Meantime

Sounds like: Strife, Integrity, Blacklisted, and breaking edge.

Discography
This file includes the 2006 and 2007 demos, the self-titled 7″, the Foundation split, the last song ever recorded by the band, and scans of all lyrics and artwork.

Bandcamp
Stream the above files here.

Photo Gallery / Video Gallery

 

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Meantime: The Beast That Napped

A biographical essay by former guitarist and one-time bassist
Michael Hawkins

Meantime started in 2006 with myself and Jesse practicing in his bedroom because he was too lazy to move his drums to my other band’s practice space. That band was Years From Now in which I sang, Jesse’s brother Shane played bass, and Meantime’s future singer Alex played guitar. I got together with Jesse because I had a couple of heavy riffs that sounded nothing like Years From Now and he was always pretty salty that I hadn’t saved him a spot in the band. I also really liked the Blacklisted demo, so Meantime began because of a combination of those two things. We wrote a bunch of songs in Jesse’s bedroom that we threw away, but we eventually wrote a few more that were tolerable and pieced together a line-up from our available friends. Chris joined on bass because he owned one, though he had no other equipment, or the ability to play. Alex took over on vocals when our only other prospect, my friend Derrick, sort of lost it and disappeared for a few years.

We recorded our first demo late one night in Years From Now’s storage unit. We had no mic stand for Alex, so I duct-taped my only functioning microphone to an old step ladder we found in the trash – an apt metaphor for how the thing sounded as well as where it belonged.

Our next step was playing our first show. It took place in Daytona, sometime in late 2006, when we opened for Meltdown and War Hungry at the original Nicely’s Tavern. We covered “Will To Die” by Strife and Pauley Edge from Meltdown made us feel important by moshing.

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So we wrote some more songs, threw most of them away, and then recorded a better demo after adding Rusty on second guitar. We recorded at our buddy Joe’s house and the quality was a significant step up from the trashcan demo. Eddie provided some monstrous guest vocals to “Measurement” which is the main reason it became one of our best songs. It wasn’t until after we’d finished the new demo I realized the song we’d been calling “Earthquake of Hate” (which eventually became “Maleficence”) was a rip off of “Incarnate 365” from Systems Overload. This was also around the time we sat down with Alex and made him change the lyrics to “Relinquish” (which he’d initially dubbed “Send In the Clowns”) because his usage of circus imagery was really upsetting to all of us.

Now with a less-embarrassing recording in tow, we started playing out more. I recall a really fun show we played in Atlanta with Overdose and Memories where we had to turn Chris’s amp all the way down because it was a year in and he still hadn’t learned the songs. Later that night he woke us all up with his night terrors. We parted ways soon after, but stayed friends. We recruited Rusty’s friend Josh “Big Swear” Norton to play bass next.

Rusty entered us in an online competition to win a spot on the Eulogy Records showcase down in Miami. We were excited to play as there were a handful of notable bands on the bill, like Shattered Realm and Die Young. However we were up against some mosh metal band we all hated for the opening slot. There was a lot of trash talking that didn’t amount to anything and somehow we both ended up playing the show.

After seeing our set at the showcase, Eulogy subsidiary Double Or Nothing signed us to do a 7”. I mean, they actually signed us. My signature is on a recording contract somewhere in a drawer in Miami. We went down there to do the record and the old drummer from Dead Weight recorded us in his parents’ house. It was a nice set up and we had a good time except that I played the entirety of the 7” in the wrong tuning (dropped C#, instead of dropped C). Daniel from Die Young was supposed to contribute guest vocals to “A Long Way Gone,” but we couldn’t get the logistics worked out. Big Swear did them instead, accompanied by Eddie who, right before the song’s Slither-esque breakdown, screeched like he was falling down a well – without a doubt, my favorite part of the whole record.

We stayed the weekend with Nick from Know the Score (who also ran Double Or Nothing) and when we got to his place, he and the old guitar player from Blood In Blood Out/Fight Like Hell were watching body-building videos. Those dudes were pretty cool to us even though they were scary and Nick unfailingly referred to every band we talked shop about as “girl’s music.” The Meantime self-titled record was available for a brief period of time from Double Or Nothing Records, but as of this writing it no longer is. The label doesn’t have a website anymore, but there is a Double Or Nothing Bandcamp where you can purchase some of their records digitally, although the Meantime 7” isn’t listed there. I would, however, recommend purchasing the Steel Nation, Crucified, and Clenched Fist full-lengths.

