13 Questions With…Jim McHugh

A frontman of a psychedelic rock army, Dark Meat’s Jim McHugh was able to take a timeout from making a new record and answer his 13 questions

Jim McHughPhoto Cred: Gregory Sanders

How did the name Dark Meat come about?

A bunch of us worked in a kitchen together. I myself am a big fan of fried chicken too: part-tribute to one of my favourite dishes. I knew that it would be considered offensive by some people, because that term, when called out of its realm of daily culinary banality, has some tawdry implications. I like to use situations like that as subtle psychic investigatory devices. Like: “What’s in your brain that makes that term offensive? THAT ain’t my fault.” Since then, we’ve come and gone with tons of stuff about what it means. We almost called our band Thunder Thighs, but used that for another project. And Retarder too, but decided against it.

What’s so awesome about Athens, Georgia?

Its cheap and beautiful, supportive, easy-going and a lot of my friends are here.

Who was your favourite band/musician growing up?

Hmmm, that’s a tough one. The first band to give me a “full-on teenage this-is-my-brain boner” was The Ramones. Then a ton of hardcore punk shit followed; first stuff I learned to play was three Germs songs on my brother’s bass. They are still dear to me. The first cassette I ever bought was New York by Lou Reed. I was ten and I love that record still. I got into the Velvet Underground around the same time as Ramones, so I’ll have to go with Velvets, as they’re still probably my favourite band of all time.

What did your parents listen to while you were growing up?

My pop was into Bob Dylan, CCR, and Bob Seger. I still love CCR and Dylan, of course. Actually, when I was about 12, my pop ceremoniously gave me a copy of Highway 61. He created a monster — that shit wrecked my mind and still does. My mom loved Sgt. Pepper, Mamas and the Papas and Motown while my grandmother, who I grew up next to, used to sing Elvis and Hank Williams songs. All these elements still percolate heavily in my brainpan. I’m lucky.

What’s it like being in a band with more people than you can count using two hands?

Honestly, sometimes it sucks. Mostly its cool. I’m used to it.

What’s band practice like?


What’s the song “One More Trip” about?

My cousin Mike and I were eating acid, playing basketball and eating Indian food when we were about 19 and we decided to go write a song at the time. We literally played the song for four hours straight in our practice space in the hood of Greensboro, North Carolina. Then we went to the illegal strip club next door (still on acid) and got frisked for guns. Then this mean drunk on Natty Light forced a lap dance on me from the fattest hooker I’ve ever seen. My cousin was losing himself in laughter too much to care to help me out.

During your time off, what does the band enjoy doing the most?

Playing basketball, having bonfires, reading, jamming in a million incarnations, playing weird shows and drinking free beer, swimming in rock quarries, hitting the woods and making out on mushrooms.

Is there a specific reason to why the band wears war paint while performing?

We’re the feral kids! Trying to explain why you broke some stuff to a really angry bouncer with pink paint on your forehead and nose helps, seriously.

Do you think the massive crowd at Woodstock 1969 would have enjoyed Dark Meat?

Only if they were having sex in the mud at the exact time we kicked into each freak-out part.

Name one band/musician you think people need to know about

Les Rallizes Denudes from Japan. Undulating mind-blowing music to kill things to.

If you could keep one album for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Minutemen’s Double Nickles On The Dime obviously.

Define Dark Meat using one word.


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