This week we're dissecting one of Rob's favorite albums, the Meat Puppets 1994 album Too High to Die, the album that, along with Nirvana's Unplugged in New York, cast the band into the national spotlight.
Meat Puppets drummer and band historian Derrick Bostrom joins us for a thorough, if curmudgeonly, conversation about the band's penchant for weirdness, frustrations with the industry, and hopes for the future.
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[00:00:00] Turn up the radio and sing all along. It's time for another great song. This is the Great Song Podcast. Season's. Greetings, and welcome once again to the Great, Song. Podcast. I'm Rob Alley. I am J. And we're here to celebrate the greatest songs in modern music history. We're gonna tell you what makes 'em great, why we think they're awesome, and why you should two J.P.
How you doing today, man? Man, I am doing fantastic. Who in here would like to see a puppet show minus the puppets? Let me see a show of hands. Me. Show of hands. That's great. Okay. That's good stuff. I'm actually giving away a puppet after show show after this episode. I have a puppet. No strings attached. I'm giving it away.
Okay. Okay, I'm doing, I have tap Rob up. This tell my song we're covering today and bahoo Jeff Dunham over here.
We're talking about the Meat Puppets today. Let's kick it off with the big hit from the 1994 Monster [00:01:00] album. Too High to Die. This is backwater.
And when I wake up in the morning to feel the day break on my face. There's a blood that's through the field, knife, open up the skys, some
rear in the back. There is something that'll never change. And when I shoulda been done. Yes. Yes. ? Yes. [00:02:00] And this one is for Rob, ladies and gentlemen. Come on. This is his happy place. I have been, yes, I've been wanting to cover this album. I love this album so much. This is one of my, gosh, ooh, it could sneak into my top 10.
This is probably one of my top 15 albums of all time, for sure. And it might make the top 10 in my old age. Too high to die by the Meat Puppets. Is like a, was a. Kind of an eye opening thing for me. This is the album that made me go man, there's, there's something to this alternative music like up, up to that point.
So when this album came out, I was 13. Okay. And like you know, I had grew, I had grown up listening to like, mostly country music and like southern gospel and just your classic rock, right. Uhhuh, you're Bob Seger, your Chicago, you know, that kind of stuff. Right. And so, like, when Nirvana hit and, and everything kind of shifted and, you know, I, and I knew some eighties rock, but not a, not even a ton at [00:03:00] that point, but I went, what is this?
This is dirty. You know what I mean? Like, not even like materially just like, I don't like the way this makes me feel. Yeah. And like and so I, and then I. I came along with that with an assumption that musically it wasn't good, that it wasn't okay. You know what I mean? Yeah. That it was, that it, let's see how I can put this, that the musicianship of the grunge era was as sludgy as the music sounded.
Okay. I operated with that assumption. Okay. Not true at all. Now some of it, some of it I still hate. Right. . But but anyway, this album to How to Die by Meat Puppets was one of the first albums that I heard in that style, maybe the first album that I heard in that style that I went, oh, there's something to this.
I can, I think this probably kind of hand in hand with the Nirvana Unplugged album, which we will talk about. Went, you know, I went, oh, there's actual songs in here with actual melodies and [00:04:00] chords. You know what I mean? It's not just blah, which my kind of first impression of alternative music, so, Huge album for me.
I love this album. And we are talking to Derrick Bostrom of the Meat Puppets today. There we go. We got, we got a meat puppet. Dude. And I, you know what? I think I, I'm, you can, I, I think you can tell pretty quickly he knows that we're posers, right? Like he's Yeah. Get that. I, it's, and it's fine. I'm, I'm the first to admit that I'm not a real one when it comes to like punk music, you know, which is what Meat Puppets kind of originally were.
Yeah. And so whatever, right. He saw right through us as like, you guys are corporate losers or whatever. But that's fine. It's cool to get, it's cool to get kind of called out, called out by one of your heroes in the room, you know? That's right. Yeah. Absolutely. So you can, you guys can tune in for that later.
It's all right. Bo Jackson and me didn't get along so great either. So there you go. Bo Jackson would break you over his knee. Like he broke that bat. For our listeners, I met [00:05:00] Bo Jackson and for you Bo Jackson fans out there that listened to this episode, he won the Heisman. Yeah, but he was really close to losing the Heisman to a guy named Chuck Long and the time I met Bo Jackson, I was like, Hey.
It's a good thing. I couldn't vote in the Heisman. I'd have voted for Chuck Long. Oh my word. And I thought, that's hilarious. Why would you do that? I don't know. And he's like, that's not funny, . So we take a picture and I'm like, I get one more shot with Bo Jackson. Here we go. So I'm like, Bo, I never got to see you play baseball.
I was like, what's your walkup song? It's a good question for Bo Jackson. Yeah, for sure. And he's like, I don't care about the music. He's like, I'm up there to hit. Okay. And that's my two moments with Bo Jackson. Well, but I have a picture to confirm it. , does it look grumpy? Oh, he smiled. He faked it. We I made a sign that says, Bo knows Athens.
Cause that's where I'm from. There you go. So yeah, so, but Derrick was a lot nicer than Bo Jackson. Sure. He gets, he gets a little gruff with us at one point. He's like, can we move on? Like, you know, so it's great. But, but you know what though? It's everything. [00:06:00] If, if, if he had come off like super bubbly or bubbly and polite and chipper and whatever, it probably would've felt like a little bit of let down.
I wanted him to be a little prickly and he was uhhuh. That's good. That feels to me like the Meat Puppets are who I expected them to be. Uhhuh, you know? So they would be called the candy puppets if he was like that, but they're not. They're the Meat Puppets, right? It's Meat Puppets. Meat on Meat Puppets, you know.
So yeah. Okay. So here's what we're gonna do today. We're gonna, we're gonna kind of cover this album. Okay. Backwater is the biggest hit of, for the Meat Puppets period. And the biggest hit off this album commercially. Now if you're a hardcore like alternative, Connoisseur, you might be like, Ugh, Meat Puppets.
Why'd you pick the commercial to die with the commercial, you know, hit Why that one Meat Puppets two forever. And I'm not gonna argue that with you. That's fine. Go back in the back catalog. It's great. Go forward in the catalog. It's great too. But this was the one that did it for me and got me in on both Meat Puppets and alternative music [00:07:00] as a larger spectrum.
So, and this is Rob's wheelhouse, so I'm gonna let him run with a lot of this and I'm gonna be sprinkling, get ready for a lot of me. Here we go. All right. Me puppets. So we're gonna go, I'm gonna kind of go a little bit track by track because this is such a worthy a worthy album that it's, and it, you're gonna find a theme really quick.
That's something really interesting to me about the Meat Puppets and, and kind of unique to me among all you know, kind of alternative acts. And that is major Melo. Okay. And major Chords. Chords, okay. In heavier sounding music, which is rare, you've it right away on backwater. That's good. It's you know, the first melody note is a major three.
It's like let me hit it back one more time. It's heavy guitars, and so you have this kind of expectation that it's gonna be like, you know, you want to, you think James Hatfield has come in with a, you know, everything minor or like Lian or like, you know, whatever, but you get this right? So we're major right away.
And then the, the, the melody for the [00:08:00] verse is coming in major two. It's gonna start on a major third.
And when I wake up in the morning and into a two. Into a flat six, major into a one. It's really cool. There's flow through the right with a, and then your chorus is major and everything, but they're so, they do a lot of this major one. To like for example on this I think we're in E here. Okay. I was gonna say, so that be an F sharp major chord.
