'newoasis' // The 405 meets Dead Mellotron
There is an unintentional air of mystery around the Baltimore based group Dead Mellotron. Formed around vocalist/ guitarist Josh Frazier and additional musicians Courtney Corcoran and Aimee Bowen their output to date has consisted of two self-released albums, Ghost Light Constellation (2009) and Dead Mellotron (2010).
Both albums are essentially rooted in fuzzy psychedelic rock and classic shoegaze, with some interesting ambient soundscapes adding an extra bit of colour to the mix. These fairly obscure albums came to the attention of UK label Sonic Cathedral, who went in search of Josh and eventually persuaded him to release another record. The resulting album, Glitter, will be released on May 7th and it is impressive enough to raise their profile considerably in this part of the world. With just 7 tracks and a 30 minute duration, the tracks are woven together to create the feeling of a continuous piece of music.
There is precious little information on the internet about Dead Mellotron, so we attempted to find out a bit more by asking Josh Frazier some questions. We get the impression that they're not big fans of interviews, but when their music is as good as 'Stranger', which you can hear below, it really doesn't matter.
I understand that Dead Mellotron was started by you as a solo project, did it grow out of another band or did you start from scratch on your own?
Yeah I wrote a bunch of really stupid songs and people liked them. It was never going to be a band thing.
The band is now a three-piece – how did you find the other musicians and how have they changed things?
Well, if it weren't for them we wouldn't be playing live. It's really loud now.
Did you move to Baltimore to make music or for other reasons? How is it different to Louisiana in terms of making music?
Other reasons, but it worked out. I don't like Louisiana.
You've made two self-released albums over the last few years, and this one Glitter is released on Sonic Cathedral - how does it differ from the previous two?
It doesn't really. It took a little longer to make I guess.
Also, how did you get together with Sonic Cathedral?
They contacted me a long time ago. I didn't really have anything I felt was worth releasing, and I probably would not have made this album. The artwork is really great; courtney made it.
Is it true that you started to record the new album and then scrapped the initial recordings to start over. What made you do that?
Yeah most of the songs were stupid. I think there's like 80 or so songs that will never be released.
Does it annoy you when your music is described as ‘shoegaze’, do you wish people could find a better term?
Yeah, we're trying to get people to call our music "new oasis". Or I guess 'newoasis' as one word would be okay too. It's going to be the cool new thing for 2012.
People will inevitably compare you to My Bloody Valentine or Deerhunter, what other bands do you consider influences? Are you named after the Neon Blonde song? Are they an influence?
I don't really have any influences, I just play what sounds good to me. We aren't named after anything.
When I searched for more of your music on the internet, I found two different cover versions; one of Beach House’s Saltwater and one of Justin Bieber’s Baby. What made you choose those songs to cover?
I liked the beach house song, and I really liked that Justin bieber song, so it made sense I guess.