Last Feburary John Meier was on an OK Cupid date at Raleigh’s Mattress Fort. Things didn’t quite work out with the lady, but he met another lady that night, Catie Yerkes, the badass that lives in and runs the Mattress Fort. They talked about Math Rock and Algernon. And by the next month they were practicing together. It was a new experiment for both of them. Yerkes’s post punk band Celebrity Jeopardy had run it’s course. And she’d been writing new songs on the edge of her bed. Meier, who had only played guitar before had just started playing drums. By September, they had a reputation around town for creating big noise with intricate guitar lines cut with complicated drums, so naturally their angular punk demos landed them a spot at a Hopscotch day party. After a couple of months of recording and mixing, the duo’s debut, Ok, Bye, drops tonight. “Dirt Mountain” is it’s triumphant first single and best example of what Meier and Yerkes self describe as “Beard Pop.” Basically Naked Naps is best to be enjoyed by 16 year olds that just learned how to drive stick or anyone that can relate to that awkwardness.
Last song I listened to:
C: “Killing in the name” by Rage Against the Machine, it’s got whispering in it. John and I were driving together on the way here and having a very serious conversation and he was about to give me some advice …
J: But right as I started talking Zach de la Rocha started whispering.
C: Vibrate for life.
J: I use a mixture of vibrate and just a beep sound. But what I think would be really cute would be a cat meowing, it’d have to sound really realistic. People would look around and say, “Is there a cat in here?”
C: Drip coffee and PBR.
J: It’s a beer by Great Lakes called Edmund Fitzgerald.
J: Hop Along
C: I don’t think I could play with them. If you want to hear an embarrassing story I can tell you one. My old band played at Duke Coffeehouse with Hop Along one time. We practiced a lot and it was a pretty good show. And when we finished our set Frances Quinlan reached out her hand and said we did great and I just stared at her. And she takes her hand back. And at that point I put my hand out and just wait. It was the most embarrassing moment in my life.
J: The worst timed handshake of all time.
C: But maybe we could do a split with Hop Along, that’d be my dream collaboration.
J: I was hanging out with music people in high school so I was pretty much in the background. But if I had gotten one it would have been “Most likely to play Crazy Train.”
C: Mine would have been “Sleepiest.” They call it the “Catie Crash.” In the middle of practice I’ll be so tired and look at John and say, “Go home.”
J: I would have a date with Mozart. We would go to Taj Mahal just for like 5 minutes just to see it and then we would teleport to Richmond, Virginia to see a Hop Along show. And then after the show we’d just go home. I wouldn’t even hug him. No, but really my dream date would be with Chloe Sevigny. We’d go see a really good band play at a show and then you know after a show date things can get really awkward sometimes? I’ll just leave it at that.
C: Jesse Lacey is a cutie pie. He’s the one that got me into Archers of Loaf. So I guess we’d go to an Archers of Loaf show and kick it and play some Modest Mouse covers.
Rolling Stones or Beatles
Both: Rolling Stones.
J: They were rockers.
C: I appreciate everything the Beatles did but I cannot sit down and listen to a Beatles record. I can sit down and listen to a Rolling Stones record.
C: Bojangles for a Cajun filet biscuit with a Mountain Dew and French fries. I recently just quit Bojangles. I haven’t been there this week so I count that as an accomplishment.
First album my parents bought me:
J: Toxicity by System of a Down.
C: My aunt bought me the Walmart edited version of Queens of Stone Ages Songs for the Deaf when I was like 11. We used to listen to it on the car on the way to school. I also used to steal change out of my Dad’s truck. Because there was this used CD store right next to this Mexican restaurant where we would always eat. So I’d take these bags of change and buy all these great records. I bought Fugazi’s Thirteen Songs and I remember buying OK Computer when I was 12 years old. And I’d know to buy these albums because 96.1 used to be a really good radio station. I used to just sit in my room and listen to the radio.
J: Yeah I didn’t really listen to music until I was 11.
C: All my friends in high school were losers like me and would just stay at home. But they’d practice playing music and I’d just listen to it. It wasn’t until later that I started practicing it.
