Link Meanie On His Bagful Of Beez

Bagful of Beez music is a brilliant and eclectic mix of classic pop styles, and the result is the sort of everything-including-the-kitchen-sink approach that studio-enamoured pop savants have been known to take ever since Todd Rundgren recorded A Wizard, A True Star. Link recorded the album completely by himself, playing all instruments. He has played out solo with a drum machine as Bagful of Beez a couple of times in recent months but has just enlisted Even drummer Matt Cotter to ensure a stronger live presence. Link answers a few questions about the album for Hi Fi Way.

Congratulations on the album, was there a sense of relief and satisfaction getting the album given how hard the last eighteen months have been?
Yeah, of course. I was living in Spain and my live music was on hold sowriting and recording were my only outlet. As usual I had no plan. I’m a songwriter and muso but I’m not much of a self promoter so I really didn’t know what would happen with the songs. Thankfully Cheersquad decided to put it out which I’m very grateful for.

How did Bagful Of Beeze get off the ground?
I started doing B.O.B as a solo live thing without any real idea of what I was going to do except enjoy myself. It became apparent after a handful of shows that it was lacking a bit in the dynamics department in the live situation and needed something to lift it visually and sonically. So, I asked Matthew Cotter (Even) if he was into joining and got a yes. Got to love it when your first choice comes on board enthusiastically. It can be a really dispiriting thing starting a new band when you go through a few people and feel like you’re never going to get it on the stage. It was the opposite with Matt. I couldn’t be happier.

What sorts of ideas were going around in your head when you wrote Syco?
Syco is a tongue in cheek song about my inability to emulate all the orthodox generic things you need to to put certain people at ease.

Did you find that the songs you were writing didn’t fit anywhere else and needed a new project for them?
Not really, it was a passion project which benefited from the lack of any long term plan. I was like a kid in a candy store, just letting it all hang out (so to speak) and that dynamic has shaped my approach to writing for B.O.B. I’ve never felt more right creatively than I do with this. I really think my writing is getting so organic and the quality control much more acute. I push myself so hard creatively but it doesn’t feel negative. All the rejection of songs is just part of the process to get to the gold. Sorry, going off topic a bit.

What did you think when you played the album back for the first time?
At first I fixated on small things that may or may not have been in my mind haha e.g. Sonic issues. It’s always a nervous time getting a record mastered. Thankfully it was a fabulous job. After I relaxed I thought that it was a really great record, maybe my best. But now I have the next album almost complete I think that’s taking it up another notch. Of course that may not be the case but its certainly how you want to feel about your record.

How would you describe sonically Bagful Of Beez?
It’s as if the 60s had transmigrated though the seventies picking up some passengers on the way and then being reborn in the early eighties. For better or worse I can’t think of any other band that has Frankensteined these eras in the way B.O.B has. But there is a chance I admit, that I’m deluded.

Were there any significant influences for this project?
Not really any conscious solid influences. Its all a big mass of all the bands I’ve ever loved that sits tumour-like in my brain frequently leaking inspiration into my blood stream.

Is there a story behind the name of the band?
The name was a title of a Sun God Replica song which I wrote about my personality. It’s that feeling of containing and constantly trying to soothe an internal swarm of bees only to have the malicious, farcical and illogical nature of the world proceed to joyously beat on you like a piñata enraging the aforementioned bees. I think I’m usually more pleasant to be around than this suggests.

Are you looking to tour this project in 2022 around the country?
As much as possible.

What’s next for Bagful Of Bees?
As I said, I have a new album almost complete. Beyond that I’m incapable of any grand planning. There’s other people much better at that than me. I’ve always needed a Sheppard haha. I don’t want to disturb the bees.

Interview By Rob Lyon

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