“Ads bring up the trolls for some reason,” observes Téa Campbell, one third of pop punk group Meet Me @ the Altar. The lead guitarist is unpacking the double-edged sword of more visibility, noting that advertisements on social media that feature their band name and music seem to rile people up the most. “At the end of the day, it kind of fuels us — because that means that we’re doing something right.”
Meet Me @ the Altar — whose members adamantly prefer the phonetic nickname “ma-ta” to the shorthand “Meet Me,” for those curious — are releasing their debut full-length album, Past // Present // Future, this Friday, March 10th. The trio is made up of Campbell, Ada Juarez on drums, and vocalist Edith Victoria, and the past Consequence CoSign honorees have a certain kind of fearlessness to them. No one is immune to those haters or internet trolls, per se, but the scrappy energy that propelled the band to a huge 2022 hasn’t faded with their burgeoning success.
Pre-release singles “Say It (To My Face)” and “Kool” offer a look into what listeners can expect from the album — namely high-energy percussion, undeniably fun guitar hooks, and Victoria’s reliably nimble vocals. Track 4, “T.M.I.,” is one standout in the strong debut record: “I think I’m the worst/ Criticize everything ’til it hurts/ If you knew me better, you’d like me worse” is the kind of chorus that will take some listeners back to a different era of pop punk sounds, in all the best ways.
The record was produced by John Fields — “He’s like our dad in the studio,” Campbell jokes — who has worked with acts like Miley Cyrus, Jonas Brothers, and Demi Lovato in the past. The members of Meet Me @ the Altar revel in nostalgia, having come of age when all those artists were playing with pop punk sounds of their own, but they also sought a balance, working to ground the record firmly in the present despite their throwback favorites. “We’re with the times, and because of our experiences, I think we as people brought a modern aspect, but we were drawing from our past influences,” Campbell explains. The album name, Past // Present // Future, feels entirely correct.
“If I’m in a cloudy block, I watch bands that I’ve been following for a really long time, like twenty-one pilots and Jonas Brothers, and see where they came from and where they are now,” Juarez adds. “Not quite comparing, but seeing the steps that they took — how we are doing those same steps, just way back.”
The day the trio sits down with Consequence to chat over Zoom, they’re preparing for rehearsals for a headlining tour that kicked off in New York City last week (get tickets for the tour here). There are so many things they love about live performance, particularly in their genre, where the energy between an act and the audience is a critical piece of the puzzle. “Our friends, people that may have known us for a long time, and hopefully the people who are just coming out to the show, they’re going to be yelling our lyrics,” Juarez says of the upcoming trek. “It’s going to feel so good. I’m just really excited for that.”