An Interview with the band Meet Me at the Alter

Q: How was MM@TA started?

In 2015, I (Téa) was looking up drum covers for the song Holding Onto
You by Twenty One Pilots. I came across Ada’s cover on YouTube and was
amazed that there was a girl close to my age who was also really
talented musically. I asked her how I could contact her and we started
talking and realized that our personalities meshed well together. We
originally had the idea to just do a collaboration but we decided to
start a band even though we weren’t really sure what that would mean
at the time.

Q: What inspired the band’s name? If you could change the name to
anything else what would it be?

Ada and I were trying to come up with band names but we couldn’t
really think of anything that stuck. She randomly started listing
Mortal Kombat characters and we discovered that Sub Zero was both our
favorite character. I jokingly told Ada to marry me and she replied
with “meet me @ the altar” and it clicked to both of us. If we could
change our band name, Edith would want to change it to Laced and Ada
would want to change it to Changing States.

Q: Does the title of the EP have to do with the fact that all three of
you are living in separate states?

Just speaking of Changing States, the title name kind of has multiple
meaning but is also open to interpretation. We came up with the title
after we wrote the EP because we wanted it to hold the central theme
of the lyrics. Most of the songs on the EP are about actively deciding
to cut off the things that put you in a bad state of mind, whether it
be a toxic relationship, societal standards, or your own doubts and
insecurities. We felt that Changing States was a fitting name because
of this, but it also is a play on words since we all live in different
states and have to “change” states in order to be with each other.

Q: How do you guys plan out when you all meet up together? Long
distance relationships are hard to keep but I know that has to be 10
times harder when you’re in a band together.

We plan out when we meet based on if we have gigs coming up or need to
record together all at the same time. Being in a band where all the
members are spread out is really difficult, but we manage to make it
work. We’re already a small band, so when it comes to gigs, we have to
rely on a single person to bring out all of the people in that area as
opposed to 3 members bringing out a bunch of people at once. It
definitely stretches out the songwriting process since we can’t just
all sit down together and knock it out. We know that we won’t be long
distance forever and that the results of our hard work now will really
pay off in the future.

Q: Something that automatically had me drawn to your name band is the
fact that you guys are an all female group, all women of color, and
all supporters of the lgbtq community. With such a strong message of
empowerment surrounding your band, do you find it intimidating or do
you like the idea of being role models?

Edith: I love being the person I never had. When I first started going
to shows I noticed that most of the people who performed in this music
scene were cis straight white men. I knew I wanted to do this for the
rest of my life, so I was a little discouraged by the fact that there
were barely any woman, or woman of color doing exactly what I wanted
to do. Ever since then I’ve been on a mission to be that role model
for all of the little brown girls out there who like to rock out! I
love being the role model I never had, it’s not intimidating, it’s
empowering.

Ada: I like the idea of being a role model because when I was growing
up, I didn’t know of any all-female bands in the alternative industry
and it was a super lonely time trying to get into the music without
anybody that was like me to look up to. I don’t want young girls of
color and young girls in the LGBTQ community to feel as left out as I
did, so I like the idea of being apart of that change and being one of
the people that I would have needed at that time.

Téa: Being a gay black female, I’ve always felt like an outsider in
the music scene. I would see all of these bands full of cis white men
and almost feel that in order to make it, you had to fall under that
category. I wasn’t really and am still not that exposed to women of
color being able to shine in the alternative industry, and one day I
stopped myself and asked “why?”. Once I formed MMATA, I realized that
I would be able to become the representation I never had. Young girls
everywhere can look at us and realize that they are just as capable of
doing anything a man can do, even if the numbers say otherwise. I
think that the pressure from being role models to such a large group
of people is the very reason why we need to be role models in the
first place.

Q: If you could tour with any band who would you want to tour with?

Ada: I’d love to tour with bands like Paramore, Neck Deep, Dreamstate,
Movements, and Tiny Moving Parts.

Téa: My dream would be to tour with Paramore. They’ve been the most
influential band in my life since I was 7, so to me, it would mean the
world. I’d also love to tour with Belmont, PVRIS, Capstan, or Knuckle
Puck.

Q: Now I’ve been following you on social media for a few years now,
and it’s common knowledge among all your followers that you are a
frequent concert goer. How many have you been to?

Edith: I go to so many shows, I actually lost count! I usually go to 3
one even maybe 4 a month. I started going to shows in 2015, and I know
that I’ve seen a total of 175 bands since then.

Q: Now the band’s line up has changed a bit over the years, but you
two have always stayed constant with it. Were there ever times where
you felt like you wanted to call it quits with the band?

Ada: Negative thoughts would run into my head all the time where I’d
have doubts of the band working out and how hard it will continue to
be if we stayed as a two-piece band; especially since I tend to
procrastinate a lot and it would mess up our workflow a lot. Having
Edith with us now, it makes it a lot easier for us to get things done
because we have a third person to help motivate us to keep
working/writing. We didn’t have that as a two-piece, which really
messed us up.

