Are you from Des Moines? If not, where are you from and when did you first come to Des Moines? I was born in Columbia, South Carolina & lived in Decatur, IL & Oklahoma City, OK before Des Moines. I say I am from Des Moines because I lived here the longest.
What are you favorite things about living in Des Moines? It's easy and convenient. There's no competition. Everyone supports each other & it's nice to watch a community grow.
What is your job by day? I hangout with a 4 year old.
You're also a musician, what drew you to that? I've always naturally used it as a way to express my mood and feelings. As a kid, I would just go sit at the piano and create something small & then be done for the day.
How old were you when you took an interest in music? What instruments do you play? I've been interested in music since Donna Lewis' "I Love You Always Forever" came out. I play piano, guitar, and bass.
You're in a band, how did Karen Meat come to be? Is that your only band? Do you ever make solo music? Karen Meat started out as a joke. I was living in Nashville at the time and I never did any of my personal music there. It seemed like a good time in my life to take a break from writing. I was back in Des Moines visiting friends & was out to brunch. One asked when I was going to change my band name to "Arin Eaton & the Players" & then someone misheard and asked if they said "Karen Meat." Karen Meat has been through many forms: the Players, the Computer, & the Heat (happening this fall). Although the players were a mixture of figuring out what Karen Meat even would become. The Computer, is what it was meant to be & it has room to grow. We feed off of each other's energy & have outlandish ideas that we mostly make work. It's really fun & motivating to work with Brad, John, & Phil. They're my best friends. I am also in a band called Quick Piss.
Why do you make music? This question is like asking me why do I breathe.
What inspires you to sing/write songs/play music? Anything really. A high-schooler cut me off in the grocery store parking lot the other day & it pissed me off so I wrote about it.
How do you keep yourself motivated? I don't like playing the same songs over and over. It gets boring. Especially when you're singing about a feeling or a time that you no longer care about. That is what keeps me writing. Plus having another song writer in the band is helpful.
What do you like about DSM Girl Gang? I like how it brings others in the community together. You discover new artists & talents & that's pretty cool.
What can we (the Girl Gang) do to help you/other artists/women? I personally want to thank the Girl Gang for helping out Karen Meat & taking interest in this project. Meanz for the creative patterns, Alyssa Leicht for her photos, & Alex Crahan for everything from knit hats, photos on a whim, & just being a good friend. You girls keep doing what you're doing. It is COOL !
What can we (the Girl Gang) do to help you/other artists/women? I personally want to thank the Girl Gang for helping out Karen Meat & taking interest in this project. Meanz Chan for the creative patterns, Alyssa Leicht for her photos, & Alex Crahan for everything from knit hats, photos on a whim, & just being a good friend. You girls keep doing what you're doing. It is COOL !
How have you cultivated your art/music over the years? How have you changed from when you started creating?
I think I am a better writer & a better player. I get inspired by whatever I am listening to at the time and attempt to create my own version of it.
What has had the greatest impact on you as an artist? Loretta Lynn & Sheryl Crowe
Along with being a brilliant musician, you're also a fantastic knitter. When did you start knitting? About 4 years ago.
What got you interested in knitting? I just wanted to have a bunch of things with my name in them & instead of finding businesses to make them, I figured I could make them myself. I asked Erica Carnes to teach me.
Was it a challenge to learn or did it come to you naturally? It was a challenge, but I kept practicing until I got a final product I was satisfied with.
What would you like to knit that you haven't previously? Socks that say "69420" - this is a Karen Meat joke.
Lastly, what is your next big goal? To release a 3rd EP & full length
You can find Arin on Instagram: @arineatn and @karenmeat
Photos and Interview by Alexandria Crahan