An Interview With Charlie Smith From Meltt

Meltt, who are tagged as a psychedelic-rock band from Vancouver, BC, have been making waves with their vibrant instrumental productions and ability to transport the audience to serene audio dreamscapes. Their shoegaze guitar riffs and multi-faceted lyrical compositions naturally evoke emotions and captivate listeners, shown by their mass of over 200,000 Spotify listeners.

As Meltt prepares to release their newest EP, Another Quiet Sunday, on March 3rd, we chatted with lead vocalist Chris Smith about the band spending a month in a remote cabin, their approach to music, their upcoming tour, and more. Read the full interview below.

MSM: Could you tell us how Meltt came about?

CS: We’re a collective of friends that basically all met each other in high school or even earlier… In grade six or seven, we started playing together in a band setting, playing covers, and that went on through high school. We would (also) play events at the high school or youth center, just gigs around town. Once we went to university, James went to a different university across the country in Montreal, and Jamie and I stayed local in B.C. I wanted to keep pursuing making stuff together… and the stuff we were doing was interesting to me at that time. So, (I) kind of convinced James to move back to Vancouver after his first year. And that’s kind of where it started.

MSM: Describe your guys approach to music. Are there any messages you’re trying to send out or stories you’re trying to tell through music?

CS: I always seem to write about time, which is maybe a bit cliche, but the feeling of time escaping you and wondering how I should be spending time when that’s the only real valuable resource of anyone’s life. Also, the death of family and moving through those kinds of hard times. That’s a thing that comes through the writing of our songs too. But it’s so many different things.

MSM: You guys have a new record coming out, Another Quiet Sunday, that supposedly touches on the feelings around loss. Was this record more difficult to write in comparison to your other tracks?

CS: There were good things and bad things about the way it was done. It was harder as a group collaborative effort because of the pandemic. Usually, we’d be evolving our demo ideas in the room, bringing something in, and working on it immediately. But this was a long period of time of collecting those ideas and not even showing each other for a while. Then we got together in this remote cabin for a full month straight. It gave us a lot of time to breathe and tinker around in. It’s all a butterfly effect… If there was no pandemic, we might not have decided to book a full month together and intensively work on stuff. It was easier and harder in different ways.

MSM: How do you cull through and sort out which (demos) you’re gonna take? Is there bits and pieces from each that you pull together to make a whole new song?

CS: Looking through our Ableton sessions, hitting play, taking notes, and talking about each one afterwards and thinking, oh, that verse is really cool, but we need to figure out if it’s an actual song or not, to finalize arranging or even continue writing. There’s a song on the upcoming album (where) the first half was one of my old demos, and the second half was one of James’. And we figured out a way to mash them into each other, which is pretty cool.

MSM: Who do you guys pull inspiration from? In terms of both musical figures  and personal figures.

CS: Dave Bayley from Glass Animals. The first album, Zaba, was a pretty big inspiration for us when we were starting out. Kevin Parker from Tame Impala is a big one for all of us as well, especially because he does everything alone. Scott Hansen, or Tycho, musically and visually, we’ve definitely been inspired by.

MSM: You guys are getting back on the road soon, what’s your favorite thing about playing live? 

CS: Interacting with the fans that come out is the coolest thing for me. Just meeting people at the merch table, and you can tell it’s impacted them in some way and that they’re really excited to be there. It’s a really fulfilling feeling.

MSM: Is there any music you’re rocking out to right now?

CS: A band I want to shout out is Loving. They’re a psychedelic indie folk kind of thing… It’s beautiful. Lately, I’ve been really liking the new Arcs record, and on the same label, Hermanos Gutiérrez.

MSM: Lastly, what mark do you guys want to leave on the music industry and your fans?

CS: We just want to leave some messages of positivity. Some kind of escape that leaves you in a better place than you were before you entered it. Ideally, just a positive moving force through your ears, your venues, your cities, and your countries.

*Featured Image Credit: Zachary Vague

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