Skip to content

The Meese – Time Flies When You’re Having Fun

One of the most powerful ways music can spread is by word of mouth through friends. Back in the day we had the classic tool for music communication: the mixed tape. Today it’s less personal, with technology taking the lead with websites and MP3 gadgets. The one thing that will never go away is word of mouth itself.

My friend Jordan Hubner knew of a local band that I just had to see called Meese. Although Meese only been together a year, they were opening up for Born in the Flood at the BlueBird, and at other shows they were selling out of their Oh No E.P.s at a few hundred a night.

Since I trusted Jordan’s taste I was so there, front and center. I could tell a quarter of the way into their first song that this band was not only running tight with a solid foundation of melodic pop and hip shaking rock, but that the band itself beamed with positive energy. Patrick Meese, the frontman for the band, also had quite a wit to him and was a natural with the crowd who ate up every note.

Sitting outside at Mezcal Restaurant on Colfax I got to learn a lot more about Patrick and his solo career, how his younger brother Nate Meese came into the fold along with the other two players, and just how far they’ve all come in a short amount of time.

Kaffeine Buzz: You’ve gone through quite a transition in the last year, from starting solo to bringing in your brother and now having a full fledged band. How has that affected not only your songwriting process but how the music is presented and performed live?

Patrick Meese: Well, it’s been a year and a few months since I started as Patrick Meese. Since then it’s been a lot of different musicians. I think I counted the other day—nine different people have played in the band. So at first there wasn’t much unity. It was me writing all the parts and trying to teach it to people. It was good when Nate moved out [to Denver] because we are living together and we could play music together. The two latest editions—David on bass, who used to play guitar, and Ben coming and playing drums—for the past few months its really felt like more of a band, more of a group effort. I’m writing the songs but Nate’s writing the guitar part, David’s been writing all the bass parts, and Ben takes care of the drum stuff. And it feels good, especially live.

At the Soiled Dove on Friday, it’s never felt that tight before. I think when you write your own parts you feel ownership and it doesn’t feel like, ‘Oh, I’m just playing Patrick’s bass line that he wrote.’ It’s, ‘I came up with it. This is my art.’ So it feels really cool to have four guys now and to start gelling.

KB: So what do you think contributed to you gelling at the Dove? Just time?

Nate Meese: Well, Patrick and I have been playing together since I was nine. So we’ve been in bands forever, but things kind of went on hiatus when I went to school. So he was doing things by himself and I was doing things myself, but then we decided to get back together.

KB: So what music were you guys writing and playing when you were kids? Was it influenced by your parents or was it something you did on your own?

PM: It was both. My mom was a jazz singer and they were both into listening to good music, like Steely Dan, Allman Brothers, Stevie Wonder, Beatles, Phil Collins…it’s all music I listen to now. Then my mind got blown away when my drum teacher gave me Pearl Jam’s Ten. That was it for me. We were like, post grunge, you know?

KB: But that’s such the opposite of what you guys play, not that that means anything. I think it’s funny when people freak out because some death metal musician also listens to Fiona Apple or something.

NM: I think a big part of it doesn’t even need to be musically, but just like who Eddie Vedder is, about how he acts and the things he’s involved in even if we don’t sound anything like Pearl Jam.

PM: It’s still good music. There’s good music and bad music no matter what genre you’re talking about. I can listen to hardcore and go, ‘I’m not going to listen to this every day but I know that this hardcore sounds better than that hardcore.’ You know, we still love to rock out even on some of our more chill tracks. We can’t wait for the part in the song where we rock out. I think that’s the Pearl Jam in us, and then the electronic stuff is the Radiohead, the jazzy stuff is the Stevie Wonder, and the Rufus Wainwright is the whatever. The more I think of what music I listen to the more I can hear it in what we’re doing now, especially on this new album.

KB: I even picked up on some like, ‘30s ragtime kind of thing on your song “RIP Mr. McDonald.”

PM: I did all the drums on the CD and I had wanted to do a jazz thing that was totally different from the rest of the CD. It wasn’t a straight rip off of Rufus Wainwright, but I’ve been listening to a lot of him. And when I was writing those choruses, they have a natural flow about them that feels like a 1930s, early jazz kind of thing. So I just let it go that way.

KB: I typically hesitate to ask songwriters what they meant when they wrote a given song, because a lot of times it can be open to interpretation. But there were a couple things I picked up on and that you went to the Christian college for a little while. And they’re the words to “I Don’t Buy It” with that kind of had a connection to your experience there. Is that right?

