Friday, October 16, 2009

Pheaturing David Melbye From Heavy Water Experiments


Hello, and welcome to another Friday entry of the Peverett Phile, thanks for stopping by. I have a great blog for you today. David Melbye from the band Heavy Water Experiments is today's guest. HWE is a really cool band from Los Angeles. But first... this week a brand new ride opened at Walt Disney World, in Epcot where I work. It's called Sum of All Thrills. Thanks to those imagineers at Walt Disney World, you no longer have to be an engineer to design a theme park ride, or be a nerd to have fun doing math. Raytheon and Disney both hope it'll teach kids that engineering and math can be fun and useful. According to The New York Times, visitors to the exhibit use a touchscreen to design a roller coaster, bobsled, or jet ride. While you add head-spinning corkscrews and stomach-churning drops via onscreen tools like rulers and dials, mathematical formulas for velocity and acceleration appear on the screen. When your dream ride is complete, you can even hop into a robotic simulator to experience your custom creation. If you can't make the trip to Orlando, don't worry. There's an online component, too, at Every time you correctly answer a math question, you're awarded a new piece to help build your simulated ride, which you can then watch in motion on your computer monitor. With winter coming swiftly, this is good news for all you adrenaline junkies. Rain or shine, hot or cold, the Sum of All Thrills will give you that fix. Plus, it's a way for you nerds to do math without being ridiculed. It shakes you around, spins you, you and could make you sick. It's like being married to me. Anyway, next time you are in Orlando, stop by Sum 0f All Thrills in Innoventions at Epcot. here is a picture of what it looks like.

Okay, I got that plug out of the way. And just for the record, I didn't say anything bad, did I? A Republican senator from Maine voted with the Democrats on healthcare. What!?! This is the first time a Republican has switched sides and not been arrested in an airport bathroom. The Treasury Department said today that the Taliban is much-better funded than al-Qaida. Al-Qaida said they’d be doing much better if they hadn’t invested with Bernie Madoff. Scottish celebrities are trying to prevent Donald Trump from building a huge golf course in Scotland. Trump has a way around them, though. It’s called buying Scotland. Colorado will become the first state to lower the minimum wage. They plan to lower it from $7.28 to $7.25. As a compromise, workers will be able to leave work nine seconds earlier. Walmart employees were like, “There’s a minimum wage?” The Obamas held what they called a “Fiesta Latina” and a performer, Thalia, encouraged el president to salsa with her. Michelle Obama didn’t seemed pleased at all. So much for the Nobel Peace Prize. Tom Cruise, Suri and Katie Holmes were spotted all over Boston this week. Boston has not seen anything so exciting, not until we Peverett's show up that is. Did you hear about the big changes for the TV show "The Simpsons"? I seems that they have a different group of artists doing the drawings. This anime crap is really taking over. Take a look.

Al Martino: Now he doesn't even have ONE heart.
Lou Albano: Down for the count.

Deposed French queen Jos├ęphe Jeanne Marie Antoinette sits in an open cart, enduring three hours of public ridicule as she is slowly driven around the streets of Paris. Finally, she is taken to the guillotine. Before she loses her head, Antoinette tells the crowd: "Farewell, my children, forever. I go to your Father."
American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos perform a raised-fist Black Power salute during the 200-meter dash medals ceremony at the Mexico City Olympics. Despite being two of the fastest men on Earth (Smith won the gold and Carlos the bronze), the pair are promptly kicked off the U.S. team for their political statement.
In a very special episode of "All in the Family", a rapist holds Edith at knifepoint and pays a compliment on her perfume (Lemon Fresh Pledge). Luckily, Edith manages to fend off the home invader before he can rape her.
George Hennard crashes his pickup truck through the window of Luby's Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas. Then he hops out and begins shooting the patrons with a Glock 17 semiauto and a Ruger P89. Before ultimately killing himself next to the restaurant's bathrooms, Hennard manages to kill 23 people and wound 19 others.
The Dutchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, files a $1.4M suit against French tabloids for running topless photos of her taken on the French Riviera, including some of Texas millionaire John Bryan sucking her toes. Fergie went on to appear in advertisements for Weight Watchers.
84 are killed and more than 180 injured in Guatemala City when 47,000 soccer fans attempt to squeeze into 36,000 seats at Mateo Flores Stadium.

