I recently had the chance to conduct an email interview withÃƒ”šÃ‚ Florida’s own DaveÃƒ”šÃ‚ Melillo.Ãƒ”šÃ‚ It wasÃƒ”šÃ‚ really exciting for meÃƒ”šÃ‚ because he is easily my favorite artist to come out of my hometown.Ãƒ”šÃ‚ His current EP Talk Is Cheap is out now on Drive Thru Records.Ãƒ”šÃ‚
What was it like touring with such huge bands at a young age and how has it effected you? I remember seeing you open up for Something Corporate and The Format at UCF a couple of years ago and you must have been only 15 or 16.
What’s great about my situation is that I get to perform with bands that I truly love and respect. Because I’m still pretty young, Im very in touch with the music scene that I feel I am a part of now, so everyday I get to meet musicians that changed my life in some way. For example, that show with Something Corporate was like a dream come true, because they have been one of my favorite bands since the Audioboxer EP, and The Format being there was a HUGE plus. When it comes down to it I’m still just a fan who got really lucky, so I try to enjoy every moment of it.
Describe what it was like being exposed to the music industry and being signed while you were so young. Was there ever a time when you wished you waited?
This is a tough questions, because as much as I’m thankful for the opportunity I was given, I also have some resentment because it changed the way that I think about music. When you see the inner workings of the industry you realize how calculated and manufactured a lot of music is today, and I took it very hard because music has always been a very sacred and pure thing to me. Being in the music business definitely forces you to become a different person, because you have to grow a thicker skin and learn to deal with issues that people usually don’t ever have to deal with. It just forced me to grow up very fast and realize that everyone in the world is ultimately looking out for themselves.
The Talk Is Cheap EP came out in June of this year. Are you happy with how it turned out? Even though you had it available for free, it’s sold a ton of copies.
I’m very happy with how that album came out because it captured my life very accurately at a certain time. I was also happy with the reaction, because it seemed like people were able to relate to the songs and apply them to their own lives. Right before the EP came out I did an interview with AP.net, and I said that I would only be happy with the EP if it was able to take us to the next level, and I believe that by the time I have the LP released “Talk Is Cheap” will have served its purpose 10 times over.
When can fans expect a full length? What will it be like in comparison to the EP?
What I’m trying to do with the full length is make it similar to the EP, and at the same time add some songs that will show a progression in my song-writing. I think that its very important that each release builds on itself and gets across a different message rather than writing the same thing over and over again. Not only does it keep people interested but it also allows me to perform as passionately as I want to because I really care about the songs. The LP will have a mix of acoustic and full band tracks. There will be some songs that have already been released, and some that I am writing right now. What I hope to have at the end of the whole process is a cohesive album that tells a story about my life after high school and the challenges that I’m facing transitioning into the “real world”.
What is your favorite song you’ve written so far and why?
There is a song on the new album called “The Same Sad Song” and its very important to me because it sums up the way that I feel about life right now. It also is the first song that I ever wrote with a certain sound in mind. Usually what I do is let the song go where ever it wants to go, but with this song I lead it in a certain direction and spent alot of time on it, so I feel very close to it.
What are your touring plans for the next year? Is there any chance of a headlining tour?
We’ll be touring the UK at the beginning of the year, and then following up with a US tour right after. There wont be any headlining stuff for a while because were still trying to focus on getting the music out to new ears before the LP is finished.
Describe your dream tour.
Any tour with Cute Is What We Aim For, or opening up for Incubus and Bruce Springsteen.
You’re from Central Florida where there aren’t very many singer/songwriters similar to yourself. Did that make it easier or more difficult when starting out?
It actually made things much easier for me because there wasn’t any “competition” for the attention of people around here. I never really built a fan base where I live before we started touring though because in all honesty I don’t feel like Orlando is my home. I only live about 20 minutes away from the city, but where I grew up and made the music that got me to this point is a very small town that is completely separate from the greater Orlando area.
As a musician, what has been the one monumental goal that you’ve been working towards since the beginning?
My main goal is to have something to leave behind by the time I die. Making money and gaining popularity are all good and fine, but you can’t take that 6 feet under. I want to leave behind songs that people hopefully remember and can still enjoy long after I’m gone.
If five years ago someone had told you where you would be today, what would you have said?
Does that mean I get to tour with Mest?
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians?
Stay true to yourself and your music.
Deja Entendu is is #3 on your top ten albums list on your website. What do you think of the new album?
There are some great songs on the new album, but I just haven’t been able to give it enough time to really get into it.
What albums are you looking forward to in 2007?
I heard Something Corporate might be making a new album, so Im psyched about that. I’m also pretty excited for The Starting Line, and of course the new Springsteen record which is going to include the E Street Band.
If you could only have one new year’s resolution, what would it be and why?
I want to stop biting my nails….