PM: I was separated from home to deal with a lot of drug and alcohol related problems. I got sent to rehab and then I was sent to a boarding school. That was kind of the beginning of my spirituality. I came out of it a Christian, I mean, super Evangelical. And then from there I went to Colorado Christian University in Lakewood. Soon after that I realized that there are some extremists…it took me a while to figure out what I believe and what I really didn’t believe. But its shaped me and kept me clean for years now. [Looking at his brother Nate] Where are you?

NM: Spiritually? Well, Patrick went off to boarding school I had a pretty normal kind of upbringing. I never had to deal with the stuff and the issues he had to deal with. My spirituality isn’t something I deal with every day.

PM: As far as “I Don’t Buy It,” its what I didn’t like, being in this Christian subculture and having Focus on the Family say something about Sponge Bob Square Pants is from the devil and focusing on that while there are people starving. I mean, where is the love and what’s really important? What is Jesus Christ really about and how did we loose that to such a huge extent?

KB: I think that’s affecting our whole culture right now, what you’re singing about. It’s something that won’t go away. Is it a way to control people or is it a source of inspiration like the way that you have it in your life? You know; the positive side of it.

PM: Yea, I wrote it during a really frustrated time, being at CCU and being around such great people, but at the same time there were people that I was really have trouble accepting and understanding. Part of me was saying, ‘You know what? I’m going to just start over.’ I don’t know if I really started over, but where I am now is a lot different from where I was when I first started at CCU.

It gets touchy because I do not want to be pigeonholed as a Christian artist. But at the same its like, ‘Well, am I ashamed of my faith?’ No to both, you know? I don’t want this band and I don’t want this music to be 100% about Patrick’s spirituality. I don’t want to advertise it that way or to the Christian music industry, and it is an industry. I just want it to be about the music.

KB: I was pretty blown away when I saw you at the BlueBird. You guys have a real hook. You’re now working on your first full-length. Are you going to do anything with the songs on the EP or what are your plans?

NM: We’re doing all new songs.

PM: “After I’m Gone” is probably going to be the only one we redo.

KB: What direction are you guys going with the new songs?

PM: There will be still be electronic stuff but nothing too overbearing. I just feel like the songwriting has matured a little bit. I think the new album is going to be a little more precise, a little deeper, but there’s still going to be some happy stuff on there.

NM: Working on some of the newer songs and seeing what he comes up with…I can’t wait.

KB: One of the biggest struggles that any new band has is getting out there, your name, gigs, the whole thing. I saw you play a pretty good slot at BlueBird and you’ve got this gig at the Paramount with The Fray coming up. Was it Isaac [from the Fray] that helped you guys to get things going?

PM: You know, I actually played drums in a band called The Turning and The Fray opened up for us a while ago. I was like, ‘Gosh, I like these guys.’ We just really hit it off. Then I started writing and they really dug it. We even talked about doing a tour where we were gonna learn five songs and help each other out. But that was before “Cable Car” and the whole thing. So yea, we started playing around with them like Soiled Dove and places like that. Then more recently, Dave Herrera [Westword] gave us a great review. But as far as getting our foot in the door, The Fray’s been a big help, and Jordan who hooked us up with you. [Looking at his brother Nate] Who else?

NM: Some things like playing Lodo Music Fest this summer…my friend Mark from the Trampolines really helped out a lot.

KB: Since I moved here in 2001, the local music scene has just exploded. They’re more bands playing out on a regular basis you would think that bands would all be vying for people’s attention. But it’s really the opposite, because it’s made seeing live music as regular as going to a bar or a club.

NM: It seems like people are always receptive to our shows. They’re there because they want to be there. While there are those people who are just going out for a good time, compared to coming from Cleveland where nobody cares…It’s the bands and their girlfriends and their friends. Coming here, for only having been here for eight or nine months now, you can talk to anyone who’s in a band and people know names. You can talk about The Fray and Born in the Flood and people not only know them but they actually care, which is wild. I think it’s awesome.

PM: It’s like a storm right now, bing, bang, boom. And hopefully it will go fast. And if not, hey, we’re having a good time.

Patrick can also be seen having a good time and giving us more than a few laughs in his “Meese Minute” on the Noise Floor show on Comcast, which spotlights various music scenes in Denver every month.

Meese are working on the new full-length album, which is schedule to be released at the beginning of March 2006 with a CD release party. Stay tuned to what the band is up to at

-Kim Owens -Article appeared in the November 2005 issue of In Flux Magazine, available at Indenpent Records.


Sign up to our newsletter and get updates to your mailbox