Name: Adam Bernard Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States About Me: Entertainment journalist with 20 years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, and B-movies. Part time ninja. Kicked cancer’s ass. My memoir, ChemBro, is out now!
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The lyrics are from Los Angeles-based Venezuelan-American artist Kat Meoz’s latest single, “Back For More,” and they’re sung with a passion, and determination, that let everyone know she means business.
Insistent, and inspiring, with a never-back-down mentality, “Back For More” is an anthem for 2020.
Meoz may be a new name to some, but she’s been making music for quite some time. On the heels of the release of “Back For More,” I caught up with her to find out about her vast musical history, some awkward moments with mega producers, and what she says young artists should say “yes” to.
“Back For More” is the new single. With it being so different from much of your previous work, do you feel like you’re almost reintroducing yourself as an artist?
I felt that way last summer.
I tried to have this one kinda be in the same vein of the Royalty EP I put out last summer, which I felt was a reintroduction, for sure.
For those who don’t know your musical past, how would you describe your metamorphosis?
Oh my gosh. I’ve been writing since I was a kid.
I would say my teen years I definitely feel I was writing more pop R&B stuff, but once I went to school for guitar I got very into rock music, specifically garage rock.
I started a garage rock band in 2012, and did that for five, six years pretty much full time, then started doing a lot more co-writing for trying to get songs into film and TV, and with that I started writing a lot more pop, and pop rock.
I just needed a little bit of a change from playing in a garage rock band full time, so I started putting out pop, and pop rock songs again, and I feel like it was getting received better. People really liked my garage rock, but I feel like more people are listening to my pop rock.
Interestingly, your vocals are very similar for each in that you still have that grittier voice, which isn’t something we get in a lot of pop music right now.
Yeah, I do feel like that, happily, sets me apart a little bit.
The most cathartic thing to do is kind of scream-sing, and I still can do that with this music, which is important for me.
Do you see garage rock as simply being a thing of your past?
No. I miss it, and I’m gonna put that music back out, but I’m gonna put it out as Grit Noise, because just the word Grit (which was the original name of the project), it was really hard to find me. I’m gonna rerelease it, hopefully this year, if not next year. I’ll probably make the first two EPs I did in that project an LP and call them The Early Years.
I have a lot of unreleased music from that project that I would like to put out, and hopefully one day play out when shows start up again.
Ironically, now garages are gonna be like the main place we can experience live music.
Yeah, and ironically I’m turning my garage into a rehearsal space / studio.
How many people can you fit in your driveway, because if you can fit 100 people you might as well just make it a venue.
You’re so right. I could probably fit, comfortably … I mean standing, probably pack like 40 people in my driveway.
I say go for it. DIY is gonna be the next two years, as far as music venues.
You know what, you’re so right. I didn’t think about that. You are so right. That’s gonna be cool, actually.
You don’t have to have an occupancy limit in your driveway.
Yeah, just gotta make sure the neighbors are cool, that’s all.
“Back For More” is a song to get people hyped up despite having been knocked down. When has this idea been most applicable in your own life?
Oh, that’s a good question. Man, I mean … I feel like it hasn’t even fully happened yet.
I thought when I decided for this song to come out now that it was gonna be applying to this whole pandemic, and how everyone is kind of cooped up, and we all want to come back for more (of life).
Now, even more so, with all the movements that are going on, all these curfews, and all these things in place, it feels like even more we’re kind of being kept inside, so I don’t even know what the future holds, but I feel like I’m gonna be really blasting this song in a few months.
So “Back For More” may be a constant theme for the rest of 2020.
I’ve been trying to get together more songs for an EP, and I was talking to someone yesterday and I was like man, I should probably just put this song on the EP and call it the Back For More EP. I should just get as much leverage as I can, because it just keeps applying.
I know earlier we discussed live music, which has been paused for a little bit, but with your history as an artist I’m guessing you’ve spent some time on the road.
I did some one-off shows. We would go down to San Diego from L.A. I flew to Nashville once. I did South By (Southwest). I played in Brooklyn once.
I’ve never gotten in a van with a band and toured-toured. I’ve played out in L.A. a ton. I’ve kind of stayed local because I also like to audition for acting, so I wanted to be available for those kinds of opportunities.
Is touring something you would do at some point?
