By Jordan Mooney.
A lot is to be said for rock and roll.
In a time where so much ‘rock’ is populated by old men who can barely keep their teeth in their skulls – let alone hold a note – it’s always refreshing to hear something fresh, something unusual, something that perks one up a bit at first listen.
Similarly, it’s increasingly unusual to hear something that sticks to those – on the face of it – unpleasant, seedy values that have built up rock and roll over the years. Drinking Absinthe until you can smell colours, intimidating men and turning on women with copious bulges in your jeans and over exposed chest hair, and, of course, wearing hundreds of tattoos on your arms alone. In terms of sound? A bit more complicated.
To sound like a ‘proper’ rock group, you have to sound loud, confident, harsh, cruel, and carry a certain mocking tone. Your music should criticise more than it compliments, and act as a harsh glimpse into an angry mind. It should be fun anger, though. It should be anger that makes people smile when they hear you swearing until your tongue’s numb.
Basically, rock music, that is, what I would judge to be ‘classic’ rock music, depends on personality, on having iconography, on having that look that makes people stare, having that sound that makes people afraid of you, with a thick, black grimy sort of music dripping from every instrument…
I could ramble on for pages on this subject alone.
This oh so over-indulgent, but oh so enjoyable form of the genre, ultimately, doesn’t carry the same favour as it used to. Nowadays, ‘rock’ bands are crooning metrosexual twats singing about their lost loves in a terribly sappy tone that sounds like a lost dog ambling around a forest. The anger is more of a sad, soft, pathetic anger that carries no real aggression.
Today, we have a fix for this problem. This fix comes in the form of a wonderful German group – known by the name of Liquid Meat…whom are mere days away from the release of their debut, In Meat We Trust. Populated by Freddie Mack, string picker and vocalist (whom also happens to be a talented interior designer, son of a world famous record producer and godson of history’s greatest frontman, Freddie Mercury), Manu Holmer, drum thumper (and a classically trained conductor!) and Max Horch, bassist (whom studied musicology. I didn’t know musicology was a word. Now I know, I love it, and it’s my word now.), Liquid Meat is very much a rock band with an impressive – and very promising – background with genuine credentials.
Does this mean they’re a stiff, cookie cutter representation of past classics?
Not a bit of it.
Freddie, like a lot of rockers and rollers whom have seen through the past thirty years, has seen the world change around him – and been constantly thrown off at every fence by the natural, strait-laced, two faced society that’s built up in the process. Whether it’s finances, religion, relationships, or even time itself, Liquid Meat are here to point out every niggling little bit of idiocy that they encounter, and contradict it in such an over-the-top, often very funny way, that it becomes a little difficult to resist their point of few.
The style is wonderful, as it really does capture that dark, dirty sleaze of rock music’s filthy persona. Deep, bluesy basslines meet growling, phlegmy vocals that sound like they’re fuelled by stout alcohol and cigarettes.
It’s all very much part of that unique touch, one I think we can simply instill as Liquid Meat’s own. It’s every bit as greasy and potentially unsavoury as that pork chop smoothie I just know you’ve considered.
The production, being at the hands of a man as legendary as Reinhold Mack, is stunning. Every single second of this record is spit polished, and it adds a surprisingly professional edge to what feels like a beautifully informal piece of music.
Perhaps that, at heart, is really where this album finds so much appeal. There’s a very professional background to this album, and professionalism is present in every song’s production, in the promotion, in the press materials. But the group itself, in their sound, and, indeed, their style, is peppered with this very social, very approachable informality that becomes a touch more endearing. It’s true it’s not the most sophisticated album in the world, but that’s not really its ‘point’.
Whether it’s the somewhat frank “There Is No God“, the fittingly fast “Punch the Clock“, or, my personal favourite, the dark, spitting and taunting rock anthem “The Devil’s Music“, this entire album forms a personal outlook from a very genuine group of old fashioned rock gods (and goddess) in the making. Certainly, they’re not the most eloquent people you’ll ever meet, but I bet they’d make for a fun night at the pub.
