Meagre Martin on Moving Abroad, Tour Snacks, and Their New Single ‘Malcolm’

By Amy Garlesky

Meagre Martin’s 2023 debut album Gut Punch reflected a band trying to make sense of the world. With the release of their new single “Malcolm” today, the band may not have figured everything out yet, but they’re determined to.

Inspired by the 2000s network comedy “Malcolm in the Middle,” the Berlin-based band’s new track tells of the instability, poverty, and generational trauma the TV character tries to overcome throughout his childhood. It’s a narrative the band makes their own, never losing its thread through the crunch and grit of their layered guitars. Punctuated with off-tempo reverb and synths padding Sarah Martin’s driving vocals, “Malcolm” ultimately makes for a vibrant and resilient track to open the band’s 2024.

Ahead of the release of the new single, Meagre Martin took some film for Slumber Mag on the road supporting alt-J this past fall. We also sat down with the band to discuss the group’s favorite memories from the trip, their favorite tour snacks, and the experience of moving abroad to Berlin. Read our conversation below, and check out the band’s new single “Malcolm,” out today.

Slumber Mag: You recently released your album Gut Punch last November – for somebody who has never heard it, what movie title do you think would best describe it?

Meagre Martin: The movie title that would best describe [us] is: Bourne Ultimatum

Slumber: It’s been over 6 months since the release of Gut Punch, and even longer since it was written and recorded. What has the process of finishing this album taught you, or what insights has it given you as you prepare to move forward as a band? Were there any unexpected lessons?

We learned we like to make records. We’ve realized it takes a special insight to extract the essence out of a song. We learned the hard way to not try out mystery spicy pepper flakes on our food during recording sessions.

Sarah, I know you’re originally from the US but moved to Berlin. As someone who has also moved from the US to a European country, I understand how such a move can affect almost every aspect of your life. How did the move affect you and your creativity, and how might it have influenced and informed your debut record?

(Sarah Martin): Moving to Europe freed up a lot of time and mental space for me to make music. It got me out of survival mode. Also, the funding is a huge part of it. The German government gave a helping hand along the way.

You had the opportunity to open for alt-J in the US during their 10th-anniversary tour. How did this opportunity come about and how was the experience compared to your other tours?

We are friends with Thom and Arianna and they offered this amazing opportunity. The tour itself was a sink-or-swim environment because it was several steps forward for us. We learned a lot. Having said that, the team was fantastic and the shows were great.

During your tour through the U.S., if you were on a long drive and could only bring one album and one snack each what would you choose? And why?

Max Hirtz-Wolf: Absolutely by Dijon. Salted, roasted sunflower seeds. 

Sarah Martin: A Seat at the Table by Solange. Buc-ees Beef Jerky. 

Freddy Corazzini: Celia & Johnny by Celia Cruz and Johnny Pacheco. Snyders Honey Mustard Pretzel Pieces.

Was there anything about your trip that was captured on film that stuck with you – like a favorite memory? And can you tell us more about it?

There’s a photo of all of us + our former driver Joey. We are all standing in front of The Bog (our accommodation in Austin). We got to rehearse, cook, and spend time with the perfect cat, Freddy. We couldn’t have asked for a better tour start. Shoutout to Katy and Bry from Redbud.

What song would you love to cover as a band, but just haven’t yet? And why?

We would love to cover “Only Over You” by Fleetwood Mac and “Dance II” by Discovery Zone. We are working on it, just haven’t found the right key.

Since you’re all based in Berlin, could each of you share a place in or around the city that has been most important to you creatively?

Freddy: Butterama Recording Center

Sarah: Tennis Bar

Max: Rotbart

What is something outside of music that has excited or inspired you lately? This could be a hobby, interest, activity…anything!

Sarah: For me…I have been inspired by all the traveling I’ve done lately. For me (Freddy) I’ve been reading a lot lately and that has inspired me tons. For Max, Inspiration has come from social activism and how people in Berlin have been getting together to advocate change.

Building on that, aside from recording music or touring, what’s your favorite activity to do together as a band?

We like to play Ping Pong on sunny days, eat delicious food around the city, and also love to lay out our plans for world domination.

What drink would pair best with Gut Punch? And why?

Vermouth Tonic. It’s sweet with a touch of bitter. Healing and exciting at the same time.

What would you say Gut Punch is an ode to? In other words, what do you feel this record is dedicated to, or what does it embody about yourselves, the world, or anything else?

Sarah: It’s kind of an ode to my friend Manny. Other than that, the world is scary lately, we’re just trying to make sense of it. 

What’s next for Meagre Martin? Any upcoming projects or tours that fans can look forward to?

New music dropping in March, look out for our new single ‘Malcom.’ We’re currently on tour and answering these questions in the back of a five-seater van about an hour away from Paris. We have several more shows coming up around the EU and US! 

Watch the lyric video for Meagre Martin’s new single “Malcolm” out now: