Meie is one of the earlier experimental rock bands in Estonia, hitting the rock circuit in the early part of the 1970s. Alongside Ruja, Meie became one of the first Estonian rock bands to pursue adventurous music called "intellectual rock" by its vocalist Tajo Kadajas.
Talking about Kadajas, it is his unique vocals that give Meie its earliest recognisable feature. Kadajas manages to bring power, emotions, touch, and humour to his singing that few others can. Though quite raw at times, his voice gives Meie its uniqueness. The music was rough as well, though it had its moments. Guitarist Kalle Vikat fits the profile of '70s rock guitarist well, backed up solidly by bassist Enn Saretok and drummer Raivo Maasik. Keyboardist Vladimir Petuhhov adds some colour to the interesting sound of the band.
Although not fully progressive, Meie played a hard rock that ventured into many progressive areas. Tunes like "Ainult niimodi" is clearly straightforward rock, albeit a bit drawn-out. However, songs like "Lahkumine" brings in many elements of early prog. The most interesting must be "Armatuslaul" -- a great example of early '70s prog arrangement. The first part of the song ("Love Song" in Estonian) does not betray its title, with Kadajas at his emotional best. However, a middle lively extended instrumental section shows off the band's creativity in a proggy setting. Some of the stuff has the sound of the first Yes album -- a bit naive with some dodgy playing, but full of good ideas that paved the way for something better.
Meie did record a handful of tracks in 1973 and 1975. Some are still occasionally heard on radio, but they can be found only in CD-R floating around. Tajo Kadajas of course went on to Noor Eesti, and the rest is history...or is it?
For the KURI PROGE 2002 festival the band reunited, though the late drummer Maasik was replaced by legendary Mess drummer Ivar Sipra. The short but tight set, despite having not played in nearly three decades, showed amazing ability and craftiness by all involved. With the attention gained from their performance, vocalist Kadajas told me that the reunited band will look at new projects in the future -- marking the return of this fabulous rock legend to 21st century Estonia. Wow.