The Inner Mounting Flame
|Photo by Katja Perrey|
WEEKLY: Your new album, Hot, Horny & Born Again, is pure genius.
GLEN MEADMORE: Thank you. I was cursed to be born again. I like to think of myself as a spiritual being. I keep hope in a loving god, the Jesus of my childhood days. A Jesus like the one in the movie Ben-Hur.
Which Ben-Hur film? The silent-film version, or the Gore Vidal/William Wyler epic that has homosexy overtones?
The Heston flick -- it's a very gay Jesus. Too bad Chuck had to turn NRA to compensate. My grandmother is a cool Christian. She's old-school, high-waisted, Bible-thumping, but she doesn't believe that homosexuality is a sin. She's in her 90s and asked me if I had a hot boyfriend.
Too bad you're pathetic and alone.
You're never alone as long as you have Jesus.
I guess Jesus is your boyfriend.
Well, Jesus is cute. He's my muse.
I can hear his subtle influence on your songs "Glory Hole," "Let Me Turn You Out" and "Blow You."
"Blow You" is actually one of the first songs I ever wrote. I wrote it by playing my guitar out of tune.
I like your thought-provoking ditty "Yonder Over There." The music goes from rambunctious exultation to introspective hymn. Very old-style country, like the Carter Family.
I get my inspiration from Appalachian folk music, but I add loud, salty, textured guitars. It's fractured, sped-up bluegrass, sort of. When I first heard country music, I hated it. I thought it was boring. My Indian grandmother -- my Kookum -- was listening to Charley Pride, and she took me to see Jim Reeves when I was 4 years old. That had a big influence on me.
Your record has an ethereal quality. I love your sense of whimsy and experimentation.
I started out in bar bands back in Canada. I was even in hippie-folk and prog-rock bands. The punk and performance-art stuff came later. I was doing intuitive, organic performances and being outlandish.
Tell me about that legendary chicken-head performance.
Oh, I just stuck a chicken head up my butt, and it came out in a mudslide on someone in the audience.
What kind of reaction did you get?
No reaction, really. You could have heard a pin drop.
Your usual high standard.
I like it when an audience doesn't know what to expect . . . when they question my sanity.
I hate to break it to you, but I don't think there's any question -- you're insane! That John Wayne Gacy glare of yours is worse than the Gacy original cover art on your CD. I love this new genre you've created, of gay Christian country punk.
It was inevitable with the way the world is today.
You're a minor prophet for the new millennium. So Bodhi Tree. There's a lot to be learned from you, dear.
Yes, gays and Christians learning together.
I remember when you did a show at the Gay Rodeo years ago. Very few people got it, because your music wasn't . . .
Slow and emotional.
Yeah, the guy singing Randy Travis covers got a better response.
The average music listener is programmed to respond to pure formula. That's why I'll never be embraced by a mainstream gay or straight so-called alternative audience. I like ferocious guitar attacks. John McLaughlin, he had a very violent way of playing leads. I do a cover of his song "Devotion." I liked his early-'70s Visions of the Emerald Beyond period when he was more jazz-rock. I'm also inspired by James Williamson, the guitar player on the Raw Power album. He had a great, messy, direct style.
Getting back to McLaughlin, I'm sure most people are surprised he's an influence.
He's one of my idols. When we met recently, he was very nice and encouraging. I told him my music is gay Christian country punk, and he said that was quite a soup.
You're quite a soup, Ms. Meadmore -- split-pea soup.
Catch a rare performance by Glen Meadmore and his band at Spaceland on Tuesday, January 27.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Los Angeles, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.