An album release party for a local band will happen Saturday, November 16th, at The Verve on Wabash in the heart of downtown Terre Haute. Sardonic Spectator’s own Sara Noe (Deadly Beautiful) did the album artwork for BAD MEAT (they are adamant about the all caps) which consists of David Benjamin (DUDE) and Ben Christjansen. Ben is a native of Terre Haute, while Michigan born David came here via Orlando, Florida.
SS: So tell us about Bad Meat.
Ben: The Funk Nasty or the Nasty Funk. Two extremes so far extreme they meet on the other side.
DUDE: Conjecture within the abstract. The polarity where the wave lengths meet.
SS: It sounds like physics. You both have been working in music separately before this project, right? How did you come together with two extremes in style?
DUDE: It all started in the basement.
Ben: It was a little awkward at first.
SS: Like all new relationships.
DUDE: That’s what made it tight. At first, I didn’t know how much of it sounded like us almost painfully trying to get away from the styles we have had. You know, like ughhh, it’s kind of tough to let go of something that you’re stuck with and reach that unknown. This project is an experiment of exploration of that weirdness in between. Its a collaboration and we both went into it with the best kind of attitude. Had we not, nothing would have really come from it. Every jam was super easy. Every time we got together something happened, something clicked.
Ben: I had never done hip-hop or rap before, and this was a way for me to go beyond my comfort zone. I come from a very very metal style of singing and vocalizing and I never actually really thought about putting that down and trying to actually sing besides screaming all the time.
SS: Good for your vocal cords. Sounds like working on this project, you were both able to expand.
Ben: When we started to really enjoy and like what we were doing, the feeling magnified into a venue of style that I can move to when I want to express different forms of vocalization. Before I had always relied on other people to write my music. This was me saying, you don’t need anyone but yourself and that spoke to me so profoundly. So BAD MEAT has helped me move the needle on my talent.
DUDE: I never got to sing so much, and I never felt comfortable enough with the singing. And also, I’ve never collaborated with anyone from such a different audio realm, know what I mean? We both have such a different line of experience, and I think that is one big thing we got to trade off.
Ben: Definitely, I can totally feel that. You know, from the beginning if I were to sum the project up in one sentence or an action, I would say it was a ‘handshake’. It was two strangers passing in a moment in time and we stopped and gave each other a handshake.
DUDE: “Nice to meat you, bro.”
SS: Everything is original? You write your own lyrics and music?
Ben: Absolutely, all the way to the bone.
SS: And how was the writing process for you guys?
Ben: You know, you start out with the basics. Thats simply what we did. We compounded inspiration upon inspiration through every single instrument we picked up. I had never played a keyboard in my entire life. It’s strange coming from opposite backgrounds, how there are so many similarities between the both of us.
DUDE: Yeah, I don’t know what to call it. We still have no idea what it is.
SS: What genre do you guys relate to?
DUDE: I think we relate to all genres. A majority of them. But I still don’t know what the sound is.
Ben: As a musician, you walk around with an antenae sticking out of your back picking up different influences consciously and subconsciously. With this project DUDE never made me feel out of my realm, so I was able to think about these influences and apply them.
SS: The album comes out this Saturday. What”s your favorite song on it?
Ben: I know this sounds so cliche, but I absolutely have no favorite because each song sounds so different. And I think that is one of the most beautiful things, its just so chaotic, random. Each song has its own seperate sounds and feelings. I can tell you the hardest one to write to, and that would be a mix between Mind Glow and Bright Lights. Mind Glow is more of a complicated issue than we see is going on about um…
DUDE: Like a thought process.
Ben: Yeah, that people need to address. Its not neccessarily about people’s single actions but the mode that their brain is in. Mind Glow is kind of an obvious ‘Hey, lets recognize what we’re doing, lets recognize what we’re not doing that we say we’re doing when we know we’re not.’
SS: If I’m following you, this is about changing your perspective?
DUDE: Its an electro hippie song. It’s saying, “Come on! There’s a better way to do things.”
SS: DUDE, do you have a favorite song?
DUDE: I have the same cliche answer: every single one is a different song. I like the direction Mind Glow and Bright Lights went. Those came later in the project. I had the most fun making The Flow, the skank beat. Coming up with that was so much fun.
Ben: We wanted to write a reggae song so we did.
SS: Who do expect to be your audience? Who do you think will dig your work?
Ben: What’s our demographic? Easy. EVERYBODY. Each song can speak to a different set of people and the whole idea can speak to everybody. At least, that is my projection.
DUDE: People who pay attention.
SS: Conscious listening; there’s a good concept. What are the details about the show?
Ben: This Saturday, Nov 16th. $2 cover. Live performance set. We are adding two new songs to the set list.
DUDE: Performing the entire album.
SS: Will we be able to buy the CD at the show on Saturday?
Ben: $5 Holla.
DUDE: Nah, just come talk to us and see what happens. You never know, it may be $4.99.
Ben: Come see the front lines of something new happening creatively. In your hometown. Come out.