Denver rock band Meese has been relentlessly touring for the past few years, most recently since the release of their new album, Broadcast, in July.
That means the four musicians and their crew spend a lot of time holed up in a moving van, often searching for ways to pass the time. Guitarist Nate Meese discusses the best way to make time fly -- reading.
And while he's not afraid to admit to plowing through the Twilight books -- and to "nerding out" when he met the series' author, Stephenie Meyer -- Nate recalls one recent book that stood out: Mark Haddon's critically acclaimed and award winning novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, a heart-warming tale of an autistic teenage boy in Britain.
How did you come across this book?
My mom is in love with Terry Gross on NPR. I was home for the summer and we were driving around and she was listening to NPR and Terry interviewed Mark Haddon. The book sounded interesting and it was a really good interview so I bought the book. The cover is also really appealing to the eye.
So you judged a book by its cover?
Can you describe the premise of the book?
It's told through the eyes of a kid who has autism and he doesn't understand social situations but is a number genius. The author really nails that -- making you fall in love with this 15-year-old kid who has a horrible disease but is really clever. Someone kills his neighbor's dog and he tries to figure out not only who killed the dog but also important stuff about his life. I think I just made it sound like CSI or something. It's touching.
What about it struck a chord with you?
I got really invested in it. There's a lot of stuff about family. There's a lot of universal themes that I didn't expect at the beginning of the book, where he's just trying to figure out who killed his neighbor's dog. There's some emotional stuff. And I'm an emotional guy. I'm in touch with that side of me so this book really affected me.
To whom would you recommend this book?
I would say reading it is on the same plane as watching a really good movie. It's good for an escape but you also really end up caring about the characters. I watched The Diving Bell and the Butterfly recently and I could really relate the two. You end up with this sense of catharsis that you didn't expect at the beginning.
Do books affect the songwriting you guys do as a band?
I think the overall themes and human emotions -- there they are again, emotions -- come through in the music. Not beyond that, really. When we were writing our first EP we were all reading Kurt Vonnegut a lot. Pat [Meese], who writes all the lyrics, loves Vonnegut.
Do you often all read the same books at the same time?
This summer my drummer and I read all the Twilight books together. We were in the van for two months and our label actually gave me the first book. They were totally awesome. When we were out with the Fray we actually met Stephenie Meyer and I totally nerded out. We read in the van a lot. Our tour manager and sound guy were both reading Atlas Shrugged, which is a lot deeper than Twilight I think. It's a very eclectic mix, the Meese traveling library. If our fans want to bring us books on tour that would be awesome.
Just tween romances or other stuff too?
I think we have that area pretty much covered. What don't we have? We have Atlas Shrugged, some Stephen Hawking books and Twilight. So they can bring us pretty much anything.
WATCH: Meese, "Next In Line"