J: When I was in middle school I thought that 80’s music was the best music and I was just waiting for it to come back.
Best Bday party:
J: Nothing really comes to mind because I have a summer birthday so when I was a kid you know, I didn’t get to have a party during the school year.
If you could be a US president:
J: George Washington because of “Washington, Washington.”
C: LBJ. JFK gets a lot of credit but it was LBJ that executed it. And also LBJ was a hardass. He was so tall that he’d physically intimidate people. If people didn’t do what he wanted them to do then he’d make their lives miserable so they’d quit. He did a lot for civil rights minus the Vietnam thing.
Best thing about 2014 so far:
J: I feel like I’ve gotten good at drums.
C: I’m finishing college.
C: My junior prom I went to a house show in Greenville and saw Hammer No More the Fingers, the Future Kings of Nowhere and play in this tiny living room and it was one of the better decisions I ever made. Senior prom I was going to go to this show but everyone bailed on me at the last minute.
J: I went to prom both times. It was one of the worst decisions I ever made. It was so boring. There was this girl that I really liked and I actually asked her little sister to prom. My friend told me it would be a good idea. And of course it wasn’t. Nothing ended up happening with either of them. I ended up going to prom next year with a friend of mine and we basically showed up and parted ways.
What I wanted to be when I grew up:
J: I actually said engineer. I became what I said.
C: I wanted to be a computer programmer like my Dad. I was like 8 and thought he seemed happy. And that seemed like a cool thing to do.
J: My best friend growing up was Cambodian and very studious and that’s where I actually got all my discipline from.
C: But if we’re talking about the very first thing I wanted to be as a kid, whenever anyone would ask me I would say, “Shhh, I got time. I got time.” And now I’m about to graduate college and I’m saying the same thing.
J: Well the very first thing I wanted to be was a saint. I went to Catholic school and I thought I was going to be the best saint. Then I realized that wasn’t happening so I decided to be an engineer. But I would have collected prayers from people to send to God. And my specialty would be picked for me according to how I’d die.
C: You’d have to die in a spectacular way.
J: But to become a saint you just have to be really good.
J: Wake up, shower, get to my car. Takes about 30 mins.
C: Wake up, no shower. I put a bagel in the toaster oven, watch the Daily Show, and then on the way to class I listen to NPR.
J: I love NPR.
C: Unless it’s the Diane Rehm show. Cut that shit out. Go die at your own house, don’t die on the radio.
J: You can hear how old she is.
Favorite book as a kid:
C: I would have like to have read books but I do not like to read books. My Mom would send me away and tell me to read for 30 minutes but I’d never read I’d just sit there and turn the pages. I mean why wouldn’t I read the book? I don’t know.
J: I’d read things like Plato.
C: Plato? What?
J: Yeah, I liked a lot of that stuff. I was about 10. I loved philosophy and logic. It is so awesome. I had to read it if I wanted to be a saint. But my favorite book is Jurassic Park, it’s about engineering.
C: I read about four books last year. How’s that? Is that ok?
J: That’s great. I haven’t read a book in a while.
C: I read The Road, Alice in Wonderland for the first time, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, that one was really good. And I read most of Breakfast of Champions by Vonnegut, but I can’t read Vonnegut anymore. I outgrew that. I’m too old now. That’s a high school book.
Favorite music video:
C: Jimmy Eat World “The Middle”. They’re all sweaty at a house party. But I used to always watch the top 20 video countdown on VH1 every Saturday morning. Sometimes I’d watch TRL but always VH1 top 20 countdown.
J: Coheed and Cambria’s “A Favor House Atlantic.”
How I order my pizza:
J: I only order pizzas when I get the best deal at Papa John’s and I do that by convincing them to give me their anniversary price.
J: Have you ever heard of that anniversary deal where you get a large for 30 cents?
C: John Meier, Combatant of the Service Industry.
C: (shakes head no)
J: Yes. I was in high school. And my friends had pools so involve alcohol and everyone’s clothes come off and it would happen. And more often than I thought it would happen.