Interview with Mel Monaco

Mel Monaco already has three full albums, two EPs and a handlful of singles since 2015, so she can hardly be considered a new artist. This includes the fact that she's written, performed and recorded many genres with ease. Jazz, new wave, swing, and country to name several. In her latest single for "Love Tides", she leaves her mark in the YachtPop scene, if there is one. If not, she's the one building it, which technically makes her one of the best new artists to listen to. In our interview with this new artist, we go over her discography leading up to her latest single. 

New Artist Interview: Mel Monaco 

(Mel Monaco interview transcribed and process to correct text is pending)

Mel Monaco is on the line. Monaco. Mm. A scratch set and we'll fix it in post. Ok, Mel Monaco is on the line. Hi. Hello. Hello. You went to go get headphones. I'm sure you're like, deal with equipment. Doing sound, all that stuff. You have a nice weekend. All of a sudden some chump from, uh, down south wants to talk to you and you're like headphones again. I thought it all good. Good to be in the chat. How's everything going with you? I am doing well. We're actually gearing up to perform tonight.

Uh, so that's fun. Well, our Thanksgiving up here in Canada so it should be a good night. Yeah. And then I have two days off. So that would be good. Where are you gonna be performing tonight? Uh, we're at, uh sh in resort at the resort about a half an hour away from where I live. Ok. In Niagara. Yeah. The vocals breaking up a little bit. But, oh, no, it should be fine. It should I speak louder. Uh Yeah, that, that would work. Ok. Uh, won't, won't take too much of your time if, uh, if you've got probably about an hour at the most.

You're good with that. Uh, to chat. Yeah. Yeah. Ok. We can talk about all sorts of stuff, politics, we can talk about, you know, climate change. What we want to talk about right now is "Love Tides," your new single, which I, I think is like the third of two or third of the coming up for an album. Is that right? Maybe. I mean, I'm in the process of really writing a lot of uh new songs right now. And so I'm in a really creative space, I'm assuming at some point they will be recorded and released and hopefully in a record of sorts, uh I think I'm due for it.

It's been a couple of years since I released my last record. So, yeah. Yeah, I stand corrected because the last two before this were covers. Yeah. And then prior to that, I had six records, right? I've heard them all and you heard them all. It's awesome. Yeah, I spent all day listening to Mel Monaco. I said, I'm, I'm gonna do this because I'd already heard some of your singles. And I was like, uh actually, when you were responding to me because I'm actually doing a um uh a write up about the, the video and you were down to do it today.

I'm like, oh, wow, how, how fortunate is that because I'm listening to your stuff already. So, very cool. You're in the headspace. That's awesome. Yeah, and very interesting to that. You went for the yacht rock, even though you put yourself out there as being a, a traveler. Right? That's not, that's nothing new. Something that you like to do, which is probably why this has a yacht rock sound. I like to call it yacht pop. But, yeah, yeah, you know, it's definitely that yacht rock inspired music. Uh, but I have more of a poppy vibe to it.

That's pop. So I combined the two. Yeah, that's right. Even with that though, did y rock ever sound like rock? It always sounded like pop anyway, didn't it? Absolutely. Philly Dan, one of my favorite bands and they were so poppy, they should have, they should have leaned on that a little bit more. It would have been a different thing. Well, maybe not because it's, it still sounds like pop. So, uh doesn't roll off the tongue. Yacht doesn't really roll off the tongue that easy anyway. So it's a, it's a bit of a push.

Not bad, not bad. I love the song. It's got, I mean, it's very, it's got so many layers and shifting around in different, all these different dynamics and it flows really uh wonderfully in contrast or however you wanna put it with your other work. Uh You basically go through a lot of very uh different styles and stuff and you've got to handle all of them. Um I think in your last one uh your EP, your Better No Bitter EP uh especially with, uh let's do this, I believe at least one of the songs on there I love, which sometimes also, uh, uh really caught my ear, but let's do this kind of has like an eighties, uh, new wave kind of uh approach.

Is that right? Absolutely. Believe it or not, the song did not start out that way, uh, in production, it kind of moved and gravitated that way. But that song just started out as like an acoustic me and my guitar um kind of like an anthem that I wrote for myself because it was during lockdown and first few months where nobody knew if they were coming or going. Like we were, we were shut down pretty hard up here and it, uh we had, I had like a whole year shows planned and I wasn't leaving my house because you weren't allowed.