This is the second book in the Peverett Phile Book Club, which is available from and In the 1970s, she travelled the universe aboard the TARDIS… 30 years on, actress Mary Tamm now recounts the story of her own, earthbound, adventures. Born to Estonian parents in 1950s Bradford, her rise to fame took her from a Northern childhood to life in the fast lane: via TV appearances in "Coronation Street" and "Girls of Slender Means" to leading roles in feature films - including the cult Tales that Witness Madness, and The Odessa File which pitched her career into the international arena.
In 1978, Mary became part of essential Saturday night television as she joined the cast of "Doctor Who" alongside Tom Baker, as the superlative Time Lady, Romana! Packed with recollections and exclusive photographs, this autobiography follows Mary on a journey of self-discovery to her parents' homeland of Estonia, where she finally comes to terms with her true identity…

Mary will be a guest on the Phile on Monday! Don't forget to purchase the first in the book club, Victor Langlois' "Mr. Lincoln Was A Robot", also available from

Okay, today's guest is singer, songwriter, guitarist, keyboardist, bassist, and producer for the Los Angeles band Heavy Water Experiment. Their self-titled album is available now on iTunes. Please welcome to the Phile... David Melbye.

Me: Hello, David, welcome to the Phile. So, how are you?

David: Fine, thanks, Jason!

Me: So, what's with the band name? Heavy Water Experiments is what I call it when I take a dump, but I know you have a better reason the band is called that, right?

David: Yes, that's exactly what it is--a reference to huge turds, exploding diarrhea, hot mud, and so on. Well, actually, I thought of it after I decided the old band name was too boring, neutral, and reminiscent of Imogen Heap (of shit, ha ha). It's a reference to the "heavy water"
molecule that was used in early atomic bomb experimentation. It is referenced in an old "Star Trek" episode actually. Anyway, I think it's safe to say it fits the band's whole vibe a lot better, so I'm pretty sure we'll be sticking with it.

Me: Alright, who is in the band, what do you all do, and most of all, who is the hot chick?

David: The present album was executed entirely by me and our drummer Roberto
Salguero. That is, I play everything besides drums and percussion on it. The live ensemble is ideally a four-piece with guitar/8-string bass, keyboards, 4-string bass, and drums. I switch between 8-string bass and electric guitar on stage, and I sing. We have a 4-string bass player
named Rick Staggs who's been playing shows with us for some time now... a good guy. Our female member, Rebecca Black, was brought into the band to play keyboards, but, lately, we've been putting her out front to sing on her own. She puts on quite a performance, and, anyway, I like not having to sing all the time as I used to do. We've been using an additional keyboard player when she sings out front, and, sometimes, a buddy of Roberto's plays percussion. It's all working pretty well, but, mind you, I wouldn't want our live ensemble to become a "rockestra."

Me: The band is from LA, right? Are you all from there? I betcha played at all the cool clubs... The Viper Room, HOB, The Roxy, Whisky. What is your favorite?

David: Yes, we're LA-based--rather regrettably. I'm an LA native, while Roberto is from El Salvador, Rebecca is from North Carolina, and Rick is from Texas. Actually, we haven't played all of these venues. These clubs aren't as hip as they used to be, but they are still good for showcasing, I suppose. We just had a great show at The Viper Room the other week. I don't like venues that treat bands like cattle -- with shorter sets and all the rushing in and out. On the other hand, the sound at The Viper Room is great compared to many of the more divey hipster spots. The parking around the west side venues you listed is also a huge pain in the ass, so
I guess it just depends on what a band is hoping to achieve by playing out.

Me: You guys also played all over Europe as well... where do you like to play better? Europe or the US? How are the audiences different?

David: I think -- at this stage -- we're better suited for European audiences. They have a much wider musical palette and are more open minded to original music. Europe and the UK are a lot more compact, so I'd have to say I prefer playing strings of shows abroad. The driving distances -- especially when you're based on the west coast -- make the US a much more difficult touring enterprise, I think.

Me: Have you ever played Florida?

David: Actually no -- though we'd love to! Our Summer US tour in 2006 brought to several southern states, but we didn't quite get down to Florida. It was pretty much an Interstate 80 proximity heading to the east coast, and then an Interstate 40 proximity on the way back, so Florida was just too far down. I'm not sure I want to tackle another diy US tour -- it can be pretty rough going when you haven't been properly promoted and your budget won't
allow for much beyond couches, floors, and some camping here and there. Anyway, I certainly hope Florida is in our near future...

