From parents on picnic blankets to fist-pumping 20-somethings, Suburbia was the place to be this past weekend. The event drew in about 20,000 fans from all over the U.S. and featured over two-dozen artists, tons of local food and the sunny Texas weather we all love.
Suburbia felt like a true music festival, something that many doubted would be possible in city like Plano. But judging from the response they got, there doesn’t seem to be a question that it will be back. The festival used only 60 of its 800 acres, giving it plenty of room to expand, but also making it an enjoyable experience to actually grab a drink or go to the bathroom. The spacious terrain felt a little like being in the middle of nowhere while we were actually in the middle of a city.
Fans far and wide came prepared with sunscreen, lawn chairs, umbrellas, and other ambitious ways of protecting themselves against the Texas heat. And while many gathered on the gigantic lawn, enjoying the music from afar, there was always a large crowd standing and singing along at the front to their favorite act. The assortment of artists could have undeniably been greater, but from larger acts like David Guetta and Alabama Shakes to the local up and coming ones like Larry g(EE) and Midlake, there were plenty of reasons for people to come and stay a while.
Speaking of up and coming artists, we had the opportunity to sit down and chat with one. Meg Myers is a rocker chick originally from Nashville whose music is sassy, personal and explosive. After she performed a kickass set at Suburbia, she gave us the time of day to talk about writing, annoying cities, and guilty pleasures.
When did you first writing?
I started writing when I was a kid, about 12, and just from the beginning it was really therapeutic for me. I was in Florida when I started really writing and it’s always been something I just had to do, just to have an outlet of some sort.
Did you learn guitar/bass at the same time?
My brother took guitar and bass lessons and I just thought he was so great. My parents play guitar and we always had a piano, but I just picked it up. I never got lessons but they kind of taught me things and then I just started writing on my own.
The lyrics to your songs are super personal and a huge part of your past. Have you ever gotten any backlash from your family or exes?
My family has always been really supportive. I’m sure there are some lyrics that they’ve kind of been like “woahhh” at! But they understand because it’s something that they love to do too. The song “Monster” is actually about my ex-boyfriend and luckily he’s really cool! He’s handled it really well. I feel bad sometimes. I think he did come to one show and it was really intense for him; I know he wanted to be supportive even though we weren’t together anymore, especially because he was a musician too.
Did growing up as a Jehovah’s Witness impact the type of music that you listened to at all?
I wasn’t allowed to listen to certain stuff until I left when I was 13, so, a little bit. I listened to a lot of classic rock and I wasn’t allowed to get into hip-hop or anything until I was older. Was I even interested because I just didn’t have it in my life? I don’t really know. I listened to the Goo Goo Dolls who had a ton of influence on me because that was the one band that was cool but it wasn’t “bad”; they weren’t cursing so it was okay. There actually was a song that they did curse in and my brother and me talked my dad into letting us listen to it, and we were like, “YES!”
You moved around a lot as a kid. Did having a nomadic life affect your music?
Yeah, I think so just because moving around a lot was a huge part of my life, and mixed with the other parts it made it really difficult. I think it still does impact me in a different way. When I’m touring and stuff, sometimes I just want to be settled, but sometimes I want to be crazy busy! I think it impacted my relationships too because my life was just chaotic. A lot of times things would happen and instead of focusing on the relationship I’d just be like “AHHH! Gotta hurry up and write this in a song!”
Do you have any other ways you express yourself creatively?
I love to draw. I acted for a little bit and it’s definitely something I enjoy. Maybe one day! I would like to dance too, ever since I was little it’s something I’ve loved to do. I’d like to take lessons one day.
The song “Tennessee” is hilarious and we know you’re from there…is it about LA?
Yeah. I wrote it when I was like 24 and I was just so fed up with where I was living. So many people that I love live there but it was just ridiculous to me. And now I live in Pasadena because I finally moved and I just love it. It’s just so much more normal feeling, and being from Tennessee I just can’t handle cities like that.
We know you draw a lot of inspiration from Nine Inch Nails, which is awesome. Do you have any music you like that would surprise your fans?
Probably all of my musical tastes! I love Nine Inch Nails but I never listened to the 90s artists that I get compared to. (Fiona Apple, Alanis Morissette) And I can totally see why I get compared to them but I just never listened to them. I listened to Tracy Chapman, Joan Osborne, Heart, Enya…Enya’s one of my favorites. Her and Sting are my top two.
Any guilty music pleasures? Justin Bieber, One Direction?
I want to say the Goo Goo Dolls, but the Goo Goo Dolls are awesome! There is that one Taylor Swift song, “Trouble When you Walked In”. Also, remember that band Orgy?! Dreams in Dig-i-tal, dig-i-tal….yeah. That’s definitely one.
Did you see the screaming goat video to that Taylor Swift Song?
NO! What?!?! I need to look that up! [Click here to watch it, for all you readers that haven’t either. Internet gold.]
Despite some of the backlash from fans that said Plano couldn’t pull off a decent music festival, it’s safe to say they were wrong. As the kids say, “haters gon hate”. We’re sure that by this time in 2015, Suburbia will draw in an even larger crowd and range of artists. One thing is clear about Dallas folks: the only thing better than a music festival is a music festival that we don’t have to drive to Austin for. Here’s hoping that Suburbia will be back, and that this time, the Austinites will actually flock to us.