Scott Mellis
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Scott Mellis

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"The Hoist: Scott Mellis Interview and Performance"

We were lucky enough to have the wonderfully humble Scott Mellis come into SYN studios on a cold and windy Melbourne night. Listen to him charm his way into The Hoist's hearts forever, ohh and he also performed 'I Belong To You" live for our presenters Viv and Vito. - The Hoist


"Sounds of Oz: Q and A with Scott Mellis"

You might not have heard of ex-pat Scott Mellis, but this talented Aussie muso is making some serious waves overseas. I recently caught up with Scott to chat about his time abroad, his forthcoming album, and what it’s like to be back home.

You’re back in Australia after spending much of the year abroad. What’s it like to be back on home soil?
It’s great to be back for a little bit and catch up with my friends again. Coming back is always really good for gaining perspective on what’s going on because when you are travelling or overseas you can get caught up in the new surroundings and be distracted from your priorities.

Many locals may not be familiar with your music, so how would you describe it?
I am inspired by so many different things ranging from writers like Milan Kundera and George Orwell and artists like Etta James, Jeff Lynne, The Doors and Django Reinghart, personal experiences and the environment around me.

You topped the Triple J Unearthed charts in 2009. How important was that in opening doors for you?
Being voted at the top of that chart was proof that we had genuine underground support from our fans and that we did not have to rely on industry politics to make noise. However it did not open any doors within the industry. I think partly because the record at the time was a bootleg and was recorded live.

You’ve supported some massive acts overseas including Jason Mraz, Tom Morello, and Jeff Martin. What have you learnt being a part of their shows?
Playing with these guys at their L.A. shows I imagine would be different to doing it in Australia as Jason Mraz and Tom Morello both live in L.A. and it’s kinda like their hometown shows. I found them to be really genuine and humble people that love what they do and I think to be appreciative and grateful to do this is the most important thing.

How do you approach winning over a crowd that is there to see another act?
That can be a tricky one but when you pull it off it is so rewarding . You just have to be aware that they are not there for you and you should be so lucky to play for a packed house … again be grateful!

You’ve played some amazing venues like Hotel Cafe and The Viper Room. How does it feel to step onto stages like that, where so much musical history has been made?
You know it feels like any other gig to be honest. I don’t really get in to the mythology of the music industry. I have had some of my best shows in the weirdest of places. I do like The Hotel Cafe a lot though; they have been great to me.

Your upcoming show at The Toff will be your only Melbourne show this year. Are you looking forward to getting back in front of a home crowd? I am it will be good to preview the new material and my Melbourne friends are the most honest so it will be great to hear the feedback. But I must admit I am kinda nervous.

I hear that you’re working on finishing your debut album. What can you tell me about it?
I want it to be a positive record. I really want to theme it around the fact that everything has a positive side if you look at it correctly. A lot of my earlier stuff was a lot darker; this will be a good departure.

You’ve assembled a great bunch of musicians and producers for this album (Brad Smith of Blind Melon, Ryan Hoyle of Collective Soul, producer Bruce Irvine). What have these seasoned industry folks brought to your sound?
These guys have been involved in the pre-production process at this stage. We are still working out how we are going to do this record. Brad has been like my L.A. big brother, taking me under his wing and giving a lot of great advice on the industry from a songwriter’s perspective. As far as the sound, that is a hard one to determine. Brad played baritone ukelele on some stuff and that’s a new instrument that has not been on my recordings prior.

You spend so much time abroad, so do you still call Australia home?
Of course! My family lives there! - Sounds of Oz


"Scott Mellis – Interview – 10 August 2010"