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Rusty began to pick up the slack with Meantime because I was busy with Years From Now and, credit where credit’s due, he did a great job. Although he did design a couple of awful tee shirts, specifically one that featured a Bible with a knife stabbed through it. Not that we disagreed with the sentiment, but it was lacking in subtlety. I did write a few riffs that sounded like Mean Season and Outspoken during this period, but we didn’t use them because we realized that both of those bands are pretty terrible. Rusty and I started talking about doing a full-length and how we wanted it to sound like Strife, only more Angermeans than In This Defiance. So obviously we weren’t making a lot of good calls at this point. I distinctly remember working the night shift at Starbucks and Rusty swinging by to discuss the record. We wrote down some notes, hashing out the ideas we had for the new material: Sepultura-inspired tribal drumming, industrial-noise interludes, keyboards, and all kinds of shit. Fortunately, none of this was ever came to fruition.

What I thought was my last show with Meantime happened sometime in 2008 at a coffee shop called the Hotspot in Daytona. There was the usual mosh altercation: kid punches kid, owner tries to stop fight, kid punches owner, venue gets trashed. Way to go. It was a terrible way for me to end my tenure with the band and I was pissed off about the whole situation. I took the owner aside and while he staunched the blood gushing from his broken nose I told him, “This is a nice place and if I were you I wouldn’t ever let these fucking idiots back in here.” It wasn’t the first time we’d had a near riot break out during one of our sets. None of us were volatile guys, but I guess there was something about Alex’s dumbass muscles that inspired other people to commit wanton acts of violence. One time we played this club in Ocala with Know the Score and all the mosh kids got way out of hand and started going to town on the bouncers. I don’t know what actually caused the fight, but the whole thing got pretty hairy. We packed our gear and ran out the back door while a contingent of Miami and Orlando hardcore kids were just decimating every security guard in the place. Cops and ambulances screeched up outside as kids fled the scene. I have it on good authority that amid all the chaos, someone I know fairly well beat a grown man unconscious with a chain. But, I digress.

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It was only a few weeks after the fight at Hotspot that I lost it for a while, quit the band, and moved to Virginia. This was right when we were coming up with some new material to comprise half of a split 7” with Atlanta’s Foundation. My friend Pat took my place and the record eventually came out on Ghetto Josh Records. Dwid from Integrity did the artwork which was an honor. However, it was then that Meantime began billing themselves as a straight edge band, although none of their songs were about being edge. This was mostly the doing of people who weren’t original members and it always kind of chapped my ass. I wasn’t straight edge and I’d written 85% of the music up until I quit. I got a little too mad when I heard Rusty and Pat joking with people that they’d kicked me out because I wasn’t straight edge. But in a sense, the joke was true: I quit the band to move away and destroy my life with bad choices – only alcohol and drugs nothing to do with it. And at some point during all this, they gave Big Swear the boot and he joined Know the Score.

Meantime did a few east coast tours and both times they made it up to Virginia I got to sing Eddie’s verse in “Measurement,” for which I was always excited and grateful. The band played This Is Hardcore in 2008 and their third bassist at the time – Josh Call, hardcore renaissance man and edge bartender to the stars – repped Florida so hard he broke his leg during Know the Score’s set.

Even though the band had been writing new material (I heard it and believe me it is a crime that it never came out), Meantime decided to call it quits in 2010. When I got back to Florida in January of that year, Pat asked me to play bass for the last show because Josh had to be at a family event in Michigan. That show was a blast and a much better capper to my time with the band than the Hotspot Mosh Beef Incident of ’08.

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It’s been six years and everyone’s gone on to other things. Rusty became a paramedic, moved to Pensacola, got married, and had a kid. Pat started Axis, which is one of the best hardcore bands to ever hail from the Southeast. He also cut his ponytail off which was a relief to all of us. Alex went on to play bass in Nightlights, fight fire, get married, and like soccer. I got smashed at his wedding. I think I bought him a vacuum. Chris moved to NYC where he makes movies and once worked on something with Jeremy London, who is apparently “a real dickhead.” Know the Score ended up kicking Josh Norton out at some point and now he rolls sushi and grows his beard – which, I must admit, is very impressive. I see him on occasion and we always have a good time catching up. Josh Call still works at Backbooth (I think?) and once or twice a year reassembles Nervous Breakdown for a show/fight, and is – by all accounts – still suave as fuck. Eddie was always the unofficial sixth member and he filled in on vocals a few times when Alex had to do firefighter stuff. He got married, had a kid, moved to Portland, became a barber, and still paints a lot while listening to Death Threat. Jesse went on to drum for Axis, then he moved to bass when Tommy joined, then he quit, rejoined, and is currently asleep somewhere when I’m not asking him to play drums for every band I start. I played bass for Axis while Jesse went on sabbatical, but after three years, I quit because I got a “real” job. I went on to sing in We’re Not Dead and play guitar in Rewritten and Grudgeholder.

According to everyone involved, there will never be a reunion.

 


Sleep well, old friend.

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