Melted channel anxiety through music
August 02, 2018
Located in Long Beach, California, Melted is a surf punk band established in 2014. In the midst of a rich scene, the band soaks up invaluable advice from seasoned musicians. Chiefly, the guidance helped them grow into a more focused, goal-oriented band.
“On my first few tours, the bands I was in just kind of hit the road. We didn’t solidify shows that would sustain us, nor did we understand why we were going. We toured because we thought we had to. Now, things are much more specific and thought-out, especially with recording. We consider where we want to go, why, what sounds we want. Dynamics are important now. Before, we went into the studio and did what the engineer said.”
Recognized as one of the busiest container terminals in the world, Long Beach lies in the southeastern corner of Los Angeles County and borders Orange County. The music industry is perceived as fiercely competitive, however, the band notes that their scene is far more overcrowded than cut-throat.
“It’s more over-saturated than competitive. There’s so many good shows happening every day. It indirectly becomes competitive because of that. I don’t feel like a lot of LA bands are trying to one up each other, or at least that’s how our experience has been. Is does vary by location but generally, anywhere in LA proper is like that.”
The band’s music straddles the line between indie rock, garage rock and punk. They feel most at home playing lively punk shows.
“We feel most at home when we play punk shows. We’re really energetic and we like the shows the most when the crowd is energetic too. It is sort of seems like were too crossover for a lot of people. Like the Swellers said ‘too punk for the pop kids, too pop for the punk kids.”
“We often find ourselves playing with friends on mixed bills. Some nights we play punk shows, some are garage rock shows, some are pop punk. Some shows, the crowd reaction is amazing, kids flying into the drums and never NOT moving, other shows will be a bunch of people standing around with their $5 drinks nodding their heads IF THAT. It’s pretty inconsistent but were okay with it. Keeps it interesting.”
A latchkey kid,vocalist Justin Eckley found his escape through music by way of file sharing sites namely, as Limewire and The Pirate Bay. With all styles of music at his fingertips, his taste knew no boundaries.
“We went to all kinds of shows, metalcore, crust, powervoice, beatdown, pop punk, you name it, we went. Mostly left to my own devices, I spent a lot of time with friends and their families. I went to a show once that was Stickup Kid and Full of Hell. DIY gets weird out here sometimes. I think hardcore shows, oddly enough, are full of more respectful people.”
Melted released their new record Thin Skin on March 16th through Open Door Records, Celebrity Punk House, Astro Lizard Records, Programme Sounds, Stardumb Records.
The album’s lyrics explore depression, anxiety, loneliness and self-harm. It’s not all doom and gloom though, the record’s somber lyrics are backed by catchy, fun, surf punk riffs.
Eckley finds relief through performing live.
“Angst is forever. Slap that on a shirt and sell it. Those are definitely all things I’ve dealt with and deal with all the time. I go back and forth between having the best time and the worst time all in the same moment. Anxiety is the worst of them though. I struggle with anxiety every day, whether it be about work life or home life or gig life. For some reason, writing about having a good ol’ time is impossible for me. It feels forced or fleeting, so I tend to avoid that. Plus jumping around, shaking my head and screaming about my anxieties feels cathartic.”
“I know there are people who feel similar. My goal is to get it out in the open so it can be discussed instead of hidden away so your friends don’t gaslight you. For me, there is no transition into adulthood. I feel like I’m going to be an adolescent until I die and THAT is what’s terrifying.”
They encourage anyone who is struggling to channel their passion and anxieties through music.
“Nothing has really helped me in life like playing music has. It’s even brought forth some serious insecurities in me and makes my relationships in life a bit harder to manage. There’s too much value to playing music. The lesson I wish to give is: start a band. Start 3 bands. Make music with your friends. Go on tour. Change a tire.”
Although I wasn’t a fan myself, our generation was inundated with commercial emo music. The music was largely criticized and misunderstood by the media. It was mocked and blamed for young people harming themselves. By contrast, the music helped many lonely outsiders express themselves and feel like they belonged.
“The thing people seem to forget when conversations like this occur, is that bands like Saves the Day and AFI, regardless if you enjoy the music, make kids go out and research more music. They look up to those bands and listen to them when they say who their influences are. You know how I discovered Jawbreaker? Set Your Goals covered “Do you still hate me?” On their first 7″.”
“I do think there is a huge stigma to talking about feelings, inside music and out. One thing I think is important to mention is that music like that doesn’t convince people to cause self-harm, it was probably the only that keeps them from doing it sooner. It was so nice to hear people who were talented and famous and beautiful could have the same self-doubt and anxiety that a dumb kid could feel and talk about it publicly.”
“It’s fair to criticize bands for their lyrics if they seem harmful, hateful or one sided, but looking down at a band that says “I’m not ok” is dismissive and harmful itself.”
The band hopes to have new music out next year and to tour the country.
“We can’t say too much, but I can say we will be touring in October, and hopefully venturing outside the US in the next year. Were also putting together some new demos, hoping to hit the studio again before 2019 for LP2.”