Meat Puppets Biography
Meat Puppets was formed in the very early '80s in Phoenix, Texas USA, by guitarist + singer & main songwriter Curt Kirkwood, his younger brother Cris on bass and Derrick Bostrom on drums. The threesome delivered its eclectic iconoclasm with an increasingly sophisticated level of instrumental interplay, highlighted by Curt's inventive guitar runs and his and Cris' rough-hewn vocal harmonies. The trio's dynamic interaction was further reflected in their adrenaline-charged live shows; all of this led to a recording contract with SST Records.
Although Meat Puppets would later become best known for their intriguing blend of psych-Rock, Punk and Folk, the trio's 1982 self-titled full-length debut was a furious hardcore album.
Their sophomore release, "Meat Puppets II", came out two years later but rose to popularity in the '90s when Nirvana covered the album's three best tracks on their historic "MTV Unplugged In New York": "Plateau", "Lake Of Fire" and "Oh, Me".
1985 saw the release of "Up On The Sun" and in 1987 Meat Puppets unleashed "Mirage", an experimental album which was followed a few months later by "Huevos" a 9-track set comprised almost entirely of heavy-Rock numbers.
Two years later the Texan trio returned with their sixth LP, "Monsters" the final release for SST.
After nearly a decade of do-it-yourself success, Meat Puppets made a successful transition to major-label status in the first half of the '90s, signing with London Records and releasing "Forbidden Places" in July 1991, this album included "Sam", the band's first single which leapt into The Modern Rock chart at #13.
The follow-up album, "Too High To Die", made unexpected inroads into the Rock mainstream upon its January 1994 release; the CD peaked at #1 on Billboard's Top Heatseekers chart, reached the #62 position on The Billboard 200 and went gold, selling over 500,000 copies on the strength of the surprise hit "Backwater"; the track shot to #2 on The Mainstream Rock chart, peaked at #11 on The Modern Rock Tracks and also crossed over to The Billboard Hot 100 reaching #47; "We Don't Exist", the second single off the album, was another Active Rock radio top 30 hit.
In October 1995 Meat Puppets released "No Joke!" but the record failed to capitalize on its predecessor's success and made a brief appearance in the U.S. Billboard 200 chart producing a Mainstream Rock top 20 hit in the single "Scum" and Cris began sinking into drug addiction.
Despite Curt's initial efforts to help get his brother into rehab, Cris continued disappearing into a haze of addiction. He and his wife, Michelle Tardif, became increasingly reclusive. Sadly Michelle, died of a morphine and cocaine overdose in 1998.
With all the turmoil and tragedy surrounding his family, Curt Kirkwood assembled a new quartet version of Meat Puppets, featuring guitarist Kyle Ellison, bassist Andrew Duplantis and drummer Shandon Sahm. Despite a year and a half of rehearsal before the band debuted, Curt admits that the new line-up never realized the chemistry of the original Puppets and they lasted for only one album, the lackluster 2000's "Golden Lies".
"Rise To Your Knees" was the first album of new material to bear the Meat Puppets name since 2000 and the first in a dozen years to reunite Curt with his brother, Cris Kirkwood, who rejoined the band after a lengthy struggle with substance abuse. New drummer Ted Marcus replaced original timekeeper Derrick Bostrom. The album hit stores in July 2007 but failed to recapture their earlier commercial success.
Two years later arrived the trio's twelfth studio album "Sewn Together" which featured the single/video "Rotten Shame".
Meat Puppets issued their next album, "Lollipop", in April 2011 on Megaforce Records; recorded at Spoon's Hi-Fi Studios in Austin, the album features new drummer Shandon Sahm.