In conversation with psychedelic rock band Micko & The Mellotronics

Image credit: Ashley Jones

Conceived from the mind of a child at heart, singer, songwriter Micko Westmoreland, band Micko & The Mellotronics was formed in 2017, and since then the band has released their debut album  ½ dove – ½ pigeon. Focused on the considerably mundane or novel thoughts that we all encounter day to day, this band makes shirts and noisy neighbours memorable with slick rock ‘n roll anthems for the inner rebellious teen to marvel at.

We find out more about this playful band in this interview below.

Looking back, what were some of your earliest entries into music appreciation? And music production?

Listening to Elvis straight from school. Looking up at a Debbie Harry poster, blue tacked to my bedroom ceiling. Rigging up an electric guitar to feed through an old reel to reel. Recording lines on cassette & jamming over the top.

Take us through your songwriting process. Are there any particular steps you take when putting music together?

Always start with a good idea, preferably one you share some history with. Try many permutations on the page, stay with it until it feels right, be prepared to get bored, frustrated & distracted, you have to accept that as part of the process. I work a lot with chords too, so again try lots of methods. Simple things can be varied in a multitude of ways. Develop a keen eye for detail.

What gets your creative juices flowing?

Working with my co-producer & guitarist Jon Klein (Specimen/Ex-Banshee/Batcave), it’s important to have someone you respect that you can bounce ideas off. Jon has amazing talents & has been round the block & learned a trick or two. Working with Nick MacKay (Drums) & Vicky Carroll (Bass) in rehearsal is tremendous fun also. Feels like a non-competitive sport where everyone’s a winner!

As a musician, it becomes apparent that there is a huge difference between the art and the business. Is there anything about the music scene that you would personally change?

It would be lovely if it were a meritocracy. But I can’t expect to change that world, I’ve got too much on over here. Be nice to get more dosh from streaming though, wouldn’t it?

Studio work and music creation or performing and interacting with a live audience, which do you prefer?

I’ve literally lived in the studio for years doing all sorts of stuff from art installation sound pieces to scores for features (My brother is a successful filmmaker). So I’m grateful for getting out, nothing like the sound of an electric guitar piped up to blow away the cobwebs

What is the most memorable response you have had to your music?

If I can digress it was probably for acting in Todd Haynes’ Velvet Goldmine. Brian Eno came up & told me I had the attitude ‘perfect’ then gave me a hug, blimey.

What’s on your current playlist?

I’m into records & tapes, although I’m planning on buying a CD player in the January sales.

Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you in the near future?

More videos to tracks from the 1/2 Dove – 1/2 Pigeon album, new tracks to hatch & an album of archived electronic stuff from when I didn’t use to get out much.

Famous last words?

Put the gun down & go back to the car.

Follow Micko & The Mellotronics:

Facebook / Twitter 

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