* * * Chainsaw Kittens / Tyson Meade * * *

This is a band with heart (hey, they're from the "heartland"). The Chainsaw Kittens are from Norman, Oklahoma and I've been a fan since they started up in 1989. I've been lucky enough to see them play many times (and to know them - they're all real nice guys). They made a bunch of excellent records in the 90's (see below) and toured the country (with Jane's Addiction, Smashing Pumpkins, Iggy Pop) but are still not too well-known. They've been pretty much over since probably 2000. They maybe don't claim to be officially broken up, so they might play now and then. They played at the first Norman Music Festival in 2008. And they played an even longer show (2 hours) the night before at the Consevatory in OKC. The Kittens played a great set for the Opolis' 15th Anniversary. 30 or so bands played over 3 days and nights inside and outside at The Opolis, which is one of our few remaining musical venues in Norman. The Kittens played at the end of Friday night, 11:00pm on the outside stage. A good crowd, good sound system, good and loud - it was an awesome show! I found out on my way in that Eric, the drummer, had been diagnosed with some serious medical issues just a few days before the show. They thought about cancelling, but found a replacement drummer and played anyway. I am not the only one who hopes the Chainsaw Kittens will play again in the future.

Tyson Todd Meade is the leader, singer, and songwriter. Prior to starting the Kittens, he was in Defenestration, a Norman band that made a couple of good records but didn't quite take off. They made a lot happen around here, though. Currently, and since around 1993, the rest of the band is Trent Bell on guitar, Matt Johnson on bass, and Eric Harmon on drums. Tyson also plays some guitar and keyboards. These guys are all great musicians. Eric is a very powerful drummer. (He breaks sticks!) Matt and Eric were in a band here called American Boyfriend. Eric had a band called The Toothman. More recently he teamed up with Chris Royce (who was on the first Defenestration record) and a couple of other guys as the Conflation Congregation. Trent has his own recording studio called Bell Labs, where he has helped many bands make their records. He was in a band here called the Drowned when he was in highschool just before he joined the The Kittens. Tyson has continued to make solo records, do some solo performances, and also does some painting.

The Chainsaw Kittens are kind of pop/glam/punk/rock, they have a loud wild sound but with lots of nice melodies. They definitely have their own sound, yet you can't say that there is a "sameness" about their songs - there's been continuous creativity. Tyson has a unique voice and puts a lot of emotion into his songs. Quite a few of the Kittens' songs (from all of their records) are very strong (like with powerful melodies and interesting lyrics) - if the radio hadn't been killed so long ago, they would be all over it. The Kittens deserved much more success than the record industry allowed.

I recommend picking up some of their records - the first two are my favorites but they're all good. Some may be hard to find, but you can find them on Amazon or eBay. I saw them play at VZD's in OKC (03/11/00) and got to hear a bunch of new songs from newest record, The All American. Got to see them again 11/10/00 at the Deli. Great show. The Kittens rock!

* * * *    Some Links    * * * *




Tyson's current blog (2016-2017) and record label.

Detroit label issuing some Tyson Meade music on vinyl.

smellslikeinfinitesadness.com/tyson-meade-talks-25th-anniversary-of-chainsaw-kittens-flipped-out-in-singapore/ March 2017 interview with Tyson.

Tyson's Blog (2006-2011) - shanghaiedtyson.blogspot.com
Tyson's blog, mainly during the time he was living in China.

Podcast interview with Tyson 12/20/16 - zennoodlepie.com/episodes/2016/12/19/122016-episode-21-tyson-meade

AllMusic Guide - www.allmusic.com/artist/chainsaw-kittens-mn0000158915

* * * *    The Records    * * * *

Violent Religion - 1990 Mammoth
Loaded with hits and chainsaw guitar. Awesome self-made debut record!
The Songs: Bloodstorm, Skinned Knees (kitten theme), Boyfriend Song, Mother (of the ancient birth), I'm Waiting (leanne's song), Here at the End, Bliss (we're small), Feel Like a Drugstore, Savior Boyfriend Collides, Violent Religion, Death-out at Party Central, She's Gone Mad.
Tyson Meade - vocals, guitar, Mark Metzger - guitar, lead guitar, Kevin McElhaney - bass, Ted Leader - drums.
Produced by Tyson Meade

