Meaty Memories

Writing that post about The Spill Magazine made me remember that final article I mentioned. It was about a band called Fresh Meat, a bunch of crazy punk-rock heroes if there ever was one. It may not be the best article I’ve ever written, but hanging out with the band for this article and at subsequent shows was fun as hell. For that reason, my Fresh Meat article makes it into my portfolio. Here it is.

Jagermeister, vodka, deviant behaviour, Spongebob, secret devil signs, vandalism, pyrophilia, projectile vomit, detox, assault, blackouts, sex, drugs and, of course, rock and roll. Toronto’s Fresh Meat is not a band that lets something as trivial as day jobs diminish the intensity of a punk-rock lifestyle.

“My audition for the band was like, ‘First you play, and then you have to see if you can keep up with us drinking,’” says bassist Scooter, recovering from the night before on the patio of Tortilla Flats. “I said, ‘What are you talking about? You’ve got to see if you can keep up with me!’ I woke up at my parents’ house not knowing how I got there. I got out of going to the drunk tank because the cops took me to the hospital instead.”

And so began the legend that is Fresh Meat. Talking to Scooter, guitarist/vocalist Tina, and guitarist Jesse (George, the band’s drummer, was… indisposed and couldn’t make it to the interview), it’s hard to believe these guys have only been together for a little over a year. They’re not only bandmates and partners in crime, but close friends who can’t get enough of cracking each other up with stories of past exploits. Well, the stories they can remember, anyway.

“We signed a contract saying we wouldn’t drink until further notice,” Tina says. “We didn’t drink for a whole week, and then Scooter called and said he was having a beer.”

“We also signed a contract saying we wouldn’t make out anymore,” Scooter adds. Although Tina insists that they haven’t made out anyway, Scooter says, “According to the staff at the Big Bop and the Zen Lounge, we were making out a lot. Apparently I make out with people when I’m drunk.”

“So do I,” says Jesse. This elicits peals of laughter from the group.

“You have to keep me and Jesse drunk away from each other,” says Scooter. “Bad things will happen.”

“I’d want pictures,” Tina laughs.

But beneath the endless stories of alcohol, misdemeanour charges and hospitalizations lies a band that kicks ass on stage. On June 7th, part of the Meaty Monday showcase the band hosts on the first Monday of every month at Kathedral, Fresh Meat displayed all the intensity and charisma in their performance as they do in real life. This band signals hope for a Toronto live-music scene that has been languishing for years. If there’s on band that’s going to break the scene open and get people out to see rock shows again, Fresh Meat’ll be it.

I did a quick search online to see if any of the band members were still around, but it seems like the members of Fresh Meat dissolved after their last show. Blogs and social media accounts have been left untended or have been deleted.

Oh, well. More Jager for me.