Interview: Danny Mellin

Hello. We enjoyed listening to your song “I Can’t Be”. What is the story behind the song and how did you create/write it? Also, what inspired the song title?
The lyrics are the story of someone facing up to a failing relationship and were built around the working lyric of “I can’t be what you want me to be” which I just came up with in a songwriting session. 

I wrote it well over a year ago now and we recorded the drums and bass in the same session we recorded ‘See You Around’ in, but due to the lockdowns, we were unable to finish it until recently. It’s felt like a long time to get it released but I’m really happy with the way it’s turned out. 

We understand that there is also a music video for the song. What inspired the video and what ideas went into making it? Is there a message that the video carries too? 
Lockdown restrictions and the ‘rule of six’ limited what we could do with the video, so apart from the band, only the sound and camera operator were allowed in the room at the time. 

It’s a straight band performance video but I really wanted to capture the vibe and energy of the song, which I really think we did. 

If you had to describe your sound, how would you do so? Furthermore, what artists (or other sources) do you cite as influences? 
My sound fits into the admittedly expansive indie rock genre, but my lyrical focus is always on the everyday occurrences that someone my age experiences. I always try to make the tunes energetic and engaging as I can, which makes the live shows lots of fun. 

I was brought up on a soundtrack of The Beatles and Oasis, so they’ve always been big inspirations as well as my current favourites such as Sam Fender and Arctic Monkeys. There are also echoes of Willie J Healey, McFly, The Vaccines and The Magic Gang in my songs, but they all come together to produce something new.  

What have been career highlights so far? And what is on your bucket list that you’d want to achieve? 

Pre-COVID, there were loads of highlights. From when I was playing on my own with a loop pedal in front of thousands in Oxford’s South Park, the same night my first single was played on BBC Introducing – and more recently playing with my band at the O2 Academy in Oxford on two separate occasions. 

I’m so looking forward to playing big gigs again with the band. We had so many cool festivals lined up last year that were all cancelled- and it’s turned out the same again this year. 

My ambition is to take my music as far as possible for as long as possible and to continue having fun doing it. It’s a real privilege to be in a band and an even bigger one to play to big audiences. I just want more of that really. 

If you could be the main support for any living artist, who would that be for and why? Alternatively, what would be your dream live booking? 
Arctic Monkeys are the first act that spring to mind, but any of the artists I listed as influences would be a dream for me. 

Dream live booking? – Glastonbury! 

What artists have you been listening to? Additionally, who should others be listening to? 
I’ve been listening to all the vinyl I bought on Record Store Day so I’ve been listening to a lot of Fontaines D.C. and Primal Scream since then. To answer what others should be listening to, Willie J Healey’s ‘Twin Heavy’ was my favourite album of last year, and my mates Lacuna Common have just put out their EP, ‘It’s All Talk’ which is a great listen. I would highly recommend both.  

Danny Mellin: Facebook | Instagram | Spotify | Twitter | Website | YouTube
Single Artwork: Jamie Mellin

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