Scattered Melodies
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Scattered Melodies

Tempe, AZ | Established. Jan 01, 2012

Tempe, AZ
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Alternative Indie




"Artists Highlight"

Today we have the pleasure of featuring one of the most unique musical projects in the valley: Scattered Melodies. Josh and Jake are the members of Scattered Melodies. And that's it. You might be thinking to yourself, two members? That's it? Yes, ma'am. They are a rhythm section who specialize in collaborating with musicians from all over the valley.
Not only have they pulled off collaborations on some of the biggest stages in the valley such as McDowell Mountain Music Festival, Scattered Melodies has also put together several amazing pieces of recorded music featuring musicians like Haley Green, Cori Rios and Chaz Fertal.

Josh and Jake have a very unique perspective being that they aren't in a traditional band with a consistent lineup. Each show, and song features a new musician and leans towards a different musical style, which is a big reason I'm such a fan of these guys. As I'm sure you are, we were curious about Josh and Jake's experience in Scattered Melodies, so our question for them was:

"After having worked with so many different musicians with Scattered Melodies what is something you've learned, or an experience you've had that has changed the way your approach music?"

When I first started playing music with other people, I was 15 years old and did it out of the want & need to just play music. It didn't go much deeper than that at first, I just wanted to write songs and play them live and knew I had to team up with other musicians in order to do so. Of course I still had fun doing it and had great experiences but I was more focused on the finish line of becoming a successful musician, opposed to living in the present. I thought that in order to become successful I had to be touring all the time, signed to a major label, etc.

Fast forward 8 years & a couple bands later and Scattered Melodies is born. Long story short: Jake and I were left without a lead singer due to our previous band "The Morning After" breaking up. We wanted to start making a record with some songs we had so I decided to make it happen through the concept of featuring other artists. Using ideas we already had along with fresh ones from our collaborators, our first album was eventually created.

It has been about six years now that I've been doing Scattered Melodies and what I've learned from working with all of these different artists is to enjoy the process. This project gives me the pleasure and opportunity to work with whoever I see fit for each song, but more importantly people that I want to create music with, and simply just spend time with. We all have busy lives so music is always an excuse to get together and hang out. I've worked with so many talented artists (38 to be exact) over the past 6 years with this project and I've enjoyed every experience, and have learned something different from each collaboration. How to be patient and adapt to their working techniques, how to play different styles of music and incorporate my style to theirs, how to make all the different songs flow as one collective piece of music to make an album, and so on. I may not know where this project leads to in the future but I realize it's a privilege to continuously collaborate with others and I enjoy every minute of it. Live in the present, enjoy the process.

Our next show is Friday June 30th at Crescent Ballroom opening up for Passafire and our buddies Mind Upside. - RIVIR

"Scattered Melodies' New Album Features Nearly 30 Valley Musicians"

Jake Johnston and Josh Montag want to bring back the sentiment of what albums "should be" to the Arizona scene. They recruited nearly 30 vocalists and musicians to play on their sophomore album, Modern Repair, on which the bassist and drummer asked their guest singers what they'd like to see differently in the world and how they'd like to sing about it, and collaborated from there. The result is a diverse album featuring dozens of viewpoints on how to make the planet a better place, in regards to politics, race relations, environmental issues and more.

"This album is supposed to be listened to front to back, like good vinyl, and when done so, I feel the listener gets the most back from the album," says Johnston, who plays bass in the band that formed in 2013. "I feel people should check out the new album Modern Repair if they are a fan of local Arizona musicians, new tasty music, and what albums used to be."

The disc features cameos from Valley standouts including Treasurefruit, The Wiley Ones, The Hourglass Cats, Fairy Bones, Captain Squeegee and Ruca, plus a string quartet from the Phoenix Symphony. The jam-packed first single, "Every Race at the Finish Line," includes Pride Through Strife, Jay Nottingham, and Deejay P-Phunk, showcasing a variety of styles in just one song.

Even more diversity will be on hand for the album release show Friday, September 18, at Last Exit Live in Phoenix, when nearly all the album's musicians will play live for attendees, who will each receive a copy of the album, featuring artwork and lyrics. HotRock SupaJoint opens the concert, with Captive Cooks closing out the night. Montag, who plays drums, says he's pleased with the album's outcome, and he hopes the music can inspire positivity, just like he's been inspired by bands such as Rx Bandits, Nahko and Medicine for the People, Bob Marley, and Dispatch.

"They have such a way of spreading a positive message on how to be a good person, and we hope to do the same," says Montag. "We wanted to make an album that has a strong message to it, something that people can relate to and be inspired to do better by — you know, like peace, love and other hippie stuff."

After the release of their debut, A Collective Agreement, Montag adds he was excited to have artists approach Scattered Melodies in hopes of collaborating on this disc, while the duo chose other musicians they admired and felt could help spread a positive message. A returning artist, Anamieke Quinn of Treasurefruit, calls their collaboration “Research and Destroy," a song they worked on with Tom Kumagai, a "think for yourself" reminder.

