Tera Melos are an experimental rock band from Sacramento, CA. We sat down for a quick chat with Nick Reinhart to talk about their upcoming record, past and future collaborations and prank phone calls.
Sean: You guys are working on a new record right now? How’s that going?
Nick: Good. We’ve done most of all the basic tracking- guitar, drums and bass. Started vocals before fIREHOSE tour. It is looking like we’ll finish everything up after Europe.
S: Are you guys taking any different approaches with this record? Anything different that you are excited about?
N: Well we initially set out to make a more back to basics, mellow, minimal record. At least that was my idea around this time last year. But that totally did not happen. Haha. The vibe of the record is a little more straightened out than before. Although our idea of straightened out is probably still pretty out there for all intents and purposes. All the new stuff is very exciting, mostly just because it exists in territories that we haven’t really explored.
S: In what way? What sort of territories?
N: I guess I wouldn’t know how to describe it other than knowing that it’s something that we haven’t done musically. It could probably be quantified by the average, casual listener as sounding “less fucked up.”
S: “Patagonian Rats” Your last record, I would say was fairly accessible for the average music listener, would you say this record is going to be more poppy?
N: There are a few choruses that will get stuck in your head, so I guess that makes it more poppy. People that liked our last record will definitely like this one.
S: How does the writing process go? Who comes up with what?
N: I typically demo songs bedroom style and send them to Nate and John. They kind of hash out parts on their own and then we get together and piece it all together. This record came together pretty fast. I think we did 8 songs in like two weeks. Well that’s fast for us at least. There have been times in the past where we spent months and months on one song
S: Any band bickering or funny studio stories? You guys are fairly renowned pranksters…
N: Hmm no bickering or drama this time around. At least not yet. It’s probably a combination of things, having a better/stronger musical chemistry and approaching the songs with the less is more concept. When you write songs with ten thousand changes it gets difficult putting it all together and that’s when there’s band drama. I’m probably speaking too soon. The record is only halfway done, so there’s plenty of time for drama. We haven’t prank called anyone in awhile. Might have to do that soon.
S: Who would be your ideal person to prank call if you could get their number and what would you do to prank them?
N: I used to have this weird ass stalker that I’ve known since i was 12. Every few years he’d pop up and incessantly call me and leave me disturbing messages. I think he was trying to have sex with me or something. He kept calling me “square bear” in a very feminine voice on all the messages. We prank called the shit out of him a few years ago and haven’t heard from him since. his name is Corey, “crazy Corey.” I got a current number for him from a random guy that we ran into at our practice spot once who happen to be a mutual friend, who Corey also happened to stalk. Every time I’ve tried to call him it goes to an unassuming voice mail box. It’s been almost 20 years of avoiding this psycho and I’d kind of like to keep the tradition alive.
S: How did you happen to meet this man when you where 12?
N: He was a friend of my very first girlfriend. I think she
gave him my phone number because we were both into punk music. I
remember talking about Bad Religion with him the very first time we
ever spoke. He would come over to my house and stay the night for
like 3 days in a row and I’d try to tell my mom that he was insane
but she didn’t want me being rude to him. He’d bring his guitar
over and show me his shitty metal riffs. For years and years I
would ask him, “what would you do if i took that guitar and threw
it out the window?”
S: What do you think he would do?
N: Probably rape me. The very sad thing is that I’ve known him longer than I’ve known any of my closest friends.
S: How is Sacramento right now? Any music you have heard coming out of there that you are excited about at the moment?
N: I haven’t been to too many shows lately. I heard Carson [McWhirter] practicing the other day before we left and it sounded awesome. Pretty much anything that guy does is rad. Jon Bafus’ band Gentleman Surfer is really good. I saw them play awhile back and they were super cool. Actually they played with Appetite who were also great. I caught up with Zach [Hill] the other night and it sounds like Death Grips are going pretty hard. Excited to hear what they’re coming up with.
S: You have been playing with Jon Bafus recently as well right? Improv shows and whatnot, can we expect any recordings with him or any other collaborations outside of Tera Melos?
N: Jon and I actually started writing a handful of songs together. They were sounding really cool and different from anything I’ve done. Then i got busy with T.M. stuff and he’d just put together Gentleman Surfer so the timing was a little off to complete anything. We’ve both talked about definitely wanting to finish and record them. As for other stuff- still working on my own music. I started getting pretty deep with it but then, again, the T.M. stuff got happening and that takes priority. I kind of have a hankering to do some weird acoustic shit. I would also love to do something with Zach again. It’s been awhile and I miss that shit. And Mike Watt and I have been planning a record with Nels Cline [Of Wilco] and Greg Saunier [Of Deerhoof]. We were supposed to be working on it right around now but Nels plays in Wilco and they just put out a new record, and Watt got fIREHOSE back together. So hopefully we can start figuring stuff out this summer.
S: Any plans to get back together with Matt Klamm and/or Garret Vander Leun to work on another film like Snakeville?
N: I actually just watched Snakeville with an impartial observer the other day and they actually liked it a lot. I’m usually skeptical about friends or Tera Melos fans saying they like it because they could just think it’s funny watching us act like idiots. I hadn’t watched it in a couple years and I was actually cracking up. I had tears in my eyes at one point. Making that movie was one of the most fun things I’ve ever done. It was revisiting all the stuff we did as kids. We’ve all talked about doing it again. I was just texting Garrett about it this morning. He said, “I don’t think I’ll ever have that fun a summer again.” I think it’s just a testament to us not wanting to grow up and become “real” adults.
S: Cool, well, wrapping this up, when can we expect the record? does it have a title yet?
N: No title yet. I guess the record can’t come out until next year. so hopefully Jan/Feb 2013. Sucks but that’s the way it is.
S: Cool. Anything else you want to add?
N: Massive thank you to Mike Watt and fIREHOSE for inviting us
on to their reunion shows. Last night Mike told us that it’s like
when bands would take out the Minutemen and everyone would be
freaked out, but fucking stoked- it’s carrying on the tradition of
exposing people to new and interesting music. He also said that
touring with us reminds him of touring with the “The Hüskers” and
“The Flag.” holy shit.
Interview by Sean Stout for Terroreyes.tv