The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Big Red Rooster is just looking for a little bit of love

Entering the coffee shop, it couldn’t have been more obvious who the musician was. Surrounded by a group of businessmen dressed in suits and carrying briefcases, Andrew Meals entered in a Volcom hoodie, baggy jeans, Puma shoes and a backwards Billabong hat. A number of colorful wristbands decorated his right wrist and a water bottle occupied his left.

“For the sore vocal cords,” he says without a minute’s hesitation. Meals, an SMU history major, but who has been involved with music his whole life, is in one of SMU’s biggest local bands. Only within the past couple of years has Meals named the band, The Big Red Rooster, and recruited its various members throughout Dallas. Since the bands creation, members have come and gone, leaving the band currently with six members, three of which attend SMU: Meals, Ted Lauck and Philip Griffin. Vocalist Isaac Wimberley attends UNT and drummer Cedric Moore was recruited for the band by a friend who brought along keyboarder Jason Williams.

Meals, a Dallas native, whose mother is a high school music teacher and whose father plays the guitar, says he has always been in to music.

“My mom would play the piano, my dad played the guitar, my brother was always in bands and I would sing and rap,” he said.

Meals accredits some of his rapping style to bands such as 311, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Sublime and said, “When I was younger I was also listening to Kid Rock and I was like, I want to be like him because he could manage the whole rap/rock thing in a cool way with country style,” he said.

“Then when I was in high school my brother was enrolled at SMU and had a band going but it broke up and I asked him if I could try rapping on a couple of his songs.”

For the next couple of months Meals played along with his brother and the few remaining in the band. They enrolled in the battle of the bands where one of the judges, Frank Hill, who worked for SONG BMG, offered to be the bands manager. Along with Hill, his associate, Nick Galloway also became the bands manager where the two set up shows for the band at noted Deep Ellum clubs Liquid Lounge, Indigo and the Gypsy Tea Room. A short time later Meals’ brother, Michael quit the band to work full time, after which the managers quit the band. It wasn’t until this past summer that Meals began work on a new face for the band when he recruited Lauck. By the beginning of the semester Meals had also set up a new manager, Will Goldapp, a fellow SMU student. With Goldapp in place, the band set up shows at Club Clearview, Curtain Club and played a show for a Katrina benefit. The band ended off last semester at the Curtain Club where they played with 90’s rapper Vanilla Ice.

It wasn’t until Meals left on Christmas break to South Africa, however, that he decided the band needed to record an album.

“We were all emailing each other and figured we had been through so much as a band that we decided it was time to make an album,” he said.

In order to raise money for the release, the band held a private, friends and family only acoustic show that charged an entrance fee in exchange for a free CD on release night. The show resulted in a profit of $1,500 which was used to print and release the CD.

“When recording the CD we did everything completely independently and then we had it professionally duplicated through a company in California,” Meals said.

Band mate Wimberley says the recording process was like an, “assembly line,” where each part was recorded separately and then put together.

“It was like a melting pot full of our creative forces,” he said.

“We don’t get together and jam,” Wemberley said. “The guitarist does his own thing, as do the vocalists and bass. Then we had all our songs recorded and sent to Good Night Audio here in Dallas where they mixed and mastered the songs for our CD and for future radio releases.”

Released on February 17, the CD titled, “Live.A.Bit” includes 13 songs, a compilation of old and new tunes. Senior Garrett Hale says the CD sounded like, “a mix of 311, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Sublime. It’s kind of like a hip-hop, rock band.”

Junior James McDaniel went to one of the bands shows for the first time the night of the release and said, “I was actually surprised at how good they were. I’d never been to one of their shows but everyone around SMU knew them so I wanted to see them perform. They’ve got this rock, rap thing about them.”

“They’re even playing at one of our fraternity parties in like two weeks,” McDaniel said.

Wemberley agreed saying, “we weren’t just creating pop songs but we were creating music like the Red Hot Chili Peppers, where in ten years we can look back and say, ‘I love that song.'” Wemberley also said, “We’re in a place where we’re trying to create some substance. I think we bring a style of music that’s fresh, stylish and creative and I think we’ll be accepted on an all -time level.”

Looking back, Meals said the biggest challenge he thinks the band has faced was having so many members quit, and on top of that, getting ripped off from club owners and managers.

“In the beginning we were booking shows through other bands who would tell us they’d give us $200 to play a show. Only later would we find out those bands were associated with the bar and they’d make money off of drinks and stuff like that.”

However, Meals said he’s learned his lesson and believes, “you just have to take your chances. If you want to make it for real, you can’t give up. Things are going to happen and you just have to deal with it,” he said. “If you don’t take chances you’re not going to get anywhere. It’s better to take the risk instead of doing nothing.”

In the bands foreseeable future, Meals says they will be performing at least four more times throughout the semester.

“Ultimately we’d like things to work out and have a record deal,” Meals said. “All I can do now is try to get people to see us.”

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