Meatbodies Share “Billow”

Meatbodies’ “Billow” plays like a long-lost single from the Creation Records heyday with a spacey Stone Roses-type groove that is immediate and unforgettable. It’s nothing short of an instant classic built on harmonizing vocals and tons of tambourine—blossoming from darkness into a hopeful groove bathed in sunlight and lysergic acid. The track is just one of thirteen expertly crafted tracks to appear on Flora Ocean Tiger Bloom (In The Red), due in just one month on March 8, 2024.  Flora is the pinnacle of the Meatbodies’ catalog thus far and an effort bound to be on the tip of the tongue of their fans and in-the-know heads the world over. The borderline lost album is their most realized work to date on which frontman / lead guitarist Chad Ubovich faces the trials of sobriety, redemption, and reinvention – all while literally learning to walk and play again.

Resurrection not only accompanies the record, but its production as well, Flora Ocean Tiger Bloom examines themes surrounding love and loss, escapism, defeatism, hedonism, psychedelics, and much more. “The last record was more of a cartoon version of who we were– simple and fun without delving into heavy concepts,” recalls Ubovich. “The whole thing before with Meatbodies was never sit down, next part, next part, but I wanted to make something with more depth. After everything that had happened, and my personal life, I was left with this feeling of emptiness and loss. So I wanted to make music that was absent from things– songs that were more about conveying feeling.”

By 2017, Ubovich had reached a crossroads. After years of increasingly insane shows playing to heaving crowds with an ever-evolving and rotating door of personnel, fatigue had taken its toll and he realized another change was on the horizon. “It was like the car had run out of gas in the middle of the road, and I knew I had a long walk ahead of me.” Retreating to the seedy Los Angeles underbelly– in search of meaning and a reset. Ubovich escaped into that world, ignoring his own well-being, and trying to forget his successes. “I was living like a 90’s vampire out of a comic book. Stumbling around LA with the socialites, partying away my sorrows, trying to forget.”

It was at this point that Flora Ocean Tiger Bloom began to take shape—a project built by a man searching for new beginnings and his own sense of self. After sobering up, writing sessions began at Ubovich’s home and various studios with longtime collaborator Dylan Fujioka. Eventually, the official production for Flora began in 2019, but it was a story left on the editing table. Due to discrepancies with the studio, tensions were high and the plug was pulled. Left with an album only half-baked, it seemed like Flora had been put to rest. After the fires cooled and many discussions about the future of the album. Ubovich finally got the green light to finish production for Flora in 2020 when he hit another snag– the pandemic. And as the world took a back seat, so did the idea of Flora Ocean Tiger Bloom.

Not wanting to sit still at home, Ubovich began to comb through his previous demos with Fujioka while writing for Flora. And with that, 333 was born, the now de facto third Meatbodies LP. Yet Flora was never far from Ubovich’s mind and once again he revisited the idea of completing the now fabled album. As restrictions started to lift, Ubovich headed to Gold Diggers Sound in LA, backed by engineer Ed McEntee and a team of colleagues and friends, Ubovich completed the final act to the album, but he still wasn’t quite out of the woods just yet. He now faced a new crisis, one that proved to be more terrifying than any before: his home that he had spent the last 8 years in had been deemed uninhabitable and he wound up in a hospital bed where he spent the next month of his life.

Having to not only learn to walk again but also learn to play again, Ubovich used an upcoming tour with his band FUZZ as a motivating factor and hit the road for a year trying to regain a sense of normalcy. By the time Ubovich returned from tour he was centered and energized, ready to conquer his white whale – Flora Ocean Tiger Bloom. The mission was finally a success. Armed with a new home and a new studio – The Secret Garden, Ubovich mixed the album himself, looped in Brian Lucey at Magic Garden to handle mastering, and Flora was completed, five years after those fateful demos with Fujioka. “A lot happened with this record – it took me five years, I was out of a band, I had a drug problem, the album almost didn’t happen, the pandemic made it almost not happen again, and then in the end I almost died in the hospital, lost my house, and had to learn to walk again. It’s been quite a road, but I could not be more thrilled with the final output. I guess the juice was worth the squeeze?” laughs the Meatbodies frontman.

And so here we are, with Flora Ocean Tiger Bloom, an album completed by an ironclad will and steely determination. A massive step forward, both by conventional standards and considering its tumultuous path toward completion.

Come Spring, Meatbodies hit the road on a North American run that kicks off with a hometown release show at LA’s Lodge Room. More dates including San Francisco, Portland, Denver, Detroit, Austin, and more have just been announced today. See below for a full list of dates. For tickets and updates, go here.

Meatbodies Live Dates:

Dates in bold just added!

Mar 23: Los Angeles, CA – Lodge Room
Apr 03: San Francisco, CA – The Chapel
Apr 04: San Luis Obispo, CA – SLO BREW
Apr 05: Santa Cruz, CA – Crepe Place
Apr 06: Reno, NV – Lo Bar

Apr 11: Seattle, WA – Barboza
Apr 12: Portland, OR – Lollipop Shoppe
Apr 13: Vancouver, BC – The Pearl
Apr 15: Boise, ID – Neurolux
Apr 16: Salt Lake City, UT – International Artists Lounge
Apr 17: Denver, CO – Larimer Lounge
Apr 19: Minneapolis, MN – 7th St. Entry
Apr 21: Chicago, IL – Schubas
Apr 22: Detroit, MI – Lager House
Apr 23: Toronto, ON – The Garrison
Apr 24: Cleveland, OH – Grog Shop
Apr 25: Troy, NY – No Fun
Apr 26: Philadelphia, PA – PhilaMoca
Apr 27: Brooklyn, NY – Market Hotel
Apr 29: Charlotte, NC – Snug Harbor
Apr 30: Asheville, NC – Different Wrld
May 01: Atlanta, GA – 529
May 02: Louisville, KY – The Whirling Tiger
May 03: Nashville, TN – Third Man Records at The Blue Room
May 04: New Orleans, LA – Siberia
May 07: Denton, TX – Rubber Gloves
May 09: San Antonio, TX – Paper Tiger
May 10: Austin, TX – The 13th Floor

May 12: Albuquerque, NM – Sister
May 13: Tucson, AZ – Club Congress
May 14: Phoenix, AZ – Rebel Lounge
May 16: San Diego, CA – Soda Bar
May 18: Costa Mesa, CA – The Wayfarer