LMM: Scott, you’ve had an amazing last 12 months. Number 1 overall on Triple J Unearthed chart, gigged in the UK and USA and playing with some amazing artists. What have been the highlights and lowlights?
SM: It has all been a big surprise really. I went to the US with no intentions or plans to play music. It was actually quite the opposite. I was frustrated with how my music career was developing and had some issues in my personal life I needed to detach from.
But I lucked out! Basically from when I landed in LA, a series of fortunate accidents started. I got offered opportunities like supporting Jason Mraz and Tom Morello in Los Angeles and to play at SXSW in Texas as well as working with some insanely talented people that I now consider to be my good friends.
LMM: With constant touring, what is in your touring survival kit?
SM: I don’t really need much. I love the road, it’s where I feel most at home.
The most important thing I depend on is getting my guitars a good regular service because my guitars have been recently on a lot of flights and the timbers don’t like the air pressure.
LMM: What favourite bands have you discovered while overseas that we mightn’t have heard of yet?
SM: I have to say Joey Ryan and Kenneth Pattengale. I met them through some mutual friends and saw them play at a venue in LA called Hotel Cafe.. they were so good it makes you want to practice! Also Benji Hughes and The Noises 10 from Charlotte whom I had the privilege to play a show and hang out in the studio with while in North Carolina.
LMM: Your first band played covers of Slayer and Sepultura… how would you describe your music now?
SM: I can’t answer that, there are so many things that inspire me – My manager’s pitch is it sounds like Jeff Buckley meets Tom Petty.
LMM: Recently in the studio with Brad Smith (bassist from Blind Melon), Ryan Hoyle (Collective Soul, Paul Rogers) producer/Mixer Bruce Irvine (Anthony Hamilton, Paper Tongues, Whitesnake), tell us about the experience.
SM: It’s great experience but in all honesty working with people at this level who have the credits doesn’t matter if you don’t have your own thing together.
And what makes these guy’s more credible is that they all will agree to this…
Brad has been like a big brother to me in LA and the same with hanging out with Ryan. Bruce is the sort of guy that you can never stump with a question he is the wise man sitting cross legged on his chair at the mixing board.
LMM: Your back in Australia to play a few shows including The Toff in Melbourne on August 24. Tell us about your live show.
SM: These shows will be solo acoustic as I want to focus on the core of my song writing which is just a lyric and a melody and not depend on things like how funky a bass player or drummer is to make the song work.
LMM: After touring overseas, what do you most look forward to when you get back to Australia?
SM: The Beach in my hometown of Caloundra and playing my dad’s guitars
LMM: What does the next 6 months have in store for Scott Mellis.
SM: I have no idea after these shows!
I am just going to put my faith in the universe, focus on what I can control and not all the outside pressures and distractions and hope I can continue on this lucky streak! This method has worked well for the last 6 months.
LMM: Lastly, tell us a secret… happiest time, embarrassing event, strangest happening, secret crush…?
SM: Olivia Newton John in the Xanadu film clip is mesmerizing! - Life Music Media


"Scott Mellis and Barry Charles at the Upfront Club"

Scott Mellis is a 23 year old singer/songwriter fromCaloundra. He’s the son of jazz singer and guitarist, BrentMellor, with whom he’s performed from time to time.
Beat describes Scott as “Emotive ,Cheeky Irreverent andAwesome!!” Melbourne street magazine Inpress describedhim as haunting, and vocally reminiscent of Al Green.
Herald Sun music Writer Paul Stewart, “was immediatelystruck by his emotive,cheeky and downright sexy liveperformance ,an artist worth keeping an eye on!” - The Hinterland Times


"Scott Mellis Live"

"He is irreverent and awesome!!" - Beat Magazine


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

Hailing from Caloundra, a small coastal town in Queensland, Australia, Scott started out playing in heavy metal bands in high school sneaking into bars performing covers of Slayer and Sepultura .

Scott moved to Melbourne at 19 and caught the attention of the local music community as an eclectic songwriter and performer. Scott started playing tours of Australia opening for visiting acts including UK folk-rock legend Richard Thompson. He also got to support Serena Ryder, Brett Dennen , Jeff Martin (Canada), Fink (UK,)and Joseph Arthur (US).

In 2009, Scott placed #1 overall in the Triple J Unearthed Competition with over 10,000 acts competing; other Unearthed winners include Silverchair, Grinspoon, Missy Higgins and Killing Heidi.

Following Unearthed, Scott gigged in London and New York and finally made his way to Los Angeles, where he has built a strong fan base playing The Viper Room, and the prestigious Hotel Café. Scott was also invited to open for Jason Mraz and Tom Morello in Los Angeles after being spotted playing an impromptu acoustic set at a clothing store in Austin while in town for the SXSW music festival.

Scott’s short-term goal is to record a studio album. He has been working in the studio with Brad Smith, bassist from Blind Melon (writer “No Rain”). Scott also has been working with drummer Ryan Hoyle (Collective Soul, Paul Rogers) and producer Bruce Irvine in North Carolina.

“To write good songs, you have to take ego out, keep your mind clear,” explains Scott. “All good art comes from struggle.”