Meka Nism | The Shift has Taken Place in Palatine.....
Durty Nellies - December 9, 2015 Palatine, IL, USA
By Coren McLeod
Inspiration takes place every day among society. I was granted the privileged to witness truly inspiring musicians on the verge of greatness. On Wednesday, December 9th, 2015 at Durty Nellies in Palatine, Illinois, my wonderful world was about to be open up to a new band called Meka Nism. This Orlando based band was on tour with Trapt.
Before I even got to sit down with this band, I knew his arrangement of musicians was on a mission to help revolutionize the current music scene. Labeled as an "art metal" band, Meka Nism has a sound that is all their own.? There is no bullshit.? All authentic, hardcore rock lead by an amazing female singer. Each band member brings their own unique influences which works so perfectly well together.
Currently, their new album, "The Shift" is available online and I do have to say, it's a great record. It simply takes you on a journey beyond what is expected and makes one think outside their own typical world. The lineup for Meka Nism is Meka (vocalist), Reed Tyack (guitar), Alvin Bauer (bass), Bobby Keller (lead guitar), and Jeremy Mansfield (drums) who joined the band in 2014. With the addition of Jay Adkisson on Keyboards, Meka Nism is paving the way to embark on a whole new journey.
Meka Nism already made a name for themselves by touring and playing countless show in their home state of Florida and in the South East. Meka Nism had the honor of opening up for Mastodon at the Kink Festival. With help from a kickstarter campaign and "The Shift" happening between Reed Tyack from drums to guitar and the lovely addition of Jeremey Mansfield on drums, the band was ready to record their new EP. The band headlined a hard hitting show at Orlando's own House of Blues in August of 2014. After Meka Nism rocked the stage at House of Blues, they were ready to record some tracks, for their loyal fans. Former bass player for Creed, Brett Hestla stepped up as producer and began to work with Meka Nism on the 2nd EP "The Shift" in October, 2014. The EP was released on May 1st, 2015.
I arrived at Durty Nellies nervous as hell. However, after Bobby came out and led me to the green room, all was coming into perceptive. Meka came out of her dressing room and I had to take a step back. She was mesmerizing in her outfit for onstage.? With the bright red hair, the tribal make up and the feathers, it was truly a work of art. (Now you get it: Art Metal...)
Once I got to sit down with this band, I wanted to ask about their roots, their current situation and what they see happening in the future for 2016. Here is how it went:
UnRated: Thanks for joining me today. So, you are an Orlando based band and you are currently in Chicago. How about this weather?
Meka Nism: It is cold. As far as temperature, I think it is 70 and sunshine in Orland. That is BBQ Weather. People are wearing flip flops and shorts in Florida right now. I actually seen people wear flip flops and shorts in Chicago and its blogging my mind right now. We are all bundle up right now.
UnRated: How did you come up with your "art metal?"
Meka Nism: hat is just natural. Actually, we didn't come up with that. Our fans did. The radio stations we were doing interviews and wanted the genre to be naturally metal. We had a lot of distortion. When that kicks in, it has a hard rock feel. We started to get categorize by the radio station as a metal band because that is what they can play us on. Then, we started to get radio interviews one after the other, they said, "I don't really like you as a metal band because you are more than a metal band." We told them the same story and then an article came out and classified as us "art metal."
UnRated: How did this tour with Trapt happen?
Meka Nism: We are all big fans of Trapt. We use to listen to their songs back in the day. We are real familiar with them. It just lined up perfectly. We played the Texas show in El Paso over the summer we went on tour with Otep. They ended up contacting some managers and some people with 313 Entertainment. They said, "Hey we have a Trapt tour coming up. Do you want to do that?" We were like absolutely! We were supposed to be doing a different tour back in September with Epica. The main act on that tour had to cut short because they had a problem with one of their family members. It worked out to our benefit. We always had this attitude as a band that it will work out for the best. Wherever it goes, we try to keep positive in any situation. It turned out to be something greater for us. Props to 313 Entertainment.
Meka: Yeah, it is exciting. It is a whole journey wherever we go. You're exactly where you are supposed to be.