Me: You were mentioned in the British Classic Rock magazine I think. But this must be a bigger thrill for you... being on the Phile. Did CRM give you a good review?

David: Totally diggin' the Phile of course! Yes, the editor at CRM really loves us. Our current CRM one-page feature is mainly an interview with me, of which only a part was actually published. But it does mention how they like to describe our sound as "mellifluous stoner rock" if that doesn't sound oxymoronic.

Me: I purchased your CD off iTunes and even though it's not my thing, I liked it. When and how long was it recorded? Are you planning on another?

David: (Well, it would be interesting if you had decided to interview a band you though totally sucked.) It was recorded across the year of 2007 in sort of a piecemeal manner, and then we released it around this time last year. Yes, we are about to release a mellower, more acoustic-oriented album, and we're also going to re-release the band's former debut album under the
new moniker and with a few improvements. We're also working on a radio single with Rebecca singing, which should be ready soon. After that, we'll be focusing on a dark and heavy album, which will probably have a lot of Rebecca, a little of me, and perhaps even a few instrumental

Me: How do you play all those songs live?

David: I think you have the basic idea already. While Roberto and I are capable of recording albums on our own, we need at least two more players to pull it off on stage. Now, things are getting a little more complicated with our new female front singer who also plays keyboards, the additional keyboard player, and optional percussionist. Anyway, songs from the album
such as the instrumental "Octavian," "Conflagration Song," "Mirror the Sky," "Clairvoyance," and "Book Colored Blue" are working really well in our live set these days. We also perform older numbers like "Sunny Day Child," a couple obscure covers, and some new songs.

Me: Tell me about Pink Sabbath, Doorphine, and Radio Queen of the Stone Head. Are they bands or just names? How about Hat Trick? A blend of Foghat and Cheap Trick?

David: These are "marriage" characterizations of our sound -- for those who like a little name-dropping. They may apply to some of our stuff, but I don't think they always work. The thing is, we don't really sound like any particular band or even narrow genre of bands. That's why we've been compared to all sorts of bands both classic and modern, many of which we've never heard or even heard of. Artistically, this is a good thing, but it can also make the marketing side of things a lot more difficult. Thanks for the suggestion -- I'm sure a marriage between Foghat and Cheap Trick is inevitable for us!

Me: Well done on being played on "Friday Night Lights". Was that cool for you? And didn't you have a poster up on another show? Nothing like free advertising.

David: Song placements on TV shows is big business these days, and it can establish a band's career where there wasn't one previously. Our placements so far haven't been quite so monumental, but they are certainly a step in the right direction. Yes, under our former band name "Imogene" we had show posters placed on various sets of "The OC". I look back on this
as a little unfortunate since Imogen Heap's music was used on the show rather than ours -- doh!

Me: You gotta tell the Phile readers about the HWE festival you put together. When is it, and do you get other bands to play? In a few years I want to put together Phile Phest.

David: Well, it's an interesting story actually, but I'll try to keep it brief. I had another psychedelic band called Fuzz Beloved some time ago, and we did a couple underground shows out in the desert. It was a lot of fun, so I wanted to try it again with HWE. The first one we did in 2005 was great. I found an awesome natural amphitheater spot out in the Mojave, and
we had a bunch of LA psychedelic (mostly retro) bands playing from dusk to dawn. Unfortunately, when we tried to do it again in 2007, the Bureau of Land Management authorities shut us down before we even had the stage set up. We moved to another spot, which was cool, but a lot less people made it out with all the last minute changes. To be accurate, this second effort was sabotaged by individuals who wanted to steal the whole desert festival idea for themselves -- basically they ratted on us to the local authorities in advance. We could certainly take steps to make it all legal and legit, but, for my part, I'm not interested in being a concert promoter. I'm only interested in the career of my band. Phile Phest? Count us in!!!

Me: Alright, Dave, go ahead and plug your website and anything else you want to. Tell the others I said hello, and I hope to see you kids soon.

Thanks so much for the interview, Jason! It's been a blast!


There you go, another cool interview. Thanks to David Melbye, Wikipedia and of course you, the reader. I will def have David back on the Phile when the next project comes out. The Phile will be back on Monday with the Book Club author Mary Tamm, who also will be my first "Doctor Who" guest. I am so excited! Then the Phile will be on a break and will be back the following Monday again. So, only one entry next week. So, have a good weekend, and remember, spread the word, not the turd. Bye, love you, bye.

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