Updated: Nov 28, 2020
(Photo Credit: Emily Evans)
Meg Warren is a veteran artist, but new solo act now settled in Toronto. Warren has recreated for those who were just learning to walk in the early 2000’s, what traditional basement pop/punk felt like. For the rest of us - less youthful – listeners, Warren hits us with a blast of nostalgia. Her EP A Thousand Ways and music video for 'Bomb' (directed by Wild Black) could have easily been featured on Much Music circa 2005 between ‘Hollaback Girl’ and ‘Beverly Hills’. Though she dabbles in the best of 1990’s and early 2000’s grunge, Meg also lends us a lighter side of herself in singles ‘You Don’t Know Who I Am’ and ‘A Thousand Ways’ that feature a more modern pop feel.
Meg’s first introduction to band life was started by a contest run by a local St. John’s newspaper. It asked bands to write, record, and submit an album in a month. It was a monumental task only exacerbated by the fact that the contest was run in February – the shortest month of the year. Warren and new band, Repartee, finished the album for the contest and spent the summer performing the fruits of their labours. What started off as an experiment led to eight years touring across Canada and sharing stages with the likes of Mariana’s Trench, Shawn Hook, Weezer, and Ok Go.
Moving to Toronto and starting a solo career soon after was an arduous decision for Warren, but the difficulty of that time ended up becoming the inspiration for her debut solo EP, A Thousand Ways.
“I was writing completely cathartically. For some of [the songs] I was really unwell and couldn’t do much else. It’s a direct reflection on where I was at the time and where I wanted to go.”
(Photo Credit: Wild Black)
In this EP, Warren sheds the skin of old industry habits and tries to bring to life her new version of being an artist. She tries to explore the very untrodden path of work-life balance in the arts.
“The idea of A Thousand Ways is that there are just a bunch of different ways of doing things.” Warren starts, “I had a lot of industry people around me and felt I had to exist a certain way. I had to work obsessively. I had to make it my one life goal. That mentality is common across a lot of entrepreneurial worlds, but I found by the time I had left the band I could not do it that way anymore. I wanted to have a more integrated life. I wanted to have time for friends and family and a partner and enjoy it.”
It is a sentiment that most artists understand but feel they will seem ungrateful to discuss it. In her EP, Warren is able to dissect the topics within the life of an artist, but still make the process entertaining and enjoyable to listen to. Her direct form of lyricism lets you understand completely her mind without wading through analogy or metaphor.
“Lyrically, I am drawn to pop music and country. I find that a lot of those lyrical styles are just so clever and [they are] well written songs, but there’s not a ton of metaphor; there is not a ton of poetic language. You know exactly what is happening and it’s a pretty clear story.” Warren says about her tell-it-like-it-is writing style.
(Photo Credit: Emily Evans)
For A Thousand Ways, Meg Warren worked with the talented East Coast producer Dan Ledwell, who worked as both a producer and a mentor for Warren to learn the ropes in order to write, engineer, and produce future music herself. At first, wanting to learn all facets of the creative process was a necessity for her.
“I didn’t have anybody playing other instruments and I didn’t have the money to hire a producer.” Warren says of the common problem of lack of resources for emerging talent. “But once I started, I had more experience then I realized.”
She used those skills to co-produce the EP and to now feel more freedom in future endeavours. In the future, we look forward to seeing those talents play out in a full-length album written and produced by Meg Warren herself. Until then, we have A Thousand Ways to hold onto for our favourite pop/punk nostalgia.
(Directed by: Wild Black)