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Mister Melt
lo-fi existentialism
by: Kenneth Partridge - July 22, 2011

On “Drive Your Car,” from its forthcoming debut EP, boy-girl duo Mister Melt sings about cars, sex, fighting, and dancing—the Big 4 of rock ‘n’ roll. Mickey, the band’s car-averse singer and guitarist, calls the tune “totally ironic,” but “escapist” is more like it. The sampled drums evoke Escape Club’s party-starting 1988 hit “Wild, Wild West”—still a highway howler, even if it’s a blatant Elvis Costello rip-off—and Mickey’s vocals suggest at least some affinity for ‘50s and ‘60s American pop culture. If nothing else, Mickey and Maria dig how Brits like the Jesus and Mary Chain recontextualized malt-shop memories. On “Godzilla” and “Lemon Tree,” the pair cruises along with the distortion cranked high, making a noise as timeless as Wayfarers and black leather.

You describe yourself as an existentialist rock band. What do you mean by that?

Mickey: Absolutely nothing.

How did you guys meet? You’re making your live debut as Mister Melt in July, but have you guys played in other bands before?

Mickey: I first met Maria in front of Jackson Pollock’s “Autumn Rhythm” at the Metropolitan Museum in Manhattan. I was working primarily in visual art before this project. But I was in punk bands when I was a kid upstate.

Maria: This is the first "serious" music project I've been involved in. I grew up outside of NYC and my family has always been super involved in art and music. I'm a writer at least that's what my college degree says.

People are bound to compare you to male-female duos like Cults and the Raveonettes. Are you comfortable with that? What new spin do you feel you put on the music?

Mickey: I never heard either of those bands—we’re definitely just doing our own thing. The fact this band ended up just Maria and me is pure serendipity.

Maria: I saw the Raveonettes play a show once. I think we have something different going on, though. We went through a lot of developmental stages while fine-tuning the direction of the music. Mickey had written some 1950's rock/pop sounding tunes early on then we were heavy into surf for a bit more droning distortion came in then the electronic beats. I think at this point we've succeeded in combining all of the influences we love to generate something new.

What are the advantages of being a two-piece? Drummers are notoriously crazy people, so you may have avoided some headaches in that regard…

Mickey: Yeah, what actually happened was we just got tired of looking for a drummer. We were rehearsing with drum tracks in the meantime and then we finally just said, “Let’s get a sampler.” It has streamlined things—we’re totally solid.

Maria: We've had an off-and-on relationship with the idea of live drums. It's easy to coordinate with just two people. I agree with Mickey that the sampler has become a really useful tool in our creative process. And it always shows up for practice.

You say that you’re influenced by shoegaze and new wave. Why do fuzzy guitars blend so well with synths and electronic beats?

Mickey: It’s like jumbo shrimp.

Maria: To steal a vocabulary word from Mickey—it's cathartic. Guitar feedback can be super ambient at times. And messy, energetic noise can provide a good counterpoint to the more catchy, melodic part of a song. The beats and sampled noises can also be really distinct, repetitive, and controlled.

What’s next for you guys?

Mickey: We are releasing a three-song CD at our show at Cakeshop in Manhattan on July 24 that we recorded ourselves. It’s called The Lemon Tree EP. After that, we’re ready to record an album, but we’re going to need to go into the studio to do that. So if someone reading this wants to pay for that, give us a ring.



 
 

" We've had an off-and-on relationship with the idea of live drums. It's easy to coordinate with just two people. [...] the sampler has become a really useful tool in our creative process. And it always shows up for practice. "


Mister Melt
"Self Titled"


listen to "


what it is

Fuzzy, buzzy rock ‘n’ roll with a New Wave edge. For those who like: The Jesus and Mary Chain, Raveonettes, and Cults