By Sebastian Mackay
Melodime. It’s a portmanteau that means “memories in the form of sound”. And that’s exactly what this band’s albums create: memories.
Formed in a hayloft outside DC in the summer of 2006 Melodime isn’t only creating memories for themselves. The indie band started their own charity, Now I Play Along, Too.
It’s a charity that gives instruments to under privileged children, funded by the sales of their October 2013 release Where the Sinners and the Saints Collide. But you’d be wrong to think this is a stunt that gives only a small amount to the charity. The band is donating 100% of the proceeds from the crowd funded album.
Vocalist and lead guitarist Brad Rhodes says it’s a risk but it’s something they’re excited about and that there are other ways to make money. It may only be in the infancy stage, but Melodime is already planning a trip to Haiti and also work around greater DC area in the meantime.
As with all good causes this is one the band connect to and it begins with drummer Tyler Duis’ great-grand father.
“My great-grandfather moved here (to the US) and was from a poor family. One day, five instruments were anonymously dropped off at this house,” says Duis.
Duis’ great-grandfather took up the fiddle and the family formed a band. Playing shows became a way to make ends meet, as it now is with Melodime.
More than a charity project, Where the Sinners and the Saints Collide continues on from where their second album, 3 Reasons for Fighting, left off.
Rhodes says that the continuation was band principle. “We want to link everything we do together thematically. People have different seasons and phases in their lives. 3 Reasons for Fighting is about the uphill battle of fighting…Where the Sinners and the Saints Collide is more about redemption and us getting used to being the underdog.”
The idea behind the album title and record is that we can use our mistakes to do something great.
Rick Beato (of Black Dog Sound) produced the new album and it was also the first time the band had left home to record.
It’s more of a step toward the rock end of the spectrum but Rhodes says there are constants in Melodime that will never change.
“We’re a very piano driven band. The songwriting process changes a little bit but we’re not trying to do something outside of ourselves.”
He assures me that they’re not about to make an EDM record (even if it would make a good joke) and, if given the chance, says he’d go back in time and lock the creator of electronic music in his basement (not that you can blame him).
Wiley sums it up for Rhodes and Duis when he talks about the most important thing about creating music.
“Honesty of expression,” he says. “There’s a lot of…BS. And people are slowly but surely rebelling and want more modest music.”
They’re a band that wants to be remembered for transparency and for having a back catalogue that you can play chronologically and listen to the journey of their lives.
And they are well on their way. Catch the band at Boot and Saddle this Friday night (Feb. 7th).