EMQ’s with MELTED BODIES
Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Los Angeles, California based, impossible to pigeonhole, zany, incredibly clever and superb Melted Bodies. Huge thanks to Scott, Houda and Ben for taking part.
What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
Scott: Scott – drums. Andy and I went to go see the film “Why Don’t You Play in Hell?” and during our discussion afterwards, he’d mentioned he’d started recording some demos. Andy asked if I could play thrash-metal drums –– which actually made me nervous because I hadn’t played in years –– but I said fuck it, when can we start rehearsing?
Houda: Houda – Bass and backing screams. I’d known Andy for years, he posted that he needed a bass player to play a show in a month. After one trial run with him and Scott, it felt like we’d been a playing together for years
Ben: Ben – Keyboards, Synths, and Programming. I actually booked Melted Bodies to play the first ever show when it was basically just Andy, Scott, and Houda. I was doing a weird art show and I knew that Andy and Scott had just started a band, so I wanted them to play. Shortly thereafter, I joined as the keyboard player.
How did you come up with your band name?
Scott: I did my part to pressure Andy into keeping it. I forgot why we’d ever considered changing it.
Houda: It was a group effort to make sure Andy didn’t change it
Ben: I can’t believe Andy ever wanted to change it, but he tried, and failed, because I love the name Melted Bodies.
What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
Scott: Los Angeles, CA. The scene here is psych/garage/indie rock as far as the eye can see. It took a second for us to find our footing in the local scene. That said, there are some really hard, exciting, genre-bending acts. The DIY scene was a blast before COVID hit.
Houda: LA born and raised! I’d been part of the punk scene since I was a teenager, and always stumbled across metal shows. It’s all DIY and warehouse shows and based on word of mouth.
Ben: We’re from LA, but personally I’m from the South-eastern border of Ohio and West Virginia on the Ohio River. I grew up in a small town, but oddly enough, we absolutely punched above our weight in terms of a local “scene”, though it was mostly fringe Christian hardcore bands. Zao is actually from my hometown, and I briefly used to party with those dudes when I was younger.
What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)
Scott: Our LP; “Enjoy Yourself”.
Ben: Like Scott said.
‘Ad People’ (Official Video)
‘Eat Cops’ (Audio)
Who have been your greatest influences?
Scott: Being a drummer, I’m oftentimes a slave to the beat. I grew up liking things all over the map. My first love was film scores, actually. From there, the earliest acts I remember liking were Nine Inch Nails, Beastie Boys, Talking Heads. I loved TOOL growing up. Aphex Twin. I wasn’t as much of a metalhead like some of the others in the band. My older brothers got me into hip-hop, techno, trance, drum n bass, stuff like that. I feel everything I’ve listed informs anything new I’ll like to a degree.
Ben: I actually spend a lot of my time listening to experimental electronic music, so I think some of what I really love that’s adjacent to the music we make is stuff like the Aphex Twin, Simian Mobile Disco, and of course it’s hard to not play synths in a “hard” band without giving some credit to NIN and people like Josh Eustice and Alessandro Cortini. Nowadays, I just listen to a lot of Hawaiian music though to be honest.
What first got you into music?
Scott: At first, I liked music as a compliment to films. Moving pictures were my first passion, and I’d spent a lot of my life wanting to direct films. What got me into music was the choice of Home Economics, Shop Class, or Concert Band. I chose band. I had shit for breath control, so I chose percussion. My parents loved the idea of not having to buy me an expensive-ass Saxophone… little did they realize.
Houda: I grew up with music always bumping in the house, being it Persian Pop music or 1960’s/70’s jams that my mom used to listen to growing up. There happened to be a guitar in the house and one day my dad asked if anyone wanted to learn to play it, I raised my hand. I was fortunate enough to experience the cream of 90’s R&B first hand then pivoted to punk then hardcore as I got older. Growing up bands always needed bass players, so I started translating my guitar skills and have been having a great time.
Ben: My mom was a music teacher, so I started playing piano when I was probably 4-5, and was in choirs etc., basically until I left college. So, I suppose in that regard I was classically trained, though I haven’t retained as much as I’d like. However, in my early teens I started getting music magazines and just started downloading or buying anyone’s record I thought was interesting, which evolved into my current taste and experience with music. As someone in their early 30’s now, Napster and Illegal downloading was honestly a huge part of the way I found so much of the music I love, which is why we’re so psyched that our record is all over the illegal downloading sites now. Hopefully, kids find it and get into us in the same way I did with bands like Megadeth, Norma Jean, Armin Van Buuren, and all the other strange artists I downloaded on accident.
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
Scott: Maybe Bjork or Arca??
Houda: Carly Rae Jepson
Ben: Probably ICP or Steely Dan. ICP would just be wild since they’re such world builders, and I just happen to be listening to Steely Dan right now.
