What are your names?
Melyssa Shannon (Vocal), Jonny Woods (Guitar, Vocal), Aaron Black (Guitar), Carl Gilmore (Bass), Matty Killen (Drums)
What is the bands name?
How did you come up with the band’s name?
We changed it from a name we hated. We had just come off a tour in 2018 in our previous incornation and in the post-tour blues, Mel bleached Jonny’s hair while watching a Winona Ryder flick. We thought it’d be funny if we had a band name that people thought was Melyssas real name. We also love Nirvana.
What is your genre of music?
Give us a little bio about you as a band.
We started as ‘Wynona Bleach’ in 2018, after we all met playing in various bands in Belfast. We self-recorded our first EP “Sugar” in our rehearsal room and made our own DIY videos for it. People in our hometown of Belfast really liked it so we started doing bigger and bigger gigs. By around mid-2019 we had landed support for Alice in Chains on two Irish dates, and by that stage we had planned to do an album. Our friend Dave had a holiday home in Portugal and we planned to take all our stuff down there and record it with one of a few heroes we had hoped we could save up to afford. We managed to get Bill Ryder-Jones (ex Coral and wonderful solo artist) to come down and live with us for about a month. The guy that lived next to our friends holiday home had a factory that was abandoned and offered that to use instead, so we set the studio up there and lived in our friends house.
Just before the lockdowns happened we had a chance meeting with the legendary mixer/producers Andy Bradfield and Avril Mackintosh (Manic St Preachers, Bjork, The XX, Marillion, The Answer) at an awards ceremony our manager smuggled us into. They became best pals and collaborators and mixed 4 of the 12 tracks on the album.
By the time it was time to release it, we had done a few shows with Fierce Panda Records in London, and being a massive fan of what they had championed, we were pleased to sign a deal with them in August 2021 to release the album “Moonsoake” in 2022.
What made you go into music?
We all have different reasons, for some it was an escape growing up in a fairly bleak Northern Ireland, where identity politics are everywhere. Music , art, and really any alternative culture attracts people who don’t connect with the status quo even more so than anywhere else. We all have had life changing moments in music and it’s the most important thing in the world to us.
Who are your influences?
We have a huge varied collection of music between us, bands that have drawn us together vary from 90’s-00’s alternative bands like The Smashing Pumpkins, Placebo, Nirvana, Hüsker Dü, all the way to new acts like Wolf Alice, Poppy, Beebadoobee and Haim. To be honest, its an impossible question answer properly knowing that we have a hype playlist for our tour bus/pre show ritual that ranges from Van Halen to old school Trance.
Are you signed?
Yes, to Fierce Panda Records.
You released you brand new single ‘Moonsoake’, tell us more about the single.
This was the only track on the album not recorded in Portugal, it was written during the lockdowns while we mixed the album. Jonny Wrote it mostly believing we needed a pop relief track, and most of the guitars were done in his spare room, which he sent to Matty (Drums) while our sound guy Mike Hanvey set up mics around Matty’s kit in our rehearsal room. Once he left, Matty went in and recorded drums, sent them to Carl and Aaron, back to Mel, and eventually we had a whole song done without seeing each other in person (PEAK lockdowns!)
What is the meaning behind the single?
The lyrics are a nostalgia about missing parties and socialising, and even missing the worst bits of partying like being too out of it to handle your loved one’s voices.
What was the writing and recording process like?
It was weird to be trading our thoughts over zoom, because we have been used to seeing each other for most of the week in person, to all of a sudden having to look at each other through a screen. The song came together pretty quick for Jonny both lyrically and instrumentally, the rest of the band mostly arranged it and made it flow, the first time coming back together playing it live was probably the best thing and we sort of wish THAT had have been recorded
Describe the track in two words.
Who did you work with on the single?
It was one of the 4 tracks mixed by Andy Bradfield and Avril Mackintosh, again remotely! They mixed it at their studios in London, in Isolation.
Will we see a Music Video for the single and if so can you give us a teaser of what to expect?
We’ll be releasing a video for it shortly after the single release on 21st Jan 2022, probably a month or so after! The video will be (we hope) a nod to sci-fi b-movies in the past.
You also have the album ‘Moonsoake’ set to release in Feb. give us a teaser of what to expect and who you worked on the full album with?
It was recorded with Bill Ryder-Jones and Engineered by the band while we lived in Portugal for a month. The songs were mixed by the incredible Andy Bradfield and Avril Mackintosh and it was mastered in Belfast by the legendary Mastering engineer Jon Moorehead at Moosetronix Mastering.
Will we see any live shows coming up with the album release coming soon and if so where will you be heading?
We’ll be playing with our label-mates China bears in the Lexington in London on Feb 23rd 2022, and doing a hometown album launch in Belfast in March. We hope to do a more confirmed tour when restrictions lift in 2022, so we hope to be in a town near you at some stage in 2022!
What else can we expect in 2022?
We have been planning a tour which has been going through constant re-jigging due to covid restrictions but we have been working on a follow-up to Moonsoake, as due to the delay in the release of it we have lots of new songs! We hope to spend most of the year playing live.
Where do you see yourself now in 5 Years?
At the very least playing bigger shows and going around the world with our music.
What quote or saying do you always stick by?
If you’re gonna do it, don’t fuck about.
When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?
Play for the crowd, not for yourself
Bring guitar picks
Say hello to everyone you can after the show