On the day Meatbodies’ new album released I met with Chad Ubovich, frontman and creator of the band at an over-crowded café. After making a swift decision to bail, we crossed the busy Highland Park streets to a quiet, dive on the corner. Over the course of an hour — and maybe a beer or two — we fully dissect the entity that is their new album, Alice. —Courtney Melahn
What Youth: Tell me about the new album…who is Alice?
Chad Ubovich: Alice is a concept record. It stemmed from a lot of ideologies and is inspired by a lot of different theories and literature, kind of compiled into its own universe as being its own pseudo-theory. There’s a lot of books that I read that tie into this whole message of like, “Look at the world, look at what’s going on right now, open your eyes and notice how much pain we’re in,” and it’s like trying to find out how to get away from this. But at the same time it’s wrapped up in this idea of doing it while you took ecstasy and you’re having all these ideas.
It’d be like like watching the world burn while you’re high on molly and you’re sweating and you feel so in love with everything and you just want to make out with the air and make love to the world, but your face is on fire.
While the world is burning…
Right! But at the same time it’s also an anti-religious album. Kind of mocking religion in a lot of ways and talking about Alice as if it’s a religion, but it’s not. Alice isn’t supposed to be a person, but it’s a feeling. I called it Alice because I wanted it to sound like it’s about this deity. I wanted it to be about mother nature and the power of femininity. Femininity is sort of the anthesis of everything that’s going on right now in this world. If the album was a drug, it’d be ecstasy. It’s like a scripture you have to decipher by taking ecstasy, and then it’s praising some fake goddess named Alice. The goddess of Alice in this world is pretty much describing mother nature and how we’ve forgotten about her.
Is that where you came up with the album art? The female statue.
I saw the art in my head years before I even made it. I remember I had this vision in my head and I was like, “Dude, I know what I’m going to make the next album cover!” It kind of started then. Originally it
was going to be two mirrors on a yellow wall with a little golden statue of a lady. To be very blunt with what happened with Alice is I wanted to make a concept pop album. I was very inspired by Bowie, but I wouldn’t give all the credit to Bowie in this, mainly the songwriting credit goes to me trying to rip off Roy Wood, the leader of the Move.
The album sort of plays out like a story. Good vs. evil. Like Marc Bolan of T. Rex meets Ozzy Osbourne, or at it’s most poppy moments, The Beatles meet Charles Manson. Which reminds me of what you mentioned earlier about the album proposing the questions: “What the fuck is happening?” and forcing you to look at it, but doesn’t really provide you with any sort of resolution, it kind of just is what it is.
That’s fucking awesome, what you just said. Basically the album, simply put, is an album made for the feminine different minded, even queer feeling people of this world we live in right now. It’s like we’re all looking at this shit that’s happening and we’re trying to figure out where to fit in – it’s a message to these people that you don’t have to fit in. The only way out of this, or the only way to nullify all this hate is to get rid of your religion, get rid of your anger and all that. It’s kind of like a hippy album but way more of a satanic Pagan album.
Yeah, it sounds almost like a bad acid trip at times, but in a good way.
I don’t mean Satan in this evil way, but I mean it like taking your power back is getting rid of religion and focusing on what makes YOU happy, and that’s what it said in the Alice song:Alice is the only way that one can free themselves / indulging in the riches from all the soils breath and that’s what it is. It’s an indulgence album.
It’s sweaty hedonism.
It’s sexy, sweaty hedonism. It’s putting a middle finger up to the rigidness of this world and Donald Trump – even ISIS and all that shit. You don’t need to buy into that. There’s something called sex and there’s something called drugs, love and open-mindedness, and just go with that. That’s the message, it’s this fake story about this fake theory of a feminine deity named.