer to shoot a video for “Save Me.” That tune’s getting the most airplay, so it makes sense that we should have a video for it.
Me: When your TV show gets sold, and is ready to be on TV I'd love to have you back. Do you have a time frame when that'll be?
Tish: I have to wait until the pilot is finished before I can start shopping the show, then who knows how long the time frame will be before anyone pays attention to us. I expect it to be a bit of a process. I’m going to have to get a solid marketing campaign going to get the show to the right people. I’d love to come back when we have news to report, though!
Me: Thanks again for being here, Tish. Please mention your websites and I said it before, as long as you are making music, I'll always have you on the Phile.
Tish: Thanks for having me again, Jason. I really appreciate all your support over the years. Here are some links for ya: 3 Kisses Official: 3kisses.com, 3 Kisses on Rat Pak Records: ratpakrecords.com/3kisses, iTunes: itunes.apple.com/album/all-or-nothing-hero/id618304885?v0=9988&ign-mpt=uo%3D, YouTube “We’re Through” video: youtube.com/watch?v=xAb-D0vvGOg&list=UUUPtvV65HMegsuBFTnpQzYA.
Me: Oh, I almost forgot... this year on the Phile I am asking random questions from the game Tabletopics. This is a dumb one, but here goes. What was your most memorable meal ever?
Tish: When I lived in California, there was this incredible Italian restaurant that had a ravioli and sun dried tomatoes in cream sauce that was to die for. I can’t even remember the name of the place, but that dish was amazing delicious.
Me: Tish, thanks again, and take care. Keep rocking.
Tish: Thanks for having me again, Jason. You know I will!
That about does it for this entry. Thanks to my guests Joseph J. Ramsey, Laird Jim and of course Tish Meeks. The Phile will be back on Monday with Canadian singer Amber Edgar and then next Saturday with Phile Alum JoDee Purkeypile. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye. Strawberry Blondes Forever!