So it'd be yeah, an F sharp major, that second chord. And then the chorus is gonna go one six minor flat six major flat seven major. Okay. They do a lot of that major one to flat six kind of movement kind of throughout the album. Let's take a listen at this.
That's one six C sharp minor, c [00:09:00] d e. And the other thing that you're gonna hear a lot through this album that I love and really as a guitar player kind of changed my life is a lot of the AD nine cord in different applications. So, We've talked, I think before about the Ad nine chord with Sony from Hootie and the Blowfish.
That ad nine chord at the beginning of hold my Hand, right. That first B chord is a b a nine. It's where you're like, it doesn't have a third in it at all. It's Route fifth, root nine, fifth. And you get that as the one cord and hold my hand. Right. It's but here and in a lot of these places, they're using that same cord shape, cord spelling in different not on the one. Not on the one. So like here it's being used in a flat six and a flat seven color. So that C and the D is a C nine. D nine. Yes, exactly. Yeah. Or C2 D two, depending on how you wanna call it.
You know, some people like to call it that. I don't think that's, Pure, [00:10:00] purely accurate, but let's call it, and we know you meet puppets, fish and autos care about cord spelling. That's right. It's all about the accuracy, dude, . So anyway, you're gonna hear a lot of those things, major melodies, and you're gonna hear a lot of that Ad nine cord in different places than you kind of might expect it.
So, but I'm gonna kind of walk us through, track by track on this a little bit and just, just play a little bit of, you know, whatever, a little backstory on the album quickly, and then we'll hit some tracks. The, of course, the album is 1990 fours, two High to Die. The, it was the eighth album by the Meat Puppets.
Like they had been around for a while. The actual band itself, I think started in the late seventies but I think the actual Meat Puppets album. So Derrick and Derrick Derrick was in a band and ended up hooking up with one of the Kirkwood brothers in a different band. And then in eventually Meat Puppets happened early eighties.
And so this was their eighth album. They had been around for a while. This album went to number one on the Billboard Heat seekers chart, and number 62 on the top 200. And it was definitely their most commercially [00:11:00] successful, you know, album. And it was kind of writing on the back. Of their, their appearance on Nirvana's Mt.
The Unplugged album, which came out the year before. Which, we'll, which we'll talk about in a second. Not too much. Cuz one day we're gonna do a rivalry on that. We are, because I love it and you hate it. I can't stand that album, so I, I'm already prepped for it. I told Rob before, like, we could do it right now.
Let's, let's do it. Let's, let's take the gloves off . Okay. Oh man, this is not the episode to admit that I don't like that album. . I'm gonna get tons of hate on this. That's Poer. That's right. Poer. All right. The, the album is Certified Gold. And like I said, it's one of the first, one of the first alternative albums that I connected with, you know, it's number 24 on Guitar World's 50 iconic albums that defined 1994 of which I believe super unknown is number one, but it is between Marilyn Manson's Portrait of an American Family and the self-titled Motley Crew album on that list.
It is number nine on alternative nation's alternative rock [00:12:00] albums of 1994 list, which to me feels like the more the more proper list for it to sit in. I mean, guitar World is a, is a broader list. I'm just saying it, you know, in that sort of alternative space like this, you know, kind of belongs there.
Alright. Let's walk it through and then we'll talk a little Meat Puppets here and there as we go. Let's go back. This is the beginning of the album. This is the first thing you hear when you pop on to high to die. The first track you get is called violent eyes. And man, this just puts me in a place from the very beginning.
They're just like, there is no limit to the amount of distortion I want on this , but it never comes off harsh. It never comes off mean. But good night that riff is mean. I mean that riff will take your lunch money.
and harmony. Harmony throughout the whole [00:13:00] album. Really good harmony. But this is just, I mean, this is furious.
I love the little shimmy, duh dude, but it's all major. My, or like mixolydian.
Come on. That's just awesome. That's Violet eyes. Y'all are gonna love this album. By the time, if you've never heard of this or if you've never listened to it, you're gonna love it by the time I get done. Cuz I, I, this is like I'm like an evangelist for this album. You know, , I'm gonna take up an offering at the end.
This, so Violet o actually has, I won't play it, but for the sake of time, but it actually has two. Simultaneous guitar solos that are happening over the top of each other. Split pan left and right. So you get to the middle of the song and there's one solo on the right side, a different solo on the left side.
They have nothing to do with each other. And then they meet at the end for this unison, like split octave unison rift, boom. [00:14:00] It's like a, a Lydian riff. There's some real music going on in this. I mean, I just, I just love, this does stuff to me, dude. Okay, then. Right. Track two, you get never to be found. And this is sort of the, this is where this kind of sound is where Meat Puppets kind of differentiate themself from a lot of alternative music.
It's the, the, the term that gets kind of thrown for them is cow punk. It's like punk with elements of like country, you know what I mean? Stuff like that, like pasture rock. And so you get like this clean. But still, still alternative, you know, it's not all just grungy guitars, it's not grunge. This music is not grunge.
There's those ad nine chords and major melodies on your left side. You've got this,
that's that ad nine [00:15:00] sound. So the drums are doing some great stuff. Split like some, some active high hat on one side and some either more different high hat or some percussion on the other side. You know, that's just a really fun song. All these songs are like the , so Curtwrites these lyrics that are like, they just don't make any sense.
Like, of, of all the albums I've ever listened to, percentage wise, the amount of lyrics that don't make sense, it's the highest on this one of anything I've ever listened to. There. There're no songs that you just sit down and go, obviously this song is about, you know what I mean? You broke up with somebody, you know, it's not it.
All these lyrics are trippy, dude. And I don't know if any of 'em mean anything or if they're just so metaphorically inside of his head that it's like, you know, there's no way you would ever find them. We know some meat puppet of fish autos that are listening to this are like, of course these means this.
Yeah. Duh. It's about corporate America idiots. That's right. Like. Of course. [00:16:00] Okay, then we're gonna go to track three. Which was the other hit off of this album. The other like single that got some play. This is, we don't Exist. Listen to this freaking,
another great riff coming here in a second.
He's getting it on the base too.
Head tone. Then
I love the little giddy up in the riff. Do guitar sounding. It's really good right there. Oh, amazing. There's so much good, like layered guitar, like two guitars play in the same parts, but split left and right on this album.
This was nominated for Best Rock video. That was my one note I [00:17:00] had. Okay. , do you know what it lost to? No. All right. It lost to More Human Than Human by White Zombie or Rob Zo. Was that White Zombie or Rob? Zombie, I think maybe White Zombie. Anyway, major melody, major chords, but heavy guitars that are always smooth.
The, the, the, no matter how distorted the guitars get on this album, and they get very, very, very distorted. It's always smooth, and I don't know if that was a, not a Rob Thomas Santana smooth. That's right. Yes. Just to clarify. Yes, it is a hot one out there in Arizona where the Meat Puppets are from. But the, it's, I don't know if that was on the player end or on the mix end.
Right. That those, you know what I'm saying, that those mm-hmm. , you know what I'm saying? Mm-hmm. If they did it in post or they did it. Yeah. Like, I wonder, I'm curious if that was a smooth sound coming out of the amp or if it was a sound that got smoothed out by eq. It almost seems like it has to have been captured that way because it's, it's so, there's nothing ever harsh about these [00:18:00] guitars, which is really hard to do when you start distorting and compressing guitars, electric guitars like that.
