Interview: Melody’s Echo Chamber

Interview with Melody’s Echo Chamber

Melody’s Echo Chamber


Melody Prochet is a classically-trained multi-instrumentalist, and the lady behind the psychedelic sounds of Melody’s Echo Chamber. Here she explains the inspirations behind her dreamy debut, and tells how Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker brought a bit of zen to proceedings…

Questions and answers

Can you tell us a little bit about your musical background please, Melody?

I’ve always been playing music; mostly classical stuff when I was little, but I started recording my first “pop” songs on guitar and keyboards with my brother, upstairs in his home studio, around the age of 18. He was obsessed with synthesizers, Jean Michel Jarre and production, and gave me the disease I think.

What were the first artists or records that made you want to become a musician yourself?

The first song that gave me the most emotional reaction was Sibelius’ "La Valse Triste", when I played it with the orchestra. After that, I think I fell in love with the song "Knives Out" by Radiohead. That was the first time that I discovered another kind of music existed apart from classical, jazz, dance music or French hip hop.

I didn’t have access to less-mainstream music down south. So when I moved to Paris and first heard music from Sonic Youth, Blonde Redhead, Philip Glass, Pram, Silver Apples, Can, Stereolab and Broadcast, I knew that making music myself would be the only thing that’d keep me happy and excited.

Why did you decide to go solo?

I’ve always been a solo artist, I just collaborated with different producers. I’m dreaming of being in a band though. I’m in a silly duo with my band mate Maud, called CIDER. I’m the (terrible) drummer and she sings and play guitar! Keep us under your radar! [sic]

As a multi-instrumentalist, where do you normally begin with composition?

It depends. Most of the time, it starts on a keyboard, or sometimes on guitar. Recently I’ve been trying to write directly on viola but it’s a bit tough as it’s more an arrangement instrument.

Can you tell us a little about the writing process on your debut, please?

I recorded demos alone, at home in Paris, on my silly Yamaha Portasound keyboard, and then I went recording instrumentals at Kevin Parker’s studio in Perth and vocals down south at my grandparents’ house. Kevin played drums and bass, and produced the record.

Do you think the different environments had an impact on the sound?

Absolutely. The environments were similar in that there was lots of space, sun, light, beach, sand and salt, but Australia was more wild and freeing for my creativity. And the south of France was about emotions for me, because I recorded in my grandparents’ house. Both places were quite complementary.

What attracted you to work with Kevin, and what do you feel he brought to your sound?

I think his opposite musical background. I knew he’d just put TNT in my music, which I really wanted. I love disorienting noises, clouds of sound, collision and movement. We just explored a lot sonically and had fun with what was there in the studio.

I loved how as soon as making music became an effort and felt like working, Kevin would just stop and do something else – go to the beach or hang out with friends – and come back to it later. He’s got a really wise and interesting vision of making music.

I used to be really worried when making music, but Kevin helped me understand it doesn’t need to be that way: it can be fun and still be emotional. He had this Buddhist way of thinking and it was really soothing.

Is there anyone else you’d particularly like to collaborate with in the future?

Of course! Geoff Barrow, Flying Lotus, Lockett Pundt, Tyler, the Creator, my dad…

The album’s sung predominantly in English – why is that?

I guess I need to hide the darker things about me in my songs. I don’t want people around me to get those things and so when I wrote songs in France, I wrote in English. And I guess the same thing happened when I was in Australia and started writing in French.

Do you have a particular favorite song on the album?

I think my favourite song is "Bisou Magique" as all the parts came to me simultaneously. It was quite magical and new: the song, the melody and also the lyrics in French!

The press frequently compare you to Broadcast and Laetitia Sadier. Are they heroes of yours?

They’re definitely my two most important musical muses: they’ve been a real inspiration. Though, while we were recording, I was saying to Kevin how careful I wanted to be to not get too close to their special thing. I respect them so much.

So what’s the plan for the rest of 2012? Can we expect new material in the near future?

I’m already writing new songs. I hope to record stuff in December and to release a new record at the end of next year, but it might be a bit early to put everything together.

What’s your ultimate ambition for Melody’s Echo Chamber?

The dream is to travel the world with my music, and meet interesting and intriguing people from different cultures with things to teach and show me.

And finally, what’s been your favourite album of 2012 so far?

These days I’m in love with that Lotus Plaza record, Spooky Action at a Distance, Ty Segall, Tame Impala and the Grizzly Bear song "Sun in Your Eyes".