When you can’t find your place, all surroundings are strangers.
It’s a dark, complicated world that comes with no manual. It’s a feeling that Hawaii-based MDMP founder and frontman Jeremey Meyer knows personally, and it was the motivation behind the band’s latest single, “Stranger Things.”
“This song is dedicated to everybody who feels they somehow don’t belong in this messed-up world,” Meyer explained. “I myself am a bastard child who tries to make the most of what has been given to me.”
That spirit is at the essence of MDMP, a one-man band with an endless list of members. Collaboration is the purpose of its existence, and it’s how all of its music has been made.
“Living on a small island has forced me to change mindsets from the traditional band model to realize there are no rules to making good music,” Meyer said. “During the songwriting process, I might have a particular type of sound in mind or even want to expand on a song I heard in the past. It comes to me usually sooner than later that a specific artist or artists would sound awesome on the track, which leads to ‘the ask,’ and if they say ‘yes,’ a new song is born.”
Meyer initially wrote “Stranger Things” for Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters to sing, but he realized it would be impossible to get in touch with the artist. Instead, Meyer played the demo for Matteo Depares, a British producer friend, who begged him to sing and release it himself.
Enter Los Angeles-based drummer Kellii Scott of alternative rock band Failure and Bristol, U.K.-based guitarist Mike Evans of metal band Profiler. Their features helped complete the track, with Meyer holding up his end of the bargain on the mic.
“Stranger things in the night
(Yes we all want to be loved)
Don’t be afraid
There’s something that I need you to know
You’re not alone
It’s a unique process to reach the final product of a complete song, but it’s one that MDMP employs in the music it makes. From Kazakhstan to Taiwan and much more, MDMP has made music with artists far and wide.
“It’s all about collaboration for me,” Meyer explained. “I’m an organizer - an orchestrator of the process. I don’t want it to be all me. I’m a team player. I love anybody who gives me advice or ideas, good or bad. When it comes to music, I don’t know a lot of people who are trying to do a collaborative thing on this level.”
MDMP has been in operation since Meyer moved to Hawaii in the late 2010s. The multi-tasker in chief is originally from Nebraska, where he spent the ‘90s singing about Edgar Allen Poe in English class, playing in the marching band, and soaking up everything from grunge to Metallica to his greatest influence, Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails.
Meyer served a few years in the military along with a year in Iraq, then got back into music upon his return stateside. As the bassist in hard rock heroes Sherry Drive, he released two albums and shared stages with the likes of Skid Row and Sick Puppies. All of those experiences, good and bad, now feed into MDMP, Meyer said.
“Some artists are determined to be the same and never change, and they’re going to go down with that ship,” he explained. “I don’t want to do that.”
MDMP released only singles in its first few years, but in 2021, it put out a behemoth of a debut album, “Day One.” Its 27 tracks spanned the sonic and stylistic spectrum, demonstrating the band’s willingness to experiment and collaborate with all sorts of musicians and their backgrounds. MDMP has continued to deliver music since, discovering new sounds and friends with each step.
It’s important to Meyer to think of his musical endeavors as such. In his band’s most-recent work, “Stranger Things,” he extends a hand to those who need companionship and a reassurance of their value. Collaborations don’t have to be official or direct - every day, humans make the wheel spin in conjunction with 8 billion in-name-only strangers.
“I want them to know that there are many of us that feel the same way,” Meyer said. “I love making music, so I hope we can find and have comfort in knowing each other.”
MDMP’s music has already reached hundreds of thousands of people, but there’s still plenty more to go.
“As more people hear MDMP, the hope is to grow the list of contributors with the dream of someday landing a collaborative song on the Billboard charts,” Meyer said. “Maybe this is the one?”
Don’t bet against him. Stranger things have happened.