After honing his chops as a touring guitarist and bassist for the likes of Mikal Cronin and FUZZ, Chad Ubovich decided to throw together some songs of his own. The first unit out of the gate was a limited, cassette-only release on Ty Segall’s GOD? Records.
“It literally was [recorded] in my bedroom at my mother’s house,” Ubovich explained to the Reader via phone during a recent tour stop in New York City. “I recorded it a while ago. I had to move back into my mom’s house for about a year. When I came home from tours I would just get really bored. That whole tape and all those songs were recorded using a really crappy computer program, an old ’80s mixer, and a microphone.”
Ubovich christened the band Chad and the Meatbodies and the outfit began playing scattered shows. The tape sold out quickly and a deal with In the Red was struck for a full-length studio record. The band’s name was shortened to Meatbodies and recording commenced. The debut is a dragon-slayer of psychedelic rock crashing head-on with pop and metal. Ubovich played most of the instruments (except drums) himself.
“All those guitar solos I play, I wrote, so that’s what we’re trying to achieve live. That’s why I got Patrick [Nolan, additional guitar], he’s a shredder. The whole ethos of the live shows is just the dueling-guitars kind of thing. I’m a huge guitar dork, so I’m just trying to replicate the bands that have done it in the past, but that haven’t really done it in a pop sense,” Ubovich said.
The “pop sense” is an appreciation for the traditional songwriting of Elvis and the Beatles. Regarding the latter, he is a vocal fan of Help!, which he feels is the Fab Four at their best. Of course, there’s that whole other side of his musical personality as well. The side that will blast Diary of a Madman at full crank in the van no matter how much it annoys his tourmates. Like many musicians, what he got into when he was 14 and 15 stuck around.
“One time I was watching this video,” Ubovich reminisced about his childhood, “Zakk Wylde had a bunch of amps behind him and he was going crazy on this huge stage. I showed my mom. I was, like, ‘Look at this. I wanna do this.’ She was, like, ‘Oh, great. My son’s never gonna have money.’”
- Thursday, November 13, 2014, 8 p.m.
3615 El Cajon Boulevard,
Ubovich, a native of L.A., still has enough money to make it down to San Diego every Christmas to visit his aunt and uncle. He has swung through town as a sideman a handful of times already as well. You can tell he has played a ton of venues since his only recollection of certain clubs can be as simple as a symbol.
“We usually play the...Crescent Bar? Something with a moon...”
“Yeah. We’ve played Soda Bar and there. The places are just great. They rule.”