Metermaids have received impressive reviews in print magazines like Playboy, The Village Voice, and YRB, as well as influential websites like Spin.Com, Wired.Com, and countless other influential blogs...and now they've got our attention. See what Metermaids' Swell and Sentence have to say about being vegetarians on tour, birdwatching, and their love for British Invasion garage rock.
Where are you guys from originally?
(Sentence) - Swell is from Jersey. You can tell because he loves the Boss and thinks Jersey Shore is a misrepresentation of his people. I'm from Colorado. We both live in Brooklyn now.
How did your band start?
(Sentence) - We literally met in Union Square. Sitting on the grass with a handful of dudes from the NYC hip hop scene, discussing throwing events. We were both doing solo stuff at the time and we decided to record a couple of tracks together, then we went on tour. On stage we were just hyping each other's sets so much they basically fused into one. So somewhere around Spokane we decided that we should form a group. It was just a lot more fun to work together and it created a lot of good energy on stage. We were going to be called the Crocodillians, but decided to stick with Swell's group name, Metermaids.
Favorite video you made?
(Swell) - We made a video with this amazing director named Jon Yi for a song of ours called "Turn the Lights Out." He filmed people dancing HARD to the song -- dancing like no one is watching. It makes me laugh every time I see it.
Favorite videos to watch?
(Sentence) - We're actually both really into music videos and I can get down with almost anything. I just love seeing something visual with music I like. Personal recent favorites: Dead Weather's "Treat Me Like Your Mother", and "Smithereens" by El-P. Commercially, I don't know...anything by Lil' Wayne or Iron Maiden.
Your biggest music influences?
(Swell) - On the hip hop side, I would say the Beastie Boys, A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, etc. A lot of the high energy groups from the 90's. On the rock side, I would say The Kinks, The Animals, stuff like that. We have been into the British Invasion garage-rocky stuff lately.
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Favorite venue in New York to play at?
(Sentence) - We've played all sorts of venues, from Blender Theater to loft parties, and I think my favorite is Arlene's Grocery. We've rocked there a million times and we did a residency there for a while. We even released a live EP we recorded there. They're always mad nice and the sound man is a monster.
Favorite foods to eat on tour?
(Sentence) - You don't really get a lot of good food on tour. Not when you're indie-rapper-vegetarians on a budget. It's like, "what's your favorite place to get punched?" But if I had to pick, I'd say burritos at any local spot - the further southwest, the better.
What do you guys do for fun in your spare time?
(Sentence) - Swell is an avid birdwatcher and I particularly enjoy creating interesting combinations of spices.
And for you fellow New Yorkers:
When is your next show in New York?
(Swell) - We will be at Bushwick Music Studio on February 18th with our friends People With Teeth.