I mean, you have to work hard to. Harsh frequencies from, you know, from coming through and it not sounding like super duper duper squeeze. Yeah. But they, they've got it on this album, so it makes me think that maybe he just had a really smooth sound you know, coming, coming from his guitar through his amp.
Alright, let's do another one that will take a break and meet the band. Okay. So this is track four. This is Severed Goddess Hand. This one is, they have several songs on here that are just like, just feel good. Again, we're going major melody harmonies great me, great melodies through this whole album is a perfect window.
And little riffs here and there, like here's some nice harmony on the chorus. Interesting chords, five flat [00:19:00] seven or a one flat three with a key change depending on your perspective. Cause now it's going back up to the one originally. So anyway, it's like a, it's like a nice breezy vibe, you know what I mean?
It's so pleasant. This album is really Rocky. But really pleasant , you know? And I, I think that's part, in part due to the kind of major nature of a lot of the songs in, and the vocals are always delivered like in this, mostly in this kind of baritone range. Nobody's trying to be Sebastian box, nobody.
Yeah, exactly. You know? And it's like, but nobody's crash test dummies either. That's right. We're not. Yeah. You know, it's just like, and his and the vocals are not, , they're not like out front rock vocals. He's like, well, the backing vocal, the harmony part is almost in the mix with it. Like Yes.
Especially on chorus's like you there, the lead [00:20:00] vocal is not so far out front. Yeah. It's almost duet. Mm-hmm. . Right. And everything is so low key vocally, nobody, they sounds similar vocal delivery wise. Yeah. And they're brothers, you know, it makes sense. So, and we'll, we'll meet the brother. We have the same last name.
Yeah. . So it's like you know, it's just it's just unique to, to me, I, I find it very, just very pleasing. I just love this whole album. Okay, let's take a minute. Let's meet the Meat Puppets. Let's meet. So meet m e a t. We are going to meet the Meat Puppets on bass, guitar and vocals and illustrations.
Cris Kirkwood picked up the banjo after watching the movie Deliverance. Now confession, I haven't seen this movie, but I kind of know the premise. Had some joke ideas. I was gonna go here, but I can't really land one. Okay, so insert your joke of choosing there. He got addicted to heroin and retreated to his house in Arizona with his wife in virtual isolation.
And she actually died from a drug overdose. And then in 2003, he got an argument with a lady over a parking spot. And when the security guard stepped in, [00:21:00] he began beating the security guard with his own baton. Oh no, the security guard shot him in the back. And then Cris went to jail. Yes. And there he met Jerry Paulson, who's the drummer for Steppenwolf.
Really? And apparently they played jazz together in prison. Okay. But there aren't any recordings of this around, but apparently they had a little jazz thing set up in prison. Okay. Make the most of it. That's right when you're in there. His brother on guitars, vocals, and paintings. Carried on the Meat Puppets with the name with a gentleman named Kyle Ellison on guitar, Andrew Dolans on Bass.
And Shannon Sam, or Som, depending on how you pronounce it, on drums, on an album called Golden Lies. After this version of the Meat Puppets, he formed, the band is Drift with Bud Ga. He's the sublime guitarist and the bass player for Nirvana. Cris. Cris, no, Nova. Yeah. Nesic. Yeah. He's a dad of twins and sometimes one of his sons Elmo even plays with the Meat Puppets now.
Yeah, that's cool. So that's kind of neat. And then Derrick [00:22:00] on drums, also on paintings who we talk to afterwards. So yeah, all the meat, the Meat Puppets. Most of their albums have these sort of very distinct looking painted covers that like you can look at a piece and go, that looks like a meat puppet's cover.
Yeah. You know, kind of. And they have like, a lot of times like they'll have like weird looking creatures or something, you know? I don't know as much about the Meat Puppets. Obviously as Rob and when I was looking back through the albums, I had to keep bouncing back through cuz I. Can't tell by the cover.
Yeah. Like which one is which? Like, cause I'm not as familiar with them enough. And normally there's things about an album cover that'll set it apart and you're like, oh, that one's that one. But they're all very painted. It's just another piece of meat. Puppet's art. Yeah. Yeah. Mm-hmm. , it's kind of like a, it's like the the NFTs that are like, you know, oh yeah, this one's a monkey, and this one's a monkey with a hat.
And this one's a monkey with a cigar and a hat and glasses. Like, it's, you know, some of it is, is very like that. Let's keep moving. Oh, I'll, I will say this because it, I wanted to not clarify, just add onto what you were talking about that there have been like a couple of [00:23:00] breakups over the years and reuniting, you know what I mean?
And so I think the last reuniting was in 2006 and it's kind of been the, you know, mostly the original lineup since then. . But, and, and definitely like you said, some big ins and outs, you know? Yeah. It's not been, it's not been, not been fluid. Yeah. It's not been fluid. It's not been easy or, or always pleasant.
But it wasn't rush three piece. Yeah. Yeah. It wasn't like consistent all the way through. Yeah. But you know, it's rock and roll and rock and roll's hard sometimes and rock and roll does weird. Especially cal weird things to people. Alright. Let's do, let's do track five flaming.
This has got some layered. You've got clean guitars and then distorted guitars, heavy distorted with underneath them. You know,
and I'll, I'll say on this one, you have your first appearance of a slightly minor melody. Okay. Now major melody here. [00:24:00] Okay. But on the chorus you might even call this a refrain. When they're singing flaming heart, the wor the lyrics, you get some a slightly minor thing. Let me get it for you. Let's see.
But it's so very, it's almost not even there. It's almost like an affectation just to be able to repeat. Ooh, look at that word. Yeah, how about that? You like that, that guy, like that? Alright, then we're going to track six Shine, which is just adorable. This is like, this is past your rock. You know,
one of the things I really love about this is once the, once the groove comes in, I almost hesitate to call it a groove, but it's like just. Just adorable percussion all over the place. Like a little a gogos or bits of whatever. Let me kick some of that in.[00:25:00]
We just got these little like things happening
in nice acoustics,
more ad nine chords. They love that. Flat six to flat seven, but both with an AD nine.
Come on. That's adorable. Shaker cowbell, acoustic solo. It just makes me feel good. All right, station track seven.
This guitar melody will live in your head forever. Favorite thoughts again? [00:26:00] More major melody and more one major to two major in the, in the
verses. All right, listen to the lyrics on this chorus. This is typical CurtKirkwood
What pigs are sheep and cats are dogs and thoughts are made of Lincoln Logs. That's about typical of, there's a bunch of weird stuff through this whole album. There's some, some high pitched German, there's a finger mouth solo where you do the like and there's like a whistling thing in the outro.
One of the, actually, I love the thing about the outro. He's whistling and the whistling keeps going for just a second after the song actually stops, like, Listen,[00:27:00]
like the whistle goes over one note, you know what I mean? Everything goes pop, pop, and the whistle goes pop, pop. Like out there by itself. I love that. Then you got, this track is so dope, dude. This is called Roof with a Hole, and this is like alternative blues. At its peak, it doesn't get better. There's some minor for you.
This is minor, right? This is your, you finally got something minor and this is just a straight up, like dope, blues rock song. Little Joe Wall flick there,
acoustic guitar went away. It's still there, but it's buried. Yeah, you mostly hear the strum of the, just the, the striking of the strings. The colors are flow. This song is awesome from the wall. [00:28:00] Think we're an F Sharp minor here. And our lives still remain great. Melody, and then you Good. Cause the roofs got a hole in it and everything's been by the, a lot of cord movement for a blue song, but it doesn't feel like too much Sliding chords.
