Saturday, March 28, 2015

Mellevon Interview

1. Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording and release of the new album?

We took a bit of a break over the Christmas holidays, but we’ve since started playing gigs around town again. We’re actually scheduled to open for 36 Crazyfists on their Montreal tour date, which we’re super stoked about. They’ve been one of my favourite bands for years. We’ve also been working on more new music. We don’t have anything definitive yet, but there are plenty of great ideas floating around.

2. A few months back, you released a new album. How would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording, and how does it differ from your previous release?

We try to emphasize melody and catchiness in our compositions over sheer heaviness, and I think that’s a little more obvious on Solace. Chaos Reigns had some fun moments, but overall it’s a slower, gloomier and more dissonant record. The songs on Solace are generally much more upbeat and poppy. We’ve also improved as both musicians and songwriters since our first record. The songs on Solace are more interesting instrumentally, and I think most of them hit a lot harder than our earlier material.

3. Originally the band started out more as an 'industrial nu-metal' band but have evolved into an 'industrial melodic death metal band', what was the decision behind going into this musical direction?

We never made a conscious decision to change our style. We’ve always had fun mixing unexpected sounds into our music, and I feel that any change that happens comes naturally. Melodic death metal elements have always been present in our music. I think they’re just more obvious on this release due to the more complex, fast-paced instrumentation. It’s also worth mentioning that we underwent a lineup change between our first album and the new one. Our new members, Red (vocals) and Colin (drums), definitely brought some new sonic elements to the table. I think a big part of why our new material sounds different is due to their presence.

4. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the new album?

The lyrics on Solace generally revolve around coping (and failing to cope) with pain and anguish. Some of the lyrics take inspiration from classic literature (Acrasia, These Bloody Days) and horror movies (Fracture), but most of them are inspired by our own experiences. Overall, it’s a much more honest record than our first, lyrically.

5. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Mellevon'?

It doesn’t mean anything. I came up with it when I was fifteen and I thought it sounded cool. The other members liked it, so it stuck.

6. What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?

We’ve been told that we’re very tight and have a unique sound when we play live. I generally don’t jump around too much, as I prefer to focus on my playing, but Red and Stefan (bass) are full of energy onstage. Red runs into the crowd all the time, and he’s done things like jump off tables and smash equipment before.
We’ve played great shows in large venues, but our most memorable shows so far were probably the ones we played in smaller places, simply because of how chaotic they were. One in particular stands out. It was our friend’s party, and he invited us and a few other local bands to play in his basement. We had forty sweaty people crammed into his basement moshing and screaming along with us. There was beer and chips flying everywhere. It was nuts!

7. Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?

Once we’ve saved up a little money, one of our first priorities is to tour the country. Unfortunately, it might be a little while until we can manage that. I’m in quite a bit of debt due to the band already, and Red and I are the only members with steady jobs at the moment.

8. On the new album, you had a few guests. Can you tell us a little bit more about them and their contributions to the recording?

During the recording process, we found out that Bj√∂rn Strid from Soilwork had some time off, and was offering to do session vocals for anyone who was interested. We’re all huge fans of his voice, so we got in contact with him right away. He sang the clean vocals on “The Quiet Light,” and he did an amazing job. It blew me away to hear the words that I wrote, sitting in the back of a classroom, sung by one of my idols!
The other guest, Les Godfrey, is a friend of mine. He used to play with the bands Tchort and The Illuminati. He runs his own business now, Godfrey Guitars, and builds beautiful custom guitars. He built mine, in fact, and you can hear it on every Mellevon song. Les listened to some pre-production demos back when we had just started recording, and he liked “Under Moss” so much that he insisted on playing a solo for it. Naturally, he did a fantastic job.

9. Currently, you are unsigned. Are you looking for a label, or have you received any interest?

Being signed would definitely help us out with promotion, touring and getting our music to be heard by a broader audience, but I like the freedom and lack of obligations that comes with being unsigned as well. We would be interested if a label contacted us, but that hasn’t happened yet.

10. On a worldwide level, how has the feedback been to your music by fans of extreme metal?

We’re pretty obscure and don’t have much of an international fanbase, but I’ve found our music on Serbian and Russian metal blogs with tons of commentary. The reactions have been pretty standard. Everyone says we seem to mix a ridiculous amount of different styles together, and they either like it or they hate it.

11. Are any of the band members also involved with any other musical projects or bands these days?

I make a lot of music on my own, and I’m thinking of releasing some soon under another name. Colin also plays drums in a viking metal band called The Wild Hunt.

12. Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

We’ll continue playing around with different styles, and I think you can expect better production and more intricate compositions from us in the future. We have literally dozens of song ideas floating around even now. We still need to figure out what material is worth developing, but when the time comes to release it, you can be sure that it’ll be our best work yet.

13. What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music, and what are you listening to nowadays?

I personally listen to a lot more melodic death metal (Dark Tranquillity, Mors Principium Est), deathcore (Boris the Blade, Make Them Suffer) and pop music (t.A.T.u.) than I used to, and I think that helped shape my songwriting style a little; more melodic leads, more breakdowns, bigger choruses. Stefan listens to a lot of melodic death metal and thrash metal, Red mostly listens to metalcore, Chel (our keyboardist) has been on an electronic music binge, and Colin mostly listens to progressive metal.

14. What are some of your non musical interests?

We all play a lot of video games. Stefan is a bit of a cinephile, and he’s always telling me about the obscure foreign films he’s been watching. Chel is currently studying to become a machinist, and she’s also a wonderfully talented artist. I do quite a bit of writing.

15. Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?

Metal bands need to continue expanding their comfort zones and explore new territory, rather than let themselves be restrained by subgenre conventions. Labels should change to accommodate the music, not the other way around. The world is full of cookie-cutter black/thrash/death bands, and it’s boring. We need to break more rules and really let our hearts sing, no matter how strange the results might be.


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