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So it just was such a flip. And then I wrote, let's do this because it kind of forced you whenever it was in that situation to really look inward and figure out like, what motivates you, what makes you happy and if you can't be doing the thing right then and there because you're restricted and you can't get out and can't do it. Well, how, how do you get past that? So, like, let's do this kind of like ramp it up to kind of get through something. Maybe you don't really want to do, but you have to do it because you have to get on the other side of it.

Otherwise you're just kind of dead in the water a little bit. So that's really what that song was. And I feel like the eighties kind of a genre of music, uh and generation of music rather lends itself to that uh like working vibe where everyone was trying to make a go of it. And that's, I think why we kind of gravitated towards that eighties kind of sync vibe. Plus we were just having fun coming out of COVID, being able to like, see each other again and record and now I feel like we're breaking the law and getting in a room together and rehearsing.

So it was, yeah, it was good. That's the only time I've ever written a song like that, you know, under any and under duress. But you also, but you also have some experience with that because it seems like your early stuff, there's kind of a, a trajectory of really angry, kind of like relationship type of uh you know, stuff going on. Uh So there's, there's duress there and then, and then you go into this period of like, uh I don't know if lofty would be the word or so as far as like the narrative when it changes.

So it's interesting to see the phases uh really quickly over, over your discography that you're going through on these things because you don't, you, you know, you don't make it abstract when you, when you sing about these things. No, my partner, he always tells me that I'm very literal. Like I, I get to, I get down to it. I write, um, um, I guess, like, when I was writing earlier I, I was quite young and you're, I feel like you're super angsty when you're in your late teens and twenties because you're trying to figure it out and just because you're working hard, it doesn't always equate to being successful at something.

And I think that's where that, that angst and that anger kind of came, came within me, like, came from me. I was writing those records because I was, you know, a young girl in my twenties and uh I really wanted people to hear my music and so these are the things that I was thinking about, you know, trying to figure out. So, and I think it resonated and connects with a lot of people because they're in that place too. Um So I, I always, I always love music for that because it connects people and it allows you do not feel so alone in your thoughts, whether it's, you're up there performing on stage or you're listening to somebody else in their lyrical memories and how you connect with them.

Yeah, it's, it's not anything, obviously not any regrets about those albums uh for that, you know, when you look back at it. A lot of people will look back at their stuff and be like, oh, I can't believe that was who I was or something like that. But you're not, you're not doing that. Um, and it actually reminded me of some of the stuff I used to listen to, like in the nineties, like Suzanne Vega, uh, Liz Fair, um, Kristen Hirsch. Uh, you know, not necessarily kind of b, not necessarily Riot Girls, but they had like, uh they had a very uh you know, angst kind of like uh or aggressive arc with the, you know, with, with their narratives.

So, and then the sound of course, you know, the, the energy behind it, the, the and in fact, if I make a comparison at all into your albums after these are just suggestions when you start going into Falling For The Third Time or even uh Catching Ladybugs, you go into this. And I only make this comparison because Tori Amos when she went into stuff like boys for, for Pele or, or uh choir girl hotel, it went more into this kind of like a vintage type of a thing, a more complex uh string oriented um you know, area with uh with her work.

12255069486?profile=RESIZE_400xAnd that's what that those two albums reminded me of. I was eating a lot more music at that point in time, like I was full time musician at that during those records. And so I was really experimenting and meeting a lot of different people in the industry and trying to make different sounding shows for the opportunity we like with the budget was there, we were both G or something. I would bring out everyone to kind of get that, that different vibe. And it also helped me explore what I wanted to hear on my record um because it's kind of like painting with different colors or using a different medium when you're an artist.

Um Like a visual artist. I, I wasn't really sure which direction I was going in. So I kind of did it all. I, you know, I, because I love writing, that's like my favorite thing. I'm first and foremost, a songwriter, like I'm a singer and a songwriter, but I, I love the writing part of it. Um And then seeing what you can actually do with that ceiling that you now turn into like a big tree or whatever it grows into. And that's kind of like the recording process.

It always changes. Um And I, I really love that compared to Susan Ve, I love Tom Diner. Um And sometimes it could take like an inspirational moment in your life. It's so basic and mundane, but you can turn it into like a four minute song. Um It's, I don't know that that's what I love. I love, I love melody. Um And that's really what makes music beautiful. Uh You know, it's like the song the hook, you know, it doesn't matter what I say as long as I sing with inflection.

So, um yeah, that's so I, I'm not ashamed or, you know, regret any of my angsty moments in my previous record. I uh because I look back at those times fondly where sometimes I actually wish I had that gumption still to release such an angry song. Like I was, I was a little bit more naive. right? I'm older now and uh more mature and I remember I would just record something and I would love it and I put it out there and I didn't care what people thought.

