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Meriel Malone

Meriel Malone writes and performs experimental music, as well as collaborating with a range of musicians. She applies her knowledge of Infrasound to create and perform complex and entertaining pieces. She is also a songwriter who mixes songwriting with spoken word, using her experience as a band front woman to deliver edgy, witty neo-poetry and music to audiences spanning everyone from politicians to punks.  

She is also performance Beat poet, and has headlined at various venues over the past seven years. She was described as 'beautifully caustic' for her appearance as a poetry slam judge for a BBC poetry competition; and she has been rated as 'one of the top female poets in the UK, and certainly the entire North' by Write Out Loud, one of the largest poetry organisation in the UK. 




Q: Do you think of your lyrics as poetry?


A: Yes I do. I don't believe in lazy writing. Poetry and lyrics both need structure and balance to be of solid form.

Q: Do you think it is important that songs rhyme and if so why?


A: Sometimes it is great for a line not to rhyme in a song, as it protrudes and so pricks the listener's ears up, back into the consciousness of the song.


Q: Do you think song lyrics must conform to recognised song structures such as clear rhyming schemes, choruses, refrains, hooks and bridges or that songs can also be like free verse?


A: I do appreciate structure, although I have always been alarmed at the idea of anything marshalling my style, as I fear the potential loss of being stuck in one's ways, restricting the flow of my work.


Q: When you read poetry in school or elsewhere did you recognize any connection to the music you enjoyed?


A: I was raised in a household where Holst’s The Planets was being played in one room and punk music was in another. The classical music gave me spatial awareness of where to form lyrics while  punk ranted over my shoulder.


Q: Was there anything about poetry in books that influenced your songwriting?


A: When I read ‘The Trees’ by Philip Larkin, I was struck by how condensed and to the point his rhyming is. I also found it interesting that, to me personally, when Pulp released a song of the same title, Jarvis Cocker's lyrics seemed to hold a similar pattern. I suppose that reading and listening to other artists inspires me to translate their work and absorb this on a personal level, which is a beautiful thing about people’s art.


Q: Why do you think songs are more popular with people than poetry is?

A: People don't like to think anymore, they like to escape, to be entertained by something that consumes them for a while. Music does this easier than poetry because it is louder. Also, we are surrounded by technology, and we are lazy. If poetry can be promoted as the new rock ‘n’ roll, everyone will fall in love with it again, and those of us who never fell out of love with it will have nothing left to whinge about!


copyright © Meriel Malone