It’s the 1990s, and in New York, guitar music is at its nadir. But as the new millennium approaches, new bands rise out of the ashes of the past. The Strokes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Interpol, and LCD Soundsystem, are just a few of those bringing a new, powerful sound to the Big Apple.
In the middle of this renewal, however, another, wholly discordant, sound rings out over New York: that of terror on 9/11. And in the years that follow, more changes take place. Rents rise, ending the ability of upcoming musicians to live and play close by, while the advent of music downloads forces bands to find new ways to make money.
Meet Me in the Bathroom explores the rise of New York’s millennial bands, their love of music, and the essential role that friendship played in their development. Using archival footage, as well as interviews with the musicians themselves, the film charts their rise, journey through 9/11, and beyond.
The film’s co-directors, Dylan Southern and Will Lovelace, join Matthew Sherwood to discuss this renewal of New York’s music scene at the end of the twentieth century and the tumultuous events at the start of the twenty-first. They look at the importance of Britain to the bands, the ‘romantic’ nature of this period – a time when the lack of social media meant that bands had a greater element of mystery about them – and of New York itself. Dylan and Will discuss how they made the film, the challenges they faced, and the goldmines they found, as well as how the pandemic lockdown proved to be both a blessing and a curse.
Meet Me in the Bathroom is both an exploration and, as Matthew says, a tribute to another age in music, one more innocent, but no less powerful and authentic.
‘What we knew we could do [is] sort of viscerally bring to life the time and a sense of the culture, a sense of the differences between then and now, just through building this kind of collage of that period.’ – Dylan Southern