And now I feel like not that I'm less reserved, more reserved, but I just, I guess with more maturity, you kind of chill out a bit. So I was going to a community college, you know, kind of a career change and we had to take OK, we had to take a psychology class. So I didn't really wanna like be there, right? So I was just kind of, if I ever had a question, which is probably if I remember two questions the whole time I was there, it would just be dumb.

But one of them really that stood out for me because I asked the guy, the professor, I said, why doesn't the military recruit older people? Why did they just recruit younger, you know, people? And it almost seemed to bring out like this thing in him where he was kind of anti military in a way that, or the system because he said that it's because you're easier to condition when you're younger than when you're older. When you're younger. You don't hesitate. But knowing with experience, you're likely to second guess when you need to, you know, act, uh, quickly or something or, or follow an order and that, that stuck with more rational almost.

You become more rational. That's right. Yeah. That's, that's what the hesitation is. The being rational about the decision you're about to make. And also, like you said, I don't even remember how I did the things that I did when I was younger because sometimes I'll find things or hear songs that I wrote and I'll be like, who's that person? How did that happen? Why would, how did I end up doing that? How did I end up doing all these other things? You know? It's just, sometimes it just blows your mind because I wouldn't, I'm surprised that I did them then.

I don't know that I would do them now, you know? Oh, yeah. I think that's why, like, when you're young you, I always tell my, you know, nieces and nephews don't get, don't get into trouble that you can't get out of. Yeah, that's how you learn. Right. You have to make mistakes and then at least try to learn from them or you keep making them then it's no, it's no longer a mistake. You obviously like doing that. So um or may not realize that you enjoy. Yeah.

Whatever excitement you get from the mistake that you keep making that ju error in judgment, I guess. Yeah. It's like, wow, I messed up big time. That felt really good to do. I'll do it again. Yeah. Yeah. Uh You're talking about, you know, four minute songs and stuff like that. Like the thing I love about your work is you also have this, it, sometimes you get the sense from a lot of songs that you hear that are probably like three minutes or so that they could push a little bit more or they're just, they're just like done with it or something, you know.

Um, maybe they're like that subconsciously but you like to sit there and not so much meticulously because all these songs flow. There's a sense that you're actually building the tune and the melody and it just, it just sticks to you and you're, and you're going with it and just like building all, constructing all these things throughout it. Like, I can see that you enjoy that. I mean, on average, what do we, what do, even for the songs that are too long to you? Uh, I'd imagine that's probably during the, you know, Ladybugs, uh albums or so when you're with bigger bands, uh, you're able to, at least with that you're able to sit with the band, you and the band share the experience.

So it doesn't, it's a long for a good reason and it doesn't even feel like it should be shorter than that. You know what I mean? Or, or you guys could go on and on. Yeah, more instruments you need to, uh, kinda open the field a lot more people play. I, and if you go by album covers, right? You get, you go to the, you get an album and you're like, look at the album and you're like, this is probably gonna sound like this or that. Uh you kind of lean into that when you're like, OK, am I gonna go for a country vibe?

Am I gonna go for a swing vibe? You know, you got the band there so you can, you can tackle one or the other, all of them. I definitely got a sense of like a burlesque approach too, with, uh with, with some of your work. I think it was Ladybugs that it kind of had that the uh Catching Ladybugs, uh kind of had that feel too. So you like it all jazzy vibe? Yeah. Yeah, I definitely flow through the genres. Uh I like all music. Uh I like all the genres I can relate that I can get behind any genre of music, even metal.

But um I think Catching Ladybug was, it was my fifth ride and I remember waking up in January of 250 and I was just like, OK, I Oh, no, it was 215. It was 2019. Yeah, it's 2019. Sorry. And I remember waking up and I'm like, ok, I told myself I'm writing five records before the time I turned 30 I'm turning 30 this year. So it looks like that is what I'm doing. Um, and that's exactly what I did. Like, I got to work, began writing and, like, did, wrote record release that record that year.

Um And it was a big challenge uh because most of my other records, like with the previous record Falling For The Third Time, that was over a couple of years of writing before I even went into the studio. So to do like the writing, the recording and the releasing all within, like it was 10 months, released it in November. Um It was a big undertaking. So I think that record with me challenging myself as a songwriter, like, can I actually do this? Um Because I know industry people like that is their expectation. 


