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Meg Myers Is a Fucking Monster. That's a Compliment

Meg Myers Is a Fucking Monster. That's a Compliment
Ana Coto

[Editor's note: Weekly scribe Jeff Weiss's column, "Bizarre Ride," appears on West Coast Sound every Wednesday. His archives are available here.]

Sometimes you see a YouTube video and your only response is, "Who the fuck is that?"

That's what happened when I first saw Meg Myers' "Monster." For one thing, Myers barely blinks. Instead, she staggers backward in a nightgown, an antique Fiona Apple starring in a remake of Village of the Damned. She howls raw anguish. Sample lyrics include, "I've got to kill you, my love." It is as gangsta as a 110-pound girl can get.

When I meet 25-year-old Meg Myers at LA Mill in Silver Lake, she stays in character, talking about her pet rats and sipping a beer at 11:45 a.m. She admits she had fruit for breakfast rather than the blood and grits that the video would insinuate.

It's been five years since Myers moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in music. "Monster" has been her most significant success, earning blog raves and more than 30,000 YouTube views sans label or publicist.

"I thought I'd become immediately successful, and then it was, like, 'Shit, three years later and I'm still sleeping on my friend's couch,' " Myers says, finally blinking. "I played a lot of shows and I drank a lot and I had some boyfriends."

Her childhood sounds like that of a 21st-century Loretta Lynn. Myers was born in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee to a truck driver father and strict Jehovah's Witness mother; her parents divorced early and her mother married an abusive fellow Witness, who moved the family to Ohio. In the sixth grade, Myers and her siblings were taken out of public school. There was familial strife. No one graduated high school.

After her mom and stepdad split up, Myers spent her teenage years in small towns in Florida before arriving in L.A. with a guitar and grandiose dreams -- just like 23,321 others each year. But few can convert the toxicity of cancerous relationships into songs nuclear enough to make birds fall out of the sky. As for "Monster," the inspiration was a lover who lacked ambition.

"I just wanted [my ex-boyfriend] to feel things and be passionate about life, but he didn't have enough motivation to do anything," Myers reminisces.

Maybe that's why "Monster" is so bloodcurdling -- it's conceived as an antidote to apnea. Credit also is due to producer Doctor Rosen Rosen, a pop-remix savant who has been molding Myers for the past year. At his house in Silver Lake, he plays a few tracks from Myers' Daughter in the Choir EP (released last week). This is typically a supremely awkward moment for writers, being forced to pretend that what you're listening to is revelatory. But "Tennessee" is pretty close: part homesick ode to her birth state, part hilarious diss at band brahs without last names who want to go to "Little Joy on their Vespas."

"There's a fine line between comedy and the darkest place ever. It's a little crazy, but that's where I'm at in my life. I hate the in-between," Myers says. "I'd rather be in my house crying than be sitting with someone talking about shoes, y'know?"


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