Dark And Stormy

31 March 2012 | 11:18 am | Lochlan Watt

Sydney rockers Melody Black have left the past in the past, and forged into the future with the value of personal enjoyment placed over that of self-destruction.

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“It's a funny thing,” comments the lurching frontman of the fact that he's now been in three bands with bassist Leeno Dee – from industrial metal major-label stars Jerk, to follow-on group Ink, and now the largely stripped-back, totally rocking, yet still somewhat dark sounds of Melody Black who have just released their debut album Love Your Demons. “Leeno's had these songs under his belt for a really long time. He's been working on some of them even while we were doing Jerk. These were the kinds of songs that really didn't suit Jerk. We had the songwriting taken care of. The same with Ink, it just wasn't right. When Ink wound down, and he had been jamming with Tubby [Wadsworth – drums] a bit, he'd given Phil [Bowley – guitar] a call and Phil didn't want to do it, but I think it was the end of a five-minute conversation when he had Phil on board. It was a perfect storm kind of situation – I was singing in another band at the time. Someone mentioned me, he'd been thinking about it, and he just called me and I needed all of five minutes to decide myself.”

In terms of any expectations based on their past, Devoy says that “it's a reference now in the way that people can go, 'Oh those guys, cool', but they're no longer expecting that kind of music from us, because that was ten years ago, and even that in itself is a scary thing.”

Those years of experience had their impact felt – by the end of the first Melody Black jam their debut gig was lined up, and by the end of said gig recording time was booked. Reportedly spending only three days in the studio, and having done the majority of the tracking live including some of the vocals, Devoy describes it as having gone “from go to whoa in about two weeks”. He further adds that “I've never been in a band that has been so easy to just come in and play and enjoy it, and know that it's going to be quality.”

To have come to the apparently lighter, punk-rock oriented Melody Black from the depressive, gory days of Jerk, represents a significant progression. Did they simply grow out of their old sounds and subject matter?

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“I wouldn't say that,” Devoy considers. “I think we're all at the point in our lives now, where if you added it all up, we've all been on stage for 100 years, and that's no exaggeration. At the end of the day this is supposed to be fun. You're supposed to enjoy it. It's not supposed to be a struggle to get through... music should always be cathartic, absolutely, and there's places to put all of that bullshit. But it's more about us playing what we enjoy, getting together and playing with people we respect, and just generally enjoying music instead of... I mean goddamnit, I nearly used to not survive half the gigs I used to do. Now it's like I can get up, sing, do another show the next night, and not need three days to recover because I tore myself apart.”

Although the band is yet to take on any full-scale touring, Devoy insists that “it's by no means a hobby, don't get me wrong. It's a frivolous way of looking at it. The enjoyment we get out of it is because we're extremely passionate and dedicated people. This isn't a part time thing. We're not fucking Short Stack. This is an actual thing that we want to do and achieve big things with. Overseas will come.”