If you had describe the current Denver music scene in three words, you might pick “killer piano rock.” Over the past few years, bands like The Fray and OneRepublic have taken their melodious, ivory-driven pop balladry to multiplatinum levels. Rounding out this Rocky Mountain trifecta is Meese, a group formed by brothers Patrick and Nathan Meese. After rising to the forefront of the Denver scene in 2006, Meese hit the road opening for their friends in The Fray. Fan adulation and industry buzz quickly ensued. This month marks their major label debut, Broadcast, led by the irresistible single, “Next In Line.” We caught up with Patrick on tour to see how rock stardom was treating him.
What’s the biggest “we’ve made it moment” you’ve had so far?
I turned on my iPhone and saw our ‘free single of the week’ logo on the front page. That was definitely a cool moment. Then I checked out our website and saw we actually had a whole summer of tour dates posted, which is new for us. I also like the smaller ‘we’re making it’ moments too, like when we meet new fans.
You’re the third major band to emerge from the Denver music scene (behind The Fray and OneRepublic). Do you see yourselves as part of a Colorado piano rock movement?
We know both those bands pretty well and we’ve learned a lot from them. We have a good amount of piano-based stuff like OneRepublic and The Fray, but our set is becoming more guitar heavy. We’ve also started incorporating more electronic elements into our music, like a bonus track we released called “The Working Class” that is very Postal-Service-esque. Colorado is really great for bands right now though. And when you learn how to sing at the elevation, you feel like Pavarotti when you get to sea level.
Tell us a little bit about the tour so far. What has life on the road been like?
Right now we are out with Copeland. They are a band we’ve listened to for a long time, and they are nice dudes. We’re leaving San Diego right now and headed towards San Luis Obispo, one of our favorite towns. All the crowds have been very receptive and I really think performing these songs is becoming more natural each night. Our band and crew are all really close friends, which makes a lot of days feel like vacation. I almost got arrested for setting off fireworks in Albuquerque, however. I’m talking hands on the hood. We bought some real deal fireworks in Texas, but apparently those laws change from state to state. Who knew?
What is your favorite song off Broadcast and why?
My favorite song off the record changes. I’ve been in a more rockin’ mood lately so my favorite track right now is ‘Say You’re OK.’ It’s a fun one live too. But I’m most proud of a song called ‘Margot.’ I really pushed myself musically on that track.
You’ve shared some details about your past addiction to drugs… Now that you’re in a major rock band, is it a challenge to stay sober?
I don’t do drugs anymore. I’m surrounded by a crew of great guys who always keep me in check. It’s inevitable that drugs will pop up on the road from time to time. But this summer we’re touring with very respectful bands. No Guns ‘N’ Roses stuff backstage or anything. I view this band as a job, and it’s a job I don’t want to lose or forget about.
Have you had any crazy fan moments on tour?
Not particularly, but there’s a lot more summer left! I’m just fascinated that people want to take their picture with me right after the show when I’m sweating an ungodly amount.
What’s one thing you have to have on the road?
I just got my first iPhone, and I have to admit I totally love it. Every band guy I meet on the road has one. It really is useful when driving around the country and sitting in a van for hours and hours. Also, sun tan lotion is important. My white Scottish meat can’t handle all this summer sun.
What’s next on the agenda for you guys?
Tour, tour, tour. We got to spread the word. We’re touring with other bands this summer like The Fray, Barcelona and Our Lady Peace. The road beckons…
For more on Meese, visit www.atlanticrecords.com/meese. If you like what you hear, check out this OurStage artist: