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INTERVIEW: Mellott

Hi folks, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Chas: Hi VENTS! Doing well. I just had my third child – so very excited (and tired!)

Jessica: Hello VENTS! Doing awesome. Thanks for having us!

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Shooting Stars”?

Chas: Yeah – Shooting Stars is the first single off our new EP, which will be released early 2018. It’s quite a different song for us (than what we’ve released in the past), it’s sort of dreamlike, and trippy, with some cool pop and indie soundscapes.

Jessica: We’re super pumped to be releasing it and sharing it with you guys! We wrote the song a few months ago and immediately knew we wanted to produce it as a single and have it on our next EP. It’s pretty exciting that now that moment is here!

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

Chas: The original riff was something I’d had for a few years on a Roland Loop station, recorded with a reverse delay. I could never work out what sort of melody to put to it – and then one writing session I was going through some ideas and I played it back to Jessica. She came up with this awesome, anguished melody, with pauses where you don’t expect them – kudos to you, Jessica. When we got in the studio I played the the drums I had always had for the song for our producer Robert Cutarella – kind of like DJ Shadow. We started jamming the song and all fell in love with it.

Jessica: Yeah. It’s always so fun when a song idea you’ve been playing around with in your head for what feels like AGES finally comes to fruition! I remember in one of our songwriting sessions, we had been throwing ideas back and forth for a little while, but weren’t sure which melody or riff idea we should expand on. Then Chas played back that loop from his Roland, and my eyes lit up! I thought what he had been experimenting with was so cool and different sounding than anything we had written before. The chorus melody came quickly after hearing his riff. When we started working on the rest of the song and the lyrics, the concept of ‘shooting stars’ emerged as the riff sounded almost spacy, ethereal, due to the reverse delay. It just ‘fit’ the melody of the chorus perfectly from the get go. From there we expanded on that idea.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

Chas: Yeah definitely. One of the things I geek out about most is putting visuals to music. The reason I came to the U.S. from England was to do a post-grad in film production – and Jessica and I actually met at an alumni event for BU (which I where I studied)…so we’re really excited to shoot something cool for the video.

We’ve made a lyric video for the initial release of the single, and a live action video is in the works!

Jessica: I think Chas said it all! We are really excited by the visuals in the “Shooting Stars” lyric video… I’m always amazed when I watch a really great lyric video by how entranced I get with the moving/ever-changing visuals. We think that we accomplished that with this song, and that the lyrics impact well.

How was the recording and writing process?

Chas: So much fun – I have a little writing studio (converted garage), and we did pre-production on the song there before we tracked anything, to get the rhythms, the shape of the song worked out.

Jessica: Chas and I have been songwriting together for a few years, and we love collaborating. It’s always so much fun to share ideas and vibe off of each other to create something beautiful and unique to share to the world. We love recording as well, and coming up with new parts and sounds is always so much fun. It’s amazing how a different drum sound, for example, or a new synth patch, can make a whole song sound totally different!

What was it like to work with Robert Cutarella and how did that relationship develop?

Chas: Amazing.  Bob’s accomplished so much, but he’s so humble and so down to earth. He’s at a point in his career where he could probably be working with anyone he wants – but he wants to be working with good people. On a holistic level, it’s a really lovely feeling to know that you’re working with a good friend, and where there’s deep mutual respect. The first time we all met we talked for hours about Tony Robbins, and how to self-motivate and all that stuff. Bob’s just a really good human being, who wants the very best for people.

Jessica: I echo everything Chas said! It’s so funny because I think back to before we met Bob, and I remember we had our initial meeting at this lovely little coffee shop in Beachwood Canyon in the Hollywood Hills. I remember researching Robert Cutarella  before the meeting and being absolutely floored by all the amazing people he’s worked with, and his incredible career in this business. Right before the meeting, I could feel myself get super nervous! I remember pulling into the parking lot and taking a deep breath. I said to myself, “Get yourself together! This meeting is going to go great!” I didn’t know what his personality would be like or what to expect at all, so I was on edge.

Then, I walked into the coffee shop and saw him immediately (he dresses very cool and always stands out)! He immediately smiled a huge grin and we hugged! I knew right then he was totally ‘my type of people’ and he was a down to earth, great guy. And my first instinct turned out to be correct! He’s literally one of the kindest, coolest, and most talented people we’ve met in the entertainment business.

How much did he influence the song?

Jessica: He was a huge influence! I feel like he really got the sound to a unique and modern place while still holding true to some of our more classic influences.  We love mixing timeless and more cutting edge sounds.

Chas: Massively. In terms of my musical taste, I’m probably stuck somewhere between 1994 and 1997, where everything has to have Jonny Greenwood or Bernard Butler sounding guitar licks (I made point of recording all my parts on my ES 345!). On “Shooting Stars” we’ve kept true to our musical sensibilities, and Bob has injected a modern soundscape, and somehow managed to keep the song sounding intimate and haunting all at the same time. He’s done the musical equivalent of threading a very small needle with a very large piece of string.

How’s your new EP coming along?

Jessica: Everything is going really well and we are super excited about the new music! Can’t wait to share everything with you guys.

Chas: Great! We’re in the final mix for our second track, with the 3rd and 4th very close behind. On my to do list is to find and record a children’s choir. Do you know any?

Any tentative release date or title in mind?

Chas: Targeting late January/ early February 2018. We haven’t settled on a title yet, that’s going to be another lovely conversation I can’t wait to have!

Jessica: My name is Bond. Jessica Bond. And that title is TOP SECRET, classified information!!! … Ok… maybe we just don’t have a name yet. But we will let you know when it’s solidified!

Any plans to hit the road?

Chas: We gig a lot in LA, and have played a number of festivals already this year. We’re at the Granada Hills street fair in October, and we have a monthly residency at Cammeranno’s in Simi Valley. For now, especially with my newborn, we’re keeping  things local, but we have been talking about a regional tour around the Southwest, so please sign up for our mailing list so we can let you know!

Jessica: We were just played the International Pop Overthrow Music Festival in August  – the festival happens all around the world, showcasing different local bands in each city, it was a cool thing to be a part of. We love meeting new people and performing live. There’s nothing like the rush you get from being on stage and doing what you love. The best feeling in the world is when someone comes up to you after a show and says your performance and/or your song affected them in some way. Spreading joy through music is the best gift in the world and we are so blessed to get to do this. I would love to do a world tour someday and meet fans and new friends all over the world!

What else is happening next in MELLOTT’s world?

Chas: Baby… haha…

Jessica: We are hard at work on our upcoming EP, that is our big focus right now! Until then you can find “Shooting Stars” on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, etc., plus the lyric video is on our YouTube channel  www.YouTube.com/MellottMusic. Our site, www.MellottMusic.com, has free music, exclusive photos, videos, and more! We can’t wait to talk with you guys again soon. Thank you for having us, VENTS!

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About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, play guitar, music geek, movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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