Rod Melancon, ‘Duck Festival Queen’ [LISTEN]
Rod Melancon released his most recent album, 'Parish Lines,' in March, and he's giving readers of The Boot a preview of a track titled 'Duck Festival Queen.'
"I saw this trailer for this movie called 'Ain't Them Bodies Saints,' which is by a director named David Lowery," he explains. "It kind of inspired me to want to write something similar. The movie's about this couple, similar to a Bonnie and Clyde-type thing in the early '70s. So it had all these great visuals and kind of a mixture of their relationship and the things they're doing -- they robbed a bank and stuff like that."
The Duck Festival is an actual event that takes place annually in the next town over from Melancon's tiny hometown of Wright, La.
"It's been going on for 30 years or something," he relates. "I kinda wanted to put my own twist on Bonnie and Clyde. I'm a huge fan of Terrence Malick and the film 'Badlands,' and I wanted to make my own story like that, but I wanted to personalize it. So I had it take place right next to where I grew up."
Melancon's interest in film lends itself to his ability to write story songs.
"My mom was a theater teacher, so I'm still able to get that fix," he says with a laugh.
He worked with producer Brian Whelan on 'Parish Lines.'
"Working with Brian was great, because I know enough chords, enough about music to write songs, but that guy is like an encyclopedia of rock 'n' roll history," Melancon states. "He's one of the best in Los Angeles. He plays with Dwight Yoakam, he plays four or five instruments throughout the whole show -- steel guitar, rhythm guitar, lead guitar. He even plays accordion.
"So I've always been impressed by everything he does, so I went to him about making the record. When we got into the studio, the stuff he was doing with the songs, the different arrangements and everything were really cool. He added a lot of flair to it," he adds.
The new album features a more aggressive overall vibe for Melancon.
"I always kinda wanted to have a heavier sound," he notes. "I always kinda wanted to sing louder and rougher. I just didn't really know if I had it in me, and then working with people like Brian really helps you get in tune with that stuff. So I feel like that's the good trait of a producer."
He says the result is a step forward for him as an artist.
"It feels good, 'cause I can tell that I really have grown," Melancon states. "I guess that's what you want to do. I've been playing music for five or six years, but I can just tell that I've grown. It's louder, it's heavier, it's fun to perform live. Because I felt like I was like a clenched fist before then."
Listen to Rod Melancon, 'Duck Festival Queen':