RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW AMERICAN ARTIST THE DEPATIE MELT
Hiya folks thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.
What made you decide to start the band / become a soloist?
I love writing music. It’s one of my favorite things to do. The moment I first hear a demo of a new song is so exciting and satisfying. And the first performance of a new song in front of an audience is another huge thrill. I have enjoyed many of those moments with other people, performing and recording their songs, and I finally got to the point that I wanted more of an outlet for my own songs.
Introduce us to you and your musical history?
I chose the name DePatie Melt for a couple of reasons. One was that it’s a little corny but hopefully easy to remember. The other was that it reflects the fact that the personnel are often changing. I’m the only constant. I’ve been a pro guitarist in Los Angeles since 1992. For many years my focus was on being a sideman/session musician, doing gigs and recordings in lots of styles for many different artists.
For the last five years or so I’ve been focusing my energies more on putting my own music out and performing under my own name. In 2019 Will Faerber and Peter Wilson put on a couple of shows to feature me in the San Diego area. We needed a name for the shows and Will suggested DePatie Melt after a song that Don Randi and I released on our duo album Acoustimania from 2013. I liked it so much that I decided to use it for my group name.
What one question you’re sick of being asked when interviewed?
A lot of times I think of the best answers just after the interview. I’m sick of that. I think I’m the problem lol.
Did you buy anything you don’t need in the pandemic?
I bought a lot of music software. I can’t say that I don’t need it but I probably bought a lot more than I need.
We have set up RGM USA sharing USA music with the uk scene and vice versa, what are your thoughts on the UK music scene?
I am really influenced by a lot of guitarists from the U.K. The list is long… way too long to really get into. But if I were to mention two of them it would be Mark Knopfler and Jeff Beck. I’ve spent hours listening to them both and dissecting their guitar playing. Both are absolutely brilliant.
What useless party trick do you have?
I play guitar.
What was the most fun you have had on stage?
I have had the time of my life on huge festival stages and tiny bar stages and everything in between. It’s always fun! I guess I really love when the audience is really engaged because then they start to become part of the music. The crowd can affect the performance.
What was the worst experience on stage?
Equipment malfunctions are the worst. I’ve had bad tubes, bad cables, broken strings, pickups coming out of their mountings, battery issues, bad electricity, you name it. I carry spares for most stuff so hopefully I (and the audience) don’t have to suffer too long.
Tell us something about you that you think people would be surprised about?
My first instrument was euphonium.
If you had to describe your band/music to an alien how would you describe it?
I’d tell them music is something that has to be experienced and they should listen to it!
What makes you stand out as a artist?
Even though the first three releases under the name DePatie Melt were vocal tunes, I mainly do instrumental songs. I get a lot of comments from people that my music sounds like it belongs in a film. I greatly appreciate the sentiment and welcome any opportunity to have my music in film or t.v., but when I write songs I’m thinking about performing them in concert, hopefully for a group of active listeners. So, having a lot of songs without vocals is one of the things I get asked about frequently.
Right now, what’s pissing you off the most?
One of my motivations as an artist is to give people something to take their minds off of their troubles. I’m human and there are things that get to me but rather than get pissed off I prefer to channel that energy into creating something to lift peoples’ spirits.
What’s your favourite song to play live and why?
I don’t have one particular favorite, but I tend to really like to play songs where I can interpret my part or improvise a bit. I spend a lot of time working on how to improvise, and the earliest music that I fell in love with featured a lot of improvisation, so I like to mix it up when it suits the music.
I hear you have a new single, what can you tell us about it?
Yes, The Viking Princess And The Troll King. I’m really excited to finally give this song a proper release! I put it out on YouTube in 2019, but never made it available for purchase or streaming on any other platforms. It’s kind of old sounding I think. I was thinking less about doing something super original, and thinking more about something that would be fun to play.
It’s kind of special to me because of the feeling that it has. It’s not really bluesy, but it has the 12/8 groove that is really fun to play. The backing track is slow and spacious and gives me a lot of room to play over the top of it.
Talk me through the thought process of the single?
I came up with the title while visiting Norway in 2017. At that point I didn’t have the music yet. I sat down to write while on vacation in 2018 and the song came out pretty fast. I really liked it and I put it away knowing that I’d come back to it later. After I’d let it sit for a couple of months I listened back to it again and realized that the music really fit the title that I had come up with more than a year before.
What was the recording process like?
I had prepared the track to be used for a video for YouTube. My intention was to record live with the camera rolling. I did perform it live for the camera, and the video that’s out predated the song by several years. I got a great response from it and I regretted that I hadn’t released the song properly. So, the performance that’s on the release version is the same performance that’s on the video.
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the single?
This one popped out pretty quickly. It uses some pretty familiar sounding chords. The tricky part was finding a way to phrase the melody.
Would you change anything now it’s finished?
I’m really happy with it. I’d love to do a version with live musicians playing the other instruments. It’s really a fun one to play live though so maybe I’ll put out a live version someday.
What are your plans for the year ahead?
I’ve got another single that’s finished that’s coming soon. It’s another instrumental called Paladins’ Song. There are some shows on the east coast of the US in the works. There are more instrumental tracks on the way too.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
Independent artists like myself are so appreciative of every little thing that music fans do for us. In today’s music industry people often judge artists by their social media presence. Every like, thumbs up, comment, playlist add, stream, the sale means something.