Interview: Keath Mead – Charming Authenticity and Being in the Right Place at the Right Time

Persons of Dialogue:
Keath Mead: Musical Prodigy
Lucas Amick: Wannabe Journalist

The timid yet genuine nature of Keath Mead’s “Sunday Dinner” transcends the audio files. In person his soft spoken authenticity can only be described as disarming. The morning following his Friday night Tir Na Nog performance, we shot the shit in the pool room of a Raleigh bar. It was an absolute pleasure discussing an array of topics with him as he leaned against a pool table sipping a beer.

LA: In all sense of the matter we are going to avoid any talk regarding waves of chill.

KM: Haha, alright – sounds good.

LA: We’re going to play a game of true/false. Spotify tells me that you were inspired to become a musician by the Beatles film Hard Day’s Night.

KM: Yeah, true!

LA: How old were you when you first saw Hard Day’s Night?

KM: Sixteen.

LA: What about the film made you want to say “I want to be a musician?”

KM: I think I was just in love with Paul McCartney, and when I saw it I just wanted to be Paul McCartney, which is why I picked up the bass. Everything about him fascinated me: the way he looked, the way he sang. I wanted to copy him as much as I could, I think.

“I just wanted to be Paul McCartney, which is why I picked up the bass.”


LA: Your music is really groovy man. Listening to Sunday Dinner… I don’t know, it was almost like a throwback to the seventies for me; just chilled out rock and roll. What made you want to take that direction?

KM: It’s what I lean towards – I like older music. It really wasn’t a conscious decision. I just sort of wrote the songs and they sounded that way, and I think Chaz heard that and produced it to reflect those qualities.

LA: From what I understand you’re constantly recording music. Was Chaz the one who pushed you to record a record, or was that a decision on your own?

KM: It was pure coincidence. I was at a friend’s house – my friend Aron Graves does a podcast – and I was playing guitar for a friend of mine. Chaz just happened to be in town, going to a wedding or something. He heard me singing and said “I really like what you’re doing.” It was luck of the draw, really. Right place, right time.

LA: I guess that luck of the draw panned out, what with the tour and all.

KM: Yeah.

LA: I don’t want to say fame – But what’s it like, having recognition all of a sudden? Is it validating, intimidating?

KM: A little bit of both. It’s weird: Outside of touring I don’t have a whole lot of recognition. So it’s sort of like living in a bubble for that couple of weeks I went on tour with them. It’s definitely validating, though. It’s good to get recognition for all you do.

LA: Columbia has a scene that doesn’t get a lot of recognition. As a Columbia native, what’s your take on the scene?

KM: It’s kind of a weird scene – pretty eclectic, which I like. But at the same time it’s hard to pin it down. Like certain places have a certain sound. There’s a bay area sound, a Seattle sound, you know? Columbia doesn’t have that. It’s kind of like a punk, hardcore type of scene, so it’s hard for a person like me to break in there. But it’s cool to me to see the eclectism, and to see people make it out is really cool.

LA: How about Raleigh? Is there more of a fit here? I mean there’s definitely a music scene established here.

KM: Yeah! I don’t know Raleigh all that well – this is only my second time here. But I do like what I’ve found. The band’s I’ve played with here have been really cool. There’s definitely more of an artistic environment here, probably because it’s a bigger city. It’s something I definitely appreciate.

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