Danny Canak catches up with “rock n’ soul” singer Simon Meli after his recent appearance on The Voice and currently on tour with his band, Simon Meli & The Widowbirds.
How did you get your start in the music industry?
I was always noodling along to my dad’s records and the new artists I was discovering when growing up in the early 90s. My folks had bought me strat copy! It was a few years afterwards that I (at 18) answered the one and only add that I have ever responded to in a popular music street rag. At the other end of the advert was my best mate still to this day – Tony K who plays alongside me in The Widowbirds. It was Tony that handed me that (Yes!) CASSETTE tape to go and learn the tracks for my audition… I think I’m still auditioning for him after all these years.
Best part of what you do?
The rush of walking out to centre stage, lights down then BAM! The band kicks in and the heart beats along…
And the worst part?
Besides the suggestions of bad habits, us Indie artists end off paying for our art for the rest of our lives. But it’s a price we are all willing to pay over and over.
Any interesting experiences you can share of your time on The Voice?
Thanks to Joel, the #WhiteDudeDancing tag was coined and now I’ve earned myself a new nickname passing people by in the street or malls. It was a new experience for me, I’d hit it up all again and wouldn’t hesitate in advising any other artists to ‘chin up & chest out’ go out proud of what you do, who you are and what you represent! We all have and need different heroes.
Favourite album of all time and why?
Southern Harmony and Musical Companion – The Black Crowes. This album just ticked all the juicy bits that I need to feel musically fulfilled. It not only sounded great, but represented the walk of life, I’m now walkin. Rock n Roll. It has grits, vintage gear turned up really loud, Hammond Organs that fill my steeple and songs of love n lust! Pretty much all the things that people relate to in good-time music. Just like the Stones did or Aerosmith, ACDC, Stevie Wright…
Best live performance that you’ve ever seen?
I’ve seen a lot of killer shows and a lot of great bands. But I’m still searching for the next best thing, it’s a hunger that has no satisfaction. Most of the stuff I love to watch has been captured and is out there in the cyber-world. Bon Scott is still one of the kings, Otis Redding… all the good stuff.
Favourite bars/clubs/pubs to hang out in?
I love the small bar scene that has finally landed in Sydney…Melbourne and Europe know all about this already! Bars in Spain stole my heart and they haven’t given it back yet, so I’ll keep prowling the cool haunts like Midnight Special in Enmore.
Take us through a typical day in the life of Simon Meli.
It’s a full time job being me. I still work where I can to fund most of my passions. From digital design to live music…I take it all on the shoulders and get to climbing the hill I set out in front of me. A solid breakfast – work a bit in the workshop – head home, spend most of the night with the missus in the Music Room at home… Planning world domination haha.. Sipping on a stiff whiskey n coke.. Listening to music, catching some couch-time right before I hit the sack then before I know it – I’m up with the birds… The Widowbirds?
What are your plans for the rest of the year?
Recording a new bunch of songs with Simon Meli & The Widowbirds for a new album, maybe a single by October. We then head to Europe in 2014 for our second ‘home-made & hand-rolled’ tour! A baby…a new ‘OLD’ car and good-times.
Any news or final comments?
Love is free, you can’t sell it, you can’t buy it and costs you nothing.
SIMON MELI & THE WIDOWBIRDS
‘MOMENT IN THE SUN’ 2013 TOUR DATES:
Thursday 18th July: THE VANGUARD (SOLD OUT), NSW
Friday 19th July: ROOTY HILL RSL, NSW
Saturday 20th July: PIGSTY IN JULY FESTIVAL, NSW
Sunday 21st July: BEACHES HOTEL, NSW
Friday 26th July: JIVE BAR, SA
Sunday 28th July: NORTHCOTE SOCIAL CLUB, VIC
Friday 2nd August: SOLBAR, QLD
Saturday 3rd August: BALLINA RSL CLUB, NSW
Sunday 4th August: X AND Y BAR, QLD
Thursday 8th August: THE BRASS MONKEY, NSW
Friday 9th August: CAMBRIDGE HOTEL, NSW
Saturday 10th August: COAST HOTEL, NSW
Thursday 22nd August: THE VANGUARD – 2nd show, NSW
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