The Derrick Bostrom Interview over at Todd Thurman's site "The Right Voice" offers the current version of classic interview responses and sheds a little new light on heretofore unasked questions. Thanks to Todd for the opportunity and the interest!
UPDATE: Todd's Blogspot site is gone now. Shortly after posting this interview he was so badly flamed (probably from Meat Puppets fans -- shame on you!) that he moved to another server. Anyway, here's the text of the interview:
Saturday, February 18, 2006
The Derrick Bostrom Interview
For those of you who do not know (you should), Derrick Bostrom is the drummer for the Meat Puppets. The Meat Puppets rose to fame throughout the 1980s with Monumental albums such as "Meat Puppets II". They enjoyed success in the indy scene and a loyal cult following that was growing. They made the big time in 1994 when Nirvana featured 3 songs from the "Meat Puppets II" album during their unplugged performance. A hidden jewel of an album that every music fan should own is "Forbidden Places" that was released in 1991. Although they do not release music anymore they are one of the most influential bands of the 80s 90s and beyond. Derrick Bostrom was kind enough to answer a few questions for me and they are listed below.
What do you consider the best Meat Puppets song?
It's almost impossible to choose. I did select many of my favorites for the Rykodisk "Classic Puppets" album that I put together for them a couple years ago. I like things like "Sexy Music" and "Love Our Children Forever;" not necessarily fan faves. I also like our cover of "F*** You' by The Feederz. That was only released on a promo-only CD single. Up until I did the back catalogue reissue for Ryko in 1998 and 1999, a lot of my favorite Puppets tracks were unreleased. But I got a chance to use a lot of them as bonus tracks. There are still some favorite demos, outtakes and live shows lying around that I'd to give people a chance to hear; I hope to be able to post some of them on my Meat Puppets site.
Were the songs very collaberative, or did Curt lead the way?
Kind of both. In the earliest days, he and I collaborated. That was when he needed to be prodded into writing. Once he started getting positive feedback from people and started building confidence, he wrote on his own. The main way our material was collaborative after that was if we rejected songs he brought to rehearsal. We'd play everything, but it became obvious which songs we were all excited about, and which one's left us cold.
What was your initial reaction after Nirvana asked you guys to play your songs at the Unplugged show? Do you think they did a good job?
We were on tour with the them for the week leading up to the MTV performance. He'd asked Curt to teach him the song, but Curt managed to persuade him that it would be easier for him if he just brought him and Cris up onstage. We took the invitation very seriously. We cancelled a the last handful of dates of a tour we were on in order to make the show, and raced home to get ready, despite the fact that we had to drive through a blinding snowstorm in the Texas panhandle to make it.
What bands influenced you growing up?
The answer to that one will always be The Beatles.
Who is your favorite drummer?
I always admired studio session master Hal Blaine the most. The drummers that interested me were always studio players.
A lot of your songs seem to be light on the lyrics and heavy on the instrumentals. What made you decide to go that way?
I usually refrain from commenting on judgment calls on the part of the interviewer ;)
Who was your favorite band to tour with and what was your favorite tour?
Our first major tour was six weeks with Black Flag and Nig Heist in the spring of 1984. We all lived out of each others' pockets, bumming the same places top sleep, traveling together, etc. It will probably always stick in my mind, not only because it being the first and because of the closeness, but also because Nig Heist was such a riot.
"Too High to Die" seems very "cleaned up" than your previuos albums. Is this because of pressure from the label, or were the Meat Puppets evolving?
Never underestimate the powerful influence of a decent recording budget.
What do you think was your best album?
I can't really argue with the school of thought that puts "Meat Puppets II" and "Up On The Sun" at the top of the heap.
Besides the Meat Puppets, who is, currently, your favorite band?
Of the ones still together, The Pernice Brothers and Teenage Fanclub are probably the bands I have the highest regard for.
For more information straight from the horses mouth visit the Meat Puppets site
Thanks again to Derrick Bostrom.