If talking about music is like dancing about architecture, as The Melodics’ frontman Jeremy Koren muses, then why not splash a little colour on it all and try a completely different approach to record-making? Renowned Melbourne producer Jan Skubiszewski (Jackson Jackson, Phrase) definitely ‘got’ that idea, adding a little shade of electric blue to The Melodic’s sparkly tinge of gold on the band’s new EP – a collection of four singles that samples what’s to come on their upcoming second album.
“First of all, we worked with three producers – Jan, Russell Fawcus and Forrester Savell,” explains Koren. “It’s always important for us to have the producer understand what we’re aiming for exactly, and we’ve actually gotten a lot better at explaining ourselves.
“And, definitely, that old quote about talking about music being like talking about architecture is true… So I decided to use imagery-based stuff to get across what we wanted in the sound. I was working with Jan on a track – and he’s a very visual person as well – so I said to him, ‘At the moment this track feels like it’s a deep shade of red, but I want it to have strikes of electric blue in it’… And he totally understood what I was talking about straight away!” he laughs.
“The outcome he came up with was exactly what I wanted and pictured in my mind! And all three of those guys – Jan, Russell and Forrester – they’re all different cats, but they all had this thing in common that helped us to create our vision.”
The initial vision? Well, get a bunch of friends together, line them up, and then throw cans of gold paint on their heads, jokes Koren. Sort of.
“Often with The Melodics, we start from a visual feed and then it just grows form there. In this case, the imagery led to the concept of the EP cover which came from the imagine in my head of maybe getting some friends together and taking some photos just as gold paint was falling on their heads. And we loved it!
“Conceptually it sounded really great. And that’s also how we found the sound of the record – it was within that concept. That gold paint visual really struck us and gave us a point to work towards sonically.”
As it happens, according to Koren, Paint It Gold is not only the name of the new EP but also the name of a track which will make its debut on The Melodics’ sophomore album in the near future. While a possible release date is not yet known, Koren says new material is slowly but surely coming together.
“You know, our first album (4D) took us close to two years to make, so it was a bit of a relief to be able to bang out songs like this and just put them on an EP. To be honest, looking back on it it’s been a long road and it’s really just a blur because it was such a drawn-out experience. It’s a huge undertaking but it paid off in the end because the next thing we knew we were doing festivals like Pyramid Rock and Kiss My Grass.
“And another reason I’m glad we did the EP,” he adds, “is because it’s just made us even more excited about doing our next album. It’s definitely an introduction of what’s to come on the album too.”
Think indie rock mixed with electro and throw in some synth-pop plus plenty of hip-hop and you’ll get the gist of what The Melodics are doing on Paint It Gold as well as what they’re aiming for on the upcoming album. In fact, as Koren adds, think of the EP as somewhat of a sampler.
“We’ve been together for years now and we’re a really cross-genre band that messes with heaps of different styles. We’re a band that’s messed around with blues, jazz and everything in between. Then one day you come to a point where you want to refine your sound a little more, you want to make things work better as a band and I think the EP defines aesthetic we’re building towards. It just came out very easy on this record, I can’t explain it.
“When you’re writing and recordings songs that you’re really just instantly loving,” he adds further, “all you want to do is just get them on CD and get them out there as soon as possible! That was the case this time. We found ourselves with a bunch of really strong tracks and we put them out. We could have put them down and just kept working until we had a full album’s worth next year… Or we figured we could just put them out because they had a strong enough concept behind them.”
As though it was meant to be, according to Koren, fate would have it that three of Melbourne’s top producers happened to be available to work with the band at the very same time… A few months later and The Melodics are getting ready to officially launch Paint Me Gold but also take it out on the road across the country over the month of November.
“Of course, we’ll still be playing some stuff off our first album too,” says Koren of the upcoming launch. “There are lots of tracks off 4D which we still love to play, so it’ll be quite a big mix. There’ll be older stuff too and even some brand new songs that we’ve managed to write ever since we put the EP together.
“We’ll launch it with Jess Harlen, another band called Strange Talk and Alba Varden, so it’ll be all live electro, rock, soul and hip-hop – it’s going to be a huge night. When we’re choosing support acts for The Melodics, we always like to get a varied set and this time we thought these guys would work really well together.”
THE MELODICS launch their new EP Paint It Gold with a huge show at The Corner Hotel this Saturday October 23. Tickets from The Corner box office, 9427 9197 or cornerhotel.comcornerhotel.com. They’ll be joined by Jess Harlen, Strange Talk and Alba Vadren. Paint It Gold is out now.