Comparable to blink-182 and Fenix TX, Sloppy Meateaters (aka SME) are an alternative rock trio with strong punk-pop leanings. Their songs are angst-ridden but humorous and amusing -- quite often, Sloppy Meateaters find humorous ways to gripe and complain about life's disappointments. In the beginning, the Rome, GA, group's motto was "No lives, friends, or jobs." Sloppy Meateaters started out as a duo in July 1999, when singer/guitarist Josh Chambers (who has a bratty, sneering vocal style and goes by Sloppy Josh) joined forces with drummer Kevin Highfield, aka Sloppy Kevin.
In October of that year, Sloppy Meateaters recorded their debut album, Shameless Self-Promotion. Lacking a record deal, they released the album independently in December 1999. Another thing they lacked at that point was a full-time bass player; in addition to singing and playing guitar, Chambers plays bass on Shameless Self-Promotion. But Chambers and Highfield (or Sloppy Josh and Sloppy Kevin) found someone to take over the bass duties when they met Travis Gerke in a Georgia shopping mall in early 2000. With the addition of bassist Gerke, Sloppy Meateaters became a trio and finally considered themselves a real band.
It was also in 2000 that the Georgia natives came to the attention of Orange Peal Records, a small indie label based in Fremont, CA. In May 2000, Shameless Self-Promotion was reissued on Orange Peal and enjoyed better distribution. Although Gerke's picture appears on the cover of Orange Peal's Shameless Self-Promotion reissue, he never actually recorded with the band -- by the time Sloppy Meateaters recorded their second album, Forbidden Meat, Gerke had left and been replaced by John Elwell, aka Sloppy John.
With Chambers on lead vocals and guitar, Elwell on electric bass and background vocals, and Highfield on drums, Sloppy Meateaters recorded Forbidden Meat during the winter of 2000/2001. Orange Peal released that sophomore effort in June 2001. By the following spring, the Meateaters had welcomed bassist Chris Frisby into the fold, Elwell moving over to second guitar. Extensive touring and a handful of dates on subsequent Warped tours helped spread the Meateaters gospel, but when Highfield decided to leave the band in late 2002, Chambers felt it was better to retire the name instead of continuing on without him.
So Sloppy Meateaters (in name) went on hiatus and Chambers and Elwell went on to perform together under the moniker Under the Weather, releasing a self-titled EP in fall 2003 through Orange Peal. Late 2004, however, found a change of heart and the guys regrouping under their original name with two new members in the fold, bassist Seth Smith and drummer Lee Howell, both formerly of the pop-punk act Punch Drunk. Their musical direction also shifted a bit in a less pop-punk-oriented direction, as first displayed on the summer 2005 full-length Conditioned by the Laugh Track. ~ Alex Henderson