Nick Reinhart is an honest guy. As the frontman for the experimental and noisy rock band Tera Melos, he says he feels all parts of music "embodied" in him. He's also an opinionated guy.
"These days, people are playing music for dishonest reasons, dishonest to themselves," Reinhart said. "That's not completely fair to say because if someone really likes that band Avenged Sevenfold - if that's like their favorite band and they want to start a band that sounds just like them, I guess that's pretty honest, but that's not how it is with most people. They just want to start a band like Avenged Sevenfold so they can f--- girls."
Based out of Sacramento Valley, Calif., the members of Tera Melos will be in Washington tomorrow night at the Black Cat's Backstage, bleeding out their music-enraptured souls along with their complex time signatures. Lead singer and guitarist Reinhart plays music because "it's pretty much all I really think I know how to do that is to my liking."
"It seems the most important thing is to be honest with the music, and I don't think most people are honest when they're playing music," Reinhart said. "I don't envy being a young band right now, because the f---ing music world is so saturated. You can throw a dart out the window of your house and hit someone who plays in a band. I can't imagine what it's like to be in a smaller band and do D.I.Y. touring and that shit. It seems like a nightmare right now."
Luckily for Tera Melos, there's a public relations firm working for them. Not that it always makes sense.
In a press release, the band's music is described as "jagged mathcore" - but Reinhart's not sure how to respond.
"I don't know why they would put that in the press release," he said. "I don't even know what that really means. If that means technical or complex, there's definitely technical or complex elements in our music. Mathrock or mathcore? Or any of that - it just doesn't sit well with me.
"Completely, just broken down - I would just call it an experimental band, a loud experimental band with lots of dynamic," Reinhart continued. "I guess it also depends on who's asking. If it's one of my family members at Easter and they ask me, 'Oh, what type of music are you playing?' I just say, 'Rock music.' Just loud, obnoxious rock music."
With its latest recording, the free download IDIOMS Vol. 1, the band puts its signature, musically chaotic twist on five pop songs. Among the songs are The Clash's "Koka Kola," the Pixies' "Tame" and The Beach Boys' "Meant For You."
"It's just a batch of cover songs that we thought were funny," Reinhart said. "Those are kind of the bands that we listen to that we like a lot. We're constantly asked: 'Who are your influences?' and 'What kind of bands do you guys like?' and I think people assume we're into similar music that we play, which is true, but it's not like my favorite music. So those songs are from some of our favorite bands. It really was just a fun idea that we always wanted to try. And the idea of music for free was a really neat idea, too."
While Reinhart and his bandmates put on Weezer before they reach for Yngwie Malmsteen, it would be a lie to say the technical music they play doesn't captivate them.
"I was into punk music, and the thing about punk music is that it's fast, and I like the fast energy that punk music has, and it was kind of funny and fun to tweak out fast music and make it kind of hard to follow, and that was just a really fun thing to play," Reinhart said.
After sharing a bill with The Fall Of Troy and Portugal. The Man about two years ago that went along the East Coast, Tera Melos will be back to headline.
"It's a very strange town just because how it's like where the f---ing White House is and all that shit, but it's in like a super-ghetto, dangerous area, it feels like," Reinhart said. "It's definitely a strange place, for sure."