Mappe Of plays a sort of homecoming show Friday December 8 at the Moustache Club with fellow Whitbyite folkie Annie Sumi.
Influence versus inspiration. Under the influence an act could just become a copycat while inspired, well. . . inspired by leans towards being, well, inspired to follow a path, not the same path but in a way the same path but with a different destination, destination, you.
Mappe Of, the nom-de-project for prog-folkie Tom Meikle and his band, is inspired then by Protest The Hero the prog-metal rawkstars but one would be hard-pressed to find a similarity in their sounds: one screamo, one serene, one suburban rage, one subrural rambles. But the rambling path, the trust your next step path, the trust yourself path, the one which leads to you and releases you is the same path.
Meikle has released his debut, “Northern Star, A Perfect Stone”, on Paper Bag. He has recently toured the nation and then some with Martha Wainwright so in a brandname coffee shop in a suburban mall on the edge of the rural we met and rambled on and Protest The Hero as it does in Whitby often, came up in the conversation.
“I never got to see Protest when they were around here because I was too young, says Meikle, "and then I was at an appropriate age and knew what they were doing I still wasn’t allowed go to where they played, which was The Dungeon. There was a while when I was only allowed go when I played there. My first band was Fire of the Fallen when I was in Grade 8 or 7, very young and very bad.
"So Protest came to me about that time. I remember sitting in a friend’s basement and him showing me the music video ‘Blindfolds Aside’ without the pretext of them being local, and when the video finished, scratching my head in awe. He was saying , yeah my brother’s buddys with them, they went to the high school down the street and I went What!! - and it was just the virtuosity, the songwriting of it, Rody’s vocals were insane, the arrangements, everything about it was just, this is the pinnacle for me.
"I’m going to rant, just a couple of weeks ago my bandmates and I were talking about Kezia because that record is so integral to my musical DNA. It feels like if I had a collection of records that were my family, that would be the one, that would be the patriarch of the family.
"Its pretty insane that regardless of it being local, I would still have an affinity for it but I’m sure there’s something, something happened where they came from the same town, and its a lot of strip malls, its very suburban. When you speak of culture in the global sense there is, maybe at times, a lacking in this area. I love it, it's where I grew up, its my home but I think some people get disenchanted with it because there isn’t this richness. The music scene struggles and there isn’t a hub and for Protest to come out of this place and go to the school down the street and have those skills and make something happen that was so unique. . . I remember looking up 'Bands That Sounded Like Protest The Hero' and there are none. And there never will be.”
And Mappe Of doesn’t sound like Protest either nor does he want to but the complexity, the craft, the time, the PTH crew brought to their work, has left an indelible mark on Mappe Of and “Northern Star, A Perfect Stone” is most definitely musical kin to Kezia.