We got a chance to speak to pop punk’s new powergroup, Meet Me @ The Altar this week (who will be supporting bloom. & Like Mike in a few weeks at the Soundbar in Orlando, Florida.) Each member hails from a different state from Florida to Georgia to New Jersey, so their tight-knit dynamic & professionalism is quite impressive. Check out our exclusive interview with guitarist, Téa Campbell, as we talk about the hardships of being a geographically spread-out band & what to expect from the group in the new year!
Photo by: Leigh Ann Rodgers
All of you are from different states along the East Coast-- how did you all meet?
In 2015, I [Téa] searched up drum covers of “Holding Onto You” by Twenty One Pilots and Ada’s cover popped up. It was really cool to see a girl of color around my age so good at her instrument, so I decided to message her and see if she wanted to collab on a cover of a song and I would do the guitar and bass for it. We decided that it wouldn’t hurt to just “start a band”. We didn’t know what that really meant at the time, as we were a naive 14 and 16 year old trying to form a band on opposite sides of the east coast. We held auditions for a vocalist and that’s when we initially met Edith. She didn’t actually join the band until 2017 because we decided on someone else and the lineup changed a few times in that span. Since 2017, we’ve been going strong!
Is it difficult to manage the band having various home-bases or do you find it beneficial considering all of the travel?
There’s definitely drawbacks to being a band that’s so spread out. We don’t get to practice NEARLY as much as we’d like to. We’re super ambitious people who are always thinking about ways to improve our music and specifically live show presence. Whenever we play shows, we only have the day before or the morning of, to practice. When we tell people this, they never believe us because of how well we perform. If we were able to have more consistent practices, our stage presence would probably tear venues down. The cool part of having three different hometowns is that whenever we tour along the east coast, we know that we can for sure pull a lot of people for those dates. I think the negatives outweigh the positives though, because being spread out takes a huge financial toll on all of us and the band collectively. Whenever we play a show, the other two members have to fly out to that city and plane tickets add up. For tours, we either all fly out to New Jersey where our van is (Ada has the van), or she drives down to get us. Regardless, SOMEONE is paying a lot of money for every show/tour that we do.
In a long van ride, who has the aux cord & what are you playing?
Usually whoever is driving at the time has the aux cord, but by default Ada usually plays the music. If we’re in the middle of the drive we usually just put our music on shuffle (so a mix of pop punk, hardcore, alternative, etc.). But sometimes we feel like putting a lil’ razzle dazzle on and will jam out to Bhad Bhabie (please don’t judge us) or blast other trap music. And then there’s an even more special occasion where we jam to pop songs from 2007 - 2012 because radio in that period produced the best songs. But if the stars and planets align and the moon is full, we have no choice but to rock out to Hannah Montana and the Camp Rock soundtrack.
Who would you love to tour with in the future?
We’ve always said that once we tour with Paramore we could die happily, but so would every other band in the scene. Besides the unreasonable, we’d love to tour with Belmont, they’re great guys. We’d also love to tour with Knuckle Puck, Neck Deep, State Champs, The Story So Far, Stand Atlantic, and Eat Your Heart Out to name a few.
Cover art by Hue Dare
Stream 'Bigger Than Me' here
What inspired the cover art for your EP, “Bigger Than Me”?
Bigger Than Me is all about either battling your inner demons or standing up when the world is against you, so we really wanted to incorporate those elements into the artwork. Our cover art shows a woman with armor on walking into the light with no fear as the demons behind her try to pull her back into the darkness. We feel like we’re in that transitional period in our lives where we will no longer let the world or even ourselves drag us down.
Photo by Leigh Ann Rodgers
What’s your favorite song to perform live?
“Tyranny” is probably our favorite song to play live because it’s super energetic and out of our other songs, it’s the one most people know. It’s a great way to end our set. The second contender is “Beyond My Control” because them breakdowns go hard!
What can we expect from Meet Me @ The Altar in 2020?
Definitely expect some new music and music videos late spring. We’re also planning tours that hit cities we’ve never played before. And maybe, just maybe, we’ll finally open up for a bigger band.
Photo by Leigh Ann Rodgers
Meet Me @ The Altar recently announced a run throughout the East Coast & Midwest with Wilmette (check out the dates below.) Make sure to check out all their socials, too, so you’re up-to-date on what they’re up to next!
Written & Interviewed by Deirdre Kelly