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