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Street Eaters

October 12, 2011

Photo: Shanty Cheryl

When you hear Street Eaters, you want to sing along. You want to know all the words because they sound important. There is conviction, confidence, and truth in the sound. You want to join the team, dance, and be a part of what they are.

Megan March and John No are the heart of Street Eaters – a rockin’ two piece with a tough bass sound, tons of sassy drums and call and response lyrics. They write all the music together; it’s personal and you can feel that. They sing about things that matter to them and hearing them makes those things matter to you too.

With experience in bands like Younger Lovers, Fleshies, Triclops!, Neverending Party, and Wild Assumptions, Megan and John have the cred, but Street Eaters are a breath of fresh air. They’ve got a new album, Rusty Eyes and Hydrocarbons, out on Plan-It X  or Bakery Outlet that is totally worth a listen! A cup of punk, a dash of riot grrl, and a heaping helping of smarts make Street Eaters a band you should definitely know about.

1. What is your hometown?

Megan:

I was born in Berkeley, and raised in Oakland. Growing up in the east bay was a blessing and a curse in the sense that I was in the middle of an amazing music scene that had various sub genres that embraced powerful women, queer culture, and radical ideals. The flip side was the culture shock I felt when I later went on tour to different parts of the country where these ideas were not widely excepted. I have a huge respect for people trying to live a radical life style and stand up for their beliefs in areas where you could get your face bashed in for doing so.

John:

I was born in Oakland, and I grew up 25 minutes from there in a trashy unincorporated East Bay town called El Sobrante, a suburb of the degraded industrial port city Richmond. It was a semi-rural mixture of Hell’s Angels, meth lab rats, and lots of rednecks straight from Arkansas flying Confederate flags in their front yards while clamoring to get a solid blue-collar job at one of the multitude of oil refineries surrounding the area. Being a part of the Bay Area, of course, El Sobrante also had one of the biggest Sikh Temples in the United States, black and latino gangbangers, a huge Filipino population, and scattered old hippies/lefty-intellectual types that moved there to take advantage of low housing prices and close access to nature (eg. my parents). It was a confusing place to grow up, and as a kid I mainly had to keep my head down so any of a number of enterprising young thugs from a veritable rainbow of cultures and creeds didn’t beat my ass. Naturally, me and my fellow weirdos escaped to Berkeley, Oakland, and San Francisco as often as we could.

2. With what fictional character do you most identify?

Megan:

Mata Hari – or did she really exist?

John:

The Count of Monte Cristo. Because it’s all about REVENGE!

3. In the movie of your life, cast an actor to play you.

Megan:

I’m not sure if I’ve every really connected with an actor like that. I know he’s a man and I’m a lady, but I think the closest I could get would be Johnny Depp. In high school plays I was always cast in the gender ambiguous roles (most memorable, Puck in Midsummer Nights Dream) and Johnny Depp seems to embody a similar character type of gender ambiguity. Perhaps I’m giving him too much credit….I always had a hard time really identifying with female archetypes because they always seemed to be somebody else’s sex symbol, cursed, crazy, or dead.

John:

It’d have to be some sort of mix between Klaus Kinski (Herzog-era) and Ed Norton. Simultaneously a bug-eyed lunatic and nice guy.

4. What work of art speaks to your soul?

Megan:

My friends’ tattoos that they regret. Sometimes I wonder if I appreciate their drunken stick-and-poke disasters more than they do. Maybe it’s because I’m not living with “Kurt Lives” on my ankle.

John:

Definitely not the big tuning fork stuck in the ground next to the BART station in downtown Berkeley. The fact that it is called “Earth Song” just doubles down on how much it sucks. City-funded public art is the WORST.

5. What books are you currently reading or recommending?

Megan:

Right now I’m reading Joan Didion, “Slouching Towards Bethlehem”. Her voice seems very familiar to me even though this is my first Didion book, probably from reading a lot of Cometbus Zine.

John:

Just finished B.Traven’s “March to Caobaland”, the first book of his jungle novels series and one that I somehow overlooked when I read the others. I started reading Traven when I was very young with the second book in the Jungle novels series, “Rebellion of the Hanged”. All of them deal with the lead up and execution of the Mexican Revolution at the beginning of the 20th century, and are absolutely awesome. I admit that I have a soft spot for anti-capitalist agitprop in general, but Traven does it in such a way that is so intensely bleak, filled with revolutionary zeal, and critical of oppression both internal and external that he manages to avoid sounding like an ideologue. A good starting point for him, however, is “The Death Ship” (no relation to the movie of the same name), which really breaks it down into a language that anyone who has ever felt trapped by a shitty job can understand.  

6. What song or album is currently in heavy rotation on your iPod?

Megan:

I don’t listen to my ipod very much because it’s always out of batteries. However, we’ve been spinning Mission Of Burma’s “VS.” on the record player a lot.

John:

I keep trying to play tapes on Megan’s ipod and they never work. But I’ve still got two albums’ worth of Landlord songs stuck in my head, and so I hum those around the house a lot.

7. What’s the last movie that made you cry?

Megan:

We theater hopped the other day and saw “The Rise of the Planet of the Apes” and “Contagion”. I have to admit that I was on the verge of tears all the way through Planet of the Apes because I can’t handle watching animals being mistreated, but when the human race was threatened to extinction in Contagion, I was intrigued. I think this is because we are used to humans being killed, in movies and the news, but so many companies profit from the abuse of animals it’s a hidden reality. On the flip side you could say that the news hides the fact that thousands of people are dying at war right now, which I think still comes back to companies making a profit.

John:

“Atlas Shrugged” made me cry, not because I saw it but because I was sad that America has gotten so disgustingly selfish and vicious that they actually made a multi-million dollar movie based that Ayn Rand-spawned pile of stinking libertarian garbage.

8.  Cat person or dog person?

Megan:

Cat/ferret. I love ferrets, but we tour so much, that we just have a cat. She is rad. Her name is Dirt Bike, but she goes by DB for short. She has fuzzy pants and sticks out her tongue when she meows. One time John caught her tongue by surprise in the middle of a meow, and she was very confused.

John:

Cat/Stick Bugs. I love our cat Dirtbike. And stick bugs are awesome, their only defense is to sway in the non-wind (dance) and look like a stick.

9. What is more important, truth or kindness?

Megan:

Truth. A good friend tells you the truth, while somebody who wants something from you can hide their intentions with kindness.

John:

The truth is that it is easier for us, as social animals with built-in empathy, to be kind than it is for us to be mean.

10.        How do you define sin?

Megan:

Something that hurts you and other people. Most often this comes in the form of a lie.

John:

Sin is a Catholic/Christian notion, and as a non-religious person I think the term is too rife with religious weight to really carry any weigh in my life. I think it is better to just try to be a good person and respect the rights of other people.

11.        How do you define virtue?

Megan:

A local band taking the hit for a band on tour.

John:

Doing the least jerky thing possible.

12.   Design your headstone: What does it say? What does it look like?

Megan:

I like the idea of headstones, but let’s be clear about the fact that I believe in cremation. On my marker, it will say my name as I define, “Megan March Mink” and whatever else my surviving friends and family want. You can’t write your own head stone, that’s like giving yourself a nickname.

John:

“Nothing to see here, move along.” 

Bonus Question: Who would you like to see answer these questions?

John:

Werner Herzog.

Connections:
Street Eaters
@StreetEaters 

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