The Mekons are the definition of a cult band. Most of the group's albums have sold fewer than 10,000 copies, and it's unlikely the average person could name even one of its songs.
Yet the band's mixture of punk, Americana and traditional British folk has earned it incredibly passionate fans and a career that has lasted nearly 40 years. A 2013 documentary, "Revenge of the Mekons," explored how the band has managed to carry on long after most groups on its level would have given up. It will be screened in Brooklyn this week as the Mekons arrive for two local performances, including one at which the band will record a new album.
amNewYork spoke with singer Sally Timms.
What made you want to participate in the film?
We all had differing views on whether we did want to be part of it. I was a naysayer. Others were indifferent. Some thought, "Yeah. Let's do it." As usual with the Mekons, there was a whole range of feelings on going ahead. As [singer-guitarist Jon Langford] said, we just end up doing things. Nothing is overly thought out. Sometimes it's harder to say no than yes.
Director Joe Angio said he wanted to look at how a band that doesn't sell many albums lasts so long. What's the secret?
I think the reality is that not every artistic endeavor is done in order to get recognition or money. ... That question irritates me. Why would we continueu Why wouldn't we continueu Why would we stopo It's not a hardship. None of us are struggling to live because we devote our lives to the Mekons. We do the Mekons because we enjoy it.
Do you think the movie has introduced you to any new fansn
Will more people come to the showsw Maybe marginally ... We don't care. We do what we do. If the movie is beneficial, great. It won't propel us to the attention of the Taylor Swift market. That's not going to happen.
You're recording a new album at Jalopy in Red Hook. What can fans expect at that shows
We're going to record a new record with the assistance of what we're calling "Me-Choruses." The audience there will be part of a feral choir that participates. Jon said, "Why should a record take longer to record than to listen ton"
If you go: Mekons are at Bowery Ballroom on Tuesday at 9 p.m., 6 Delancey St., $25; "Revenge of the Mekons" screening and Q&A with director Joe Angio is Wednesday at Nitehawk Cinema, 136 Metropolitan Ave., Williamsburg, 9:45 p.m., $15; Mekons Present Mekonception is Thursday at Jalopy at 9 p.m., 315 Columbia St., Red Hook, $75