Interview: Meow Meow

by Gordon Downs


Somewhere between the sonic drenched land of “Honah Lee” and a hashish-induced nap exist the band known as Meow Meow. The brainchild of producer/musician Kirk Hellie and multi-instrumentalists Chris O’Brien and Mike Orendy, Meow Meow are certainly a new name to add amongst a sea of indie rock though their sonic sound alone will set them apart from the flock of crap that’s currently cluttering up the landscape. “I’d say ninety nine percent of the time,” explains frontman Kirk Hellie, “the songs start either on piano or acoustic guitar, and then there it is; the melody and the chords are written. The melody and the whole reverence for the song is sort of key in what we do.” Though he quickly adds, “Then we just fuck it up as much as we want with noise and whatever else we can find. Whatever sonic treatments we do to the songs to fuck them up, are what they are.” I had just caught Kirk at the end of a recording session he was engineering. “It was actually a jazz duo.” Hellie laughs. “I have a home studio here, where we do most of the Meow Meow stuff.” Certainly destined to be a sleeper hit in this summer of disenchantment, Meow Meow’s debut full-length “Snow, Gas, Bones” is amply sun-drenched album, dripping with sonic nuances from left to right. Much of this may take credence from Hellie’s solo project. “I have a solo noise project called Disconnect the Hi-Fi.” Hellie explains. “Sometimes I collaborate with other people, but mainly it’s just myself using noise from different mediums. Whether it’s contact micing, or field recordings put through various filters and what not.” Adding that when he listens to the Meow Meow record, “A lot of the noise isn’t quite as abrasive as some of the other stuff I do, but it’s still evident on almost every song.” Currently, Meow Meow is in search of a permanent drummer to fulfill their touring needs, though it doesn’t seem too high on the priority list for Hellie. “When we played SXSW we used Norm Block from the band Plexi.” Hellie explains of the current status of a full-time percussionist. “We sort of use two different drummers at the moment.” Adding that Meow Meow has, “a handful of drummers we can pick and choose from.