Hey there, did you miss me? The Phile is back, kids! I know I said it'll be back in the end of January, but my plane was fired upon. Just kidding, I wasn't in a plane. So, every U.S. citizen east of Colorado should expect to be cryogenically frozen into a block of ice next week, as an extremely frigid wave of Arctic air descends upon the nation. Okay, to be fair, that's a little bit of an exaggeration. The lower half of Florida here looks like it will remain mildly warm. Have you heard about this app called MassRoots? Apple has has reportedly changed its mind concerning the marijuana-themed social network, MassRoots, and will henceforth allow the app to be sold in their online store. There are, however, two caveats: 1) it may only be made available in states where cannabis has been legalized for recreational or medical purposes, and 2) buyers need to have sufficient motor skills to mash a finger onto their phone's screen to purchase the app. The craziest thing about marijuana being legalized is seeing stoners start businesses. A new study of 5,000 Americans has found that being in a perpetual state of owing tens of thousands of dollars to moneylenders for having been given the chance to waste valuable years on college degrees that are near valueless in the modern job market may have a detrimental effect on people's mental health. They're still looking into it, though. Robert Kirkman... creator of AMC's "The Walking Dead" has reportedly signed a deal with Cinemax to frustrate the expectations of its subscribers by creating a new sporadically worthwhile series about demonic possession, called "Outcast." An exorcism must be incredibly bittersweet because you stop being 1) possessed by a demon 2) the center of attention. Animals researchers have found significant evidence to conclude that our pet dogs are adept at reading our emotions by monitoring our facial expressions. Not that that's going to stop them from pissing you off by shitting in the corner of the laundry room when you leave the house for more than four hours. But they will know for sure that you're mad. At the beginning of this entry I referenced in a round about way the Brain Williams story. Well, recently a rare photo of Abraham Lincoln taken with Brain Williams after his horse was shot by a Confederate bullet surfaced. Don't believe me?
So, it's 2015 and this year we are supposed to dress like this...
Haha. Speaking of Back to the Future did you know I was supposed to play the part of Biff?
Oh, that's so bad. So, that 50 Shades of Grey movie came out yesterday and Disney is cashing in by releasing some of their animated movies with some 50 Shades scenes thrown in. Check it out...
I know this happened a week ago but I have to mention it... After Beck's "Morning Phase" beat out Beyonce's self-titled album for Album of the Year, Kanye West, class clown, headed up on the stage to grab that award right out of his hands at the Grammys. He then seemed to think better of it and went back to his seat, while Beck called after him to stay. It cracked Jay-Z and Beyonce up, and everyone seemed entertained by Kanye repeating the notorious episode where he grabbed the mic out of Taylor Swift's hands after she won at the VMAs. When I saw this I thought was a dickhead Kanye was, and then when I saw this picture it all made sense.
Oh, God, I apologize. That's crazy and disgusting at the same time. And now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York here is this weeks...
Top Phive Things Brian Williams Says He's Doing But What He Actually Is Doing
5. He says he's parachuting into the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant to secure the rector core but he's actually sitting the kids down and coming clean about cheating on Monopoly for the last 30 years.
4. He says he's reconnecting with his teammates from Seal Team Six but he's actually finally watching that "Peter Pan Live" that's been sitting on his DVR for more than a month.
3. He says he's ghost writing Harper Lee's next novel but he's actually made those guest appearances on "30 Rock", or made those up too.
2. He says he's rereading journal entries from the time he hiked the Adirondack Trail but he's actually walking out to the garage to look for the rake.
And the number one thing Brian Williams says he's doing but what what he actually is doing is...
1. He says he is reliving the horror of seeing a body floating in New Orleans' French Quarter but he's actually realizing in horror that his entire career is swirling down the toilet.
If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. Okay, let's see who ate it recently...
May 10th, 1934 — February 12th, 2015
From beautiful downtown Burbank!
August 8th, 1930 — February 11th, 2015
Rebel without... well, anything, really.
February 28th, 1931 — February 7th, 2015
Ran out the clock.
June 2nd, 1922 — February 4th, 2015
Looks like he took one stroke too many.
April 29th, 1933 — January 29th, 2015
He tried out ranch hand, surveyor, railroad worker, lumberjack, rodeo cowboy, stuntman, and radio disk jockey before he landed on poetry. I can't figure out if he did it FOR the girls or because he HATED girls.
Today's guest is a Phile Alum and the lead singer for the great band 3 Kisses whose new CD "Cardboard Cutouts" is available right now. Please welcome back to the Phile... Tish Meeks!
Me: Hey, Tish, welcome back to the Phile. You are one of my favorite guests and it's been awhile since you were here. How have you been?
Tish: I’m doing great, Jason! Lots of exciting stuff happening, as usual. Never a dull moment around here. Thank you for having me again!
Me: I can't believe this is your sixth visit to the Phile. You first were here Christmas Eve in 2008. The Phile and 3 Kisses have come along way, haven't they?
Tish: I can’t believe it’s been that long since my first interview with you. Indeed they have! It’s always fun to watch the growth of not only my band, but those I work with. It’s a wonderful experience to be able to share in the success of others.
Me: This year the Phile is celebrating it's 9th anniversary and 3 Kisses is 11 years old, right? What has been the biggest change in the band all these years?
Tish: Happy 9th Anniversary! Yes, I started 3 Kisses in January 2004, so this is the 11 year anniversary of the band. The biggest change was moving the band across the country. That has been interesting to say the least. And of course, I have never had a very steady line-up, but I think each player I’ve worked with has brought what was needed to the project at the time. I have a pretty relentless vision and it is difficult to find people who share it. I’ve started listening to my mentors and changing my perspective that 3 Kisses is truly more of a solo project. I’ve always wanted that die-hard team of musicians, but it has been elusive. I’ve stopped looking for it and I am enjoying working with my current co-writers.
Me: So, you're still living in Alaska, right? You're not tired of the snow yet?
Tish: Yes, I am still living in Alaska. I will be here for a few more years, at least. I bought a house in May and I have no intention of moving my kids again. I am NOT a fan of winters, but this one has been unusually mild, so I am surviving. You get used to it after awhile.
Me: Do you make it back to Texas often, Tish?
Tish: I don’t make it back to Texas nearly as often as I’d like. My last two trips were due to funerals, so that wasn’t very pleasant. I’m going to try to make a trip with my kids this summer to see all of our friends and family, but first... we are taking a trip to Boston to spend some time with my dear friends, Joe & Donna Cannatelli at On the Fringe Studios.
Me: Benji and Hannah, your kids must be getting big, Tish. Are they getting into music as well?
Tish: Benji and Hannah are growing up way too fast. Hannah has been in choir the past several years, but she is taking a break from it. She is still into art and drawing. I do hope she continues to sing. She has the voice of an angel. Benji has gotten into composing EDM and he is DJing events at local high schools. He has also gotten a song accepted by APM Music for licensing and I anticipate more of that happening in the coming months. He is working with my producer and our long-time family friend, Eric LaBrosse of Cherry Pit Studios who has produced my last 5 albums.
Me: So, your music has been on the 2014 Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards, a few food shows, and something called "Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare." I know when "Slow Ride" is on a TV show, or movie or commercial it helps sales, so I'm guessing those license placements help your sales. Am I right?
Tish: Some of the placements do help sales. It really depends on the placement. People don’t make as much effort to seek out new music as they once did, but it definitely doesn’t hurt! I never get tired of hearing my music on TV. I’m looking forward to continued placements with previous material and I think "Cardboard Cutouts" will bring much licensing success, as well.
Me: Tish, let's talk about 3 Kisses' latest album "Cardboard Cutouts". The band is hardly a cardboard cutout. Where did that album title one from?
Tish: The album title is a line from the song "Burn it Down." The reference is to the flat society we have become and how so many people seem to be lost now more than ever before. I see way too much of it. The problem with becoming disheartened is that it takes enormous will to return to our true nature where we can thrive.
Me: You wrote all the songs on the album, am I right, Tish?
Tish: Yes, I wrote all of the lyrics, with the exception of the chorus on "March" which was written by Nate Lankford. All of the music was co-written with Nate Lankford, Ian Gallagher (who plays bass on the album), Nate Rouse, Scott Roseman, and Aaron Hay… except for "Aim High" and "Slow Down", which were co-written with my producer, Eric LaBrosse.
Me: Your past albums have been on Rat Pack Records, but this album you are doing everything yourself... has that been hard?
Tish: I have done a ton of promotion on past releases and the majority of sales have come directly from the band, not as a result of label promotion. The only difference this time is that the label doesn’t get a cut of the sales, so I will be rewarded for my hard work. If you are signed to a label and still feel like a DIY outfit, there is no point in being signed.
Me: Does living so far away in Alaska make it hard for you as well?
Tish: It is what you make it. I have been pursuing a masters degree, so I am not performing live much at the moment. I am focused on writing and recording the best songs I possibly can and continuing to work with APM Music for licensing my material. I will be playing live when I go out to Boston this summer. Touring out of Alaska presents certain challenges, but I believe there are many ways to get your music out there and you just have to find creative ways to get as much exposure as possible.