Yeah. Sliding chords. Passing chords, that kind of thing. It's great, dude. I love that. Okay, then you hit backwater, which is, which was the big hit. We'll skip over cuz we kind of played it at the beginning. Then you have things big drum solo. Great. Great sounding
again with that super distorted. Listen to this harmonic that's so distorted, but it's so smooth.
A little tambourine action coming in. Yeah buddy. That's Robin Wilson from Jen Blossoms. . [00:29:00] That Tempe Arizona thing, not James LeBree. Not again. You got some, some acoustic layered in there. Some really nice. I'll skip ahead to the to the chorus and get some nice harmonies.
It's so nice. A little, maybe a, maybe some blue oyster cult territory here. Yeah, that's good. Some things to me, those smooth but chill harmonies over a heavier sound. Alright, I'm gonna, I'm gonna speed through the rest of these. Why is this clean country style? I do not have the precision to play this kind of arpeggiated thing for three minutes.
I don't, I'll mess it up, but it's so accurate.[00:30:00]
My hand would be cramping. Dude. So slow. But they nailed it. I can't let it go. All right, then you've got, and that, that also has great key change. Anyway, go back. This is evil Love another one of, I think only two minor melodies on the whole album. 12 tracks in, we've got our second minor melody float, more just alternative.
Like he just did, you know, whatever coming down John Denver could've recorded this song. This is just a great song. Like, and you get some nice, it's just, this is just a country song, you know? But at the end you get some great harmony. This could be the intro jackass too, like
Here we get this. [00:31:00] This is their coming down from the mountain. I have seen there's seven bridges Road. Yeah. I will go again. Take that Alabama. Yeah. Coming down, coming down from the mountain. I have seen the lot to glory. I will go again someday, but for now I'm coming down. Go on, you can't. And then you've got at the very end, which is gonna lead me into another conversation.
You've got a rerecorded version of their song, lake of Fire, which I'll go ahead and get into this actually after this. Let's stump the genius and let's do it. And, and then, then I'll talk about the rest. So this is like a fire, which you may know from the Nirvana Unplugged album because it's one of several songs by the Meat Puppets that appeared on that album, which is an interesting thing in itself.
And we'll talk more about that in a second. But first, I think it's time to stop the jean's. I'm talking stop the genius. Stop the genius. Stop the [00:32:00] genius. It's time to stop the genius. Don't come and take your part. I said your part right guys? We're gonna play. Stump the genius name, that meat band . So I'm gonna play five songs.
I bet you don't know, okay? Okay. I'm gonna give you five band names. So write down these band names or type 'em down or write 'em someplace. Let scratch a piece of paper. And we're gonna see which song I play that goes with which band. Okay. So first band, right down the band. Rib tip. Okay. King Beef. Okay.
Sausage swinging steaks. All right. And beef terminal. Okay. Right. There's our five bands. . I'm gonna play a song and then you're just going to keep up with this. Here's song one songs called Long Way Down. Okay.
Okay. Do you wanna get some vocal? Do you want some? Yeah, I'm gonna probably do some vocals on these. Where was Garden? I think that's, just keep a guess. Guess I'm not gonna tell you as you go. Cause that would help you too [00:33:00] much. Okay. Right. Here we go. Number two, the song is called How We Ended Up Under the Wheels.
Okay. There are no vocals in this. Okay? Okay. Right next. The song's called Wing Mans. Oh, to edit ones, right? This song is called Ecstasy. Oh,
okay. All right. I'm not feeling confident on that one. All right. Okay. And this song is called Toys 1988. I like this. Oh dang.
Okay. I was like, that sounds like Primus. That's less Claypool for sure. A hundred percent. That's less claypool. Okay. And I think I'm going, I think I'm actually gonna switch. [00:34:00] Gonna switch. Play me the first one. One more time.
All right. I changed. I changed one because of that last song. Okay, here we go. Number one, go ahead and guess what do we think this is? I think this is King Beef. This is swinging Stakes. Crap Shining. Okay. Can't change your answers. Nope, you got 'em blocked. All right. I guessed. Beef terminal. Beef terminal dinging.
We fix the be. Oh, here it is. Hey. Alrighty. Got one. Here we go. Step into I guess rib tip. Okay. That is king beef. Dang it. Is that racist? Am I racist? No, . Okay. What did you guess here for number four? I guess swinging steak. This is rib tip. Dang it. And this is toys that, so number five has to be sausage, sausage, sausage.
I got two, so he got two name. That meat band. Wow. A little tougher on that. That was awesome. And also I, I didn't know that. Lets, Claypool had a side project called Sausage, but I'm gonna go find it. There you go. I was [00:35:00] like, immediately I went, this gives me big promise vibes and now I know why. Well, there you go.
There you go. Name that meat band. Okay, well done. Name that Meat band. Alright, a little more on Meat Puppets. And then I'll play you nothing else probably. Cause we'll, we'll save the Nirvana stuff for the, for the Nirvana discussion that will come at some point later when we're ready to get in a huge fight.
And don't leave yet guys. We got Derrick at the end. Yeah, no. Derrick's gonna yell at us. It's gonna be awesome you guys. Okay. So if you don't know Meat Puppets from the two High to Die album and you're not an alternative, music Die Hard. You probably then know them from Nirvana's Unplugged album in 1993.
which too high to die followed and capitalized on the success of, right? I mean, that Unplugged album was huge. It was the last Nirvana album before Curtdied. And so that made it even more legendary and kind of haunting. And so what happened was Cris and Curtplayed, came up on stage. I don't know if you re if you are familiar with that album, you'll probably remember there's a point at which that, it kind of [00:36:00] slows down for a second.
There's some stuff going around and, and Kurt Cobain says, these are the Meat Puppets. Right? And, and and then they talk for a minute and, you know, do a couple things. And they talk about like, which Curtis Kurt Cobain, and which Cris is Cris, because now there are two Curs and two Cris is on stage two Crises.
Yeah. And so then they proceed to do. Meat Puppets, songs. Nirvana covers three meat puppet songs with Cris and Curtin the middle of this Nirvana unplug album, which I think is very cool, very generous of Nirvana to use Absolutely. Their platform to lift up a band that they loved. How dope is that? How many people would, would do that?
You know what I mean? Three songs is a lot. Three songs is a lot. And to be like, we're gonna bring them on stage, you know what I mean? That's another level of shine Uhhuh. Like, you know, it's one thing to do a cover, you know what I mean? And tons of people would do that, right? A cover. But a lot of times a cover comes off to like, show your cred.
You know what I mean? So like, and I'm just say, let's say you know, let's say Britney Spears is doing a show or whatever, and she decides to do an Elton John [00:37:00] cover, right? It's like a tribute in homage, but also like, it kind of shows your cred with a certain crowd and like, I know real music, you know, whatever.
Right. It, it shows that you are expanded beyond what people think. You might be in the know. Yeah. But this is like next level. I mean, this is like, You know, they're literally, not only are we covering three of their songs on this album, that's gonna be massive, but we're bringing them on stage to do, you know, love them so much.
That's very cool. They played Plateau Omi and Lake of Fire which are all from the Meat Puppets two record, which if you are a like Meat Puppets, die Hard is probably your album. That's probably for the non-commercial Meat Puppets Crowd. Meat Puppets two is probably the peak. You know, most successful, most Beloved album.
