MEAN is exactly what they say they are.
In a city full of heart-wrenching singer songwriters, deep-thinking garage rockers and more-hardcore-than-thou punks, it can be hard to find fun electro-pop music. Not to say that MEAN members Benjamin Pubusky and Hunter Hollis are following that tired old pop formula– it’s quite the contrary.
Though at first, a listener could write off MEAN’s sound as decently danceable beats and uncannily Uffie-esque vocals, after listening to the lyrics, the shtick becomes evident.
MEAN likes to get, well, mean. For example, no one would want to be the recipient of this outstanding diss from the song “Boring” from their album “Fake Believe:” “You’re boring, boring, boring. Were you born boring? Did your mom make you boring?” Ouch. Harsh.
Besides general cattiness, other topics covered include: Shopping on Walnut Street, boys who like boys, getting drunk and hitting the club. Speaking of which, many of the songs sound like they would be right at home blasting through the speakers in a dark and dirty dance hall.
For a free download of “Fake Believe,” visit MEAN’s Bandcamp: www.wearesomean.bandcamp.com.
The Temple News: Who is MEAN, and how did you meet?
Hunter Hollis: MEAN is comprised of Benjamin Pubusky (music) and Hunter Hollis (vocals). We met in high school, in Delaware County.
TTN: When you first decided that you wanted to make music, what did you have in mind conceptually?
HH: I remember the first time [Pubusky] and I recorded a song, he wanted to go “make a Lady Sovereign song.” That was in 2006 when “Love Me Or Hate Me” was popular. He always made dance tracks so it was up to me to add rap. What I added wasn’t rap at all it was more talking with different inflections. It sounded great and we ran with it.
Benjamin Pubusky: What I saw with Hunter was a chance to make something different and fun. I really enjoy working with a singer that has a unique vocal sound and an attitude to boot. She’s also an honest lyricist that really knows how to put a modern twist on things.
TTN: How would you describe your sound?
HH: Dance? Electro Pop? I really have no clue.
TTN: Who are some of your influences?
HH: We love Gwen Stefani and Lily Allen. Paris Hilton is a personal influence, because she taught me fake talent.
BP: As far as producing goes, I have a long list of idols and great pop songs I admire. Currently, I really like what David Guetta is doing for lesser known artists and has-beens.
TTN: Where have you performed?
BP: We’ve done the bulk of our performances at The North Star Bar in Philly. We’ve also done a show in Delaware at Mojo 13.
TTN: Any upcoming performances?
BP: We’re booking shows for late fall and early winter in New York, Philly, maybe elsewhere. Check our Facebook for details.
TTN: What do you most enjoy about making your music?
HH: I like when I write something really [catty] about someone and they ask if it’s about them and then I lie. But in all seriousness, I like having the outlet.
BP: I really like that initial moment when you first hear the vocals with the music. Nothing’s better.
TTN: What have you done to promote yourself in the city?
BP: As far as promotion goes, we’ve really been looking to our college friends as support. I went to Drexel and [Hollis] to Arcadia. We both have received a good deal of patronage from our classmates so far.
TTN: What are you currently working on?
BP: As of this week we’re beginning work on a few new songs. It’s a long process but we have some music, some lyrics and a few other local artists who are jumping on our tracks.
TTN: Anything else you would like people to know?
We like free liquor.
Annabelle Buck can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.