Téa: I personally have always felt confident that MMATA would work
out. I never once thought about ending the band because this has been
my dream for as long as I can remember and I would never get it up
just  because things might get difficult. My main worry was that we
obviously needed to expand the band, but what if we couldn’t get along
with other people as well as we got along with each other? Luckily
Edith gets us and we all share the same sense of humor, plus she’s
just as dedicated to this band as we are. I see really great things in
the future with her in the band.

Q: What made you want to initially join the band? Was making the
transition from fan to bandmember an easy one?

Edith: What made me want to join the band is the fact that they were
both girls! I met the girls back in 2014, when they were looking for a
singer. I tried out but was for some reason denied. To this day I
still don’t know what made me not give up. I don’t know how, but I
knew that I was going to be in mmata, and that I belonged in mmata. So
I just gave it time and here I am! I was a HUGE fan of them, but the
transition from fan to member was the smoothest it could’ve ever been.
Me and the girls click so well! I love them to death and they mean the
absolute world to me.

Q: something that you and I have in common is that we’re both
Floridians! How do you feel about your local music scene? Are they any
local bands
that you are currently into?

Téa: I’m super into the local scene! Orlando has so many great bands
with dedicated fans, and every so often a band will blow up (like
Capstan for example) and when they play a hometown show it feels like
family is coming into town. Some local bands I’ve been bumping
are Hungover, Glazed, Losing Teeth. and Hometown Losers.

Q: All three of you are under the age of 21, do you find that your age
makes it harder to work as a band or do you love the fact that you all
are so young?

Edith: Us all being in college and high school can make it a lot
harder to work as a band because of how much school work we have. But
other than that, I love the fact that we are all so young. This might
sound cliche but I believe that when it comes to capabilities and
skills, age is just a number. Someone who’s young and has only been
doing something for 3 years can be just as good or even better than
someone who’s older and has been doing something for 6 years.  I don’t
like to believe in age, I like to believe in energy. You can’t let age
dictate what you can and cannot do.

Téa: I think its great that we’re able to experience the music
industry so young because the majority of musicians don’t start bands
when
they’re 14 which really sets us apart. We will inevitably make
mistakes, but since we’re so young we still have our families to fall
back on
and whatever mistakes we do make won’t be devastating. The only
downside to being so young is that we can tell when we play shows
that people underestimate us and assume we’re gonna suck because we’re
young girls. We always surprise them.

Ada: I love that we’re all so young because we have such a positive
mindset of what’s to come as musicians and towards the band. I’ve
noticed that the older you get, the more doubt you have because the
more time you feel that you’re “wasting”. Us being so young
enables us to continue to work hard while having such a long journey
ahead of us. Also, we love seeing the look on the older people’s
faces when we tell them our ages.

Q: what is your favorite song from the EP and what was the hardest
song to work on/write? What is the songwriting process like?

Edith: my favorite song off of “Changing States” is “Switchblade”.

There are just so many different elements in that song, so much going
on, it’s so sick! Someone who loves softer pop punk, as well as
harder, bouncier pop punk would love this song. “Switchblade” is a
very diverse piece of work. Me and the girls work so well with each
other, we didn’t really struggle with the writing process of any song.
There was this one song that we were writing for the EP that we just
could not finish. We were brain dead after we got to the second
chorus. We ended up scratching  that song and actually using a small
part of it for the end of our song “Here’s To War”.

Téa: All of the songs at one point have been my favorite, but
Switchblade probably takes the cake. The song hits hardest to home for
me
because I’ve been completely in love with someone I realized never
really loved me as much. The hardest to record was definitely
Here’s to War because I pushed myself to write guitar leads that were
more intricate than what I was previously used to.

Ada: My favorite song from the EP would definitely be Switchblade.
This song was also the hardest song for me to learn and record
because I didn’t even learn it until the last day of my final
recordings. It must have been about 10pm at night and I was exhausted,
but
the song is so upbeat and so fun that I was able to get through it.

Q: you are a very gifted drummer, what inspired you to start playing?

Ada: I got inspired to start playing the drums because of my dad. He
used to play when he was a teenage and he couldn’t follow his dream of
being a musician because that was around the time he left his country
because of war to move to America. He got me into the music I’m into
today and he continues to be my biggest supporter, since he was the
one who bought my first drum kit.

Q: So what does the future look like for meet me at the altar? Or do
you have any more upcoming shows? Are you guys working on music right
now? Do you plan on working with other bands?

We’re really trying to get our name out there right now. Our goal is
to get as much exposure as we can, specifically to our new EP. We have
many shows lined up this summer, specifically in New Jersey and
Atlanta, but we’re trying to get even more. Right now we’re really
focusing on our social media presence and booking gigs.

Twitter: http://twitter.com/mmataband

Instagram: http://instagram.com/mmataband

Soundcloud: http://soundcloud.com/meet-me-the-altar

Bandcamp: http://mmata.bandcamp.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MMATAband

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