By: jaybroderick, photographer
Oshawa, Ontario - On Friday June 24, Durham Region's 2-piece rock band MELLOHONEY was in Oshawa to support American “Teenage Dirtbags” WHEATUS as they hit the iconic Biltmore Theatre. I caught up with the members earlier in the day and had a quick and dirty chat about the band.
jaybroderick, photographer: So where exactly does the name “Mellohoney” come from?
Dave Saliba: Um, there’s no real code to crack other than I was looking for names that, or even words that could be googled and nothing comes up. That was the main thing, and I personally like the kind of shorter names. That sort of thing. To me it seemed kinda nice and it looked decent. I typed it into google and nothing came up.
Andrew Charles: Yeah, he brought it to my attention, and I was like “I don’t really want to spend that much time trying to figure out a cool band name” right, cuz when you try too hard it just ends up being like not very good.
Dave: To me, there’s nothing more annoying than sifting through Google results and having to search in “band” or “music” after a band name. That’s really annoying. Like “Mellohoney? What the hell is that?” but it’s easy to say. At least in my world it’s easy to say and so it’s like there’s no question. I like maybe had to fight off one chick from Alabama with the name “Mellow Honey Girl” or something. That’s about it.
jaybroderick, photographer: Very cool! Super cool! So I remember saying to Andrew after your Oshawa Music Week show, that I somehow just assumed you guys were brothers. I kind of thought you guys looked similar, and he said you guys weren’t related at all. So how did you guys meet?
Andrew: High School. I think we were both musicians at the time and were involved in the same programs at the time. We actually met at my house party one time and ended up chatting about music and probably like a year or 2 after that we ended up jamming. We just got along well together and had really good chemistry. We were involved in multiple projects up to this point.
Dave: Interestingly, our first band was a metal band and at that point I wasn’t confident in singing so it was just instrumentals in my mom’s basement. There was a most dedicated fan out in Alberta. Sometimes we come across those old recordings we did and it’s pretty funny. Some think that we’re still playing together. It was pretty cool. We were in another band too with some people from high school.
Andrew: That was a folk rock band. We went from metal to folk rock (laughing)
Dave: So we just kind of trimmed the fat from that experience. Not that anybody was troublesome in the band but more so just trying to organize things. Organization is a continuous issue so it’s really nice to just say “We got offered this gig. Do you want to do it?” and done, confirmed!
Andrew: With being a 2-piece right, you learn a lot of lessons playing in bands just over the years. You know, how to prepare for a gig, how to be organized. Just life lessons learned.
Dave: Even just like, we get along really well and then logistics, it just makes the most sense.
jaybroderick, photographer: So are you guys from the city? From Toronto?
Dave: Whitby. Well, when we say Whitby we mean Oshawa, but we say Whitby (laughing). No, I live in Oshawa and fortunate enough to have a house and our studio, our headquarters are in Oshawa, so we’re super close and that helped a lot too.
jaybroderick, photographer: Talking about being a 2-piece, it’s very unique for a rock band. All that’s going good for you guys? Do you look at adding at some point or are you happy the way it is?
Andrew: Uh, we talked about that before. I think right now we make it work pretty well. Funny enough, Oshawa is known for 2-piece bands. There’s a bunch of big 2-piece bands coming out of Oshawa so we’re hoping that if we keep plugging away it’ll work out for us. If we were to have a 3rd member, we’d want a singer/bass guitarist/piano. Other than that, it’s not really worth it.
Dave: The thing we don’t really want to be lumped in with a 2-piece pentatonic rock band genre. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. The bands we talk about are great dudes and you know, they’ve done really well, but we’ve got a streak in us where we like a lot of different types of music, so it would be nice to implement somebody who also appreciates a more eclectic sort of thing and then that way if someone plays violin for one song, we can switch the keys and go to dance rock but still kind of funky. I think that’s what interests us in another member. It’s like we can now expand even further in terms of sonics and not just necessarily ask somebody to make a genre jump.
jaybroderick, photographer: Any influences that really get you guys going in the direction you go?
Andrew: That’s a big question.
