The apple didn't fall very far from the Tennessee-grown tree, says the now-Los Angeles-based artist Meg Myers, phoning from her father's handcrafted log cabin in the Smoky Mountains, where she often returns to unwind.
"My dad was always a stable influence in my life, and he's really chill, but he doesn't like people," says the ex-Jehovah's Witness, whose indie EP "Daughter in the Choir" was just snapped up by Atlantic Records.
"I mean, he's nice to people, but he just kind of stays away. And I got that from him, because I just always want to be alone."
Myers understands the irony involved in being a lone wolf forced to howl in front of a pack of fans, which she'll do again in concert in The City this week.
Yet she's got a huge, timber-rattling voice on shadowy "Choir" processionals such as "Poison," "Monster" and "Curbstomp," with its strayed-sheep lyrics, "I'm a sinner, I'm a liar / Want forgiveness, but I'm tired / I'm addicted to the fire."
"Somehow I'm doing this, but honestly, I'm not cut out for it," she says. "I'm such an introvert. And I wish I wasn't, so it would be easier for me to do everything."
Whenever she can, the singer goes hiking out in Malibu. "But way, way out, far away from people," she adds.
She moved to Los Angeles with a musician boyfriend a few years ago, but they soon broke up, leaving her with two goals: To play her material acoustically in as many clubs as possible, and to waitress enough decent-paying shifts to afford her own apartment.
"I couch-surfed for a while, and I loved the people that I've lived with, but now I live alone," she says. "I just have to live alone."
Myers proved herself at venues like The Troubadour and The Viper Room, then met producer Doctor Rosen Rosen, who fleshed out her skeletal material for "Choir" and is overseeing her upcoming debut album.
But her after-show ritual never varied. Instead of hobnobbing with the hoi polloi, she would race home to play with her two pet rats.
"I love just clearing my head, not talking to anybody, and going into my little Megworld," she says, "which could just be taking a bath or reading a book."
Myers left the church at 13, and now considers herself to be more spiritual, less religious. The longest she's gone without human contact is a full month, when she was diagnosed with possible pneumonia.
"Even though I was sick, it felt so good to just lay around by myself," she says, not counting the day her producer brought Gatorade. "But it was not long enough, I'll tell you that much!"IF YOU GO
Where: Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell St., S.F.
When: 9:30 p.m. today
Tickets: $10 to $12
Contact: (415) 861-2011, www.snagtickets.com