London rock trio Cheap Meat release their debut album ‘People Are The Worst’ on 29th January via their own label, Jerk Store Records. We spoke to them about some of the songs that inspired them as a band.

“Here are ten songs that you could pop into a blender and the result would be a Cheap Meat song. Goes without saying you’d need a blender capable of such things. These are songs that inspired us, songs that we’ve ripped off, songs that we love and songs that you should listen to. Hell, after you’ve listened to this playlist maybe you’ll reach the starry heights of being able to write a Cheap Meat song of your own, or better still, have some commercial success! Dream big reader! Dream big!”

Light Up The Sky – Van Halen

It’s no secret that Van Halen is one of my (Ross) favourite bands. I love them; I have a podcast about them. We wrote a song on the album about them (Eddie & Valerie). If you don’t get goosebumps going from the breakdown into the guitar solo on this, apologies, but you might be a robot.

Alex Chilton – The Replacements

The book ‘Trouble Boys’ by Bob Mehr is the best book I’ve read about a band ever. Equal parts heartbreaking as it is punk. I could have picked a million different Replacements songs, but nothing kicks off a playlist quite like Alex Chilton. Also, it’s about Alex Chilton, of Big Star. Listen to them too!

Everything is Alright – Motion City Soundtrack

A blend of power-pop hooks and dark, off-beat lyrical snark is at the heart of MCS, and also happens to be at the heart of Cheap Meat. If our bands both had dating profiles, we’d probably be a ninetieth percentile match.

Simple – The Beta Band

As a Scot, I’m legally obliged to put in at least one band from home on this playlist. Lucky for you, The Beta Band are brilliant. Steve Mason here with one of my favourite lyrics and some sage advice for anyone in a band. “The trouble with your own thing is you end up on your own.”

11:11 – Dinosaur Pile-Up

Both us and DPU live(d) in North London, practised at the same rehearsal space (shout out to Storm), played the same festivals and have similar influences. But we’ve never met them and doubt they know we exist! However, we think they’re great and seeing them succeed always gives us hope. Plus their music slaps. Hard.

Dumpweed – Blink-182

Simple, poppy, hooky, irreverent. We may not play as fast, but we certainly play as loose as Blink. Music should always be fun and never take itself too seriously and Blink helped shape our philosophy in that regard. We actually used to have the same booking agent as Blink (for all the good it did us…!), and I think our proudest moment (OK, Matt’s proudest moment) was when he told us that our stage banter was like Blink’s.

Fall Together – Weezer

There was a three-year gap between Maladroit and Make Believe. I was DEEP into my obsession with Weezer and Rivers Cuomo at the time, so I spent a lot of time with this being the last album they released. The lore around Maladroit is worth its own post alone, but this is one of my favourite Weezer songs. Two minutes long, big riff, guitar solo and an excellent chorus. Thank you very much.

Tact is Dead – Tellison

Right at the beginning of things going well for Cheap Meat, we supported Tellison. A lovely group of gentlemen. They had just released this single and, well, it’s a banger. I love their lyrics. And in a move of real fandom, I reference them on a track on the album. I love it when bands mention other bands on record. Anyway, I once cajoled Stephen to go for a drink with me, which ended up in a strange therapy session (For us both? Certainly, me). My favourite part when he told me “In hindsight, being influenced by commercially unsuccessful bands wasn’t necessarily
the best idea.” Amen, brother!

C.R.E.A.M. – Wu-Tang Clan

Matt and Pete are massive hip-hop heads (rhythm section, go figure…). In a very real sense, we have nothing in common with the Wu; in a more interpretative sense we were definitely inspired by the DIY, self-produced, give no-fucks hustle of their seminal debut album. That, and Matt is really into martial arts.

Return of the Jedi – Reuben

Just the most perfectly jaded and honest song about the bullshittery of the music industry and 100% sums up how we felt when we decided to create our label and go it alone. Plus, our first EP
was produced by the original drummer and producer of Reuben’s first album, Jason Wilson. Matt once met Jamie Lenman backstage at 2000trees and found him to be every bit the gentleman he dresses up as.

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