You like, if you're going to write record it, like that's your job. Uh But I was also working otherwise at the time, at that point, I was, I was, I also teach so I was like, kind of hearing to find the balance between the two worlds and um and yeah, I called the record Catching Ladybugs because you can't really catch ladybugs, you can try and you won't kill them. Uh But they will fly away or, you know, um, but I remember I didn't want to kill this one ladybug inside of our apartment.

So I put down a little piece of paper and, uh I waited and then when I came back, the bug was on it. So then I could just kindly walk the creature outside and check the paper and he, they flew away. And, uh, and that was the whole idea behind catching Ladybug. You can rush something, but you also sometimes you gotta give yourself some time with it too. Uh And that was the whole process of me and catching Ladybug. I was kind of doing it to myself, like putting the paper in front of me all the time and I was seeing what happened, what came out of it and what my thoughts were.

So that was, that's why, that's why that record sounds a little bit different than if it had been called Catching Lady Bug because he got one right thing. Yeah, that, you know, exactly. Also those two covers that I uh mistakenly that were like originals because I saw like, you know, let's stay together and I'm like, that sounds uh like familiar but I don't know. So I just like played it and all of a sudden here you are doing Al Green. Yeah. Wow. What a version. What a great version of that.

That is what uh what made you want to do Al Green. I mean, who, you know, who wouldn't want to. Right. But that's a, that's a pretty, um, that's a pretty, uh, big way to go there. Yeah. Um, I love soul music. It's music that was happening in like the early 19 seventies. Like I say, like 503 was probably, like, release, uh, especially with like, more defined soul artists like Al Green or even Bill Withers. And I chose those two songs because, um, I don't know, I remember I'm a romantic, I uh it was kind of like I had better, not bitter was the celebration of Mel Monico 10 years.

And then I released better, not better. I was thinking to myself, OK, what could I do next? That's different. Um And when I perform, I play a lot of originals but I also play a lot of other uh um um he, they like hearing music that they know, but they also like hearing the original stuff too, but the cool thing about playing so long together as a band, we play the covers our way, like how we wanna play them. Not necessarily just a duplicate of the original artist.

Uh And my dad always, he's also a musician. Both my parents are and he always told me like, if you're gonna do a cover, you either have to do it exactly like the artist or you have to do it like different or better or something, change it up kind of thing, like making your own and I had never recorded the music. At that point in time, I had done 10 years of original stuff. So, you know, I took a chance and I released these two songs because I think it, a lot of people, like, if you love the original stuff, that's amazing.

But if you love this cover stuff, come and see a show and then you can see the blend of the two and that was, that was the inspiration. And also it was kind of like a love letter to both my partner and my community here. Um Because it's, you know, let's stay together. Just the two of us. Like, I don't know, I'm a romantic. So those songs they, they were amazingly written when they were first released and I think like those lyrics are still true to today.

They uh they, they capture a, a beautiful sentiment and I think that's why those are the two songs that were selected and recorded. Really? Yeah, that's, I mean, both of the, like you said, like Bill Withers is just going big, big. Mhm Now, all that's left is to is Marvin Gaye, you know, maybe do like the Trinity there. The, the, the three of them. Yeah. Yeah. Did, luckily you have the band that you have to do that. You've been working with those guys. Those are the same guys you've been working with from the beginning.

Um The drummer has been with me a while now. Uh over six years. Um, keyboard is, uh, joined a little bit into 2019 when The Judging Ladybug Bugs record was released. And, um, the bass player has been around for a couple of years. Um, but I mean, yeah, we've been together for a bit. Uh, but what I love is I, what I've been told anyway is that it's whatever music I released, you always know, it's me because of the distinctive way I sing or my voice. Like it's a very distinct um, sound whether you like it or you don't like it.

So I feel that is what connects, whether it's a cover or a record from like 10 years ago that I released or even like something that you saying like Love Tide, you're like, I know that voice or like, what is that? Or even if you like it or don't, um it's, it's distinctive you and that's, and it's the same with the players that they have and they're playing. If they have a sound, they have a vibe and you bring it all together and then it makes something special the way that they, they play because they're obviously classically trained musicians.

Am I right? I mean, these guys have, they've got jazz in them, they've got funk in them, they've got, you know, there's one moment that in one of the albums where there's a slap based thing going on or are you, where are you also incorporating studio musicians that just trade in and out. No, it's all them. And, um, I wouldn't say they're classically trained. Um, they're just talented guys. Uh, it's sound like they've just had different experiences playing with different people and it's kind of, they all, you know, made them who they individually are.

