-Interview- Mellow Cassette (5/30/19)

Mellow Cassette talks about their "Yacht Rock" sound, the current Rock music scene and much more.


From: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Sounds like: Indie Rock

1. How did you get started with music and how did you develop your sound? Who thought of the name “Mellow Cassette" and is there any meaning behind it?

Mellow Cassette began playing together originally as the backing band for a local singer songwriter, a few years back that project went on hiatus and the three of us just never stopped playing. Eventually we took the then unnamed project into the studio to demo out some songs and by the time we had three or four tracks started we were deadset on becoming a proper band. It’s hard to imagine now, but we spent three or four shows telling the audience we were called Foxblood before a friend pointed out that there was a new Australian Metal band with the same name. Rebranding at that point really only consisted of making some new social media pages, so in an effort to get the gears turning and think of a new name Blake turned to a random name generator and Mellow Cassette was the very first thing it spat out. As far as our “sound” goes, we really started to settle into something unique to us once we started writing together. There’s a big difference in bringing songs to a band to flesh out and writing those songs in a room with the musicians who will play them.

2. What do you want people to take away from your music?

It makes us really happy just to know that someone finds anything about any of our songs they enjoy. There are a lot of elements that go into the work we produce and at the end of the day if all someone grabs onto it “I like those drums” or “fun shouting” then that’s enough for us.

3. How would you describe your sound to the average listener?

The closest we’ve come to describing our sound is like Yacht Rock for people who don’t own a yacht or have yacht-related issues. We’re more like Raft Rock or Funk Punk.

4. Who are three bands you’d like to tour with?

When we first started putting long shows together we inevitably reached for some covers to fill the set and we used to play some old Surfer Blood tunes, I think we’d fit in on a bill with them. There’s a local band called Bad Bad Hats that we wouldn’t mind supporting on tour, either. As long as we’re dreaming we’d love to open up for Charly Bliss, too.

5. What are your three desert island albums that you'd never get tired of listening to?

That’s a tough one but we’ve been listening to a lot of ELO lately, so maybe Out of the Blue or Discovery. The first Charly Bliss album should be on there, too. I’d say any given Vulfpeck album but would happily swap that spot with any band that has a concept album about desert island survival strategies.

6. What’s your take on the current state of Rock?

Rock music has never been stronger! Its the one genre that never stops leeching off of the music around it and keeping those things for itself. There’s a lot of dance and disco and funk in rock/pop music right now, things bands like Sly and the Family Stone or The Bee Gees set us up for, so it’s cool to see elements like that replace other staples that might have since gone out of vogue. The age of the guitar god is supposedly passed, depending on who you talk to, so there’s a lot of pressure to keep finding fresh ideas in those old blues progressions. We mostly try and add a fifth chord.

7. What’s the current music scene like there in Minnesota both locally and state wide?

Cutting our teeth in the Minnesota music scene has been such a blessing. There’s so much talent here and you can’t swing your own severed arm without hitting a venue. We had a few good ones bite the dust recently, The Triple Rock has earned its own eternal flame. RIP, best punk venue in town.

8. What’s your take on legal/illegal music downloading?

We give our music away. If you want to hear us and you don’t have Spotify or Apple Music you can always listen for free on Bandcamp. The way artists make money off of their music is starkly different now and we spend more time worrying about how little return there is off of album streams than we do illegal downloads, but even that gets lost in how exciting it is to know that people are listening to your music.

9. What’s next for Mellow Cassette?

We’re almost finished writing our first full length album, and we can’t wait to get in the studio with that. It’s the first project we wrote entirely together and it’s what we’re most proud of right now. Beyond that, we just want to keep playing shows and selling t shirts and being loud. It’s fun to be loud.

10. Any shoutouts?

Shoutout to Dylan (RicX) for the use of his studio in making Pilot, and to Huntley Miller for the incredible masters. Shoutout to Joe Kvasnicka for the album artwork and logo and everyone else that has been supporting us and paying attention to the things we make and throw at you. Y’all make these three noise boys feel loved.