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Tyson Meade performs locally with friends, plans album in China

Ex-Chainsaw Kittens frontman Tyson Meade wants to bring the U.S. and China together in the studio.
BY GENE TRIPLETT Modified: June 28, 2012 at 2:44 pm •  Published: June 29, 2012

“And he just immediately started playing along, and I was just awestruck at how amazing he played for a 15-year-old. He just, like, embodied this pure love of music. And he had this pure spirit and we would play every few days. I kept thinking, I had not written a song in a while, and I just went home and wrote this song and I played it for him, and he took all these notes and scored it, and then we recorded it, and then when we recorded it he immediately, like, each part he played, he just played it once and it was perfect.”

Meade wanted to help open the doors to a formal musical education and much-deserved recognition for Haffijy, and some of his musically gifted classmates as well. But the education part takes money.

That's when Meade hit upon the idea for an album. He started reaching out to his musical friends in the U.S. He's hoping the guys he worked with on the recent Winter Boys 7-inch single — Jesse Tabish of Other Lives and Derek Brown of the Flaming Lips — will join in. He said his old friend, ex-Smashing Pumpkin Jimmy Chamberlin, has agreed to play drums on the album, and he's invited former ex-Lone Justice lead singer Maria McKee to add her distinctive voice to the mix.

And Haffijy will be the “cornerstone” of the album, Meade said.

“I've approached a few schools, like the University of Oklahoma and Columbia College in Chicago, and the University of Houston in Texas about doing some sort of collaborative (effort) where they send some college students with me over to China, some student musicians to help me with the album, so I'd have Chinese and American students playing together on this record.

“I want this album to basically be a cultural exchange of sorts. I would like to see us have a strong relationship with China. Because the people — I'm not talking about the government — but the people are just so good there. And they love America and that's my sort of, my cause at the moment. And so I want to do this album to promote, just, I guess, it sounds really corny, but just the love of mankind.”

He also dreams of some day bringing young Chinese musicians to the U.S. for a tour.

But this Saturday night, local fans can enthuse over Meade's reunion with Metzger, who left Chainsaw Kittens after the release of their 1992 sophomore album to raise a family.

“We're gonna play some songs that the Kittens never play,” Meade said. “We've decided to do an early show and a late show. I'm not going to have an opening band. Instead, what I've decided to do is invite different friends to play some songs with me and they will also play songs on their own.”

Singer-songwriter Beau Jennings (Cheyenne) and Derek Brown are also among those friends, and Meade said there may be a couple of surprise guests. No telling who he'll be playing with next.