Flipped out in Singapore - 1992 Mammoth
This is an INTENSE record!
The Songs: Connie I've Found the Door, High in High School, Second Theme, Flipped Out in Singapore, My Friend Delirium, She Gets, Never to Be Found, Shannon's Fellini Movie, When You Shoot, Hold, Ezekial Walks Through Sodom And Gomorrah, Angels Self-Destruct.
Tyson Meade - vocals, Mark Metzger - guitar, Clint McBay - bass, Aaron Preston - drums, Trent Bell - guitar.
produced by Butch Vigg (shortly after he made Nirvana's Nevermind, and yes it has a monsterous awesome sound)

High in High School (EP) - 1992 Mammoth
The Songs: High in High School, Coonie, I've Found the Door, Couple #23, Stuck, One (Harry Nilsson), Walk Softly (for D.M.)
Tyson Meade - vocals, Mark Metzger - guitar, Trent Bell - guitar, Clint McBay - bass, Aaron Preston - drums

Angel on the Range (EP) - 1993 Mammoth
The Songs: Kick Kid, Angel on the Range, John Wayne Dream, Mary's Belated Wedding Song, Lazy Little Dove, Sgt. Whore, Little Fishies.
Tyson Meade - vocals, guitar, Trent Bell - guitars, Matt Johnson - bass, Eric Harmon - drums

Pop Heiress - 1994 Mammoth/Atlantic
The Songs: Sore on the Floor, Loneliest China Place, Pop Heiress Dies, Closet Song, Dive Into the Sea, Burn You Down, I Ride Free, Silver Millionaire, Media Star Hymn, Soldier on My Shoulder, Justine Heaven, We're Like...
I'd say there's about 5 hits on this one (songs 1,2,3,7 & 8).
Tyson Todd Meade - vocals, guitar, Trent J. Bell - guitars, Matt Johnson - bass, Eric E. Harmon - drums
Produced by John Agnello

Candy for You (EP) - 1995 Scratchie Records
The Songs: Grandaddy's Candy, Bones in My Teeth, Strange (Galaxy 500), Bury My Heart.

Chainsaw Kittens - 1996 Scratchie Records/Mercury
Another pile of hits, including the first 4 songs. This CD melted my Yamaha receiver! It killed my stereo!
The Songs: Dorothy's Last Fling, Heartcatchthump, Tongue Trick, King Monkey Smoke, Bones in My Teeth, Waltz Across Debris, Ballad of Newsman 5, Mouthful of Glass, The Leash, Bicyclehead, All (No Surprise), Sounder, Mad Hatter's Blues, Speedway Oklahoma.
Tyson Meade - vocals, guitar, Trent Bell - guitars, Matt Johnson - bass, Eric Harmon - drums
Recorded by Trent Bell, Mixed by John Agnello

The All American - 2000 - 4 Alarm Records
The last Kittens record, following an extended break.
The Songs: light, all american wiggle wiggle, international me, calling from space, how many light bulbs, shutdown, hedonist, john wayne, wedding, gleaming soft white teens, the treasure is love, we got the beat.
Trent Bell - guitar, wheezing synths, Matthew Johnson - bass, Tyson Meade - vocals, guitar, Eric Harmon - drums. Recorded and mixed by Trent Bell at Bell Labs, Norman, OK.

*********************** Tyson's Solo Records *****************************

Motorcycle Childhood
1995 - Echostatic
Echostatic Records.

Kitchens and Bathrooms
2008 - Pinyue

Tomorrow in Progress
2014 - Shaking Shanghai

Robbing the Nuclear Family
2017 - Jett Plastic Recordings
I heard Tyson do the title song from this record at the 2016 Norman Music Festival, backed up by Helen Kelter Skelter. It is a "take-over-the-world" hit song! (hopefully will sound that good on the record, which still has not been released as of OCT 2017).

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Back to Slade's Favorite Music Page      Slade's Music Page      Slade's Home Page

Revised 09/27/17, 01/28/09