Video Premiere: Melt’s “Skeleton Girl”
Pittsburgh’s pysch rock outfit Melt released their latest album, Replica of Man, this summer and today we’re happy to premiere their music video for the track “Skeleton Girl.” The high energy track is driven by James May’s gritty bass line and vocals. (The video also features his handwriting for the lyrics.) After the punk-inspired riffs, the band transitions the song into a heavy breakdown section.
In addition to sharing the video, we caught up with May to get the low down on the song, the album, and his influences.
How did this song and bass line come about?
This tune was originally written as a break up song for a friend of mine back in…2011? It was actually originally written for guitar in drop D tuning but coming into the Replica of Man writing sessions I tossed the idea out and it pretty much fell into place.
Your bass tone is crushing. What gear are you running?
Funny story. I went to the cabin we recorded the album in with my Acoustic B300HD head and Acoustic 4×10 cabinet. Not even one song in, my cab shit the bed. Luckily Joey made some calls/texts and the savior of our recording weekend brought me a Hartke 4×10 to use. So that’s the rig I ran for all of the songs on ROM. I play a Fender jazz bass on all tracks as well. The end of “Skeleton Girl”, during the “now bend and fold” parts I kick on a FuzzFace for extra heaviness.
Replica of Man was written as a collaborative effort. How does the band navigate working through creative differences?
I’m not sure we have really had many creative differences with song writing. It’s kind of an easy tell early on if a riff or idea one of us brings is going to stick. A lot of times Joey will bring one or two parts and I’ll write a bridge/jam or vice versa.
Who are your bass influences?
Les Claypool, Jesse F. Keeler, and Kevin Barnes. Honestly pretty much any bass line I find fun to play or listen to. I cut my teeth playing along with [the Primus albums] Frizzle Fry and Sailing the Seas of Cheese, but when I found Death From Above 1979 in like 2003 or 2004, I picked up a pick, kicked on some distortion and really came into my own combination of Claypool and Keeler. Listening to of Montreal really helps me pick out the more melodic side of bass lines. Kevin is a wizard at that stuff.