Meretto hit the streets

Meretto have a story to tell. Originally hailing from Reading, Stu Bell (Guitar and Vocals) and Matt Burgess (Bass and Vocals) soon relocated to London where they released their debut album Chainsaw Art in 2005.

Already making waves in the London club scene, the band bring the sights and sounds of their adoptive home to their second album Street Talking, which will be released on the 16th of November. A catchy mix of classic rock and 80s pop, the nine tunes explore the grittier side of life.

On the cusp of a string of club dates including an album release party at London’s The Cavendish Arms on the 21st of November, guitarist Stu Bell took a few minutes out to answer some of my nosy questions.

You are originally from Reading but have moved to London. What was that like? Does London have a different effect on your music than from when you were living in Reading?

Reading is sort of what you make it. I had a good time as a student there, although it has changed a lot over the last few years. I think moving to London definitely focused our writing onto our more grittier side – I think it makes it a little more wired and more to the point.

Who are your musical heroes? How do they, or do they, influence your sound?

I started off playing the guitar when I was 10 and was really into Mark Knopfler and Queen! Then I got into Britpop and that really had an impact! Blur have been a massive influence, but then I would say you are influenced by anything you listen to.

You seem to have had a pretty Spinal Tap relationship with drummers. You went through four, is that right? Did they all die from natural causes? You currently have a session drummer, does that work better for the group, keeping it essentially as a two piece?

Yeah, we are on the fourth drummer! We actually started life with a computer providing the drums. Unfortunately this broke down quite embarrassingly at the Bull & Gate. There was also no vibe to the music. Our previous drummers are all alive and well (as far as I know), but they just wanted to do different things, and I think got disillusioned by the industry. With a session drummer you know what you are getting and it actually makes it cheaper in the long run, ‘cos you don’t have to rehearse quite so much and it make the recording process a lot easier.

What was recording the new album like? Did you already have a clear idea of the direction you wanted to go in? Were the songs pretty much written or did you do a lot of writing in the studio?

The process was quite long for us and over a number of sessions and some of the songs went through various revisions to get them in the right place musically. We did have a very clear theme that we were writing to – I had the phrase “…the streets are paved with gold…” in my head and just wanted to write about some of the experiences I have had in the London. All the songs were written first – we had about 25 songs and picked the best/most relevant for the album.

What are your future plans?

Another single and album (with gigs in between) next year funds permitting – we have self-funded this album and the cupboards are bare! Any investors, please contact us!

Where would you like to see yourselves in the future, say in 5 years?

Maybe to have made a bit of a living and to have written for some other artists. A few big gigs would be good too…I’m quite modest. Let see how this all goes…

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