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Why Couldn't It Be Us?: Meet Me @ the Altar On 'Past // Present // Future' and World Domination

Monday, 06 March 2023 Written by Maddy Howell

Photo: Jonathan Weiner

Téa Campbell can’t help but smile when recalling Meet Me @ the Altar’s stratospheric 2022. “There were so many moments where it was like, ‘Are we awake or are we dreaming?’ When we were kids idolising all these people and listening to this music, we didn’t know that one day it would become such a huge part of our lives,” the multi-instrumentalist says. “It’s insane to think about. We opened for Green Day—who the hell gets to do that?”

Making their major label debut in August 2021 with the release of their fourth EP ‘Model Citizen’, over the past couple of years the pop-punk trio’s world has been turned upside down. Formed in 2015 with big ambitions and a dream to define the future of their scene, they have duly spent the most recent portion of their career striking monumental goals from their bucket list, while frantically adding new ones. 

But, even as they took to stages alongside their musical heroes, and landed festival slots that they once could only have dreamt of, one box remained unticked. “Everything we did, we did without having an album out, which is ridiculous,” Téa says. “When the time came and we were ready, we wanted to stay true to who we are and who we want to be. 

“It always came back to the music that influenced us as children. Those were the songs that stuck with us because they were well-written, they had meaning, and they were impactful. The instrumentals were great, and lyrically it was stuff that you could relate to. We took those influences and tried to make something of our own out of it.”

With hype only growing as more and more people clocked onto what they were doing, by the time they sat down to work on their debut Meet Me @ the Altar were ready to make their mark. However, despite entering the process feeling more self-assured than ever, they swiftly realised the truth of what many of their musical peers had told them—the first album is often the biggest mountain to climb. “I think I lost my goddamn mind,” vocalist Edith Victoria confesses.

“This was the first time that we co-wrote with other people, and at first it was a terrible experience. You're being put in all these different rooms with different writers, but no one knows who you’ll mesh with because we’ve never done it before.

"We were thrown out to the wolves, and we had to figure out who we gelled with and who we didn't gel with. We could have gone so many different ways on this album, and a lot of them would have been very disappointing. We had to go through the not so good sessions to find what we really wanted to do with this record. Once you find your people, it's magic.”

After finding their camp in One Direction co-writer John Ryan, Semisonic’s Dan Wilson, LA-based songwriter Steph Jones, and Rachel West (the first Black woman the band have ever written with) Meet Me @ the Altar’s visions began to spring to life. The resulting album,‘Past // Present // Future’, is a celebration of the music that raised them, the scene they’ve helped cultivate, and the possibilities that lie ahead. “We wanted to take influence from the past, but we don't want our music to be stuck in a certain time period. All great songs are timeless, and we wanted this album to have longevity,” Téa nods. 

“One thing I love about the time we're in musically is that everything is an umbrella. The lines are very blurred, and there's more opportunity to do different things in certain genres. This is a rock album, but we pulled from so many different aspects and influences,” Edith adds. “It’s interesting because ‘Model Citizen’ was actually supposed to sound more like this, but something shifted there. We’ve always wanted to pull from a little bit of everything because we're music lovers, so this sound shift has been a long time coming.”

Redefining what it means to be a rock band in 2023, on their debut album Meet Me @ the Altar are proving just what they’re capable of. Its 11 tracks dart from modern pop-punk melodies to bouncy y2k pop choruses—even dropping into a country twang in places—and as opening diss track Say It (To My Face) gives way to a rock record of epic proportions the trio are kicking back against anyone who’s ever doubted them.

“People think that they can hide behind a screen and say whatever they want, but they don't think about the fact that there are actual human beings on the other side of that. We wanted to draw attention to that and say, ‘You guys think we’re industry plants? Fuck you, we’re not, and here’s a banging album to prove it’,” Edith smiles.

“It's fuel to the fire, and that fire is never going to go away,” drummer Ada Juarez adds. “We're always going to be proving ourselves because there are always people to prove wrong. The saying is true, the haters are your biggest motivators.”

As that fire continues to burn, with ‘Past // Present // Future’ the trio are hoping their defiant story inspires the next generation of young girls to follow their dreams alongside their friends. A tale that started with three teenagers sharing a deep love of music, their journey has been defined by authenticity, self-belief, and passion, and it’s only just getting started. Here to prove what can be achieved through being unapologetically yourself, Meet Me @ the Altar are on a quest to become the biggest rock band in the world.

“We’ve accomplished all of this by just being us, doing our own thing and minding our own business. We've never had any doubt that we could do it, even before people were telling us that we couldn't. Everyone is just born on this Earth, and we're all just people, so why couldn't it be us?” Téa questions.

“We want to be the next Green Day or Paramore, and we're going to get there, it's just a matter of time. This record feels like Meet Me @ the Altar, and it was a long process to find what that was, but I think we’re on the verge of something great. I truly think that this album is going to change our lives.”

Meet Me At The Altar Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Tue March 07 2023 - TORONTO Ontario - Velvet Underground (Canada)
Wed March 08 2023 - LAKEWOOD Ohio - Mahall's (USA)
Fri March 10 2023 - DEWITT Michigan - Loving Touch (USA)
Sat March 11 2023 - CHICAGO Illinois - Subterranean (USA)
Mon March 13 2023 - DENVER Colorado - Marquis Theater - CO (USA)
Tue March 14 2023 - SALT LAKE CITY Utah - Kilby Court (USA)
Thu March 16 2023 - PORTLAND Oregon - Hawthorne Theatre (USA)
Fri March 17 2023 - SEATTLE Washington - Madame Lou's (USA)
Sun March 19 2023 - OAKLAND California - Starline Social Club (USA)
Wed March 22 2023 - SANTA ANA California - Constellation Room (USA)
Thu March 23 2023 - LOS ANGELES California - Echo (USA)
Fri March 24 2023 - SAN DIEGO California - Voodoo Room at House of Blues (USA)
Sat March 25 2023 - PHOENIX Arizona - Rebel Lounge - Phoenix (USA)
Mon March 27 2023 - AUSTIN Texas - Antones (USA)
Tue March 28 2023 - HOUSTON Texas - Bronze Peacock At The House Of Blues (USA)
Thu March 30 2023 - NASHVILLE Tennessee - Basement East (USA)
Sat April 01 2023 - ATLANTA Georgia - Purgatory Stage at Masquerade (USA)
Mon April 03 2023 - TAMPA Florida - Orpheum Tampa (USA)
Tue April 04 2023 - ORLANDO Florida - Abbey Orlando (USA)

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