And so you get about, you know, maybe a third of that record appearing on this huge Nirvana Unplugged album, which is, you know, great. Let's see. They started as a kind of a straight punk band. But they delved [00:38:00] into like acid rock and this country western kind of thing. And they, you know, they said part of it was they just wanted to like, subvert expectations of crowds.
They got sick of playing like, heavy, heavy, heavy and being punky, punky, punky, and decided to like, mix it up a little bit, let's mix it up and just kind of tick off the crowds. And they kind of got some jollies off of like, disappointing and angering the crowds that were going out to see 'em a little bit by like, you know, doing some, doing some stuff that wasn't what they expected.
They came up, you know, kind of looking for a rag and ended up getting this, you know, this little ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, dinging, ding, you know, whatever. They were on a label for a long time. A like an indie label called SST Records, which we talked to Derrick about, which is a, a legendary label for like punk and, and early like proto alternative acts like violent fems and gun club.
And they were, you know, a big part of that and maybe the, maybe the biggest act on that label, you know, [00:39:00] for a certain period of time. And here's one more interesting note. I think this might be my last note on, on them before we go talk to Derrick. There was a period of time where, John Shanti was this close to being in Meat Puppets?
Oh, I didn't know that. He auditioned to join the band in 1992 after leaving Red Hot Chili Peppers. Cris Kirkwood said he showed up with his guitar out of its case and barefoot. We were on a major label then we just got signed. And those guys had blown up to where they were at, and John needed to get out.
John gets to our pad and we started getting ready to play and I said, you wanna use my tuner? He said, no, I'll bend it in. Which is great, like such a guitar player thing to say, no, I'll bend it in. And he said it was so far out, his guitar was so far out tune. Then we jammed, but it didn't come to anything.
Maybe he wasn't in the right place and we were a tight little unit. They had been going, you know, there are seven albums deep by this point. He said it just didn't quite happen, but it could have worked, which makes sense. I could, I could see for Shante blending in. Yeah. His sound like tone-wise [00:40:00] and style wise.
Yeah. As a, you know, like live, they're, they're a, they're a one guitar outfit, you know what I mean? It's like a, it's guitar based and drums. Yeah. So like to, to have added a full blown, it might've actually helped him live for sure. Guitarist. Yeah. Could have added, you know, another layer. So that would've been interesting to hear, at the very least you know, for Shante with, with them.
But, hey, now for Shante, Kind of where he's always belonged with chili peppers and, you know, things, things work themselves out. So. Alright, that is my treatise for you on the Meat Puppets. I hope you guys have enjoyed this special presentation. I've been waiting so long to be able to just share some love about this.
I know I've mentioned it a couple times throughout here and there. But to finally get to. Do it is awesome. And to get to talk to Derrick Bostrom from the Meat Puppets was super dope. And if we play our cards right, maybe next week we'll get to talk about one of my favorites. There we go. That never leaves my top 10.
There we go. Absolutely. So we're gonna go now and talk to Derrick Bostrom from the Meat Puppets. But first I need you to stop and do one thing that's grab your phone. You're probably already holding it, so just switch apps [00:41:00] for just a second. Go to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Give us a follow at Great Song Podcast.
If you wanna go a little deeper and be part of the community, then go to the Great Song Podcast Facebook group, which is called Great Songs, and the great people who love them greatly. If you wanna go the extra mile and be a producer of the show, like a few of our closest friends have done, you can go to patreon.com/ Great Song Podcast, and when you support us on Pat.
you get bonus goodies. I won't go through 'em all. It would take all day. . You get bonus goodies when you support us as our way of saying thank you and showing our appreciation back to you. So you can do that by going to patreon.com/ Great. Song Podcast. We're gonna go talk to Derrick Bostrom from the Meat Puppets.
He's gonna yell at us, and then we'll be back at the end of Tuck in. This is the Great Song Podcast. Ladies and gentlemen, as promised, we are here with Derrick Bostrom of the Meat Puppets. Derrick, thank you so much for joining us today on the Great Song Podcast. Well, thank you for having. Excellent. We are so excited to talk to you.[00:42:00]
I cannot overstate the, the significance of the first time I heard The Too High To Die album. It was like getting hit by a freight train , a musical wonderful weird freight train. And it, it literally just, it impacted me in a, in a huge way. So first I just wanna say thanks for being part of, of an album that really kind of changed my life.
I appreciate it so much. You're, you're certainly welcome. Did you listen, hear it when it came out, or did you get into it later? I, no, I was around when it came out and so let me, let just start here. I guess my, my first exposure to the Meat Puppets like, like so many people of my generation was the Nirvana Unplugged appearance with, with you know, with Curtand Cris up there with the other Curtand Cris you know, playing three meat puppet songs.
What, what did that, and then that appearance. And then forever, you know, Curtis on, on record saying, these are the Meat Puppets. And so then people go, who the crap are the Meat Puppets? And now they just look you guys up [00:43:00]instantly on your phone and that's gonna continue on forever. What did that mean for you guys?
Well, the first thing it meant was we made a lot of money and that allowed us to get off the road. I mean, seriously the Nirvana Unplugged album. Did better obviously for us than any other record we've ever done for offense. All included. Wow. So it was a, it was a, a substantial windfall for us. It allowed us to get off the road and we've been working pretty much nonstop since about 1980 five because that was how we made our nut touring.
And we were good and sick of each other by then. So we. , we took a pretty substantial break obviously that year. It also helped us get on a very important tour with Stone Temple Pilots, which was like a, a three month extravaganza with the top band in, in the country. So we got to see some things in 1994 was by far and away our busiest year.
I think we we were, we took at least I counted like 52 airplane airplane flights, which meant we [00:44:00] were in the air at least once a week. Yeah. We were burning the candle at both ends big time, and we got to see the belly of the beast good and up front and up close and like so many bands who got in there, we didn't survive the contact, but none of us died,
And and that, that's, that, that counts for a lot. Obviously It does because Yeah, not everybody can say that. We ended up having to buy our way out of our, our contract because, you know, part of the process of Of being handed these opportunities by our masters is their hope that they can bleed us dry in a quick period of time and then kick us to the curb, which of course they did.
And they made made good ensure that our follow up record didn't do anything and then they just refused to put out anything else by us after that. So we ended up having to actually buy ourselves out of our contract so that we could move forward. By that time, the three of us were not in contact at all.
So poor Curtwas left to soldier on by hi himself until his brother [00:45:00] rejoined. And then finally I did. And now we're back together again with without the monkey on our back and I am talking about the monkey of the major labels, not any kinda monkey. Sure. So you know, honestly too two, hated I was, was a great experience.
We fought like crazy to get the thing out. They the, the label Kept rejecting our demos for it and wouldn't let us record. And they actually finally decided, well, we don't have anything else to do with these guys, so let's have them rerecord Lake of Fire and some, some of their other old songs.
We'll release an EP on one of our subsidiary labels and get rid of them that way. And in the meantime Curthad done this song Backwater, which he didn't really care for and we didn't really care for it, but the label was like, oh, this is radio, radio ready? Sure. . So and yet we were never doing it, never demoing it or anything.
And so they kept pushing us on that. In the meantime, in the, his desperation to get green lit for an album, [00:46:00]Curtincluded a kind of a joke song that Cris and I had done. That was kind of a parody of alternative rec. And the label didn't didn't note the parody aspect of it. And they said, this is the single, this is the single.