It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, it’s like my biggest dream, because I love to travel, (but) I have an expectation of it that I don’t want to get into a van that’s falling apart, and rough it across the country with a band. If I’m gonna tour I want to tour right, and have the whole thing funded through a label, and have a lot of tour support.
I would also love to be supporting a bigger artist so that I’m having that outlet to meet a lot of people that are going to see a bigger artist.
I’ve just always been waiting for the opportunity to present itself. I’ve definitely willed the universe to give me a good tour sitch.
The things I could’ve done up until now were book a tour myself and get into a car, and there was a point where I was booking a tour like that, and it kinda fell apart, and I’m glad it did, because it would’ve been a hard one, for sure.
You mentioned vans breaking down, and I feel like you, or someone you love, has had that happen to them when they were on the road.
I have so many friends in L.A. who DIY their own tours, and I admire them so much. I know that they grow so much from it, but I hear about the ups and downs of touring from them. More than anything, and I would like to keep it more on the up than the down, if I can be in control.
If you could go back in time, and give one piece of advice to the younger version of you, the version who was just starting her artistic journey, what would you tell her?
I mean, how far back are we going?
You can go back as far as you want for where the piece of advice makes sense.
I have so much advice for different parts of my life.
In the earlier days, I was recording music, but I didn’t have a band. I had little projects, but nothing where I was gonna really push it full time. At that time I was working at a lot of recording studios. I had different jobs at each one. I worked at four different recording studios over a few years.
Some of the recording studios I worked at, huge names were there every day. One of them, Record Plant, I mean, Britney Spears, Kanye, will.i.am, Pharrell, that’s who I saw every day.
Working in these studios you become friends with the other engineers, and the techs, but you can’t walk around when you’re working in a recording studio, and you’re around very famous producers and artists, and be like “I do this, too!” You have to have etiquette, but if they ask you about yourself you can talk about yourself all day. It’s like don’t speak until you’re spoken to.
There was a situation where will.i.am came up to me and said, “Hey, the engineers say you can sing,” and I was just like, “Yeah, I can.”
I have never been the person that sang on the spot.
So many times people have been like, “Hey, I heard you can sing. Sing for me! Sing!” There’s something I cringe about with that. I’m not that person. I’m not the person that comes to your house, sees that you have a guitar, and is like “oh, can I play it,” and then plays all day and then you’re annoyed with me.
I’m the person that’s like, it’s like my secret weapon, but in that moment (with will.i.am) I said, “Yeah, I can,” and he was like, “Oh, cool,” because he thought I would, you know, unleash the beast, and I get it.
That is a little bit, it’s not a regret, but I look back and I laugh, and I’m just like I wish I had just been like, “Yeah, I can. Can I sing for you?” but working in the studios I was used to keeping it a secret, and minding my own business.
Definitely my advice would be if a huge producer comes up to you and says, “Hey, I heard you can do this,” just be like, “Yeah. Do you want to hear it? Can I play you something?”
Before that happened with him I had huge producers at another studio come up to me and (say) “Heard you can sing,” and I was like, “Yeah I can.” They were like, “Well, do you have anything we can hear?” I said yeah. It was one of my first rock songs, very classic rock. It was not their lane. (The producers were) Max Martin and Dr. Luke.
Did you just say Max Martin and Dr. Luke?
Those are some impressive names to drop!
And this was like 2006.
I went in the studio with them, and I played them this really cheesy classic rock song that I had recorded. Nothing came from it. Then a year or so later having will.i.am be like, “What’s up?” I was just like, “Yeah, I sing.”
You should always try to play people stuff, and sing for people, that would be my advice. If someone asks you about it, definitely start talking about yourself, and don’t do what I did, and just be like, “Yup.”
It’s weird to look back at your past and kinda connect the dots and be like there were so many things, my career could’ve gone in so many different ways, but like I said, I don’t have regrets. I didn’t know a lot back then, and I really sucked at guitar. Fast-forward to 2020, I’m really good at guitar now, so I just feel like I’m more of who I want to be anyways.
I have one more piece of advice I just thought of, it’s just to say “yes” to shows, because there were a lot of shows over the years that I said “no” to because I thought I needed a perfect situation with a band. It’s like, dang, I wonder what else could’ve happened if I’d played them solo?
So when these DIY concerts pop up to play in someone’s garage, say “yes.”