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
Scott: Primavera Sound, probably.
Houda: Honestly all the trendy big-name ones just to confuse the hell out of everyone
Ben: Hellfest, and honestly Coachella. It’s a bit of a thing since we’re in LA of course, but also, it would be fun to introduce a bunch kids trying to see Dua Lipa to our band.
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
Scott: We have fans?
Houda: Them showing up at our shows
Ben: We had a kid come up to us after a show in a tiny bar in Long Beach once and ask for our autographs. We were barely a band at that point, and the show had like 8 people there, but evidently, he’d seen us already like 6-7 times. It was really touching.
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
Scott: We exist!
Houda: Tell all your friends
Ben: Tell your parents to get you Melted Bodies merch for whatever holiday you’re trying to celebrate.
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
Scott: Probably someone more recently deceased. Bodies are a mess when they decompose.
Ben: Obviously, GG Alin.
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
Scott: Love: when you fall into that unspoken flow with your fellow bandmates while jamming. It’s like when everyone takes the same psychedelics and you inexplicably start seeing the same visuals. Well, not really, but drugs are cool anyway. Hate: loading gear.
Houda: The joy of being loud. Being one of the few and far women out here, I get to take all the frustration placed on me by societal and gender norms and completely trash them. Growing up I’ve been told to stay quiet or make myself small, being a musician gives me confidence to call out every-day bullshitery and to have self-worth. Hate: bands that don’t quickly get off the stage after playing. You can talk to your friends afterwards; we have a ton of gear to set up so kindly move.
Ben: I love trying to figure out how to make things emotionally compelling using a limited set of tools, and that distinct feeling of finding the groove or the system that clicks with every other piece of the musical puzzle. Getting in the pocket if you will. I hate playing shows to empty rooms and trying to fake that I like it.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
Scott: I’d guess I’d change more about humans and how they value art. Because our interests indicate we do, but our actions don’t always reflect that passion or interest. I don’t expect to be a millionaire, but a liveable wage as an artist feels reasonable.
Houda: It sounds cliche but that’s because it’s STILL FUCKING HAPPENING: misogyny. I’m tired of sound guys questioning my knowledge, door guys assume I’m a girlfriend, “you’re actually pretty good!”, “they have a chick in the band cuz that’s trendy”, and so on and so forth. Boys need to grow up. (I am fortunate that my bandmates are men)
Ben: I suppose I’d change the way the algorithm works. The way that the Spotify’s of the world dictate the music ecosystem, but also play gatekeeper in a seemingly very impersonal way that doesn’t make you feel like you’re a part of a music community when you’re discovering or endorsing a band.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
Scott: Nine Inch Nails – “Broken”. Or “Ex-Military” by Death Grips.
Houda: Robyn – “Honey”
Ben: Indian – “Guiltless”, 2 8 1 4 – “Birth of a New Day”
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
Scott: Depends. Vinyl for my living room. Cassette for my truck. Downloads for everywhere else and in between.
Houda: Music being available for everyone to access is a win, no matter how you connect with it.
Ben: That’s a tough one. Probably downloads I guess because I can listen to a bunch of totally new music having no idea where it came from or when I got it.
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
Scott: Probably at The Factory alongside Retox and our friends Assquatch. It was hot as hell. The walls were sweating. And inevitably we blew a circuit with all of our gear on stage.
Houda: Scott and Ben called out my favourite shows 😊 The more DIY shows hold a special place in my heart.
Ben: Damn, good question. I think the last show we played before the quarantine was one of our best, with our friends CUNTS, Skullcrack, and Wacko. The cops showed up after our set and they brought helicopters and everything.
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
Scott: Will someone pay me to go camping?
Houda: Comic artist
Ben: I’d probably be an engineer or a social scientist. Or maybe a taxidermist.
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
Scott: Depends what we’re eating. If you can’t dig-in with reckless abandon by my side, I don’t want you there.
Houda: Desus & Mero, Trixie & Katya, and AOC
Ben: The three guys from Last Podcast on the Left, Sarah Squirm, and Sasha Grey
What’s next for the band?
Scott: More music. More albums. More videos. More weird stunts.
Houda: Locking ourselves in a cabin in the woods and writing new material
Ben: We’re starting to work on the next record, and hopefully plenty of touring and playing shows in places we haven’t played yet.
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
Scott: All of them to some degree?
Just for starters.
Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?
Scott: There are no absolutes in this world.
Houda: Trick question: it’s pudding (did I get it right?).
Ben: It sounds like they’re a cake. Can’t argue with their own logic.
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Scott: Buy. Consume. Give us your money.
Houda: Fuck me. Fuck you.
Ben: Tell em that Melted Bodies sent you.
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