The musical duo known as Meanlife makes smirk rock for the masses from the cold nethers of Ontario… That’s in Canada. Featuring the talents of Jackson Fishauf (not drums) and Dalton Howell (drums), Meanlife has the right amount of disenfranchised angst fused into their garage rock to ensnare my 90s sensibilities. “Let Me No” has something for modern listeners and old skool grunge rockers alike.
Check out our Q&A with Jackson and Dalton of Meanlife below, but first, make sure you check out the premiere of their latest music video for “Let Me No” right now, right here…
So, I hear you’re from Canadia. What’s that like? Cold?
JF: Five degrees. It’s slippery in here.
DH: Three degrees.
JF: Dalton lives in Windsor.
DH: Windsor is ranked #1 worldwide for livability in a blog I just read.
Please tell me a little bit about making the music video for “Let Me No”. I heard there was some artist assistance from an illustrator?
DH: I ate a burrito and jammed in a basement while a friend of ours filmed it.
JF: Emily Stein (@cosmic_treasures) does those illustrations. My friend Jon Arnold shot us playing “Let Me No” in a practice room at Paul’s Boutique. I combined those with an earlier idea animating all the lyrics as chat messages, a clue on context. Then I heard Felix The Cat went into public domain at the start of 2019. I got a bunch of cartoon and visuals from archive.org. The final part was animating Emily’s drawings around the footage.
There’s a wry sense of humor that pervades the song and it’s commentary on the “absurdity of modern dating”. What is it that really irks you about dating in the 21st century? The texting? The casualness? The development of normcore?
DH: Dating in any century is good. Time is an illusion.
JF: I disagree.
DH: I’m okay being wrong.
Aight, let’s talk a little bit about Meanlife – the band. Two-piece, right? How did you fellas come together for music making purposes?
JF: From the ashes of P.O.T….
DH: Six months of a band called ‘Prince of Toronto’ happened.
JF: It was fun. Then the bassist left, then Dalton left, then I left.
DH: This era produced the 2016 EP, The Blue Prince.
JF: Underrated EP.
DH: In August 2017 we started playing Motown and Brittany Spears covers and demoing songs as Meanlife.
This your second music video (second single?). Is this part of a forthcoming album? Or are albums passé and you want to ONLY release singles for the foreseeable future?
JF: “Let Me No” is our second song and video. The first was “Picture Shy”, next is “Fuckable”, then “Bad Vibes In The Womb”.
DH: Yes, our debut EP, Bad Vibes in the Womb.
JF: I don’t think it’s an EP. It’s a album.
DH: Dude, write whatever you want. I’m done.
What is in the works next for Meanlife?
JF: We haven’t played a show yet. Maybe that.
DH: I’m gonna try to rescue my sister from this cult she’s in right now.
JF: We have a few demos for the next album, Stupidity Is King.
DH: Oh and we did an Aaron Carter cover about candy, that’s probably what’s next out of the Dragon’s Den. Or Shark Tank, in your case, lol.
Is there something you’d like to discuss that I didn’t mention over the course of this very brief Q&A?
DH: The lack of swing in modern music is a bit much, eh?
JF: I just think it’s really weird how that airplane MH370 was never found.
DH: Goodbye YabYum.
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