And we were like, yeah, that we're not doing this song. We're not releasing this song. This isn't a meat puppet song. And I was like, Curt Cobain, why did you give this to him? And Curtwas annoyed because it wasn't one of his songs, and he'd been writing material for us for a decade. And suddenly they wanna do this goofy song that I had written, and we flat out refused to do it.
And they flat out refused to, to let us record until we did. Wow. And we so, so we went in and did the record saying we would do this song. In the meantime, unplugged came out unplug happened in the, like, fall of 1993. And we had like, pretty much we'd gone on tour with Nirvana for like three days.
And they were gonna go into Unplugged right after [00:47:00] this tour. And their, Curthad asked our Curtto teach him the songs and he was so stressed out at, at it that he finally just said, why don't you guys come along? And so we you know, we were clear out on the East coast, so we did as many shows as we could to get back to Phoenix.
Canceled the last bit of them so that we could back, get back to Phoenix and get on a flight to go back to New York. In the meantime, it's a good thing we did, cuz we actually got caught in a blizzard trying to get back to Phoenix. Oh wow. We crawled back to Phoenix like with less than 24 hours before.
My boys had to catch a flight. I mercifully was not invited. I was gonna ask for you, like, come on guys, can you gimme Shaker or something, you know? No, you know enough already. They had, they had their fine So so those guys went out. They did a couple rehearsals. MTV was aghast and they, when they had heard that Colban was bringing on some guest performers, you thought it would be somebody good that they'd heard of and you, Punjabi or something, or like Yeah.
Yeah. I dunno. Elvis [00:48:00] Presley. But they were unable to talk him out of it. So the guys were on there. Curthad a cool buck and style guitar and all that stuff. And even now if you were to check our social media, you know, search Meat Puppets under social media, a good 60% of all of it is just Nirvana related.
Sure. We, we struggle to get out from under their shadow. We are like the, the, where the footnote our careers become a nirvana footnote from hell. But it did Get a light of fire under our label to get us you know, to get our project done. So we wound up doing a whole record. And some of it was acoustic, some of it was electric.
We had Paul Lee from the butthole, surfers producing. And he obviously somebody we'd known forever who loved us and we loved him. So thank God we had a sympathetic producer. Right. And we went out to in fact you know, you know we recorded that album, don't you? I do not. You don't? I don't think so.
Right in your backyard homeboy. Really? Yep. [00:49:00] So we were, I can't remember the name of the studio, but it was in Memphis. Okay. And it was a terrible sounding room and it was hard for me to get comfortable, but we did manage and that's a pretty good take. Recorded tons of station. And then I went back home and let the guys finish and We, you know , our, our label guy comes to Memphis and goes, so I don't hear that joke song of you guys that we wanna put outta Sequel
And they're like, yeah, yeah, we're doing it. Don't worry. We'll do it. We'll do it. And as I recall, Curthad been asleep when the label guy showed up. So Cris had lied to him that we were gonna do the song . And Curtwas so pissed off, but they actually, you know, we delivered it and they were like, yeah, fuck this.
This isn't isn't releasable. We're not gonna do it without the song. So we had to go back in with another fella and they spent like 15 grand just to have us do this stupid joke song again. And then they finally rejected it and said, whatever, we're just gonna. Mr. Hot mixer to, to mix [00:50:00] backwater, and we'll release that.
Wow. And then they put all of the weight of their of their you know, the force of their strength behind that record and made it go and to, to, to be clear you, you need label support to make that kind of stuff happen. And they put their support behind that record and it did well. But unfortunately they ate up all of our profits after, after a year of us, like working nonstop to promote the Ade record.
We were so in the hole to them. Oh my God. Wow. And and then they let us do another record at which they allowed to sink, and then we were on our own. So, But that said, seeing as how this is a songwriting podcast and not a not a music politics podcast, I will give you the opportunity to to bow down before me about how much you love the but it's funny, I I I, I, I go back and listen to this stuff. You know, I took a 20 year hiatus in the music business. Cause once the band stopped working, I had to get a [00:51:00] job right to pay pay to make ends meet, and and rediscovering it, re-listening and getting back with the band. First of all, the band is awesome, and they're even more awesome with me in it.
My God. What, what a, what a tremendous musical organization. I, I love the Meat Puppets so much. They're so cool. And the words, the songs that Curt has come up with are so effing mind boggling. I, I can't imagine a a, a canon. By another artist, not just for its diversity, but also for the flat out weirdness of its of its themes.
Yeah. I've been listening to, I was listening to, oh geez, which one was it? That's how it Goes. Mm-hmm. Which is from Forbidden Places. And he, he talks about how he's bound and determined to go his own way regardless of who it hurts. And then he talks about um, how badly it's, he's gotten hurt
It's pretty funny. And then there's this song called Things On too High to Die, which I've been listening to the last [00:52:00] couple days. And. You tell me what it's about. I, I keep thinking because of the, the current mess we're in and we're recording in the spring of 2022, hopefully the mess we're in now will, not us, but they over in Europe are in, we have either, will not have gotten worse by the time you drop this this episode.
Yeah. But I keep, I keep hearing songs about about war and it only makes, makes sense a song about things, which of course is what we always fight over. But honestly, the the, the, the, the the, the, the songs that, that Curtis come up with over the years are just amazing and they continue to be our last record, which we did a couple years ago dusty Notes is.
As, as astounding as anything he's ever done. And I've had the pleasure over the years of watching him work. Sometimes I've even given him the song titles. I think I wrote gave the, I titled about three quarters of the songs on dusty notes, just as a marketing slash ironic comment, on the lyrics.
And [00:53:00] we always had used to have fun kicking back and forth what the songs were about. And I would say, Curt Cobain, this song is about this. And he would just gimme that Cheshire cat gr Honestly, I don't think he, he works that way. I think he is definitely about words. When when we first started working together in 19 79, 19 80 he was.
Had been, was reading a ton of Shakespeare. He'd always you know, pointed at Shakespeare as his main inspiration. And the way he puts together words are you know, it's, it's not as much about commentary or meaning or whatever. It's just about the artistry of the words themselves. And he leaves the the interpretation to others.
I'm glad to know that because I spent years and years trying to figure out what in the absolute world some of these songs were about And I, and I sort of reached that conclusion like, you know what, he's just gotta be, he, he's taken a different approach here than trying to be able to be plain about what something is about.
So I'm glad to know, know that was kind of leaning [00:54:00] toward the right direction. The, the, the band is called Meat Puppets for a reason, and it's you know, we are the vessels of our, of what? Of what, of what we do. And we're not necessarily here to interpret it. I'm not Dave Marsh. And we, we just make it.
And it's, you know, what Curtused to say back in the very early days when he was still cutting his teeth on being a public person, people would compliment him and he'd say, well, you're the one who heard it. So that's great. Great. Let me go back a little bit, a little ways toward the early part when, before the major label involvement you guys were part of the legendary indie label sst whose roster reads like a, like a who's who of, you know, early alternative music.
What was the atmosphere of SS t in the eighties? Poverty . Okay. Fair enough. I mean there's a new book that just came out just like this month about sst crap. I don't remember the name of the guy's the guy's name off the top of my head, but they [00:55:00] just came out with a new book about it.
Okay. And I just heard a, a podcast with our old Joe Cardi talking about the early days of, of sst. And certainly when we were there I mean, we were impoverished already, so it's not like we noticed to that. To me, it looked like they were living the life of Riley. But they were, we, you know, they're, they, they slept in their offices and we came to visit, we would sleep under, under, they, like, they had the little beds underneath the desks.