Meka: Well, of course, it's an honor. I admired so many females who get up there because it a fcking job. The music industry in general is obviously testosterone based and that's cool. A lot of props to the guys that can hang; But, even being more so a chick being in the hard rock/metal scene, you got to be able to hold your own in a lot of different ways. And not let it corrupt you or make you an ahole. You kind of have to bring your own flavor. I think everybody in this industry has a strong spirit and love what's going on. I do want to bring my own flavor. I do want to give people a new light. And a new interpretation of what we can do with hard rock and metal. It just doesn't have to be victim roles. It just doesn't also have to be bitchy roles. I love those roles. But, I feel like we can identify with a very strong character, too. It's very empowering for men and women about seeing your best self and being your best self. It's about stepping out and being different. I have my contribution to those beautiful female fronted hard rock bands. My way is being different and not fitting in an overly sexualize role. I can be sexy if I want to be or I can play the victimized role. Through what I have experienced in life and it has been hard. I try to encourage people through that too. But, hey we are a "tribe."
UnRated: Please describe your look for stage, the hair, the makeup and the outfit.
Meka: I love the healing arts from every culture. I am obsessed with traveling through time, through space, through the world. I love traveling. And every place you go becomes a part of you. So, I kind of adopted the Shamanic type look. It symbolisms is healing around the world, throughout time, throughout every country, throughout space, and other journeys. It symbolisms is the strength of the healer. Music is healing. It's our new "tribal chant." It changes the vibrations of your soul. Music becomes frequency that goes through your body. It affects who you are. The chants are going to affect how you feel about the world. I'm going to make it obvious to the world and others this is my interception. It's everyone's opportunity to patriciate in the "tribe."
Meka Nism: People come out dressed as Tribesman. It's an expression in her art and what he wants to believe in herself. This is what makes her feel good. When she does that and people look at her, if she can do it... It must be okay to do. She encourages them to find what makes them happy. She helps to break the mold to other people. Our fan base is not just tribal. One of our youngest followers comes out with little ear muffs. Their parents bring them. And they know the lyrics to the songs. One of my best buddies he is 74 years old and his girlfriend is 71 years old. He comes to every single show. The rage and variety of people enjoy the music through self-expression we do naturally. It's interesting to see."
Meka: Each one of brings a different influence and genre to music. Jeremy and Bobby definitely have metal. I know Jay has done a lot of electronica and classic. We got just jam/funk, and punk.
Meka Nism: Everybody plays multi instruments. We get to express ourselves. You are going to play differently if you jump on a piano.
Meka: We express ourselves as musicians. I obviously love wearing costumes every day in my life, than the guys don't have to. What makes them feel good is not wearing feathers and face paint. So, they don't have to do that.
UnRated: The writing process, how do you work together on that?
Meka: It is different every time. I came back from Japan with a bunch of different songs and different CDs. Originally, Reed and Alvin were just supporting me on that. They were just jamming with me on that. You can't help but notice how kindred we all are. We obviously are all tight.
Meka Nism: When you play with musicians, it's kind of like being in a relationship. If you notice something like "WOW" we play well together. A lot of times if you are jamming and it's not really working out, the chemistry won't be there. The first time we played together, it was just magic. When our personalities match and we could play music together, we wanted to develop music together.
UnRated: What is the plan after this tour and for 2016?
Meka: We definitely want to start our next album. We've already been visualizing it. And we are really excited about it. I definitely want to start touring more. I want to get back overseas. Get back over to Europe and get back over to Japan. We want to get to places and see people. We want to make friends around the world. Share our music and the energy, channeling what we have to bring down.
Meka Nism: We are ready for the unknown. It is like this Trapt tour. It's the unknown. We are meeting awesome people. You never know when opportunities will present themselves until you show your vibe. All we want to say is, "prepare yourself for THE SHIFT...."
With the raise of the music revolution coming to the forefront with Meka Nism leading the charge, fans need to take a stand. Their lyrics and music have the right elements to truly bring on a positive change within the industry. I feel so passionate about this wonderful group of people especially with the EP "The Shift," I am hooked. It really takes on a different sound that truly cannot be explained unless you listen to it.
Their last leg of the tour will be at Boondocks in Springfield, Il, on December 21st, 2015. Of course, I will be there ready to rock with the "tribe." So, do yourself a huge favor and pick up this EP, "The Shift" from Meka Nism. Follow them on Facebook, Instragram, Twitter etc... Hit up their website for tour dates.
"The Shift is about Transformation. Purging one's prior Limitations. We invite you to Elevate your Consciousness. The Intention of this Collection of Songs is to activate your Internal Revolution...." Meka Nism The Shift.