Yeah, I would say that. What's the most amount of band that you've had that you've, uh, performed with? There's, well, minus me, uh, 11 other players on stage. Uh 12 with me. That was, that's the biggest formation I've ever had. There was like four horn players on the stage. We had a percussion player. Um two bags of standards. Uh then the core band and a, an additional keyboardist or a guitarist and there was 12 of us. It was, it was, yeah, that's what it sounds like. I mean, it's sorry, are you still there?




It's fun. Oh, I'm still here. OK. You broke up for, for a bit. Oh, I'm sorry, I'm, I'm not sure why it's happening. No, it happens. Technology. What are you gonna do? You know what are you gonna do? It, it has its moments, I guess somebody's probably yanking on a telephone line or whatever it is. It's on the border there trying to mess with us. Yeah, I mean, it sounds big. It sounds like there are moments when it just sounds like she's got about 20 people on stage because you have like, uh you even caught it on record where you're like, can I get a little bit more of this and that, or let's do it again or that kind of, or do you know?

And it has a very, you know, jazzy kind of a feel to it. Um, years ago we're watching late night I was watching with a friend of mine and Dolly Parton got on stage and it was like, there were probably about 20 people up there and we were, she was like, there's too many people on that for the song that she's singing right now. It's kinda, but then that's also, it was also bluegrass, you know, and when you do something like that, it's kind of to fill it out that way, uh, is actually what you need to go for.

Now, would that be something you'd approach to? I mean, you know, obviously you have already, I mean, I just kind of make that bluegrass vibe, maybe that bluegrass vibe. But, uh, yeah, I mean, actually I went the other direction once COVID hit, um, I found it near impossible. Getting that many people together. People's lives changed like they were impacted, things shifted. Uh, so when I went back in the studio to do better, not better, my goal, even though it didn't necessarily, uh, turn out that way because it went in these three very distinct sounds very different from one another, like, which sometimes is very different from let's do this and that is very different from, I choose to believe like they're, they're, I think I was trying to figure out what sound I wanted to go towards and I, that record was also only recorded with like four people.

Um But players were like harmonizing or they were adding this percussion instrument or they were overlaying this instrument or whatever. Um I was really trying to capture that, like, just bring it back to like grassroots vibe. Um And I think that might be like my next move. Actually, I, I wanna kind of go towards that direction. I mean, prior to me, you know, working with all these wonderful musicians, um it was just me and the guitar or me and the piano. Uh and I love that like, II, I think it'd be interesting to see how people react when they hear and see just me as a solo performer um in with the music just as it's like to its core, not necessarily dressed up or stage up.

It's just, you know, it's kind of like when Daga release Joanne or, you know, something, anything along those lines, like just kind of scale it back. Like, I, I still have dreams of wanting to do that too or maybe doing like a Shania Twain up kind of thing where like half of the record is in that like organic, like grassroots original form of music. Then you have these more, these, you know, contradictory songs that are a little bit more Poppy. Um, so have you ever watched Tiny Desk when, like Taylor Swift does her music just on the keys or just on, like, her guitar?

12255074252?profile=RESIZE_400xAnd then you're like, what? That's that song like? Yeah, it comes from somewhere. Right. That goes to songs, come somewhere and for me it's either me on my guitar or I'm on my piano. So I'd be interested to see how people feel about it in its truest form. Right? Stripped down, right. The um I remember seeing Peter Murphy, what was it? I think it was his cascade album. Yeah, it was stripped down very much so from, from the, the stuff he did before, which is more, you know, synth and electronic uh or bigger pop oriented.

Uh but this time around and even the production fitted uh where it was stripped down like that and so much, much leaner, you know, and that's like that, that's certainly, that's certainly a good thing to go for, which also brings up the question about production to some of these things. Um Are you making any of those decisions or do you, how do you, how do you deal with these with your, uh your producer? Uh You've probably gone through various producers over the years. I have, I worked with a number of different people.

Um I, and definitely in the midst of like making choices and decisions. Uh even if I'm working with the producer, it any kind of choice or you know, artistic idea. I still OK or say no or uh which, that's what I love about being an independent artist is I have that creative freedom if I don't like something or I'm not into that or I want it to like, I'm OK with it sounding like this or I like that or that, that's kind of where it stops. Like I'm, I'm not being told what I need to do.

Uh which I love that aspect about being an independent artist. Um Because it is like, I'm really seeing it what I, you know, love and I'm hoping that others like it too. And even if they don't like, I'm happy and proud of the work and the art that I put out there because I love the creation process more than anything. And so even with the different producers, I've learned so much working with all these talented people, uh how they make their choices. And it's really important if you are working with a producer and our, tell us any great artist, like, really make sure you're on the same page with whoever you've chosen to produce your work because you're kind of like going to battle with them like you're going to war.