Me: On "Cardboard Cutouts" you have a brand new band, is that true? How many members have been in 3 Kisses altogether, Tish?
Tish: “Cardboard Cutouts” has numerous co-writers and session players on guitars and drums. As I mentioned, I am taking a new approach, so I will be working with various people from this point forward. Benji and I are even working on some ideas together, so you may hear something from the mom-son team down the road. I’ve worked with a lot of people… I don’t even know exactly how many different musicians I’ve played with… over 20!
Me: Do you ever think about releasing a solo album, or are you happy releasing music under the band name?
Tish: I own the band name and it always has been and always will be my band. I’m not really sure what the benefit would be to releasing an album as Tish Meeks. But you never know what the future holds.
Me: I have to ask you about a few of the songs on the album... what inspired the song "Aim High"?
Tish: One of the things I’ve been doing with each new album is trying to write one tune that would be a good fit for licensing to sporting events. Eric and I sat in my studio and pulled this one together after he came up with the idea for the music. It’s a positive, upbeat anthem and one of my favorite tracks on the album. It inspires success, whether it be in sports or any other aspect of life.
Me: And I love the end track "Slow Down." Who are the children singing chorus on the song, Tish?
Tish: LOL… there are no children singing on “Slow Down.” The voices you hear are former high school students of mine, all graduated. Aaron Weber, Jacqueline McLean, and Sara Graffeo. They all took my songwriting class my first year as a tutor/advisor... all very talented young adults!
Me: Well, I hope you never slow down.
Tish: I don’t suppose I will! Music is in my blood and a driving force in my life. Without it, life would lose meaning for me in many ways. I love seeing new songs come to life and I constantly challenge myself to write compelling songs with a universal message.
Me: You are actually working on another album, am I right?
Tish: You are correct. We have four songs completed and are working on several others in preparation to record in April. Eric will be back up to Alaska to record Vicious Mammals, Derek Dean, and 3 Kisses. I am working with Dale Payne, who also plays drums for Vicious Mammals and we coordinated this recording session with Eric. I am also co-writing with Drew Owens, a phenomenal talent on both bass and guitar. Additionally, he has an amazing voice and will be contributing to backing vocals and harmonies on the new album. I’m extremely impressed with the songs we’ve written thus far and I am sure there will be more magic happening prior to our session.
Me: So, will you be making a video for a song on this album?
Tish: I will be releasing a video for "Love is a Grave" sometime this week. It is in the final stages of production. I’ll also be flying my videographer up this summer to shoot some additional videos.
Me: Speaking of videos, I love the video for the song "Terminal Adolescents" from your last album "All Or Nothing Hero." That video looked like it was fun to film, Tish. Was it?
Tish: Filming that video was an absolute blast. We had a great time switching out costumes and there was a lot of hilarity in that shoot. I think the video is a great fit for the song... it’s all about having fun and not taking life too seriously, no matter how old you are. Who wants to grow up? Being an adult is a lot of work!
Me: You play a number of different characters in it... what was your favorite part?
Tish: I think I liked the 70s disco segment the best. I thought my costume was pretty funny for that one, although the rapper segment was ridiculously silly!
Me: Do you like to act and dress up?
Tish: I do enjoy it. Taking on a different persona allows for a whole different side of creativity. It’s fun to be someone else for a minute, sometimes.
Me: I always ask you about tattoos, do you have any recent ones? I am thinking about getting a tattoo of Graham Parker that my dad drew years and years ago. Do you know who Graham Parker is?
Tish: I do have a fairly recent one drawn by my artist, Cyndi Bruketta, at CynFul Ink. It is a trash polka piece with a grenade, music staff, mic and lots of red and black splatter. We’re going to add on to it eventually. I am familiar with Graham Parker. That’s an interesting tattoo choice! Having your dad’s artwork memorialized on your skin is a cool thing.
Me: Tish, thanks so much for being back on the Phile. Please come back again when you next release comes out. Go ahead and mention your websites and I wish you continued success. Now you need to come to Florida to play.
Tish: Thank you for your continued support over the years, Jason. It means a lot to me! I will keep you posted on the next release... look for it around the same time in 2016. You can order “Cardboard Cutouts” here: 3kisses.com/cardboardcutouts. Follow 3 Kisses on Facebook: facebook.com/3kisses. Follow me on Facebook: facebook.com/tishmeeks. Follow 3 Kisses on Twitter: twitter.com/3_kisses. And check us out for the latest news on ReverbNation: reverbnation.com/3kisses.
There. That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Tish for a great interview. The Phile will be back next Friday with Matt Borck from the band YUCA. So, spread the word not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.
Not if it pleases me. No, you can't stop me, not if it pleases me. - Graham Parker