Liquid Meat is a beef shield and some pork scratchings loaded into a blender. It’s slimy, it’s thick, it’s got a strange hue and it smells of salt.
But somehow that only makes it more tempting…
If you want some genuine rock and roll with all of the gristle left in, this is an album for you. If you want some more prissy love ballads, you might want to hide in your bedroom for the foreseeable. Liquid Meat is here to stay.
We were lucky enough to get the chance to talk to Freddie and ask some questions about Liquid Meat and their wares…
Cat on the Wall: Hello there, and welcome to Cat on the Wall! How are you today?
Freddie Mack: Fucking Great! Just put in the order for the CD’s five minutes ago, polished off some awesome pasta, and now, I get to talk to you, while enjoying one of my many post-grub cigarettes, while listening to a radio station that should be airing one of our songs today. Top of the world!
COTW: Thank you for taking the time to talk to us – please, introduce yourself!
Freddie Mack: I am Rocker Freddie Mack – I am the guitarist, vocalist, lyricist,composer, and the Chief Architect of Armageddon of the adrenaline injected attitude driven sonically bombastic electrifyingly awesome grade A rock n roll punk thrash machine known simply as Liquid Meat.(Ed’s note: Try saying that six times after a few pints!)
COTW: You’re here to talk about your group, Liquid Meat. How would you describe your band to a casual onlooker?
Freddie Mack: It’s an experience that’s sure to tantalise all of your senses. We take great pride in our music, but at least as equally important to us is our performance on stage. Every drop of sweat that we have in our bodies is left on that stage floor, often enough in the crowd as well, because if there isn’t a barrier between us and the audience, you’ll find Max and me rocking our axes right in your face, or even join the moshpit while playing! The music itself is hard to describe, we didn’t want to harness any other sound but our own, and that happens to combine all of our influences into a delightful sauce we call Liquid Meat. We’ve got something for everyone, rock, punk, blues, funk, metal, and even a touch of jazz…
COTW: You’ve very recently finished the recording process for your new album, In Meat We Trust, which is imminent for release! What can you tell us about it?
Freddie Mack: That’s right! Very imminent indeed! July 15th, to be exact, and the presale has already started! So get your copy today, signed by our producer, at www.liquidmeatlocker.com! Right, now that the shameless self promotion is out of the way, lets get down to business…!
Lyrically, I had lots to say on this album, I’m the oldest in the band, life’s definitely kicked me in the balls, the gut, and ass plenty of times, and it was time to for a little pay back! I know it isn’t just me out there that has been screwed over by academia, the job market, or a significant other, so I think this album has a lot that my generation can relate to. Besides that, it was very important for Max, Manu, and I to try to harness the energy of our stage show, and somehow contain it on this CD. I think we got the job done, I know we’re satisfied with it, and I hope that our listeners will be as well.
COTW: One of the many great men and women working upon this particular record is Reinhold Mack, whom in the past has worked with Queen, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple…the list goes on! How was it working with somebody who carries so much experience with the rock ‘Greats’?
Freddie Mack: It was awesome. The whole recording experience was a dream come true. We wanted to record this album in analog, you know, old school, the whole band in one room together with a couple of microphones to harness exactly what we are about- raw, testosterone charged (I know we got a chick in the band, but Manu has more balls and attitude than most dudes out there!) rock n roll, and there was only one man for the job, the man who perfected it- Mr. Mack! and there is no one greater out there to get the best out of a band.
COTW: Would you say that any of these groups have obvious influence on the record? Whom would you dub as the biggest inspirations for your group’s very confident sound?
Freddie Mack: For sure, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple! I mean, all the bands have inspired us in one way or the other, but, as far as the music goes, those two definitely left their mark. From the heavy riffs, to Manu’s awesome drumming, which often reminds me of Bill Ward, and Max’s bass runs that add a groove and stand in the forefront, like in Sabbath or Purple.