Um And this song is, I guess the victory, but you're in the trenches, like you have to be able to communicate well, uh and, you know, kind of compromise on things for the sake of the project because ultimately you want things to be completed, you don't want it to forever be going on and on and on. And I, that's why I'm a, like, as much as I'm a creative person, I'm also a type, a personality and I like to set deadlines and, you know, this is, this is what we're going towards.

We, even though I am an independent artist, like it's not like somebody's breathing down my neck. Um, but it's because I really do believe in art as, oh, it, it's never done. Yeah, you could, you, you could even talk to like, you know, Beatle member and they're gonna, they're gonna say, yeah, I would re record that. I do that differently. But that's why you just take that knowledge and that learning and you apply it to the next project that you do. How can you make this next one?

Always moving forward, always pushing forward and, and being proud of what you create. Do you ever walk into a room? And all of a sudden you hear like people going anything like that. What do you mean? Like you said, like, were you guys talking about me now or something? Anything like that? Like people get all of a sudden uncomfortable and shifty. Oh, no, no. Iii I don't think I've ever really experienced that. I mean, like maybe in like my old workplace, like restaurant days probably, you know how it is to work in a restaurant.

But uh had nothing to do with me. Had nothing to do with music. Nothing to do with. Yeah. Well, yeah, because, I mean, if you go into the room and you're like, I want, I want five minutes of feedback on this track and it was like, dude, it's do not, I don't compromise. There's no compromise. That's the way I want it and that's the way it'll be right. I mean, that might, you've already covered a whole bunch of different genres. I mean, you might as well go into, you're talking about heavy, you mentioned heavy metal at some point, at some point, you're gonna wanna do that. Right.


Well, it, it's not always easy, uh, kind of being the boss, um, in any, you know, discipline. Um, but I think the, you know, music industry has always, you know, had its doors open for women to kind of be a part of it, be as active as, you know, you know, individual in the industry. And that's what I love about music is you. Yes. And how women were, like taking their, their place and their space in the music industry and saying, hey, I can do this too and then some of them are like, I didn't even do it better.

Uh, and I love that power and that, you know, confidence that comes, that you think that you can get when you are authentic with what you're trying to and even if you're wrong, like, even if somebody says, well, that's not right sonically or otherwise, like, if it's true to you then that and, uh, that's, that's what, you know, because I've, I'd be lying if I said I hadn't wanted to creative differences with people I've worked with over the years and I'd be lying if I said that it hadn't ended in like, big blow up.

But like, you, you kind of smooth over that and you forgive and you forget and you move forward and you learn and I think in that process, you become even more authentic and you kind of find your voice a little bit more or you go the complete opposite direction and you become completely bitter. But that's why I did better. Not bitter because I wanted to be better and not bitter, right? Like you can't change something. You can't, you, all you can do is accept and yeah, better.

Yeah, that's, I mean, it was clear to me, especially in these recent releases that you're going through a more like talking again about your early angsty stuff. I'm not trying to say just so people don't get the idea or the that you were like put your fist through uh uh walls or anything like that. But it was certainly, you know, angsty in control and then you go through this period of where now you're kind of like on a more positive angle and it's always been that way.

Although angsty in the beginning still positive and moving forward at, at all times. Absolutely. I uh, I mean, I miss my more rebellion days some from time to time. But uh you pause a little bit and you're like, kind of like I missed my rebellion days. Maybe I should get back to them. I, I mean, in a way I think I kind of am like this, this dream and this idea of potentially doing a solo record I think is my way of uh claiming that um Mel Monaco in any form is still Mel Monaco, right?

Whether it's me just doing the guitar on the stage or whether I have 11 other people on stage with me or whether I'm going through this 80 cent vibe or I do a more like folk rocky sound or maybe I do metal, whatever, whatever it is like, it's always going to be Mel Monaco and, and that's why I think m Moco captures more of like an idea like, rather than just a being like, rather than just being me, like it's who I'm influenced by like other professional artists or people that I'm working with or like things happening in my life.

Um I think Catching Ladybugs was a lot more lofty and a lot more jazzy and chill as you described earlier because it was the first record that I had wrote from beginning to end that there was no break up, like I'm still with my same partner and I happy together like over six years now and Catching Ladybugs. Is that a moment where um there was no, like I, I couldn't write about like heartbreak or anything like that because I wasn't experiencing any of that. Um And I remember when I was real young before I released any record still in university days, I vowed that I would never write about love.

