RENDEZVOUS: A Quick Catch Up With Moody Beach
"Making music is pretty much my meditation. It’s one of the few things I do that makes me lose track of time, and maybe say the things I’d be too shy to say in person in some cases…"
Melissah Marie aka MOODY BEACH makes hazy pop-rock, with a touch of punk to keep things edgy. Originally from Adelaide, the now Sydney-based artist is turning heads with her two most recent singles 'Vanilla' and 'All I Do'. We had a mini catch up to chat about her unique sound, her forthcoming debut EP and what's on the cards for the rest of 2017 (a year that we predict will see her causing quite a stir in the Aus music scene).
As always, please press play below to enrich your reading experience.
How long have you been making music as Moody Beach for?
I’ve been making music as Moody Beach for a few years now. When I started writing for Moody, I was already making music in my previous band ‘The Rememberz’ but was spending a lot of time travelling on my own. I’d have a lot of experiences to draw from throughout the day (or night – depending on where I was flying to) so I’d pick up an acoustic guitar and record anything that came into my head. There was definitely a difference in how I’d write for The Rememberz as opposed to how I’d write for Moody. I think my personal writing was a lot more Best Coast/Mazzy Star-inspired to begin with.
There’s a big hit of attitude in your sound, and also in your name too. Is making music a nice way for you to vent any frustrations?
Moody Beach was a band name my friends and I came up with when we were younger and didn’t know how to play instruments actually! It was just by chance that I started to play and figured that the name suited perfectly. Making music is pretty much my meditation. It’s a way for me to vent for sure, and just to wind down in general. It’s one of the few things I do that makes me lose track of time. And maybe say the things I’d be too shy to say in person in some cases…
Can you tell us a bit about the recording process for your brilliant new single ‘All I Do’?
I co-produced the track with the lovely Carl Fox. I always knew I wanted ‘All I Do’ to be short and punchy. I had the structure and the sound of the song in my head (and roughly recorded). The fun part is fleshing it out in the studio and seeing it come to life. I love the Pixies and wanted to make sure the guitar solo was super Joey Santiago-sounding.
It was a real time working with Carl Fox. We recorded the whole Moody Beach EP in a couple of weeks. I can’t wait to share it this August. The other two tracks which feature are quite different to the first two that have been released.
You open ‘Vanilla’ with the lyric, ‘I’m a modern day poet in my head but you won’t hear what I have to say’. Do you find yourself constantly collecting thoughts that could potentially turn into songs?
I’m constantly collecting thoughts in general! I think the words just spill out when I start playing guitar. I do most of my song writing on acoustic guitar – it’s funny how the lyrics just kind of come out. I call it word vomit. The opening lyric to ‘Vanilla’ was about feeling like I wasn’t being heard, or, probably more feeling misinterpreted. I have a lot to say. It’s frustrating feeling like your message isn’t being understood. Now that I think about it, it applies well to my most recent ex-boyfriend. Classic.
Do you think having previously worked as a flight attendant had an impact on the way you write? Is there a benefit to constantly being on the move?
Flight attending was a fun way to start writing. It meant I had time set aside in a different environment to write. Whether it was words or music – as long as I had pen and paper, I was good. It was challenging at times, and your whole body is generally all over the shop with time zones and eating and sleeping patterns.
Personally, I like being on the move. I like challenging myself and typically I’m a bit of a homebody. Anyone who knows me would laugh at me having said that – but it’s more comfortable for me to be at home, I just don’t feel I’m achieving as much.
If you could spend some time making music anywhere else in the world, where would it be?
Italy. My Dad lives over there. Our Italian side of the fam are from a town called Montesarchio, it’s in a valley near Napoli and there’s so much space. I love it. To set up there for a few weeks and record would be beautiful. I’d have access to amazing pizza – an added bonus.
I’m also dying to get over to America. The Rememberz went on tour there before we put the act on hold. It was a lot of fun. The vibe and general enthusiasm for music left a big impact on me. I can’t wait to get back over there.
Your sound is super smooth but there’s a nice punk edge to it. Are you influenced by older music?
Most of my influences are artists from the 60s, 70s and 80s. The Beach Boys ‘Don’t Worry Baby’ has to be one of my favourite songs of all time. Roy Orbison always makes me happy. I love alternative/punk music though, too. I can listen to Eddie Current Suppression Ring anytime of the day or night and be pumped. Total Control, Multiple Man, The Modern Lovers. I can listen to them anytime as well. I’m glad you say Moody is smooth/punk. When I was in the studio with Carl, I’d refer to it as ‘sick puppy’. That’s the sound I’m going for. Well, most of the time… ‘Hawaii’, which is on the EP throws a bit of a spanner in the works in that regard.
Who are some local artists you’ve been listening to lately?
Alex Cameron, Body Type, Georgia Mulligan – loved the article you guys did on her!
What’s plans for the rest of 2017?
The next step is to release the EP. I’m excited. We’ll have a launch party for that at The Dock in Redfern on 3 August. I’m also trying a few different ways of playing live. I’ll be doing a bass and drums duo show on 13 July at The Union in Newtown. That’s also a day after my birthday so everyone should come on down for that. Then the plan is to tour. More Australia-wide shows. Have to visit my hometown, Adelaide, too.
Finally, you obviously have an ear for music. How do you go on the dance floor?
My talent on the dance floor ebbs and flows haha. Catch me at the right time and I’m unstoppable. Catch me at the wrong time and… not so good. I’m a great partner dancer, though.