A Bit On The Side - article from Drum Media

Songsmith, vocalist and guitarist Link Meanie confesses to having done very little of late apart from "sitting around...writing some songs". With their 10% Weird CD enjoying a healthy entry into the charts The Meanies are gearing up for yet another European tour that will get underway late May, and see them spending the best part of five and a half weeks playing in Spain, France, Germany, Belgium and Austria.

It's those same songs that Link spends his days writing that have catapulted Melbourne's maestros of maniacy to an interntational pedestal and helped endear them to audiences both at home and abroad, culminating in a recent successful Pearl Jam support.

"This time should be good," says Link, "...we're finishing off with Spain, which was great last time. We're doing six shows there, so it's gonna be awesome...yeah, good response there."

Happy with the recent response to 10% Weird, the single, interest is also being rekindled in the album of the same name. "From what I've heard the single has been selling pretty well," he says. "We've had some positive responses from people, even some people who'd just seen us at Pearl Jam. They bought the single, obviously because it's cheap and then intend to get the album."

With shows lined up in Adelaide, Perth, Sydney and possibly Brisbane before jetting O.S., you'd think there'd be little time to devote to side projects, yet bass player, Wally has managed to find the time to tour with his wonderfully poppy trio Even, whose rrecent Sydney shows sparked more than the odd slice of interest. Even's debut EP has just hit the streets, so it'll be interesting to see what the future holds for them, in view of Wally's Meanies commitments.

"They're a great band," adds Link. "Ash is a great guitarist...really good singer too. He kind of hit the spot with me, the kind of style of chord changes and shit he does...I really liked it."

So just how much time has Wally devoted to Even? Has it become an issue?

"No, not at all," continues link. "He's (sings along) Totally Devoted To Us (laughs). Obviously The Meanies are a good prospect at the moment. Things are picking up for us this year, so I mean that's his main baby. Obviously he wants Even to do well...we'll just have to wait until they start competing with us and then we'll kick him out...give him his marching orders."

Not one to lay idle, Link has also been recording, with his brother Ross. Au Go Go will be releasing the resulting album in the near future, with the duo going under the name Muescrum...a name derived from a group of letters on the mudguaard of Link's childhood Dragster bike, and a name which his father told him meant "go fast" in German.

Did this then describe the side band's musical direction?

"No, not at all...most of it's kind of slowish. It's kind of just a musical wank for us; just to do all the things we wanted to do. I mean, listening back to it now, I would have done a lot of things differently, but I still really like it. Hopefully if it sells well, we'll do another one."

Does it get that way with The Meanies then, that you really need to have that sort of outlet?

"Yeah I think so. I think it's just a healthy thing to do. It takes a bit of the stress out of kind of like just feeling like; yeah you've just gotta be providing for the one thing, and you feel sort of caught up in the style a bit. I mean, I think we've had a bit of variation with some of the songs we've done. Obviously there are certain limitations; although I'm gonna try and shatter those with the next album we do with the songs I've been writing. Don't expect anything original...it's all been done (laughs)."

- Mark Fraser