What an idea, what a concept wrong, never gonna write about love. And then I got older and I realized everything is about love, the love of your family, love of your job, love of your partner. Love is like the day, the seizing the day, whatever it is, like it's all about that passion you have the thing. Um Yeah. So it was a real lofty idea to think. I was never gonna write about love because pretty much that is the center of everything that I write. Um Yeah, to turn it down a little bit there mel there's a little bit too much love going on here.

You right. You right. No, no, no. Exactly. That's exactly what it's perfect. You know, it's, it's uh you're right. Even when somebody filled with angst is, is singing about being angry at his girlfriend or their boyfriend. They're still talking about love somehow. That's how it started because they're searching for love, right? Where they want love, they're trying to bring it into their life. Um So and that the opposite of love is not hate, it's indifferent. And that is one thing that I can honestly say that I hardly ever am.

I generally have, like, strong feeling towards anything, whether it's in agreeance with people. And I'm all about coexisting. I think it's all, you know, people have different values, different beliefs, different everything and it's, it's about finding your place in this world and your people. And so, yeah. Yeah. It seeing different. Yeah. Yeah. When, when we're talking about mentioning briefly uh "Love Tides". Hm. You know, it's kind of like the peak with everything that it's the build up or the peak of, I mean, doing those two covers before this, that kind of knocks it out where it's not so much of a gap but a bridge where you've done all these originals and create this uh persona throughout all, all these albums and then you hit those two cover songs and it's like she's in a different place now.

She's, she's totally just leaning back and it's all chill and, and then you do "Love Tides", which is more like a, it's more like a feel good song. It was all about a summer anthem. So in a way it's about nothing but I mean, it's not like it's not talking about relationships, it's not talking about some asshole. Cut me off over here on my way to go get Starbucks. It's not even that it's just like just cool, just breezy that just party. Yeah. So like love time was meant to be a summer anthem.

It's meant to be that, you know, sunshine, blue skies, good vibes. I know you feel it too. Um That was, that's really the motivation behind the track. And for me, it was one of the first times that I had written such a, yeah, not really anchored a like one thing kind of song. I mean, I have written songs like that before. Had I ever released them? No. Uh but then there was something about melody, the music that, you know, kind of propelled me to want to release this track and who doesn't want to spend a day on the boat?

Right. Get sunburned because I am white. Very, very pale. I got very sunburned but it was great, you know, on that video shoot. Oh yeah, I got very sunburned but it was, it was ok because everyone had a good time. It was a beautiful day and that's what I love about making music videos. Some of my favorite videos may not be some of the more viewed or liked ones, but they were my favorite because the making of them were awesome. Yeah. The journey of creating it. Yeah, I guess I like how you said you used the word anchored during this uh Right about, about this.

Yeah, about time. Yeah, I thought about that as I said it, I'm like, did I choose this word because we were on a boat? She's, and and then, and then you're like, I'm not gonna pause with this thought I'm gonna keep going. You get going. I do that. You know, you, you, you've mentioned that you've got all these different genres that you're covering. Who are you listening to right now? Who's, who's your album this year? Or artist? Sometimes artists that I really start tuning into, it's not necessarily new artists, they can be old artists.

And right now I've really gone back to listening to Lady Gaga and Blondie. I, I'm, I'm not sure why I'm really into either of those artists right now. But like, I, so those are the arts that I am kind of really exploring their discography again. I always knew Blondie was awesome. But now I'm like, blonde is really awesome, uh really set the tone for a lot of music that we heard happening in the nineties through the two thousands. Uh and not saying, but just such a unique voice.

And I don't know if this, this uh is true, but I think Heart of Glass, it's like quoted somewhere or I learned or somebody told me somewhere that they, they like, spend like 50 plus hours just recording that one track. Ah, so I don't, I don't know where I heard that or if that is even true. But when you listen to it and you have a newfound appreciation because everything sonically in that song, you're like, I can see why maybe that took he was our um but I'm, I'm really, I always find myself gravitating towards very strong female vocalist, you know, representation of maybe trying to see myself and what they're doing and gain inspiration and um even in like the different.

So those are the two artists. Yeah, those are the two artist that I'm kind of leaning in on right now. But uh II I listen to a variety of, of uh like I, we were in a little or Europe this summer. We spend a little bit of time there and, uh, my partner and I, and, uh, I'm part Italian. So, and, and, and I picked up a lot of different Italian. Yeah, I was gonna say that because that because at one point you sang in Italian. But go ahead. Yeah.