And we would stay in whichever, under whichever desk somebody was tracking up with at the time. But there was like, You know you know, half dozen of 'em living out of this office. And you know, there's stories about how Greg's dad would show up with a, with a sack full of thrift store clothes for the, the kids to wear.
You know, they had runaway problems. It was it was quite a thing, you know, obviously Greg had had some success out some extra musical success, which helped fund the label. And they, they, they worked like slaves and but you know, in terms of them [00:56:00] picking bands you know, they, they Had a good, good track record.
Now, I wasn't a huge fan of the, the hardcore music, and I didn't much care for a lot of the bands that were on there. But they they pushed, they, they pushed pushed their thing as hard as they could until and again, this is the, the, the, the situation that you get into when you're dealing with majors is as the majors begin to snap up the cash cows of the Indi in independent distribution network, the independent distribution network collapsed.
Yeah. And we basically had no choice but to sign to a major if we wanted to do records because. The way these labels would work. It's like, well, you know, you're gonna get the new Meat Puppets record here in next quarter, but we've also got these other four dozen records we need you to take as well, and they're not gonna sell, but if you want the Meat Puppets, you gotta take these as well.
Wow. Without the, without the Lynchpin artists, and I'm not talking about the Meat Puppets as much as I am talking about, you know, you, the bands that just [00:57:00] as, as bands started moving over to the labels, there was just not enough you know, economy of scale for the independent distribution networks to last.
And slowly but surely, our distributors began to collapse and leave, leave the labels holding the bag. So you know, this is part of what your. Your, your capitalist society does is they snap up the, the small fish and you know, drain the whole thing of its, of its profits and move on. Yeah. Like a cancer, it's like a cancer
There we go. I've, I've seen various terms. You know, me puppets are one of these groups that's just, it's hard to categorize. You guys are so hard to pin down. It's, are you guys still on that categorization thing? Well, we like to find out what our artists think of the categorization. So, you know, I've heard everything from.
You know, cow punk to, you know, whatever Desert punk. Cause its up on the sun. Somebody said it should have been in Breaking Bad . Yeah. Don't [00:58:00] forget, we're, we're also, it's Easy Top jr. Don't forget that. Okay. It's the three piece thing. That's what it's doing then. Okay. So I, you know, I assume, I assume by your reaction to that, to that question that you're not a fan of, of the, you know, of the, everything gets sort of micro subcategorized now, it seems like if you start searching for music, because I don't know why we, like, you know, people like to classify things in this way.
Maybe, I guess it's probably something about Spotify, but are you, are you guys done? Let me put it to you this way, , I could talk to you about. For hours, for days and, and, and talk about my, my passions, my enthusiasms, my love of music. And we would never once touch on so-called categorization, and certainly not the categorization of my band or my music.
Each one of the, the, the, the band members comes at their, their, their interest from widely different area. I mean each one of us has, has different interests. And now [00:59:00] that we're a five piece that continues to be the case. We just we, we just have a very wide scope. Chris and Curt Cobain can play anything as long as they can, you know, as, as they put their mind to it.
And we just never, I don't under, I, I could tell you this much, I don't understand what other people are like. So when other people ask me, why are you the way you are, all I can say is, Why am I not the way I am ? How are, why, why are you the way you are? Right? Why do you, why do you think about things in terms that you do?
So when when people come to me and say, could you answer for my limitations of thought? All I can say is I deal with my own limitations of thought here. Dude, I can't speak for you. Fair enough. So I, I honestly I, I wish there were more hours in a day so we could be even more diverse and even less categorization because we like to make music.
I, when I'm not working, I'm like making music these days. I'm just like really into it. And [01:00:00] sound is fascinating. Yeah, absolutely. Even podcast sound is fascinating. , it's, I I noticed my initial discovery of you guys was on John Stewart with Lake of Fire Alicia Silverstone sitting over there on the couch and you're playing this Yamaha hit.
Is that your kid of choice through this era and still today? Yes. I still play that Yamaha kit. I was one that I, I was able to get a get a a deal on from them. Nice. And they, so that was, I still have that one. I used to to rock a really nice gra plum kit, but it slowly but surely warped because I would take it out all the time.
Then I would bring it back to, to the desert where it's super dry and eventually it just like got so brittle and stuff. The Omahas is, is more of a composite. And so it's, it's a little bit more sturdy and it, it held up better. I tried pulling my scratch out again when I first went out, and it just sounded like crap,
So I said, well, I guess I'll stick with you. But yeah, there's something I wanna highlight on the website, on Y's [01:01:00]website at the bottom and the America's Most Wanted section, which is a great read, by the way. You've got the, the clips and everything that you've edited together from everything from the throwing a dummy out of a car doesn't seem to be that big of a crime to me.
Crime to me, crime to me. Yeah. I love that stuff. So tell our listeners kind of how you put all that together, . Well, first of all in 1986, we, we were traveling with a, a sound, a, a, a high school friend of mine who had a, you know, had, had also had an interest in mixing and engineering. We took him along as a sound man in the course of a summer.
He slammed. Our guitarist Curt Cobain's finger in the door and broke it in two places. Oh. Side sidelining our business for about three months. Wow. And then he became increasingly uptight with us and us with him. And we stuck with him until the minute Men's sound man Dave o Clauson became available.
And [01:02:00] then we we pirated him, moved him to Phoenix and had him join our little organization. Okay. And Davo was our our main support guy from 1987 to the time we stopped in 1995. And one of the things that he used to do was do a lot of live dub effects for. On and you can hear a lot of that, like the echo that you mentioned.
He, you know, he, he worked with us every night. He mixed us every night. And it's so great to travel with your own mixing engineer. Absolutely. Which we don't do anymore, which is a real shame, but No, you're mercy. Whatever house engineer is whoever they Oh God, yes. Oh yeah. Oh definitely. And but he, you know, he was also interested in psychedelics as we were, and he used to throw this kind of ish into the mix.
Plus of course, like a, like the huge deadhead that he was he used to make sure he got good board tapes of all of all of these shows. So I've got like crates and crates and crates of board tapes. That's awesome. I managed to leverage some of them to do the live in Montana [01:03:00] album back in the 1999, which is just a mixture of, of two different board tapes from Montana's one tour in 88.
But I also I've called them over the years for different stuff. And one of the things we did in like 1990 and even, even a little bit before, is we had a passage which was basically like meat puppet style space, like the the Dead would do. And it was based on the the, the TV show America's Most Wanted and also the TV show, Webster.
And we would we would hit, hit like a final note of a song like swimming ground. And then instead of just stopping, we would start to space out. And we had Chris had onboard effects. So you can hear his, him rocking crazy effects on his base. And Curtalways had effects. He's a guitarist and I had little.
Drum machine that I would bring along and plug into. And so while we would go eightish with noise, Curtwould in tone things [01:04:00] about Webster or Playboy, who was America's Most Wanted and other, other criminals. And then finally a couple years later, a couple years ago, I finally grabbed all that stuff and mixed it into one hour long suite of noise
Kinda like the I dunno if you're familiar with the Infrared Roses album that Jerry Garcia did, in which he takes a whole bunch of space from the dead and mixes that together into one big long suite. Wow. No, I'm not familiar with that, but now I'm gonna have to search that out for sure. There's, there's also one that the fellows from Plunder Phonics.
