Blasting out of the greater Toronto area with the impact of a mallet on concrete, Ugly Melon have returned with a vengeance -unleashed on their second album entitled “Just A Man”.
Since their inception in 2014, Ugly Melon who are comprised of Lu Cachie (lead guitar), Tony La Selva (vocals), Franklin Wyles (drums), John Liberatore (bass), Joe T (rhythm guitar), and Biagio DiBlasi (keyboards) have run riot among fans of hard rock, not only in Canada -but also throughout the world. Due to a take no prisoners musical style that was first presented to the masses on their self-titled debut back in 2017.
Yours truly “The Count of Rock” had the privilege to discuss the roots and latest buzz in Ugly Melon’s universe with both Lu and Tony, who were very generous with their time for the readers of Ball-Buster Music!
MARK ST. JOHN: How did Ugly Melon first come into existence?
TONY LA SELVA: Ugly Melon began as a songwriting project. Lu had just started thinking about a new project, and he reached out to me about maybe writing a couple of songs. A couple of years earlier he had listened to a demo I sang on, and said that something struck him about that demo, so when he began his new project, he thought of me. We began writing immediately. Having known each other forever, and having been in a band together as kids, the chemistry was instant. We were really experimenting at first, and it took about a year or so for us to build the foundation of what would become the Ugly Melon sound.
MSJ: Is there anything which separates your latest CD “Just A Man” from your self titled debut?
TLS: I think the second CD, “Just A Man” is quite different from the debut record. The lyrics are darker, the subject matter more controversial. And of course, the production value is higher. It has a more consistent feel from the first to the last track as well.
MSJ: What are some of the biggest changes that you have noticed within the music industry over the past 30 years?
TLS: The music industry has changed completely! Steaming being the most obvious and impactful change. Fans are no longer buying records. They are consuming the music so quickly, which makes it difficult for the artists to really connect with them. When you had to pay $15-$20 for a record or CD, you would really listen to every bar of the whole album repeatedly. It’s fast food music consumption now. If kids can’t identify with a track right away, it’s on to the next one. No one is waiting for the drum fill within Phil Collins “In The Air Tonight” anymore.
MSJ: Has Ugly Melon received interest or feedback from any Record Labels?
TLS: We have had quite a bit of interest from some
independent labels, and some minor interest from major labels, but nothing that
we felt we had to dive into. Lu is handling all the band business for now and he’s
doing a great job of it. If we receive an offer that we can all believe in, we
will discuss its viability and go from there.
MSJ: “Just A Man” has been causing quite a stir lately within the media. Please tell us about it.
TLS: There have been quite a few articles written about
the album. Most of the feedback has been favourable. I think it’s because this
kind of “album” is rare in today’s music. The idea of releasing an album and
not singles goes against the norm, and we are quite proud of that. We want our
fans to experience the entirety of “Just A Man”. That’s not to say that won’t
ever release a single, but the album model is working for us right now.
MSJ: Any plans for a tour or another video in the works?
TLS: There are certainly plans to release another
video. We are just deciding on which track, and the themes that we want to
present. You’ll have to be patient as to any details.
MSJ: Lu, you personally have been fortunate to perform on the same bill with legendary artists such as Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, and the Scorpions. How did that experience affect you and has it enhanced Ugly Melon in any way?
LU CACHIE: The experience was amazing! It’s living the dream to share the stage with monster bands.
Talking and hanging out with them backstage was very exciting as well You just think to yourself “This is so fucking cool! I want to do this forever!!” Did it enhance Ugly Melon? no I never used that experience. Ugly Melon is a force on its own and I want the music to speak for itself.
MSJ: Each of you have known and performed with one another off & on for decades -even stretching as far back as childhood. What’s the secret in keeping a band of talented hardworking Musicians such as yourselves together and how would you describe the chemistry within Ugly Melon?
LC: Being childhood friends I think is the secret! We all love the same
music / hanging out together, and we still do. When we do get together, we
always have a good time and the music just flows out. When a band is on the
same page with everyone and everything that’s the magic.
MSJ: On a final note, what plans are in the works regarding Ugly Melon’s future?
LC: A new album is in the works and summer shows. Hopefully, a European tour as we are getting airplay in both England and Scotland -something which both Canada and the USA should do more of for local indie bands! But for now, we’re focusing on building our fan base -and we look forward to seeing you at a show!
“Ugly Melon” and “Just A Man” are available online at all digital music sites. Physical CDs can be purchased at Sunrise Records in Canada.