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Spock's Beard

Interviewed by Gary Hill

Interview with Dave Meros of Spock's Beard from 2017

MSJ:

It looks like it's been about six years since we did an interview with you for Music Street Journal. What's been new in the musical world of Dave Meros?

I've been playing with the 60s psychedelic group Iron Butterfly for the last three years.  Very different approach to bass playing than Spock's Beard, and I'm really having fun with it.  I'm also doing a lot of cover band gigs with Ted Leonard, his wife Denise and Jimmy Keegan.  Those guys are great players and great guys, so even though we play wedding reception music, it's still fun.

MSJ: What's the best thing that's ever been said about your music?

 Duffy Snowhill from BigElf once told me that we used to be "the prog Jellyfish," which I took as the highest compliment.  (But then he said we don't sound like that any more, which burst my bubble.  But it was awesome there for a second.)

MSJ:

What's ahead for you?

In the immediate future, more cover band gigs of course, but more importantly, a new Spock's Beard CD will be out in early 2018, probably in the Spring.  I'm doing a Flower Power Cruise with Iron Butterfly at the end of February that will be fun.

MSJ: What was the last CD you bought and/or what have you been listening to lately?

Just got the new CD by Melanie Mau and Martin Schnella, called "The Oblivion Tales,"  really good stuff!  There is a video or two on YouTube. I encourage everybody to check it out. It's great.  The entire album is great.

MSJ: Have you read any good books lately?

I've developed this weird problem in the last few years where I fall asleep when I read more than a few pages.  Doesn't matter how interesting the book is, how much coffee I've had, what time of day, etcetera.  So for that reason I'm more of a magazine guy these days, particularly science and technology mags.  But. ..I did manage to eventually get through the book by Jaron Lanier called "Who Owns The Future?," which discusses how our current economic system needs to change to keep up with technology.  A little dry in spots, but very interesting, and I believe he's absolutely correct. 

MSJ:

What about the last concert you attended for your enjoyment?

When Spock's Beard was at Sweetwater (Ft. Wayne, Indiana) doing that recording workshop Nick got us tickets to the Styx show, and I have to say, they were really great.

MSJ: Do you remember the first concert you attended?

It was a jazz concert, early-to-mid 70s when I was still in high school.  I saw a few in a row back then so I'm not sure who was the first, but it was either Count Basie (so glad I could see him!), maybe Stan Kenton, Maynard Ferguson or Art Pepper.   

MSJ: Have you come across any new gear recently that you love?

Ha!  I've had a bad case of Gear Acquisition Syndrome lately.  I just rebuilt the bass I use for Spock's Beard, (the bass I call "my Fenderbacker") which is a Ric shaped body with a Fender Jazz neck, and two sets of pickups - one set in the Ric positions, one set in more-or-less Fender positions.  It's now fitted with the new Apollo pickups that Seymour Duncan makes, and I did some cosmetic stuff that makes the bass much prettier than it was. 

I've also purchased a couple Class D amps just for the heck of it.  Got a big old Ampeg amp head from the 90s a few weeks ago, a B4, which is 1,000 watts and really heavy but sounds great - really has that Ampeg sound. 

I've been really into super tiny amps lately too, so I've been building really small speaker cabinets that sound bigger than they are.  In fact, one cab that I built was kind of inspired by the Phil Jones stuff and has two 6" speakers.  I tuned the cab really, low and it actually sounds quite good . . . and it gets pretty loud, too! 

I got an Ibanez P-bass for $55 in a thrift store that plays and sounds surprisingly great.  Also just got a 5 string with a P-J combination for the cover band (getting tired of the MusicMan I've been using).  

But the thing I'm most excited about was finding a Polytone Mini Brute IV on Craigslist for really cheap.  I don't know why, I absolutely adore the sound of that thing.  It makes me happy even just looking at it.

MSJ: Are there any closing thoughts you would like to get out there?

Keep an eye out for the new Spock's Beard album! 

MSJ: This interview is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2018  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.
You'll find concert pics of this artist in the Music Street Journal members area.
You'll find an audio interview of this artist in the Music Street Journal members area.
 
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