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SKA, PUNK-ROCK BLEND JUST THE TICKET FOR MEALTICKET

Published: Wednesday, June 14 1995 12:00 a.m. MDT

Part of being a decent ska band is knowing your limitations. For example, while other bands are trying their hand at the more traditional, jazzy brand of ska, Mealticket is concentrating on the faster ska and punk-rock blend.

"There are very few bands that can do (the Skatalites' music) as well as the Skatalites. Plus, what's the use in rehashing it?" guitar player and founding member Bill Meadows said in a telephone interview. "I know we probably couldn't do it as well, so why try? If I want to hear the Skatalites, I'll listen to the Skatalites."Mealticket is co-headlining a concert Thursday, June 15, with Stretsch Armstronng at the Edge Dance Club, 143 W. Center, Provo.

Despite the fact that the 5-year-old band has all but deleted the funk and jazz elements from its music, Mealticket actually began as an offshoot of a high school jazz band, Meadows said.

"Most of us were in school together, and we started a little band on the side. We didn't start out as ska, though, we were more like metal or punk," he said. "Of course, this was back when ska wasn't cool, or at least most people didn't see it as being cool."

Meadows and his bandmates, who now include saxophone player Jim Cushnie and drummer Carlos de la Garza, have seen a tremendous interest in their music. He said that during the group's first four years, the concert sizes ranged from a handful of people to maybe 200.

Now, the band is considering offers from major record labels, including Atlantic, which recently lost out in its bid for punk-ska act the VooDoo Glow Skulls.

"I honestly have no idea where this is all going, but I can say I didn't think it would ever go this far," Meadows said. "I mean, I don't want to jinx us and say that we could really make it big, but all the interest in Sublime by record companies shows that the opportunity is there."

Logan ska-core act Model Citizen will open the show, which also includes the wacky Orange County group the Aquabats, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $6 in advance, $7 the day of show and are available at all Disc-Go-Round locations, Sonic Garden in Provo, Crandall Audio in Orem and Modified Music in Salt Lake City.

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