Review Fix chats with singer/songwriter Cody Melville, who discusses his upcoming album Bond’s Eye. Melville is also set to perform at NYC’s Bowery Electric on Dec. 11.
Review Fix: How did you get involved in music?
Cody Melville: As a kid I was a huge fan of great songs, still am of course… A friend had a real sweet guitar a beautiful telecaster, he showed me some chords and it all came pretty easily, changing chords and how certain changes fit together so nicely. Once the melodies started popping into my head over the chords I knew I had a thing I could turn to forever.
Review Fix: What’s your creative process like?
Melville: You mean as far as writing? Much like what I just described. Either on guitar or piano, some changes will feel great then a hooky melody will appear, and then most times a phrase that means something to me will arrive. But it’s not always like that. There have been times that a phrase hits me first — something that really says something, at least to me. A good strong phrase will usually road map the rest of the lyric. Once the floodgates have opened there’s always a ton of stuff to mine.
Review Fix: What inspires you?
Melville: Most of the time I write alone. So many things are inspirational – a great song, a film, a woman who breaks hearts or one who doesn’t — a cool car — a friend’s death, a shot and a beer with a cheeseburger while in a bar watching the World Series.
Review Fix: How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard you?
Melville: That’s a tough one that I’ve never been able to answer – of course it’s been asked before. I could mention my heroes and how I think I might sound like their records, a little bit anyway, maybe because of some long held tradition of musicians stealing from their teachers. But then you might think — I don’t hear that at all, this guy is clearly lost — drowning in his Rock ‘n’ Roll fantasy – so it’s probably best for me to pivot on this one and not answer – you know, like the unforgivable politicians do.
Review Fix: What makes this album special?
Melville: Holy shit, now there’s a question – I don’t know – I suppose for me it’s special because it’s the latest one I’ve made. I mean, — it means a lot to me. The area that I work in — this brand of rock ‘n’ roll might be seen by some as quaintly belonging to a former time. In a way it begs to be dismissed by the prevailing winds, but I can’t disregard what has moved me in music and continues to do so and yes – evidence of those chills and thrills are all over my record. So maybe it could be that, that kind of stuff makes it special. As far as the prevailing winds, when they start to blow hard I go inside.
Review Fix: What’s the standout track? How was it written?
Melville: Hmmm…. hard to say. I feel good about the songs here — these are the ones that made the cut. I recorded thirty-three and then one day realized it was time to stop writing and get on with cutting it down to an LP’s worth of tunes. So — I like them all – maybe the standout is the only cover on the record, a cover of the Mick Ronson tune “The Empty Bed”. I learned to sing singing along with that record, among others. I was fortunate enough to get to work with him way back when and yes he is one the heroes I learned from – this bit of stealing was done very intentionally as a respectful tribute to one of the best there ever was.
Review Fix: How are your live shows different from your studio work?
Melville: Mostly in that a lot of the playing on the record I did myself. Not all of it. My brother John does the majority of the real drumming, and then Steve Holley, Keith Lentin, Jeff Levine and Joel B. Cannon did some additional playing. Oh and also, the fantastic Dina Regine sings a duet with me. So live is different — right now I’m rehearsing a band to play live and I’m just sticking to wearing a guitar and stepping up to the microphone to sing.
Review Fix: What are your goals for 2018?
Melville: More of the same – play some shows — write some songs. I bought an old house — I’m determined to redo the upstairs bathroom.
Review Fix: What’s next?
Melville: For me: learning to not be so amazed and angered by all the stupidity, as I see it anyway, in the world, mostly in Washington. These are crazy damn times.