Meadows is a five-piece hardcore metal band from Alabama. They recently signed to Facedown Records and released their first full-length studio album, In Those Days & Also After, a collection of songs, new and old (two previously released EPs of six songs as well as six new songs).
This creative record is full of passionate emotion, great storytelling, and a variety of sounds. There's a lot of thought behind the album's songwriting and storytelling. I recommend giving it a listen from front to back to capture the story as a whole. I talked with the band's lead singer Christian Nielson about who they are, their music, and more. I hope you enjoy what they have to offer and consider supporting them.
This is probably the first introduction for many since getting signed to Facedown Records. Please introduce yourself.
I'm Christian Nielson, I handle the vocals and lyrics. We have Armando Penagos and Stone Creel on guitars, Brandon Dabbs on bass, and Evan Wagnon on drums. We are Meadows. And, we always say, if you have ever listened to our music, bought any merchandise, or supported us in any way, you are part of Meadows, too. It's a collective effort.
Armando and Stone were original members in 2012, living in New Orleans. We solidified our line-up in 2014. We all live within a five-mile radius of each other, which is awesome. So, we play together all the time and have always been involved in each other's lives. We're all different but play off of each other's strengths and weaknesses.
Tell us about how you were signed by Facedown Records. What's the story?
We owe a lot to our friends, and now labelmates, Comrades. The rock band played at one of our EP release shows and we've kept in touch since then. When we were getting ready for our third EP, we were trying to get in touch with labels to help us out. Joseph McElroy, the guitarist from Comrades, was willing to put a bug in Facedown Records' ear for us. It ended up working out well for everyone involved.
We love Facedown Records. They call themselves a family, and it truly is. There's a community aspect from the label, the bands, and the fans. We've already had fans and friends from the Facedown Records Appreciation Club, a Facebook group, show up to shows and encourage us. I've always been a fan since I was 14 years old, so it's a dream come true.
Do you have a favorite Facedown Records alumni or current signee?
I'm a huge fan of the rock bands Sleeping Giant and For Today. As for bands that inspired our sound, the hard rockers Hands were huge for us. The style and passion there were perfect. As for the current roster, I dig hard rockers Nothing Left.
Your record is a compilation of three EPs with intricate songwriting. Tell us more.
Armando and I love to write together. We brainstorm what kind of stories we can tell through music. One source of influence was my grandmother who wrote a novel called In those Days And Also After, the same name as our album. Her storytelling and imagination influenced us, for sure. Our story, told on the album, starts in 1963. It follows a family and shares their experiences.
The first EP starts with a father who is a pastor with a drinking addiction. He ends up leaving his family, which is the catalyst event for everything else. "The Flood" song is that start. "The Raven" is about the father leaving and not returning--and the son coming to terms with that; this is taken from the story of Noah in the Bible. "The Dove" is about God's promise of being sure. It is signified through the mother of the family.
The second EP is 10 years later. It starts with "The Inheritance," drawing from the parable of the Prodigal Son. You learn the mother was pregnant and now has a little son and grown son. The grown son leaves the family, now dealing with the guilt and guilt he felt. This begins a cycle now, an inheritance that he has continued that started with his father leaving him. "The Absence" is written from the younger brother's perspective. "The Embrace" is about the son returning but questioning if he even can. But with his mother in the hospital, she shows God's grace and welcomes him back.
The third EP goes further into the father's story. It starts with "The Call," the story of him leaving his family, from his perspective. "The Depths" highlights the importance of having accountability and deals with mental instability because of the struggles. "The Answer" sees the father repenting to God and wanting to return to his family. But as the first EP mentions, he dies in a car wreck on the way home. So, the family never gets closure.
How does your faith influence your songwriting?
We debated often on how we wanted to write our music as a faith-based band. Because now, if you only listen to one or two songs, you're missing the big picture. And even though there's not any major conflict resolution in the story, that's part of life, realistically. We hope that as people listen to the music, they will dig deeper into the meanings and behind the stories to find that Jesus can change everything. These songs are based on parables and stories from the Bible, after all. We just want to be as authentic and approachable as possible.
What can we be expecting from Meadows in the future?
We're not sure entirely, but we do want to do another concept album. We love telling and writing stories. How it will play out is going to be exciting and a mystery for now.
Anything else you want to share?
Whatever you can pull from the album, that is great. We want you to be able to listen and get something different than intended. But, ultimately, we want you to take advantage of the time you have while you have it. We also want to encourage people to say "yes" to God. We have found so many opportunities just by listening and saying, "yes."
How can we be praying for you?
Please pray that we can continue to inspire and encourage others with our music. Please pray for the inspiration to keep doing what we love as long as we can.
Ryan Adams lives with his family in Montana. He has been NRT's Rock Reporter since 2018. He graduated Boise Bible College in 2017.
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