The Cathedral, the forthcoming record from Meridian, a band that includes Max Stern from Signals Midwest and his brother Jake Stern, will be released August 19 by Youth Conspiracy Records. To celebrate, the dudes, who play folky indie rock and punk fare will be heading east for a round of tour dates before their release show in Cleveland.
Ghettoblaster recently caught up with Jake Stern (who handles guitar, vocals, banjo and piano for the band) to discuss how they’re preparing for the trip, and robots. This is what he told us.
What kind of vehicle are you travelling in, and what are you doing to outfit it for maximum comfort?
We travel in a Dodge Grand Caravan. We call her the Canyonero or the Silver Duchess. To ensure maximum comfort, we make sure that we always have at least two bags of Combos on board.
What is the planned playlist for your travels?
We like to listen through a lot of CDs on tour, and pretty much anything is fair game. We’re into a ton of different stuff. I’d say that on this tour we can expect a healthy dose of Everclear and The Weakerthans, as well as a bunch of hip-hop. I can’t stop spinning the new Freddie Gibbs and Madlib record.
Which of the cities that you’ll be visiting are you most excited about and why? Which of your destinations are you most anxious about?
I’m really stoked to play Philly. Our show there last summer was super fun, and this time around our good friends in The Smith Street Band from Australia will be there at the same time, so I can’t wait to see them.
I’m super excited for Brooklyn as well, just because I’ve never played in NYC before and that city is total madness.
I’m not really anxious about any of the cities we’re playing in, it’s so much fun to be on the road and head to a new town every night.
What are the top three essential, must-have items that you take on the road with you?
Camera, Water bottle, Ibuprofen.
What will you miss most about home while you are away?
My couch, it’s a magical place where nothing bad ever happens.
Do you keep a diary during your travels? If so, is it public?
I don’t keep a written diary, but I take a lot of photos while I’m traveling as a sort of photo-journal. I always just put them up on Facebook or whatever, so if you’d like to share them you’re more than welcome to!
What is the craziest thing you’ve seen on the road during this or other tours?
One time on our way to a show in Cleveland, we passed by this house in the middle of the hood that had like five or six cars-, ranging from mini vans to hearses-, up on massive suspensions with monster truck wheels on them. There was also a 25-foot-tall robot mounted on the back of a truck.
We got out of the car to get a better look and take some photos, and the dude whose house they were at came out and talked to us. His name was Tim Willis, and he couldn’t have been a nicer guy. He got out his remote control for the robot and moved it around for us, and he let us climb into some of the cars. A few of them had these really lifelike mannequins inside, so that was pretty weird.
(Catch Meridian live here:
August 1, Pittsburgh, PA at Star Command A
ugust 2, Washington, DC at St. Stephen’s Church
August 3, Washington, DC at Paperhaus
August 5, Philadelphia, PA at Hazel House
August 6, Long Island, NY at Mr. Beery’s|
August 7, Albany, NY at The Icehouse
August 8, Boston, MA at House Show
August 9, Brooklyn, NY at Legion
August 10, Rochester, NY at The Shark Tank
August 14, Kent, OH at Euro Gyro
August 22, Cleveland, OH at the Grog Shop (Record Release)
Visit the band here: https://www.facebook.com/meridianohio.)