Interviews, Premiere

Taking Meds Contemplate Wasted Time on ‘Comfort in Poor Planning’

Stream an exclusive Taking Meds track and read an interview with frontman Skylar Sarkis

taking meds interview

Photo by Andrew Lipovsky

Taking Meds is a rock band with punk roots, jagged song compositions, and a penchant for absurd humor (their band name, for example, is a twisted riff on the name Talking Heads). The band’s debut full-length, My Life As A Bro, is due November 4th via Broken World Media. The band explores its contemplative side on the My Life As A Bro track ‘Comfort in Poor Planning,’ which is streaming here:

Taking Meds frontman Skylar Sarkis says that ‘Comfort in Poor Planning’ is about the act of leaving, or “that kind of decision to be like, ‘You know what? I don’t have a game plan, but fuck it. I need to change shit, and the only way it’s gonna change is if I just pull the plug and force myself to do something different.’” Sarkis recently left his hometown of Rochester, New York, and moved to Brooklyn.

Tasked with describing the album’s title and meaning, Sarkis said, “All these songs are kind of hyperbolized accounts of being a depressed substance abuser in a small town, that’s like, living with your mom because you’re on tour nine months out of the year. But when you’re home, you’re just an absolute piece of shit sometimes. That’s not who I am or who any of us are; we’re all well-rounded, thoughtful guys who are smart and care about trying to advance ourselves and be good people. But there would be these two-week periods where we were just, like – me especially, I’m worse than everybody else – just partying too much, and being stupid, and feeling like a super senior in a fuckin’ townie-ass town. So I was like, yeah, My Life As A Bro, that’s what these songs are, you know?”

Taking Meds was formed in Rochester by Sarkis, guitarist Ben Kotin, bassist Jon ‘Steel Wolf’ Markson, and drummer Matt Battle in 2012. Various Taking Meds members performed in high school bands together, and then in the punk band Such Gold (Kotin and Markson are current members of Such Gold). That shared history makes for a close musical and personal bond. Sarkis says, “Taking Meds is the best thing in the world because it’s literally my three favorite people to play music with.”

Taking Meds emerged out of math-rock compositions that Kotin shared with Sarkis while the two were on tour with Such Gold. Sarkis wrote lyrics for the material. “That was kinda how the band started,” he says, “us playing these songs that Ben wrote. Ben still writes the bulk of the riffs, for sure – he’s just a machine like that. I think with [My Life As A Bro], it was a lot more of a collaborative record between the four of us.” The first track the band released from the album – the defiant ‘I Only Want to Listen to My Own Band‘ – was written primarily by Markson and Battle.

There’s a lot of self-hate, but also finding humor in all that self-hate,” Sarkis says of his lyrical themes. That union of confessional angst and cathartic humor might be a good symbol of the band’s spirit and aesthetic. That contrast is a big part of what makes My Life As A Bro such a compelling listen.

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