Meridian Shift: Art and the Underdog (Interview)

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It’s fitting that the symbol for Victory Records is a bulldog considering one of their latest additions, Meridian, are fighting their way to the top. The band self released an EP and it caught the attention of one Josh Eldridge. He’d pursued them and signed them and now, less than a month later, Meridian are writing their debut.

Much like a dog fight, screamer David Mitchell says it was all a blur. They never set out to be signed and Victory ended up coming to them. It wasn’t the timeline they had seen and Mitchell stresses they were only five guys pursuing their passion.

“We hadn’t yet stopped or really thought of needing a label yet,” says Mitchell.

It’s a passion that finds beauty in struggle and in fighting through life. Mitchell writes all year round and says that “there’s no off season for that because I use it as a release to get my emotions out of me.”

The process of the purge and of turning it into lyrics “keeps [him] sane and level headed.” For the vocalist it’s the only release he’s found that works this effectively and it’s meant that he’s built quite the collection of poetry.

It means there’s a near tangible feeling of honesty in their music. It’s not simple music with lyrics, but in Mitchell’s case, he hand picks his lyrics according to the emotion in the music. The overall feel, as he describes himself, is “honest and organic.”

And that honesty isn’t about to be lost to the pressure of being on main stage. Because record labels mean distribution and that means potentially thousands of sets of ears waiting for the debut album. But Mitchell’s unfazed, without being arrogant, because record label or not they band remains the same.

“We’re just five guys doing something we enjoy and we were offered an opportunity to do it on a bigger scale…We’re going to keep writing the same way we have been since we started because that’s one of the things that makes this fun for us.”

Meridian have started writing. Bit by glorious bit they’re moulding their fight and life’s darkest moments into an album that’ll be melodic and bone-crushing. Mitchell says they’re already set to surpass their self-released EP in a way that none of them had thought possible.

It’s, in part, because of the newest edition, guitarist Juan Espinosa.

“His style of writing differs from our last guitarist but I feel as though it’s a better fit and he brings a nice balance to the writing,” says Mitchell.

It’s surprising to think that Meridian are only a relatively young band, they’re only in their second year, and already they’ve changed direction entirely and, of course, have been signed. Mitchell says his entrance came when he heard they were having vocalist troubles.

In true fashion, he tried out, got accepted and from there the band became an entirely different beast.

“They decided it was time for a change of pace. So they changed the name [originally they were Seeing Through Blind Eyes] and we changed the sound together and moulded it into something new.”

Being signed to Victory came more as a surprise than something to be expected. But nonetheless, as individuals they cut their teeth. And having the band has also given Mitchell a welcomed change of direction in his life.

“…I thought life wasn’t worth living anymore. Being in the right place at the right time and having the band let me join was the biggest life changing moment for me.”

He speaks literally, it’s put him in a position where he can not only help himself, but the people drawn to Meridian’s music as well.

“It put me in a position where I could take the times I felt terrible about myself, write about it, and use it as a reminder that no matter how band things get, I’ll eventually make it out.”

For Mitchell, Meridian, and certainly for the other fighters one of music’s most beautiful points is it’s ability to incite emotion. To have the simplest song as reminder that everything turns out okay.

 

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By Sebastian Mackay