Interview Outtakes: Ultimate Fakebook Drummer Eric Melina on Returning to Touring
In this week's paper, Ryan Wasoba chatted with Ultimate Fakebook drummer Eric Melin, to mark the occasion of the band playing at the Firebird on Sunday, December 19. (The Orbz, Dead Girls and the Highway, Companion are also on the bill.) The power-pop cult heroes released a new album, Daydream Radio Is Smiling Static, earlier this year, and are doing some rare live dates in support. Melin elaborated on the band's touring successes -- past and present -- below.
Ryan Wasoba: You've been to St. Louis many times in the past, including the tour with the Get Up Kids and At The Drive-In. How was that experience?
Eric Melin: That was a fucking tour, man. It was amazing. Every night we were better than the night before because we were so inspired. That tour made us the touring machine we were because we learned everything. At The Drive-In had already recorded Relationship Of Command when they were on the tour, but it hadn't been released yet. We felt like we were hearing the songs for the first time every single night.
After these reunions, where did Daydream Radio Is Smiling Static come from?
We didn't know we were connecting with fans. Bill [McShane, UFB vocalist] sang on a song from Stephen Egerton of the Descendents' record [The Seven Degrees Of Stephen Egerton]. When it came out, I heard it and said, "If you're still awesome, why don't we record again?" and he said, "I was thinking the same thing, remember these songs we never recorded because we were saving them? What are we holding on to these for now?" And since we all have real jobs and the music industry is in the shitter, we put it up for free. That's what actually got Robert [McClimans, Firebird talent buyer] involved. He saw that we were active again and invited us to come to St. Louis. Then all of the sudden some of our friends Ashtray Babyhead offered us a show in Arkansas, so we booked a little reunion tour.
Wow, Ashtray Babyhead. That's a name I haven't heard in years!
Don't get me started on Ashtray Babyhead. [Laughs] Do you know what those guys are up to now? Jeff [Matika] is the backup guitar player in Green Day. When they played the Sprint Center, he invited us out and we had this weird night on the town with Green Day.