COTW: Are there any other inspirations you can credit for your music? Perhaps even from other media? Film, television, literature?
Freddie Mack: Professional wrestling! I used to be a huge fan, and actually wanted to be a wrestler in my youth. My vocal stylings and bravado have been influenced by the greats – Hulk Hogan, Macho Man, and The Rock..just the way the handled the mic in interviews was amazing.
Movies, don’t get me started! I love that shit, next to music, it’s my bread and butter. Hell, we got a whole fucking song dedicated to Patrick Swayze and his most epically awesome masterpiece – Roadhouse. I mean a movie where the whole plot revolves around a cooler, not a bouncer, that keeps bars safe for its patrons…that deserves a song!
Will there be more movie or tv show themed songs in our future? Probably! Jack Bauer definitely deserves a song, if not an entire concept album!!
COTW: You are of course talking to us from Germany, which, for many groups, is the holy country of independent rock, punk and metal music. A lot of UK based bands, in fact, judge themselves as having ‘made it’ when they play in Deutschland! Would you share this judgment yourself?
Freddie Mack: I do. I mean, at least for big bands, German fans are some of the most loyal and dedicated, especially to music that has balls and attitude.
COTW: What do you think is the reason for Germany being seen as this fabled land of independent rock and roll?
Freddie Mack: They just know whats up over here! I mean, this culture produced Max, Manu and Me, so it can’t be that bad, right?! I don’t know what it is, I’m just happy it is that way. As an up and coming band, it’s just as tough over here as anywhere else, you have to really work hard to get your music heard and built a fan base, but once you won over a German fan base, you just have the most diehard fans in the world – for life!
COTW: While we’re speaking about the geography of Liquid Meat…there’s been two incarnations in two different places. The first in Los Angeles, and the current, with lovely female drummer Manu Holmer and Max Horch on bass, which you found in Munich. Can we ask why the change of line up and location?
Freddie Mack: After 20 years in Los Angeles, I just needed to get the fuck out of Dodge, hit the reset button, and start over. I loved my bandmates over there, they’re like fucking brothers to me, my best friends, but they understood I needed a change, and I’m glad I made that happen, because if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have met Manu and Max and have formed the ultimate, and hopefully last, line up for Liquid Meat.
COTW: Your (email) name is Freddie Meat, from the group, Liquid Meat, talking about your album, “In Meat We Trust” …Are you perhaps a bit of a carnivore?!
Freddie Mack: It’s actually Freddie Mack! But Meat is my life! The band as much as the edible goodness of flesh!!
COTW: Finally, you’re known for a very intensive tour schedule. Can we ever expect you to storm the United Kingdom? If so…what sort of performance should we prepare for?!
Freddie Mack: As the godson of Freddie Mercury, I was asked to be a guest for the Queen Convention, in North Wales last September. I was planning to take my band and rock out at the Convention, but scheduling conflicts got in the way. We’re still trying to figure out if it would be possible to set up some shows during that time, we still fund everything ourselves, so it’s just a matter of seeing how we could afford it. The UK is definitely a place we want to tour, I think I would die if I could play with the Anti-Nowhere League!
COTW: Thank you very much for taking the time to talk to us, Freddie. Any final words for your fans, friends, family..or us?! Either way, we’d like to wish you all the best for the future, and let’s hope we’ll see you again very soon!
Freddie Mack: It was a pleasure and a privilege to talk with you!! Thanks for listening, and be sure to check out the new album IN MEAT WE TRUST available June 12th on Amazon, and, of course, directly from us – at www.liquidmeatlocker.com!
As Freddie said, the album’s presale is currently live, and the release itself is taking place on the 15th. This is really an album worth listening to and a band that deserves – nay – demands your support.
Buy it, sit back with that roast chicken cooler, relax, and have a listen…