Meece: Long live the loud
by McKenna Cardwell
Together, trio Josh Vogel, Jeremey Magner and Lance Vangraham have played their way through three bands over the course of the last decade. Their latest endeavor, Meece, defies a common misconception that smaller bands make a smaller sound.
“We hear from some people that it’s weird that we lost a person (from their previous band Caparza), because it seems like we gained two in volume,” guitarist Magner said.
Loud and heavy, fast and fun, Meece is an aggressive punk band relatively new to the scene, although its members are seasoned veterans who have experimented with sounds more along the lines of metal punk. Their journey to Meece began in 2005 with a band called Our Fallen Heroes, where Magner and Vangraham first met. The two continued to play together for nearly a year and a half, until they met Vogel and brought him on as their drummer. At the time, guitar harmonies and “diddliy dos” were common components to their music, and the vocalist actually sang, rather than yelling, a technique that Meece has adopted.
Eventually, Our Fallen Heros disbanded and Caparza was formed. They shifted their sound in a simpler direction, relying more on basic structures and mirroring chords back and forth between guitars, rather than standout guitar solos. The band made music together for almost six years.
“That’s what got us started with the style gang vocals we do now,” Vangraham said. “Now, with Meece, Magner and I are just basically both on the mic the entire time and we are either trading back and forth or just doing it all together. There just isn’t a lot of room for solos.”
While the chords are heavier and the song structure is simpler, Meece is by no means sacrificing volume or depth. If anything, the band agrees that this new style of writing helps them achieve the desired full-bodied sound with a smaller band.
“We kept trying to write like we still had the two guitars, when we only had one and it wasn’t working,” drummer Vogel said. “We just decided we had to do something different.”
Manger agreed that attempting to write like they did with the older bands left the sound feeling empty and hollow.
Scaling the number of musicians down to three has also forced each member to reach outside his comfort zone. For example, Magner and Vangraham are duet lead vocalists, or “yellers” and are writing more lyrics than in previous bands.
“It’s a way for us to explore our alter egos, because really we are all pretty mellow guys,” Magner said. “But then we get up stage and yell. It’s one of the only times I really feel like I’m able to let lose.”
This also allows for creative freedom to write about whatever inspires them, whether it be driving home after a show or the party-hard attitude of a 60-year old. Meece has also adopted the tradition of naming their song titles something completely unrelated to the content of the song, like “Steamy Ray Vaughn” for example.
Oh yeah, did I mention they are loud?
“Magner and I both run two, full amplifier sets so the sound is fuller and louder,” bass guitarist Vangraham said. “Our songs are 100 percent different. We are a completely different style of band now.”
Currently, Meece is working on writing and recording songs to release on their first demo. They are taking a month off from their loud, energetic, live performances, but will return with a show at The Shakedown later this month. They also plan to play a show in Colorado.
As Meece gears up for the newest chapter in their musical novel, it seems the best part of the story is yet to come.
See Meece at the Shakedown on Sept. 27. Listen to their music at meece.bandcamp.com, and follow their Facebook page for updates and show information.