Dave Melillo

18 May

“It’s an advantage to have people around that you trust and can bounce ideas off of, but ultimately your success starts and ends with you.”

Dave Melillo is an artist who wears many hats. Over the years of being a hard working musician, he has been in several bands, released a solo EP, Talk is Cheap, and has worked on producing music. He had a successful run being the bassist of pop/punk group Cute is What We Aim For. Most recently, he is involved with a new band, Nocturnal Me, but  he’s also working on his own solo stuff. I’ve been following Dave’s career for a few years now and have always enjoyed listening to his music. Here is my interview with the talented Dave Melillo.

Q. First off, how did you get started in music and what drove you to want to be a musician?

A. I understood music from a very young age. All of my memories are attached to a song or a soundtrack, and I define my life by the music I listen to on a daily basis. It’s always felt natural to make music and perform, something I most likely absorbed from my family. Several of my family members, from my mother to my grandfather, have been involved in the music industry in several different capacities. It’s something I grew up around and was surrounded by 24/7, so once I was able to write my own music it just seemed like the right thing to do.

Q. What has been one of the most successful things you feel has happened in your life?

A. Producing gives me a complete feeling of success because I have to work to make each project come to fruition. As an artist, you have to depend on others in order to make your vision come to life; as a producer, YOU are the one being depended upon to bring everything together. Starting my career as a producer has been one of my greatest accomplishments thus far because it’s 100% dependent on the work I put in.

Q. You were the bassist in the band, Cute Is What We Aim For. Do you feel like you’re more comfortable playing on stage with a group of guys or solo?

A. It was great to participate in that, but I ultimately knew it wasn’t for me. CIWWAF doesn’t make the type of music or perpetuate the type of message I want to be remembered for. Above everything else, that’s why I decided to leave the band and live my own dream.

Q. What has been one of your most memorable times on stage? Full details!

A. Stage diving at The Theatre of the Living Arts in Philadelphia, PA! I unplugged my bass, took a running start and leapt into the crowd. Best part of the story ? They actually caught me!

Q. If you had the opportunity to fill in as the bassist for anyone, who would you pick and why?

A. I would love to play bass in a hip-hop outfit. Like if Drake needed a live bassist! That would pretty stellar. I would also love to fill in for Ben Kenny of Incubus … They have been my favorite band since I was in middle school.

Q. Where do you see yourself in 5 years and what do you hope to accomplish by then?

A. I’m really working on building my resume as a songwriter and performer. I feel that the most successful musicians today have a handle on writing great songs AND have put in the time to develop a larger than life attitude. I still have a long way to go, but I know if I work hard I can reach my goal of forwarding my music to as many listeners as humanly possibly.

Q. Speaking of the future, what sorts of things can your fans expect from you in the next coming months?

A. I have 2 releases coming out this summer. One with my band Nocturnal Me (@iamnocturnalme) and a solo release. The Nocturnal Me release is going to be different from anything else I’ve ever done before. If there was ever an indication of where my career is going, this EP will be it. I’m taking a lot of risks with the way I’m singing and what I’m writing about, but I feel that’s the only way to get my point across at the moment. My solo release will be more of what my fans expect from me; acoustic songs that are reminiscent of my 2006 release, Talk Is Cheap on Drive Thru Records.

Q. Other than music, what other things can you see yourself doing in life?

A. I’m really into sports, especially football, so if I ever got a chance to work in that field I would totally go for it. I could also see myself being a ninja assassin but for some reason I don’t think that’s going to happen.

Q. What has been some of the best advice given to you that has helped you in your career?

A. Ignore the critics and make music that’s true to yourself. I’ve had so many people come in and out of my life who tell me what I should sound like, what I should be writing about and what I need to do to be successful. The only time I actually reached any level of success was when I completely ignored them and did what felt right at the moment. It’s an advantage to have people around that you trust and can bounce ideas off of, but ultimately your success starts and ends with you.

Q. If you were stranded on an island for the rest of your life and could only bring one of your songs to listen to, which one would it be and why?

A. Tough question: I’d have to say “Knights of the Island Counter” because it always reminds me of the good times that I had with my friends. If I was alone on an island for the rest of my life I would probably need something along those lines to pull me through. 

Enjoy his song, Thinking of You.


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