A pop punk act that started with members meeting via YouTube, Meet Me At The Altar is ready to take the scene by storm. With an EP, Changing States having been released earlier this year, MMATA has hit the ground running since. Girls Behind The Rock Show sat down with these lovely ladies and chatted about women in the music industry and how to get kick started in the industry. See what they have to say below and be sure to keep up with MMATA on Twitter!
Please introduce yourselves
Tea: My name is Téa Campbell and I play guitar and bass in Meet Me At The Altar
Ada: My name’s Ada Juarez and I’m the drummer of MMATA
Edith: My name is Edith and I sing
How did MMATA begin with you all being in different states?
Ada: It started back in June of 2015 when Tea came across one of my YouTube videos and contacted me. We got along really well and very quickly and the band kind of just started off from there through texting and occasional FaceTime calls and then the more the band grew the more members we came across and eventually we re-contacted Edith (after knowing her from our first ever audition process we did) and here we are now.
What does it mean to you to see more women involved the industry?
Ada: To me personally, it means a lot to see more women in the industry because I grew up not seeing very many women in the alternative scene and it was very demotivating and it almost felt like I didn’t belong and that I was an outcast, or something. I just really want to see more young girls engaging and getting into this scene and hopefully being able to grow up with more role models like them.
Tea: Women being involved in the music industry is so important to us. Specifically the alternative scene being dominated by mainly white men, there’s a stigma that women don’t really belong in the scene which is quite ridiculous. We didn’t really grow up seeing women like us in the rock scene, so we hope to be the representation for girls that we didn’t have.
Edith: Seeing more women in the industry (especially this scene) makes me even more proud to be a woman! It makes me feel empowered, loved, and accepted. I grew up not seeing very many woman in the bands I loved. So now, whenever I see other young women in this scene it makes me feel like I am a part of something; that I belong.
What was the writing process like for your EP, Changing States?
Tea: For Changing States, the process was actually mixed. The first few songs we wrote, I would come up with a guitar riff and Edith and I would be on the phone coming up with melody and lyrics for the songs. In our song ‘Changing States’, Edith said the lyric “you put me in a toxic state of mind” and I finished it with “I’m Changing States this time” literally right away. Edith and I write so well together, it’s kinda crazy. The last few songs we wrote for the EP, we actually wrote in person while Ada and Edith were here in Florida for one of our shows
Edith: Our writing process is a lot different than many other bands writing process. Since we all live in different states, it was a matter of using technology and sending each-other ideas and stuff. Tea is so talented writing Changing states seemed like one of the easiest things I’ve ever done. Tea would come of with a sick guitar part, send it to me, and we’d both do melodies and lyrics. When you put talented people together it’s amazing what you can get done
Are there any women that you’ve been listening to that inspire you?
Edith: My number one inspiration as a young woman and a vocalist has been Hayley Williams from Paramore for pretty much most of my teen years. I am also very inspired by Jenna McDougall from Tonight Alive, and Lynn Gunn from PVRIS. All of those bands in general inspire me every day.
Ada: Paramore has been a huuuge influence for me ever since I was in Elementary School. Hayley Williams was basically one of the first girls I ever saw in an alternative band and it helped me open my eyes and say “I can do it too”, you know? As I got older I came across a lot of other bands like Courage My Love, Tonight Alive, PVRIS, and We Are The In Crowd which continued to push me forward.
Tea: I know we’re all gonna say it, but Hayley Williams has been one of the most influential women in the scene to me. Very few people have that much raw talent and seeing Paramore live in 2014 is actually what made me realize that I wanted to perform for the rest of my life. Other bands that inspire me (that don’t have females in them) are Capstan, they’re from Orlando are incredibly sick musically and lyrically, and Knuckle Puck which I get a lot of inspiration for guitar parts from. The new music we’ve been working on has been heavily influenced by Belmont as well, and each of our influences are meshing together to solidify our own sound.
Any advice for young women wanting to get involved in the industry?
Tea: Do it even if the odds are against you. You will get 1 yes for every 100 no’s. People will put you down and underestimate you, but you have to go at it with all you’ve got and prove them wrong. What we’re learning as a band is that we have to make our own place in this industry, it won’t be made for us. That can be discouraging to a lot of women, but we have to push through all the bull and continue to shock people with our talent. Life is too short to not try based on fear of rejection from others.
Ada: Just get out there and do it. Don’t let anybody stop you and try to always be confident with what you do and what you want to show.
Edith: NEVER DOUBT YOURSELF EVEN THOUGH YOU WILL BE CONSTANTLY SURROUNDED BY A LOT OF TESTOSTERONE (ESPECIALLY IF YOU’RE TRYING TO GET INTO THE POP PUNK SCENE) No but in all seriousness we are just as strong and determined as these men, we can be just as good or even better as them as well. Girl power is often an underrated term. Even if you look a little bit different as the other people that are dominating the area you want to succeed in, YOU CAN DO IT!! Never underestimate yourself! You cannot live in fear of rejection from others. Many people might doubt you, but as long as your heart is in it, that negativity won’t keep you from being successful.
Any local bands you want to shout out?
Edith: Well for Atlanta, I want to shout out Revenge Season ( a hardcore band with a front woman who is BADASS she inspires me everyday ) also I wanna shout out Turf Wars because they are really cool dudes.
Tea: Even though they’re not from Orlando, I want to shout out our boys in Glazed from Jacksonville. They’re absolutely sick and such great guys.
Ada: For NJ I’ll shout out Silent Culture (who are on a slight break right now actually) who have been really tight with us and have offered to help us with shows or gear/equipment that we may need whenever we’re in the area. They’re great dudes!