Dave: I would say our biggest influence is limitation. The limitation of the 2 of us really influences the direction in the way stuff goes. Even with gear, I’ve got a setup that’s pretty complicated however I don’t really want to stray too far from it cuz it’s already taken time for me to learn it. So I’m pretty much limited with the pedal board I have with where we can go. I don’t know if you play guitar or anything but a pedal can totally dictate a whole idea or a whole mood and everything right, so I just use the shit out of the pedals that I have and that has pushed us into, I mean we’re now working on a newer EP and we’ve got some songs that have been in the works for a long time but the newer EP will have a more punky, aggressive direction and that alone is because of our limitations that have moved into that. We like a lot of the same bands, I think he’s more into electronic and Hip-Hop than I am. I’m more so can be singer songwriter stuff to punky stuff. All I ever grew up on was stuff like Beatles. Anything that was on 1050 CHUM AM. That was the only thing that was ever allowed so like doo-wop and shit like that. So like we don’t play doo-wop, but maybe it’s my version of doo-wop, for a vocal line and maybe it’s his version of hip hop for a beat in a song. That’s kind of where I come from.
Andrew: I think like the whole direction, we like really dynamic bands who know how to switch it up. Who can go a little bit quiet then a little bit loud. Any band, hip-hop artist or electronic artist that knows how to write a good song and dynamically shift, that is awesome. That’s like kind of what we’re striving for. So it’s not really a specific sound.
Dave: I think that also has to do with like you gotta be super dynamic to be good. You have to, otherwise it’s not as exciting. Music should be dynamic.
jaybroderick, photographer: Yep, I agree. You guys have played a bunch of shows in the past couple months. Do you get a chance to go and see some of your favourite bands in concert, and if so, who was the last band or artist you’ve seen?
Dave: Last artist? We came here and saw BADFLOWER. Not that we’re really into Badflower but we came here to see a band called CHASTITY. That’s probably the last band I’ve seen but in terms of bands that excite me, this band IDLES, which like I’m just obsessed. I love them. They’re like the greatest thing in the past 10 years for me. I’m seeing them in September and that’s one of the only shows where I’m just like amped!
Andrew: We’ve seen a lot of local shows here. It’s always good to network too right, and support local artists and then they come to your shows, and you kind of get that relationship.
jaybroderick, photographer: So after tonight, what’s next for Mellohoney?
Andrew: Oh, we got another show coming up soon.
Dave: July 9th we’ll be playing the Rivoli. A-MINOR PRESENTS is the promoter and they had us on a bill before and we had a good time with them so we’re paired up with some other bands. We got asked for that. There’s another, one of these Rap guys that I produce, he’s putting on a 2 night, first night Rap show, second night Rock show at a venue in Ajax called Drums N Flats, which they do chicken wings. We’ve never been there but I’m super excited to see how he performs the songs live that we worked on. And then for us, just to rock out.
jaybroderick, photographer: Well, that begs the question... do you prefer drums or flats, when it comes to wings?
Andrew: I like flats, but you can’t eat 12 flats without mixing in some drums.
Dave: I have to say, I’m a spice idiot, so I don’t ever focus on the the type of wing. It’s got to make me call in sick for work tomorrow. The heat has dictated my work schedule. We used to go bowling on Thursday nights at Leisure Lanes. $5 for all night bowling then we’d go to our favourite pub and they made wings that were just like, they’d be giving out waivers for people to sign. Like dead deadly! Super deadly! So after a couple Thursday nights, I showed up one Friday at work and said “I can’t do this anymore, I can’t work Fridays anymore.” And it’s true. I don’t work Fridays anymore” (lots of laughing). So yeah, I never really thought about it before. I will say this, the guys that are so particular about fry first, sauce second, grilled third? I want to get into that world. Those guys are crazy! They know what they like.
Andrew: Other than that, we’re just working on, we have a bunch of songs that piled up. So a couple new songs tonight and we’ll put an EP together and hopefully we can do an EP release show probably here preferably.
Dave: Keep the train rolling. Keep grinding! Keep going!
jaybroderick, photographer: Just last off here, where can we hear some of your music?
Dave: We’re on every single streaming platform. Just type in MELLOHONEY. It’s so easy to find on Google. And on Spotify. We prefer Spotify cuz we use it ourselves and we’ve got a nice interface for artists but you can find us on Apple Music or Youtube. Youtube has content that Apple Music and Spotify do not. We’ve got some live videos from here, live videos we did years ago before the pandemic so if you want to go deep, Youtube is the place to go.