Sometimes you catch a band by chance as a support act or through hearing their name and they turn out to be rather impressive. Dead Meadow came to this writer’s attention with an early support slot and their brand of psychedelic rock instantly appealed and the helpful re-issues of their back catalogue quickly allowed new fans to get up to speed.

With new album ‘Old Growth’ set for release, R13 thought it would be wise to catch up with the band and get their opinions on the new record and life itself. With Jason Simon (guitar and vocals), Steven Kille (bass and sitar) and Stephen McCarty (drums) all taking part and offering their opinions, it was a fairly chatty interview.

R13:2008 sees the tenth anniversary of Dead Meadow, do you have anything planned to celebrate this?
SK it is hard to believe it has been this long. To be honest the reissues were sort of aimed at this anniversary. We hope to have the final of the three "the Peel Session" at this time
SM We're going to celebrate by playing a bunch of shows around the world. It's sure to be full of old familiar places and friends, as well as thoroughly new destinations, and possibilities.

R13:You reissued some of your earlier records to some success in recent years, have you incorporated some old songs back into your set because of this?
JS We've always played old songs. Most of our songs we still play, we just play them differently.
SM I had a lot of songs to learn when I joined in 2003, so the list is always growing. A lot of stuff from Feathers is hard to do without a second guitar, though. We have discussed how a show of us playing the self-titled debut to the end of Feathers would result in a dramatic coda of Sleepy Sliver Door. Then we would encore with Old Growth.

R13:You have a new album ready for release 'Old Growth', tell us a bit about it?
SK It is still dark and heavy but it also touches the light side a bit too. I think it is pretty delicate like Shivering King in direction
SM It's the result of an effort on our part to bring about songs with clarity and basic groove. The sounds are engineered in a chain of collaboration between several talented dudes who had access to excellent equipment. It was a lot of growing and changing in its own process, so when the title came along in Eureka at a tour stop in the redwoods, everything locked into place visually and conceptually.
JS Its good.

R13:Has reverting back to a 3 piece affected the sound of the new record?
SM Having spent about a year as a four piece in our much longer time touring, I was happy to work with a record that tried to capture the three piece live experience that is very familiar and natural. There is a greater deal of spontaneity, as well as security in these takes than I remember having in the studio.
JS Most Definitely. Things are more organic.
SK And its easier to divide up the loot!

R13:We've read that the band has relocated from Washington DC to Los Angeles. If this is true, what was the reasoning behind the switch and do you think it'll impact on your song writing?
JS I'm still in DC but where ever you go you always got where from with ya, for good and bad.
SK Yeah, I think a place you are from doesnt mean the same thing it did back in the day. Like being a DC band or a LA band. I think now it is about movements. I think the whole psychdelic scene is spread over tons of cities and countries and we all know each other sort of like a secret organization than hometown pride. With that said I love California, it was more a move of nature and retiring to the sun than a redirection of the band.

SM Steve and myself have been here for a year, and we like it a lot. Folk might have cynical reactions; the notion of "going Hollywood" rightly turns the stomach of many a rock music fan. But we made our decision based on touring the United States a lot. Los Angeles offers a lot of unique advantages in terms of weather, and proximity to natural treasures like Joshua Tree and the Angeles Crest mountain range. People here also have given us a lot of love and support over the years.

R13:Its your third album with Matador Records, do you have a good working relationship with them?
JS Of course, their our record label.
SK With all business there is ups and downs. But they are great supportive people and generally love our band.
SM They feel like cool older brothers at this point. Supportive and enthusiastic while firm about the necessity of hard work. They have really nailed it with the Old Growth packaging and mastering.

R13:You're allowing fans who attend your Bowery Ballroom gig to buy the album early, do you feel as though you have a strong connection with your fanbase?
SK I think so. Its like I said before it is a psyche movement we are witnessing.
SM We have always been connected intimately with the people who come to shows and help us out along the way. It's easy to get to know us if we share the same space with you, in your town. It's great, sometimes exhausting, but always a trip.

R13:You've a UK and European tour for February and March, are the band looking forward to this?
SK Of course it is always a great time
SM Yes, I feel like we are just beginning to understand how to spend more time successfully touring in Europe. We have been having a much better time of it lately. Just need to get myself one of them international cell phone things.

R13:Do you think you will make it back to the UK or Europe for any festivals?
SK I hope so. Though this time I hope to be able to hang out and enjoy our time there than having to rush off to keep up with the schedule.
SM That all depends on the exciting behind the scenes wizardry of promoters, agents, and visionary curatorial festival throwers.

R13:Is there a noticeable difference between playing over here as opposed to back home in America?
SM People tend to dance more. The environment has a big impact: there are a lot of good things that can happen due to the influence of standing stones and ancient cathedrals. One feels different electricities in places with a longer history of human occupation. And then that comes out in the shows. More tangibly, rental gear can be a big challenge to adjust to. Its all part of the kaleidoscope of music and its making.
JS It takes all kinds, everywhere you go.
SK People are people and either they are with what you are doing and love your art or the think you are a "long haired weirdo" at the 24 hour services stop. That is something that is cross cultural.

R13:With all the fuss about Led Zeppelin reforming do you think theres going to be a resurgence in psychedelic traditional rock and do you think you may see a growth in popularity due to this?
JS I thought there all ready was.
SK I think their resurgence is due to all the fuss being made about the smaller rock bands out there. I think all of a sudden it makes sense again.
SM That sounds like a great vision for the future to me. Imagine heavy rock being pop music again! I think there's plenty of potential in the path of learning to really play your instruments. That is, I believe that such a path has limitless potential.

R13:What are your ambitions for the year ahead?
SM Spend the next few months bringing new music to many geographies, while hearing the new record grow green shoots from the charred roots of each evening's sacral offering. Hopefully spend some time recording over the summer, since time is of the essence. Yes, even though there's only been eight years in this new century so far, we haven't much time to wait.
SK To get some rest amongst all of this touring
JS A full length rock opera about my dog Glormer.

And it doesn’t get more important than a rock opera about a pet dog so clearly 2008 is shaping up to be a major year for Dead Meadow and with the band hitting the UK very soon, it may be in your best interest to get along and check them out.