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.
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