"I think it's easily better than our previous albums, although I think there's some really good songs on the previous albums but none of those have really been totally complete, whether it be lyric-wise or songwriting-wise. I mean, there's songs I like lyrically and songs I like musically on the previous albums but there's always been a couple of weak ones, which I wish hadn't been put on. But to me, this album, the reason I'm so happy with it is lyrically. First of all, I'm happy with the lyrics on every song. I'm not a great lyricist but they're the best lyrics I've written and musically I think it's head and shoulders above everything else we've done."
The band haave had a mixed reception from the media in general and have often been undervalued by less than attentive critics. 10% Weird sets the record straight, dispelling a few myths along the way. For a so-called three chord reputation, this album clearlly shows the band to be a much more sophisticated songwriting outfit and as for limited appeal, well their top billing and audience numbers make a mockery of the suggestion. In fact, their influence on the next geneeration should be marked considering their high popularity at under-age events.
Their casual dismissal by some sections of the media irks some. "It's upsetting a bit. If some reviews had been constructively critical I wouldn't be upset but it's frustrating when someone in a review says something that's totally without fact, you could argue them under a table if you were there at the time. There's been a definite lack of logic with some of the reviews we've had. Even in good reviews we'll get 'don't take the lyrics too seriously' or 'they're a good fun band' and we've copped that a fair bit and I'm thinking 'well I've written a song about rape, songs about racism and homophobia, sexism, blah, blah, blah'. What more can you do for these people, and in the long run does it make all that much difference?"
"It's more at the time you read something but then you ge over it. No matter what kind of band you are or what you do, it's something that will always happen. You just can't get good reviews one hundred percent of the time. But there should be more responsibility involed in doing reviews."
Coinciding with the release of 10% Weird, The Meanies will be playing at Luna Park with a line-up put together by The Push. If successful, as is likely, many hope it will be a regular occurence and help rejuvenate one of St Kilda's most enigmatic landmarks, not to mention once again landmark The Push as a relevant and necessary youth organistion.
"It's going to be a big one. They've got a battle of the bands thing and we're playing with Magic Dirt, Spiderbait and Silverchair, so it should be a good day, all the rides will be going I think. I'd just thought recently that it would be a good place to play and then The Push decided to put on a show and we ended up on the bill. It'll be a great atmosphere, you know, a festive atmosphere."
While the band are gearing up for Luna Park plans are developing in the background. According to Link their popularity is growing in Europe and with the dream run leading up to the album release, The Meanies could well take on some international touring.
"Hopefully we'll get overseas. Hopefully we could go through Europe and base it around Spain because that's where we've got the most people into us, and maybe America but most of all I want to get to Japan but I don't know if that's feasible at the moment. That's such a great place, my kind of place. It's all come together with the new album so who knows. It's all timed well this time, every other album has been timed really badly, but everything on this is coming together, publicity-wise, record-wise and playing-wise. It's something that's never happened with us before."
The Meanies have put a lot of thought into their latest campaign and on the strength of 10% Weird it could be the start of a much heavier agenda. It would seem fitting as The Meanies are a consistent crowd puller and not only in the pubs but amongst the younger punters in the suburbs. The real test for any band is to cut it on stage and you can be assured of a sizeable sweaty mob of youngsters gyrating at stage front when The Meanies take the platform at Luna Park.
- Darrell Bassett 1994