Meat Flowers release sophomore album
City quartet celebrating Woe Is Meat with show Oct. 31 at The Brass Rail
I guess you could call The Meat Flowers a happy accident.
“We were all in different bands and started jamming together just for fun, and then it spiraled out of control and we accidentally became a real band,” frontman Jared Andrews said.
Getting their start in 2014 and releasing their debut self-titled album in 2016, the quartet of Andrews, who also plays guitar, bassist Dan Obergfell, guitarist John Ptak, and drummer Jon Ross will celebrate their sophomore effort, Woe Is Meat, with a Halloween album release show at The Brass Rail on Monday, Oct. 31
coming out of underground
The do-it-yourself band’s eight-track debut, featuring songs like “Boyfriend,” “Scream & Shine,” and “You Called Me Scum,” had been available, but you had to know where to find it, before the band decided to release it to the masses by adding to streaming services on Aug. 12.
“Before that, it was only available on CD and on our Bandcamp page,” Andrew said. “I thought it was cool just having it exist underground, I dunno. Better six years late then never, I guess.”
Their single 2020 “Slap Leather” had already been on streaming services, and after putting their debut online, they released the single “Tina (Ready to Die)” from the upcoming album on Oct. 7.
According to Andrews, the availability of the album won’t be the only difference between Woe Is Meat and The Meat Flowers.
“The first record was just me, Jon, and Dan, and it was pretty raw,” he said. “Since then, we added John Ptak. So he’s on the new one, plus we got a handful of amazing guest musicians scattered throughout the album: Todd Roth on trumpet, Clint Roth on lap steel, Derek Reeves on violin, Lynn Nicholson on mandolin, Sarah Greenwell from the band Gymshorts on vocals, and a bunch of homies came in on the last day of recording and sang choir vocals to close out the album. It’ll bring a damn tear to your eye.”
Along with some help from friends, the group had a different recording experience.
“Our first album was recorded at the 1835 building on Calhoun Street, which actually went up in flames shortly after our album was finished,” Andrews said. “Our new album, Woe Is Meat, was recorded at Jon Ross’ studio downtown.”
Along with the new setting, Andrews said his songwriting and the band’s overall progression has led to a new sound.
“We pushed ourselves a lot more on this one,” he said. “The songs are way stronger and the lyrics are a lot more personal to me. Jon is a great producer, and he was able to get really good performances out of all of us. He got me to sing a bunch of harmonies that I didn’t think I could pull off. I’m really proud of this record and what we were able to do.”
Saying the songs are “stronger and shorter,” after writing the lyrics, Andrews brings them to his bandmates, where they get polished.
“They do their thing and make them sound way cooler than I could on my own,” he said.
And while Andrews’ distinct vocals are evident, the production is ramped up on Woe is Meat, which begins with a horns on “Mississippi Bottlerocket” with some organ mixed in.
“Some of these songs are like 10 years old and some of them I wrote right before we started making the album,” he added.
Heading to california
Following their Halloween show at The Rail, the group heads out on their Natural Born Loser Tour with artist Burger Babie. It begins Nov. 1 in Chicago and works its way across the Midwest to the West Coast, wrapping up on Nov. 12 in Long Beach, California.
“My girlfriend Addeline Griswold is a super talented artist, and she asked us to play at her art show in Long Beach, California, in mid-November,” Andrew said. “The timing worked out with us finishing our new album, so we decided to just do a whole tour. She has a bunch of murals booked, and we have a bunch of shows, so it’s a joint musician/artist tour. Something cool and different. Very excited to get on the road again and see some old friends.
“Setting up a tour is generally a pain in the ass, but this one was actually pretty easy,” he added. “We’ve made a lot of friends in bands in different cities over the years, and they all came through for us.”
But before they pack up the van, they’re planning a pretty memorable Halloween nigh show.
“New music, old horror movies, a costume contest, ghosts, surprises, us losing our minds on stage, our friends Loveseat! opening up, more ghosts,” Andrews said of the show.