Mount: Robert Meadows Redifines His Life Through Art
This past May, I sat down with the Bob Meadows (now former) frontman for the popular metal outfit A Life Once Lost to discuss his new ventures as carpenter and to get some insight about his new project, 'Mount', being displayed at Estetiks Boutique in Doylestown, PA. The project consists of beautifully crafted concert and event posters that he has collected over the years and has now placed into gritty window frames, discovered in his new line of work as a carpenter. This display will mark the first steps into his new journey of self-discovery and awakening after leaving his band A Life Once Lost, which has released 6 full length albums and garnered rabid fans world-wide for the past 14 years.
It marks the end of an era for Bob, but the beginning of a brand new life. I was extremely lucky to be able to sit down with him and hear, first-hand, about his upcoming projects and get a candid look into his exit from the band. As far as I know, this is the first time he has disclosed any of this to the press.
If you're a music fan, poster art fan or just an art fan in general, you should definitely make it down to Estetiks Boutique tonight to check out these amazing pieces of history.
Due to technicalities with my recording device, I lost the first five minutes of the interview, but you can quickly jump in where I catch up. I hope you enjoy.
Bob was discussing the current state of his progress with the pieces...
...Now that I have about ten different pieces, I’m gonna work on about 20. Hopefully if things go well, I can work exclusively with artists and what we can do is figure out one or two designs and do a screen print of it, and then we’ll install them in these windows…and sell them.
I want people to see what I have and experience maybe what I’ve experienced with the piece. The idea of it was to be like looking out of a window. It’s a been kind of my life for the past 14 years, just traveling and playing music. Hopefully, I’ll have about 8 pieces at Siren Records and about 8 pieces at Estetiks, then a couple more for myself that I’m just not going to really show. Those will be my personal things.
For some of the posters, I’ve developed more of a relationship with them. Some of them have been through so much with me, through so many homes and rooms. Some of these posters have seen more of me than anyone else, so I’ve really made a connection to these pieces of material.
Is there anywhere that people can look at this ahead of time?
All of the work will be premiered there, at Estetiks, and at Siren Records. I’ll most likely post some sneak peeks and of course Siren and Estetiks will too. You’ll be able to get at least an idea of what it looks like ahead of time. I wanted to make it more of a mystery, sort of intriguing, so that people will WANT to come to it and see it all in person.
Is this your first stab at doing something like this?
Yeah, yeah, it’s definitely my first try. I’ve had a lot of interest in it. I mean, I’ve been performing for 14 years on stage, but this is a little different because it’s just me, by myself. This is kind of the beginning of my new start with my life now. I’m walking away from music (the touring aspect of it) and focusing more on me being happy. Things like the artwork and taking carpentry more seriously are things I’d like to do. The long term goal is to become a master carpenter, or just become someone who can do anything with a piece of wood. It’s not a bad goal to have, I guess.
I feel like I’ve always had an eye for things that I like and for things that I feel other people will like too. It’s never overly saturated with unnecessary shit, it’s very ‘chiseled-down’. That’s kind of why I like the piece too, because I’m not really fucking with the frame at all.
What I did was, cleaned the window and got a lot of the dust off (they were pretty shitty looking). I didn’t touch anything up with paint, I didn’t do anything to make it a stronger piece. I just added some wires to the back, just to be able to hang it. Shael came up with the idea to put plexi-glass over the front of it, just so I can lock [the poster] in a little bit more. That’s something I’m not sure about, I still kind of like the poster right on top of the glass so you can be able to touch it if you wanted to.
This time in your life also marks the end of your popular metal band, A Life Once Lost, fill me in on this new phase. Why leave the band after 14 years of success?
I feel like I need to step back a little bit from that to just better myself as a person. I just felt like I wasn’t really able to handle that aspect of being in a band or that commitment. I really had to put so many things aside. I’m 33 years old now and I feel like my life has been on hold since I was 19. I’m not complaining about where it’s taken me, it’s been pretty awesome. I’ve been able to put out 6 records, film videos, see countries I would have never seen before and I’ve taken a band further than a lot of people have in their lifetime. It’s a lot of fun and it feels really rewarding.
You’ve left a solid place in music history for yourself!
Yeah, for me, but how that’s perceived by others is up to them. I feel really content with being able to leave, walk away and now re-focus. Whether it’s on a soul or music project, or whether it’s these art pieces, there’s just a lot of things that I want to do that I haven’t been able to do because of my commitment to one thing. And now, because I’m not committed to that, I can focus on making myself a stronger individual, a stronger man.
Is this the first time you’re speaking about the band break-up to the press?
This is the first time. It’s not easy to talk about because it’s still so fresh. You do something for such a long time, it ends and you’re just kinda like…shit. What now? It’s wild.
Ending it, to me, is like being released from prison. I have to step out into the world and find myself again. All I knew was getting in a van, sleeping on floors and playing shows at shitty bars for 14 years. But, at the same time, I wouldn’t have changed anything.
While I was on the road, all my friends were going to school, becoming teachers and doctors, having kids…all that. I’m really envious. But, the stories I have are pretty awesome.
It’s really hard to NOT do something that you’ve trained yourself to do, for so long. It’s hard to break habits like that.
Will there ever be a return of A Life Once Lost, or any musical project between you and those guys?
Yes, I’m sure, once things, like, pass with time. Time heals all wounds, so I’m sure that when things pass we’ll get out there again. I just need to re-energize and re-focus. It’s for the best. I can look at it like a downer, or a big fuckin’ mess, but it’s really a just a hurdle. I have to be able to jump to this ‘next level’.
Catch the premiere of Robert Meadows' 'Mount' display, tonight at Estetiks Boutique in Doylestown, PA. 6-10pm (BYOB)
The exhibit runs through July.