Catch up with Melodime's Brad Rhodes, listen to the DC-based rock band's latest single "Little Thing Called Love", and look for more new music to come soon.
What brought you all together?
Brad Rhodes: We kind of fell into it, to be honest. I was introduced to our drummer, Tyler Duis, when we were seniors in high school - just by a mutual friend, very randomly - and we started playing together for a couple weeks and then I learned that his brother Sammy played bass and piano, as well, and so we had our high school Battle of the Bands coming up and it just kind of formed that way. And now we haven't quite looked back since then [laughs].
Which musicians have you been influenced by?
We were all raised on classic rock and stuff that our parents played. A lot of Led Zeppelin, Billy Joel, Elton John, and Tom Petty: I think those are more of the bands that we all identify with and shaped our writing and our music.
What words would you use to describe your sound?
You would think after 10 years I would be better at answering that question. We've bounced around a little bit. Right now, it's alternative rock but it's leaning more on these Southern genres. I think we're getting a little more in touch with the roots of the music of Virginia and throwing some more mandolins in there and stringed instruments to accompany the piano driven sound that we've always centered around.
What were your inspirations behind your single "Little Thing Called Love"?
It was written when we had been on the road for quite a bit. We actually wrote it on the bus when we were on our way back from one of our tours and the lyrics flowed out pretty easily 'cause we were all in the same boat of missing loved ones back home. It was an inspired one for us since we lived in that moment.
Do you have plans to release a new EP or album?
We do. We just got off the road a couple weeks ago and while we were on tour, when we would have these little breaks, we would get into the studio and record a few songs. We kind of accidentally recorded half of the album already. So, now that we're home, we're looking to finish that up. We don't have a date in mind yet but, hopefully, that will be before Summer or during Summer or something like that. And then we have a bunch of singles, as well, that we'll be releasing in the meantime.
Is "Little Thing Called Love" indicative of what we can expect to hear on these new songs?
A lot of the stuff that we've recorded so far for the album is similar to the genre and the style of "Little Thing Called Love". Like I had said before, we're at this point where we're focusing a little bit more on a genre and I think the fact that some of those Southern elements are sneaking in has been inspiring us on this new stuff we've been writing. I think people can find similar songs on this album that we're going to be putting out.
Is there a song on this upcoming album you'd say you're most excited to share with your fans?
Yeah, we recorded two in August when we were on tour in Atlanta and they're two of my, probably, favorite ones that we've recorded. One in particular that is one of my favorite songs that we've written and the production of it and all the instrumentation - that's one I'm itching to put out and I'm getting a little impatient at this point [laughs]. I'm excited to get those new ones out.
You just got back from tour and you're heading out again in December, do you have a favorite song to perform live?
We would probably all give you different answers for that one. I always like playing whatever's the newest, so "Little Thing Called Love" was really fun to play on this last tour. By that point [December] we'll have one of those new singles out and I bet that that will probably be one of my favorite ones to play on that tour, as well. We have one called "Love Songs and Lies" that tends to be a favorite, too, just because it's the loudest one that people sing back to us and makes the show special in that way.
Could you tell us more about your Now I Play Along Too charity?
Now I Play Along Too is a charity we started with the release of our album Where The Sinners & The Saints Collide and we made a deal with our fans that, if they helped us raise money to record that album, that we would donate 100% of the profits into this charity we were starting that would give instruments and music lessons and things like that to disadvantaged youth. We got such a cool response from that and immediately hit the ground running. We were able to start a music school in Port-au-Prince, Haiti at an orphanage there; we have an ongoing project in Florida near Tallahassee where it's at an after-school music program with kids that we've been working with for a few years; as well as just individual, one-off, types of deals here in the DC area, but it's been great for us. We just got back, last month, from running a two week music camp there in Port-au-Prince, Haiti and it's awesome to be able to see them, after 3 years, being able to play their instruments and they have teachers who come weekly to teach them individual lessons and group lessons, as well, so it's been really cool to watch.
What do you hope listeners are able to take away from your music?
We've always written about wherever we are in our lives at that time and our albums tend to be easily stacked upon each other - it's like each one is a sequel to the last - and a common theme we always have is this idea of redemption and second chances and hope. That's been the biggest response that we've gotten from fans is, when we get messages or emails about how certain songs or certain albums hit them just at the right time, and that's really the whole reason why we're doing it. That's why we try to wear our hearts on our sleeves with all the songs we put out, so that they can, hopefully, resonate with people with what they're going through at that time.