With with Dark Star, they call it gray folded, and they basically take versions of Dark Star from like the Dead's entire history and mix that all into one great big single piece. So that was just my attempt to do that as well. That's really fascinating. Well catch us up to speed. As far as the, the latest album, 2019 and Beyond, what's, what's, what's coming down the [01:05:00] pike?
You know, from you guys, what are the, what are the plans on the horizon? Well obviously we did dusty notes, we recorded it in. Thousand and 18, in fact they had originally recorded the basics with their other drummer, who then moved to Europe. And that's how I joined. And Curtwas like we want you to help us finish this record.
I'm like, cool. And then it turns out that he was just gonna, the existing drum tracks and to the, the tracks that they had recorded a couple months previous, which was fine. Came out really good. We did that record, we toured it in 2019. I continued to get board tapes wherever I could. We went to, we did like three small jots around the US and then we went to Europe.
We met up with a fellow in Manchester who videotaped the show and also got a proper recording of it, like better than a board tape of, you know, a multi-track recording. And when Covid came, We were like, well, all of our tours, everything's got canceled for 2020. Yeah. So some of the [01:06:00] promoters were like, well, maybe you guys have some live footage.
You can kick our way and we can throw it on on our websites to try to just keep the pump primed. And that never happened, but I did say, you know, these people who have got these recordings of us, I need to call these boats in. And so I reached out to this guy, said, cough up the, the, the stuff . And eventually I got ahold of the multi-tracks and put together a, a a, I had some, some some tracks at one fellow from DC Jam Records wanted to fund track for a compilation that he was doing.
And our manager put him in touch with me and I said, how about this? And he says, this is stuff is great. I'd like to do a whole record of it. So I put together, Albums worth of, you know, a vinyl album's worth of basically improv, you know, improvs off songs. Mm-hmm. Which is to say 10 minute versions of up on the Sun or whatever, which we had been working on because just like the Webster Jams, we still do a lot of [01:07:00] live improv and a lot live space.
It's important part of our, our shows. And I had wanted to do a you know, kind of a souvenir of our first big tour as a, as this current five piece, cuz it was coming up with such interesting stuff. So. I was delighted to have the opportunity to release this, and this has actually came out, it's coming out for YouTube, but it came out for your audience on May 6th, 2022.
And the initial release was a limited edition picture sleeve vinyl, and hopefully that'll sell out so fast that we can release, you know, do other crossings, whatever, maybe release in other formats. But our our, our first live album since well the band has done two live albums before we did the some shows from 1988.
And then Curtdid one with his first, you know, post Trio Meat Puppets. Mm-hmm. . He had started a band called the Royal [01:08:00] Neanderthal, or. And the the, he tried to get the, the record company to release an album by it and they were by them and they were like, not unless you change the name to Meat Puppets.
So we did, and they still refused to release it . So he wound up getting it getting released from that contract and putting it out somewhere else. But that band eventually disbanded and then Kirk put out a solo record and then he got back together with Cris and they reformed the Meat Puppets in like what, 2007 I think it is, around there.
Six seven. Six seven. Yeah. But this is the first live album that has been done with this group, which is the five piece featuring Elmo Kirkwood on the lead guitar, and Ron Stabinski on keyboards along with me Curt Cobain Chris, and we raised a hell of a noise and I couldn't be more excited about this. And yeah, I can imagine it's just adding something to your already bombastic sound.
I mean, even as early as, you know, 85 live at the stone, [01:09:00] it's, it's, it's never you haven't let off the gas. It doesn't sound like, sounds like you're, you're moving forward even. Oh, yeah. I hope so. I mean, I, there are certain things you can't do anymore at age 60 that you could do at age 25. No problem . But all you gotta do is, is what you, what you do is as.
And when your, when your fingers are really fired up, what you wanna do is you want use that to attract the chicks. And then what you do is you knock one of them up and then you raise yourself a second set of, of fingers Rocky on tour with you when you're 60 to fill in the parts that you can't play anymore.
That's all. It's those perfect strategies. That's how they teach you in all the books that way, all those how to make it in the music to books. Yeah. That's Rockstar 1 0 1. Yeah. Seriously. The Idiots God to Rockstar Life. Yeah, it's good. That's it. Anyway, Elmo is like a tremendous guitarist. He's like a sponge with that shit.
And Ron has been playing music since he was two. He can play anything and [01:10:00] he's, you know, he, he is in 900 bands, so we're lucky to. How good of a Whistler is Elmo? I mean, how's he gonna do on maiden's milk? Can he carry the whistle parts with you guys? Yeah. Well I don't think we've talked Curtinto doing that one.
The yeah, in terms of you guys have been, this has been fun. Thanks for hanging out with us, Derrick. We sure. We we have one question that we ask everybody. So when you're on tour I'm guessing with the Meat Puppets or doing some, some solo drum stuff, whatever, you're, when you're on tour and you go into a gas station, what is your gas station snack?
Food of choice. And while you're thinking of it, I'll tell you mine, I get a three Musketeers bar. When I was growing up, my mom would say, you can have any candy bar you want. And I get a three Musketeers bar cuz it's the most ounces. What is your gas station snack? Food of choice. Well I am a vegan so you're opening another 45 minute can
So when it comes to that kind of stuff, usually I'm gonna go with Just a bag of cashews or something? Yeah, classic. I have [01:11:00] worked for Whole Foods for 20 years. Okay. So looking at the the food that's available in a, in a gas station generally doesn't excite me. But I could tell you that after a gig when we get back to the hotel, we will like all TRAs to the, to the convenience store cuz we're all starving.
It's two o'clock in the morning and we will dump the on onto the counter. The most motley collection of garbage you ever . These guys will eat the hot dogs from a from a convenience store. Oh, the gas station? Yeah. . Yeah. Me. I I'll get some, some water and a bag of nuts and usually that's about it.
There you go. That's good. Solid protein. I'm not fun. Yeah, . That's very, I'm, that's a . That's good though. Yeah. Yeah. Well, man, thank you so much for, for joining us today. It's been a real treat to talk to you and to just get to recall some of these things you know, straight from the source. It's, it's always a pleasure, Derrick, thank you so much, man.
Gentlemen, it's been a pleasure and an honor [01:12:00] and thank you so much for having me. Absolutely. We'll we'll connect back with you when we're, you know, getting ready to release the episode and you know, that kind of thing. And then we can do the social media log roll. Absolutely. . We'll, we'll corral you in to do whatever social media log roll you are willing to do.
Thank you, sir . Thanks. Have a great day, Derrick. All right guys, have a good day. Appreciate it. Cheers. Thanks. Bye-bye. This is the Great Song Podcast, and that was Derrick Bostrom of the Meat Puppets. I'm sorry to everyone. That is now that we've now revealed that we are poses , you guys know this by now. But you know, we're like 10 miles wide and a couple inches deep on a lot of our music knowledge.
You know what I mean? We're not like, Well, I'm, we're not punk dude. We're not punk. Nor can we pretend to be, but we appreciate what we appreciate. I'm wearing a Cristopher Cross t-shirt today, for goodness sake, . That's right. That's about where we are. And Rob's wearing a Braves hat. That's right. We're cover, we're covering, we're covering one of the great like, you know punk influence acts wearing Christopher [01:13:00] Cross merch.
So that's about right for us on brand. So, alright. Man, season ten's been awesome. This has been so great. I can't believe we get to do this. And we're gonna go next week straight back into one of your absolute favorites. And so it's gonna be awesome. All right. We'll see you guys next week with another amazing song.
Until then, I'm Rob. I'm J.P. You'll listen to some music.