DT: June 28, 2017
–AMERICANA ROOTS ROCK ARTIST–
DIGS IN DEEP IN NEW Q & A
ROD MELANCON is an Americana roots rock singer, songwriter and musician from Louisiana who is based in Los Angeles. SOUTHERN GOTHIC—released 6/16/17 via Blue Elan Records–marks ROD’s second full-length album and takes listeners further into the light and darkness of his own poetic vision with songs based on tales of the people from his South Louisiana homeland. The album has captured the attention of Rolling Stone which raved, “Rod Melancon sings with the cool, unhurried swagger of someone who’s grown up on Southern time. He shines a light on those geographic roots with this summer’s Southern Gothic, an album anchored in the characters, challenges and occasional chaos of the Bible Belt” (6/19/17). MELANCON opens up in this Q&A.
“10 QUESTIONS WITH ROD MELANCON/SOUTHERN GOTHIC”
Q: Your new album SOUTHERN GOTHIC captivates the light and dark aspects of day-to-day life. What is something you like to do when the sun is shining and something you like to do under the gloom of a storm?
A: When the sun’s out I usually just go for a walk around East L.A. I’ll usually listen to a few records in full. I listened to most of Tom Petty’s discography for the first time that way. When it’s overcast I’ll usually do the same. I like the rain. The smell reminds me of home.
Q: You’ve lived in Los Angeles for the past 10 years after having moved to the city from Loiusiana. When you go back home or have a tour stop in your home state, what is the one place you make sure to visit—or eat—while there that you can’t get anywhere else?
A: Every time I’m back home I like to just hang around my childhood home. It’s surrounded by rice fields and 10 minute away from any town. The sunsets are amazing and I’m recharged by my roots. Also, no need to venture out to any kind of restaurant. My mom can cook it all. From crawfish etouffee to gumbo. She’s got it covered.
Q: You recently wrapped up a 20-date spring tour. Have any rituals before hitting the stage?
A: Before I step on stage I like to listen to Link Wray’s “Rumble” usually followed by Tom Petty’s “Anything That’s Rock N Roll.” I also like to get a nice chat in with my lady.
Q:If you were to record a duet with a current artist outside the genre of music for which you’re known, who might that be and which song would you cover and why?
A: I’d probably do something with Kurt Vile. Probably Mudcrutch’s “Scare Easy.”
Q:Which famous historical event would you like to have witnessed and why?
A: It’s a close tie between MLK’s I Have a Dream speech and Harvey Milk’s Gotta Give Them Hope speech. Both beautiful and powerful speeches that changed the world forever. They are equal rights activist of biblical proportions. Instead of a musical instrument they used a podium.
Q:You have one question to ask one musician. What’s the question, and who are you asking?
A: I’d settle with just being in the same room as Tom Petty. Though I’m not sure what I’d ask him. Probably about what it was like being in the business when he was my age. We both moved to Los Angeles from the Deep South at a young age.
Q: When you’re aiming to cut loose on a Saturday night, what’s the song you put on to light a match on the night?
A: “Run Through the Jungle” by CCR will get me through anything. I listen to it almost every morning. Maybe that’s why I can’t stop writing about the Vietnam War. Saigon….shit.
Q: Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time and why?
A: The Ghost of Tom Joad by Bruce Springsteen. I don’t listen to it as much as I once did but it taught me how to structure a story song. It was my songwriting teacher. One can’t forget where he learned his tricks.
Q: Although your career is still young, might you have experienced a Spinal Tap moment so far?
A: I was invited to tour Ardent Studios in Memphis, Tennessee. I was a fan of Big Star and a number of other artist that recorded there. The Replacements etc etc. We get there and out walks Jody Stephens. “Nice to me you, Rod. I’ll be showing you around today.” The last surviving member of Big Star showed me around. Holy Shit. He then hit me up a few days later and told me how much he dug Southern Gothic. Big moment for a kid from the swamp.
Q: What was the last meal you cooked for yourself?
A: I’m not much of a cook. I lose so much weight while touring that I mostly just try to eat high protein/ high calorie meals when I return. You can’t sing songs about being a mad talkin’ man and look like a shrimp. I live a double life as a weight lifter. My dad showed me the ropes when I was super young.
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