Almost a year ago, Meet Me @ The Altar were on tour with Knuckle Puck when the title Past // Present // Future seemingly just fell out of thin air and straight into Téa’s brain. The same thing happened with Model Citizen, too. She really didn’t need to spend long questioning if it was right or not.
“I was in the back of our van and we were on our way to some venue, and the words ‘Past present future’ just popped into my head,” she remembers. “And it made sense. Like, we constantly go back to the music from our past because it’s what has always stuck with us, and it was just so good. We knew that we wanted to pull from that in the present, and make our own modern sound out of it, which is helping set up our sound for the future.”
For such a young band, the future is something Meet Me @ The Altar are unashamedly laser-focused on. They boldly look at a band like Paramore whose footsteps are ones to be keenly followed in, having done things their way while maintaining the core of who they are. Not to mention Hayley Williams is already a fan, having written the band a letter praising them for “carrying the torch” at last year’s When We Were Young fest (no big deal, eh?).
“They’re a band who changed up their sound so successfully, because each album they put out is Paramore,” explains Téa. “And that’s how I want us to be, for each album to be Meet Me @ The Altar, no matter what it sounds like, you know? Most of our fanbase doesn’t know that we exist right now. Past // Present // Future is what they’re gonna find, and because there’s so much variety and range, we’re really setting ourselves up to be able to do whatever we want. That’s one thing that we’re super-conscious of: we don’t want to put ourselves in a box and be trapped, which happens a lot. Model Citizen was a little bit more niche – it was very easycore. But we wanted to broaden our sound so that we can go anywhere.”
“There’s a lot of excitement,” adds Ada – the MM@TA member who speaks the least in interviews, but is just as self-assured as her chattier bandmates. “I feel like people don’t know what’s coming, and I don’t know what they’re expecting but I don’t think they will expect this maturity and this body of music that’s different than Model Citizen, but it’s still us. If you just read it like this it doesn’t make sense, but when you listen to the album you’ll be like, ‘Oh yeah, that’s literally Meet Me @ The Altar, you can’t expect anything else!’”
“As artists we never want to create the same thing for the rest of our lives,” agrees Edith. “Some bands are like, ‘Okay, I wanna do something different now,’ and their fanbase completely freaks out. The reaction is so terrible – like, ‘Oh, they sold out,’ or, ‘Oh, I hate this and I wish it was like that…’ Because the bands have boxed themselves in by creating two or three records that sound the same and that are very niche in a way, and then when they want to try something else most of their fanbase doesn’t fuck with it, and that sucks. I feel like our first record is so diverse, and people won’t be surprised as to where we go to next because it’s such a foundation of everything.”