With a fury of whirling, fuzzy guitar driven sound that that has shared the stage with Nirvana and Black Flag is flying through Ames this weekend. The Meat Puppets, the alternative band, will take the stage at DG's Taphouse at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 26, and Friday, Sept. 27 at 1:30 a.m..
Curt Kirkhouse and his brother Chris began clarinet and banjo respectively before they picked up the guitar and bass.
“We went and saw Deliverance and [Chris] thought that looked pretty cool so he started doing that when he was a kid and then when we were teenagers we started going to see bands and Chris started playing bass," Kirkwood said. "I was playing drums a little bit and I would play drums and he would play bass."
While learning to play, the Kirkwood’s would jam to punk rock 45 records, which is the reasoning behind their later punk-y sound.
“[We’d play] Slaughtering the Dogs cranked up really high. The Damned songs we tried to learn, some Talking Heads, some Devo,” Kirkwood said.
The Meat Puppets were signed to SST records, a legendary punk label which housed bands such as the Minutemen, Husker Du and Sonic Youth. The “‘Pups “ came into their own with their signature fuzz.
“The fuzzy thing came from listening to Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin and what have you, that kind of thing King Crimson,” Kirkwood said.
Major exposure was given to the Meat Puppets when they were asked to play during Nirvana’s iconic "MTV Unplugged" performance because of Kurt Cobain’s love for the Meat Puppets.
“I think [Kurt Cobain] saw us first when we opened up for Black Flag up in Seattle. It was a good while later they asked us to come on tour with them. At some point they told me they were going to do that show and were going to do some of our songs and asked if we wanted to play along,” Kirkwood said.
Their latest album, Rat Farm brings the Meat Puppets back to their early folk, fuzzy sound and was released earlier this year.