What a year it’s been for bands. Can’t tour; can’t rehearse. Can’t record new music, unless it’s over Zoom. In a period that’s really thrown a spanner in the works of most up-and-comers, Meet Me @ The Altar have created an exceptional, unparalleled buzz. Tipped by everyone from All Time Low’s Alex Gaskarth to Halsey, and inking a deal with Fueled By Ramen over the summer, the pop-punk trio - Edith Johnson (vocals), Téa Campbell (guitar), and Ada Juarez (drums) - are breathing new life into one of rock’s most beloved genres.
Tell us about the band then - how did you lot meet, and decide to get together?
Ada: Téa and I met on YouTube after she came across a drum cover I did of 'Holding On To You' by twenty one pilots. I was 16, and she was 14. She messaged me on Kik, and we became friends immediately! We both wanted to be in a band, and naturally, that's exactly what we did - we started Meet Me @ The Altar. We ended up holding auditions around the same time, and that's how we met Edith - but she didn't join the band for another two years.
What drew you to pop-punk?
Ada: I was drawn to pop-punk because it had all the aspects of what I loved in music. The energy, the catchy melodies, the fast drum beats, and the community was so fun to be around back when I was in high school.
Can you remember the first song you wrote together?
Ada: The first song we wrote together was for our first ever EP called 'Red Walls'. Téa wrote the guitars and the melodies and sent it to me, and I just remember sitting behind my drum kit and jamming to it until I did something I liked. After a couple recordings back and forth - we eventually finished the song and it felt so rewarding! It was the first song we ever wrote, and we did it remotely. As soon as we accomplished that we KNEW we could do this band from different states.
What were your first steps to get your music 'out there'?
Edith: The first steps we took to get our music out there was playing a BUNCH of local shows, going to a producer that had the ability to make our music sound amazing, (people love well-produced music) and then submitting our releases for Spotify playlists.
Are there any lyrical themes or vibes you're especially drawn to?
Edith: Lyrical themes or vibes I'm especially drawn to are honest lyrics. For a lot of musicians and writers, writing is an outlet and a way of therapy. That is how it is for us, we write about what we are feeling at the moment: Which can be sad, or happy! There is so much beauty in honesty and vulnerability, especially in music. For vibes, I really enjoy happy sounding songs, with a lot of energy!
You've had a cracking year, what've been your highlights?
Edith: Some highlights of this year have definitely been Alex Gaskarth [All Time Low] and Dan Campbell [The Wonder Years] tweeting about us and showing us loads of support, being one of the recipients of Halsey's Black Creators Fund, and of course: getting signed to Fueled By Ramen, and releasing the new video for 'Garden'!
Are you working on new music at the moment?
Edith: Yes! We are working on new music at the moment. In my opinion, it is the best stuff we have written so far. It is still very MMATA, meaning it is still very upbeat, fun, energetic, and punk. What makes it different than anything else we have released so far is the maturity level. Our new music is very mature, you can tell we are growing up - BUT it is STILL very pop-punk, still has great catchy melodies, and of course - still has a bunch of breakdown and crazy riffs.
Do you have much in the diary for 2021 yet?
Edith: We have a lot of stuff planned for 2021 so far. New music will be released, and shows will hopefully be played! We are very excited to hopefully go on tour with Hot Mulligan, Heart Attack Man, and Super American this May, and are equally excited for Riot Fest in September.
If you could check anything off your bucket list during the next 12 months, what would it be?
Edith: If I could check anything off my bucket list during the next 12 months, it would be going on loads of HUGE tours, and just releasing new music the girls and I are CRAZY proud of.
Are there any new acts you're tipping at the moment?
Edith: Newer acts I've really been into at the moment are St. Panther and Chloe Moriondo!
Taken from the December 2020 / January 2021 issue of Upset, out now.
Featuring... The Smashing Pumpkins, Poppy, All Time Low, Creeper and more.