Tera Melos

Tera Melos Session - December 2011

Tera Melos Session
Violitionist Sessions

Session Date: November 7, 2011
Posting Date: December 12, 2011
Artist Hometown: Sacramento, CA
Links: TeraMelosMusic.com, Tumblr, Facebook, Bandcamp
Recorded by: Michael Briggs

Melody Nine
[ improvisation ]
So Occult / Kelly
ONE: What’s behind your obsession with The Simpsons?
Nick Reinhart: Someone came up to our merch table the other day and said “Hey! I’ve got a question! What’s the deal with the Simpsons obsession?” And Nathan and I were just like, “What do you mean?”
Nathan Latona: I asked him, “Have you ever watched The Simpsons?” It’s not like it’s not a deep show on many levels, and it’s not like there’s not zillions of characters and back stories and stuff like that. It’s not like it’s a flat show!
Nick: Yeah, I guess we just really like that show…
John Clardy: There’s a lot to like about it.
Nick: It’s sort of an all-encompassing, really cool cartoon.
John: It’s its own universe, a vast universe. There’s a lot that you can get out of it.
Nathan: I think it’s inspiration, and it’s inspired our music because it’s not like…at this point, I’m not sure how many episodes there are, but it’s like there are some that are fairly weaker than others, and there are some that have more themes than others, but it’s still all The Simpsons, you know?
John: I think it’s rooted in a really subversive spirit as well. Obviously, Matt Groening doesn’t write every episode, but it makes sense coming from what I know about his music taste, which is like Captain Beefheart and off the map stuff like that. Something about that just makes sense to me while watching that show, and I think that spirit clicks with all of us.
DJ: I saw online that you’ve been playing The Simpsons Monopoly. How are the rules for this edition different from the original game?
Nathan: Instead of homes and hotels, you have Monorail stops and Monorail stations. That’s one thing. This isn’t necessarily a rule or anything, but we found…and we wonder if we have a weird, bootleg version of it, but the property that should be “Moe’s Tavern” is called “Moe’s Bar”, which is curious.
Nick: We got it in Canada from someone, so maybe it’s a weird thing where they don’t call them taverns…
DJ: A Canadian edition?
Nathan: Yeah, and there’s a few other things too, like, in the rulebook it doesn’t refer to the Monorail stops or stations as Monorail stops or stations; it says hotels and homes.
Nick: That was just them being lazy! Someone just glossed over that and missed it.
TWO: You went on your first European tour this summer, after numerous unfortunate failed attempts…
Nathan: Numerous failed attempts to go to the mainland still! We haven’t even been to the mainland. We’ve been to the UK and Ireland.
DJ: How did it turn out?
John: It was good. It was a lot of fun. I think we got…We didn’t really know what to expect, but based on the experiences we had going to Japan, which was that we went over there expecting the worst, and then we actually found out, like, “Whoa! We do really well over here!” Both of our Tokyo shows were sold out, and it was really huge. In the UK and Ireland, it was still good, but it was a little more like early tours over here, where it’s like you have to keep coming back and build it up the best way that you can, which I think is similar to touring North America, so it was a little different, but we still had a good time.
Nick: Well, all things considered, we flew to the other side of the planet and had people coming to our shows who knew all of our songs, which is just crazy if you’re thinking about it that way. We like to think about stuff like that, you know? We don’t take stuff like that for granted like lots of bands might.
DJ: Considering your success in Japan and elsewhere, how do you think your music connects with people internationally? How do they find out about it?
Nick: That’s a good question…
Nathan: How they find out about it…I really can’t answer…
Nick: We asked a guy in Boston last week, who was from New Zealand, and I asked him that same question: “How does someone in New Zealand even come to hear about our band?” Because he heard about us seven years ago, or I guess it was only in 2005. So, he heard about us before we had really done any… Well, we hadn’t done any big tours or anything. We hadn’t done any national tours, so we were still not even on a lot of people’s radars, and he couldn’t even answer. Like, “I don’t know how I heard about you guys, I just did. “ From word of mouth stuff, you know?
Nathan: Yeah, he said it was through like Amazon or something else really weird.
Nick: I think I remember what it was. I think he said that he bought a Hella record, and on Amazon it was recommended.
Nathan: Even so, that’s weird enough. Like, you bought a Hella record on Amazon.com?
Nick: I mean, I guess that does make sense. It’s like, you buy a Hella record, and then the way that works is that when multiple people buy a Hella record and they are also buying our record off of Amazon…
Nathan: Yeah, it’s a trickle-down.
Nick: It makes sense. It’s just crazy to think that we can see how it works, because I don’t know how people hear about us. It’s weird. That’s why when people do come from far away, it’s interesting to hear that, because we wonder that same thing all the time.
DJ: How are the current dates with Boris going?
Nathan: Just to get the whole back story, we started a tour with Boris, and we did a few weeks with them, and then we broke off and did a few weeks with Melt Banana, so we went from one crazy experimental Japanese band to the next—totally a coincidence, and now we’re in between. We’re going to meet back up with Boris in a few days and finish out our tour with them. It’s been going great.
John: Great, yeah. Super fun. You know, it’s funny that we do well over in Japan, but from the Japanese bands that we’ve played with over there and over here, they have a really strong appreciation for out there music – weird, experimental, subversive, whatever you want to use to describe it. They hold that in a really high value over there, and it just seems that, like what I was saying about how The Simpsons kind of clicks with us, something about us just works with Japanese bands who think outside of the box, too.
Nick: There’s a common denominator somewhere in there. Between The Simpsons, Japan, and us.
Nathan: Yeah, I’ve been trying to think of how to make that connection, too. The culture there is very cool, weird, and bizarre, much like The Simpsons, much like our music, so it all just kind of makes sense.
John: Yeah, whatever is working there for us, we’re definitely appreciative of it, because it’s super fun to be on tour with both of those bands. They’re amazing people and have awesome, interesting music. It’s been great.
THREE: Where do you see yourselves two years from now?
Nathan: It’s so hard to picture what we’re doing. I mean, it’s like, we know what we’re doing going up until the tour ends, basically. I couldn’t tell you two weeks past that, really.
Nick: Well, what would we like to be doing two years from now? What would you like to be doing?
Nathan: Two years from now…well, I hope that we would be…Two years from now? We probably will have put out another record, and—
Nick: Plus some, maybe.
John: Some EPs, some splits. Reach for the sky.
Nathan: Exactly two years from now, we’d probably be finishing up the same thing that we’re doing now. We’d be finishing a tour cycle, and we’ll probably be doing an interview where we’re being asked what our plans are, and we’ll be saying “I dunno!”
Nick: But wouldn’t you say that hopefully we’re finishing up a much larger tour?
Nathan: Well, yeah. I thought that was implied.
Nick: I don’t know, that wasn’t implied. And maybe we’re doing an interview with, like—
Nathan: Don’t make these dudes feel bad!
Nick: —NBC or something. Well, I’m just saying, you never know. That’s why we’re saying what we’d hope will happen. Or, two years from now, maybe we’re doing an interview with Rolling Stone right after a tour with…
John: Do the stop on Conan, you know.
Nick: Yeah. Who knows.
Nathan: Or we get into an argument in the van right after this and break up.
John: Anything’s possible.
DJ: It’s not that far to Rubber Gloves. I’m not sure what you would have time to fight about.
John: You’d be surprised.
– Interview and transcription by Dale Jones