"It’s a message that knowledge is power and that the picture is almost always bigger than one can imagine," says Quinn. "I hope people will be reminded that they are constantly being inundated with propaganda from all sides, no matter how subtle, and it’s their job to sift through the garbage and discover what they believe to be the truth, rather than rely on a cultural context to dictate it for them."

Johnston and Montag say the live show will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, since it's not quite an easy task to get so many local musicians together in one night.

"The show is going to be a great experience for the musicians and audience alike," Johnston says. "Lots of great people will be coming together, either playing or enjoying the show. Since this album came about by having our friends and peers join us in the studio, we figured what better way to celebrate then getting together again on stage to play it, because who knows how much of this album will get to be played again on stage." - Phoenix New Times

"Scattered Melodies vs. The World in "Modern Repair""

Picture this: a band with only a bassist and a drummer. No lead singer, no guitarist, just the rhythm section. Hard to imagine? When Josh Montag and Jake Johnston were left in this predicament after The Morning After disbanded in 2011, they were forced to get creative. To continue to make music, they obviously were in need of some more members. After struggling to find the right fit, Montag came up with a brilliant idea. How about we bring in different singers to feature on our songs? And in that moment, Scattered Melodies was born.

Two years later, their ingenuity became a reality. They released A Collective Agreement in summer of 2013. “Most of the artists were people we were already friends with so that made it easy to collaborate and come up with an album's worth of songs,” said Montag. Taking a chance on something innovative and “winging” it, they had no clue how successful the idea would be. Needless to say, it worked.

Once word got out of what Scattered Melodies was doing, the calls started rolling in. There was a buzz within the Phoenix music scene, and instead of having to initiate collaborations, artists were coming to them. The duo quickly began writing for their new album in August of 2013. Due to the ease of finding talent to work with, the band had an easier time creating a general theme and message.

Joining the duo on Modern Repair are musicians of all genres including reggae soul singer Ruca, funky folk musician M.R. Mal, and members of several local bands like The Hourglass Cats, Treasurefruit and Pride Through Strife. Working with so many different artists took a lot of time and effort, but Montag said the extra work was “worth every minute of it.” Getting to team up with so many people was inspirational for the group, and it’s reflected on the album. “Every collaboration happens a different way, which keeps things fresh and exciting for us.”

In order to keep the theme of Modern Repair throughout the entire record, Montag would ask the singers two questions: What are some things you see that are wrong or corrupt in our country/world? And what would you like to see done to try and change those things? “Everyone was super passionate about this idea and they all brought inspiring and realistic ideas to the table,” Montag said.

The album’s first single, “Every Race at the Finish Line” delves into the recent riots and racial issues plaguing the country. The premise for the song came to Montag late one night when he was pondering the current state of racism. The lyrics describe stereotypes and judgments due to looks; something we have all encountered in our lives. Montag chose this song to introduce the record because he felt it was a good way to say, “This album is going to talk about some real shit so we might as well start right off the bat with something that everyone can relate to.”

Modern Repair also touches upon greed with the opening track “Sunset Choir”, the corruption of our governmental system in “Research and Destroy” and the impact of the press in “The Media’s Shelf Life” among other worldly issues. Each song has it’s own unique sound but focuses on a powerful message. “We hope that our new record reflects a positive and conscience message on what we can all do to make the world a better and happier place for everyone,” said Montag.

Modern Repair will be available on iTunes starting September 18th. You can also catch Scattered Melodies with featured artists live at the 4th Annual Sidepony Express Music Festival in Bisbee, Arizona this November. - Fifteen Minute Media

"5 Super Fresh Albums"

A Collective Agreement

Drummer Josh Montag and bassist Jake Johnston, better known as Scattered Melodies, might be better categorized as a visionary team rather than a traditional band. For each track on their album, the drum and bass duo invited different local musicians to participate in the song’s creation. The result is a fluid collection of funky, reggae-tinged rocknroll tracks; each song adding its own color to the atmosphere. Scattered Melodies introduced me to some new names like Tania Warfield and Eric Stewart of Catfish Mustache. I also got to hear some artists I already dig, like Anamieke Quinn and Danny Torgensen, in a different platform. In addition to the varied and lively vocals, the album has some truly awesome jam outs which are the boon of a dynamic rhythm section. A couple of the tracks from the album are available for your listening pleasure here. Hopefully, we’ll see the rest of the album available on the interwebs before long for those of you who missed the album release show last Friday (suckers). - Yab Yum


Gypsy Girls [live] - single  (2018) 
You Bad - single  (2017)
Acoustics Vol. 1 EP (2017) 
Modern Repair  (2015) 
Summer Sampler EP  (2014)
A Collective Agreement  (2013)