CatsMelvin – Ready to hit the road!

Written by on March 22, 2012 in Interviews, March 22, 2012 - Comments Off on CatsMelvin – Ready to hit the road!

Hit The Road On Their “Rock Band Nation” Tour


Joining storied bands including Evanescence, Tina Guo, Gary Dean Smith and others, Lincoln, Nebraska-based rock group CatsMelvin have just had their song “Wrong Side” licensed for use by online gaming giant, Rock Band Network. Through the use of games, songs, leaderboards, battles and forums, Rock Band Network provides exposure to millions of new potential fans via online sales as a valuable, viable distribution platform.
CatsMelvin have just embarked on a national ten-city tour (dubbed the “Rock Band Nation Tour” in honor of their new deal with the online gamers) along with Lincoln band-mates Freakabout. The band plays TRIP in Santa Monica on Friday, March 23. CatsMelvin are Mike Amend (vocals, guitar loops, and effects); Tim Kechely (rhythm/lead guitars); and Jason Morris (bass). Joining the band on for their upcoming tour is FreakAbout drummer, Dr. Z.
Band member Mike Amend (MA) spoke with All Access Magazine (AAM) shortly before departing on their tour.

All Access magazine (AAM): Who are CatsMelvin and how did you come up with that band name?

MA: Mike Amend/Vox; Tim Kechely/Guitars; Jason Morris/Bass; Studio Drummer on record, 2012 Rock Band Tour Freakabout’s Zach Zoellner.  Our name comes from my old band with Kelly Green, who I still write with, Garth Melvin, and the Cats part comes from this bartender chick in Dallas who used to hang with Hank Williams  III, he taught her how to bend cowboy hats. She has done ones for several famous people (Elton John, Lisa Marie Presley). Anyway, she referred to us as Cats, the whole night when we played at her club. “ Are you Cats up for some more Absinthe”   :

AAM: Tell us a little bit about the overall musical philosophy of the band?

MA: Our songs come from lyrics, I have , and then Tim and Jason put the music to them, or we start out jamming an idea and I begin to put words to it. Consistent drummer has always been a problem, so we used a very talented drummer on tracks(Dan ?) Zach from  FreakAbout has been filling in on drums, so we can write, and is playing drums on our tour here in June to promote our song “Wrong Side” going on to the Rock Band Network, as a game download, due out in June. We refer to ourselves, as hardcore folk “Dylan meets Sabbath,” 3-minute stories, with a lot of sound.


AAM: CatsMelvins were just selected by online gamers Rock Band Network to have your song “Wrong Side” licensed for use on their site. How did that come about?

MA  :I found them in the indie Bible, and sent them 3 tracks. “Wrong Side” works for the game; not all songs will. So it is a smaller pool of songs, that does a lot of downloads. Which makes it a very good marketing tool. They are also geared towards the future of music. Which is less packaging, and way more cyber. “ Instant sound for the mind.”

AAM: The group is currently on a 10-City U.S. Tour that brings you to Los Angeles (at Trip in Santa Monica) on March 23. Have you performed here before and what do you think of L.A.’s live music scene?

MA : Eight cities,  ten shows.  We haven’t played at Trip, but Tim and I have played in L.A. before. We played at the Cat Club, with like four completely different bands. It was a great time. Also at the Blue Café in Huntington Beach. Our experience with bands from California have all been great. In both NoCal, and SoCal.

AAM: While we’re on the subject of music scenes, what’s it like where you guys are from (in Lincoln, Nebraska)?

MA: Lincoln has a really alot of creative musicians. I would encourage any bands going across country to check out hooking up a show in Lincoln, with locals. You can probably get good info on bands, from any of the local venues.

AAM: What bands and/or solo artists do CatsMelvin count as some of the group’s main music influences?

MA:  Zeppelin,B. Marley, N. Young, Sabbath, Floyd,M. Jagger,M Jackson.

AAM: In your press materials it says the band has forsaken the usual route of playing local venues for touring instead. Why is that?

CatsMelvinMA: Playing music is the best part. Which makes it only natural to want to expose it, to as many people as possible. Where they get a feel for what your doing, recorded music is great.  But seeing something live is completely different thing. I consider us like a concert band. Someone that puts out a record and you want to go see them play it. So going to larger markets with the internet gives the possibility to explode everything.

AAM: Going forward, where do you see CatsMelvin being at five years from now?

MA: Hopefully making music, but probably in some whole new way. Now it’s moving away from cds to digital downloads. So who knows by then, which is great because it keeps getting easier to expose your music to more and more people. Which we will embrace, much like “WRONG SIDE” going on the Rock Band Network.  It is in the future of music.