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So Italian on my dad's side, Ukraine on my mom. And, uh, I picked up a lot of awesome music when we were there and it's all in Italian. I can speak it and I love it. And what I love about how, like any music that is not your native language, it's how they change the same way that we would change it in English to like, fit it into a phrase or a sentence or whatever, they do the same, you know. So sometimes you're like, trying to piece together like, what did they just say?

But it's something completely different. But, yeah, I'm really, I'm really inspired by Blondie right now. That's uh an artist that I'm listening to a lot cuz I have these moments where I'm like, I didn't spend enough time listening to this artist's entire discography. Right. So I've done that with Madonna. I've done that and I recently did it with Blondie and I would, OK, several years ago, maybe it was probably about 15 years ago or something. They put out a video and I remember there was this video and I could never find what the song or the video was or I couldn't, I don't know why I had such a hard time.

I mean, we've got the internet here and everything so why I had such a hard time and then some weeks ago I go, I should look for that again. I had the whole, like, entire weekend, I guess it must have been of listening to all of Blondie stuff. Even like the new stuff. I think they came out with a new album this year or last year. Last album I believe so. I'm in it. I'm into it. That's, that's, I mean, how coincidental is it that we're both missing to Blondie?

Yeah, because you wanna see also if any of that stuff still works. Like, what were they doing in the beginning? And, and I'm not say I'm not saying that you should do it just to be like, oh, they suck now or anything like that because I know a lot of people still do that and it's just ridiculous. But you're also curious to see, I guess the main thing is that you're curious to see what that sounds like. Now, you know, what does Deborah Harry sound like now?

And wow, just, just blew me away also rem, I hadn't listened to RDM since their, in the nineties and then I knew that they had disbanded and had recorded their last album some years ago and I'm like, I haven't listened to any of that stuff, so I'm gonna listen to it and catch up and this is the energy you would have thought that they diminished at some point or, but they found some new energy and just went out with a bang. Absolutely. Yeah, I think, yeah, it's in, it's important to learn from somebody who hunt. Yeah.

And, yeah, they do longevity, longevity. That's what it's about. You got more stuff to do. Mel Monaco is definitely playing the long game. Like I wanna be making music for my whole life. Oh, yeah. And it seems like you already gone through lifetimes of music. So, but you got so much more to, it's exciting. Yeah, it is talking from the very beginning. Probably the first thing should, should have been the last thing to ask. Uh, but the first thing we started talking about was my mistake thinking that, you know, you might be working on a new album.

Now you've got something you're working on, but you got a show tonight. Yes, we're gonna go play, we're gonna rock out, you're gonna rock out. Yeah. Ok. Uh, is that, is any of that gonna be on youtube that we'll get to see, uh, it will not be recorded? No, it will not be. There's, we're not set up where we are or anything like that, unfortunately. But, uh, I mean, my website is a really good space that, like if you're in the area and you wanna come and see a play like the Monaco, whether it be a solo duo trio or full band.

Um My site is a really good jumping off point. Um It also connect you with all the music. I'm on Spotify itunes. You wanna buy that off my record? You can buy records too. Um You're on Napster, you're on Myspace. I don't know, but I don't think I am an actor or my stage to be completely honest. But, uh, but all the, all the main stuff that is happening now kind of thing. I'm a part of, I was gonna look up to see if you had anything on vinyl.

Is there any thoughts about doing that stuff or do you already have something on wax? I have two. I have gone for the third time and uh catching Ladybug, they only did the full length record on vinyl. That would be great to have. In fact, I was imagining that one on vinyl. Which one Catching Ladybugs? Yeah. No, I had that is still available on vinyl. Ok. Um, yeah. Yeah. All righty. You get, get your voice all warmed up and I do my vocal warm up for sure.

You do the, what is it that, whatever, what is that, that was that before you? I like to, I do a lot of trails, like, yeah, it's good. It's good. It kind of your vocal chords. It's good for you. Even if you're not a singer. Yeah. Any kind of talking profession. Ok. Yeah, it's great talking to you. You too. Thank you so much for an interest in liking the music. I mean, I appreciate, uh, the appreciation. Yeah, we appreciate it. And I just, I'm, I'm gushing over your songs on if you probably noticed on Facebook, I tagged you a few times posting some of the, some of your tracks.

So, um, very cool. Thank you. Uh, I appreciate that. Thank you. Have a good show!

Mel Monaco
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