Thursday, June 4, 2009

LUNGFISH - April 2003

Originally published in: Monday Magazine

Random thoughts: I remember being exceptionally excited about this one, a rare interview with one of the Dischord Records bands.

Stickin’ to their Lungs
No giving out, or giving up, or giving in…

By Jason Schreurs
Music without compromise. For most bands slogging away under the music industry umbrella, this isn’t just a dream; it’s an unattainable fantasy. But for Baltimore’s Lungfish, the past 15 years have been spent making music own their own terms, completely outside the mainstream spectrum.
“It's really just in a different orbit,” says bass player Sean Meadows. “Our music isn't about other things, we aren't selling it at the same markets… so we don't have to compromise it in any way because we aren't trying to trade our music for something else.”
Must be nice. In an industry where most groups feel compelled to take blind leaps of faith into the music machine, Lungfish is content to remain underground. Since 1988 they’ve created nine albums of compelling, authentic, emotional indie rock. Their fans, as varied as the band’s nine albums (2000’s Necrophones is the latest), are eagerly awaiting a recently completed tenth record.
“There are certain people who hear Lungfish music and find a connection,” notes Meadows. “Other people have heard the same music and hear static and make no connection. Usually people who find the music are searching for it, since the records are put out on a small scale without all this media explosiveness that seems to be so pervasive in every aspect of our culture.”
Meadows logs time in other indie notables Everlasting the Way and Red House Blues, and was a member of the sadly missed June of ’44. He recently made his return to Lungfish (after an initial stint in ‘95-’96); a reunion he couldn’t be more thrilled about.
“I always felt like I was in the band and that we would make music together again. I was so delighted when they asked me to help them with the new record,” he beams. “It was a really amazing dream come true, and it came true twice…”
Behind every truly independent band is a supportive record label, and Lungfish have one of the best. Dischord Records exist to document the Washington, DC underground music scene and their relationship with Lungfish has been like family, says Meadows.
“There is a ton of respect in the Lungfish camp for Dischord; the way they operate, the individual people that they are, and the collective ideal within music that they represent. It's all been said before, but there really aren't enough good things you can say about Dischord. It's been amazing for me to have an opportunity to work with them making records...”

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