The new album from Tera Melos is quite an achievement, with the Californian trio finally settling into themselves on what is, incredibly, only their third album in eight years. The release of X'ed Out is an event in itself - it's been a fraction over 2-and-a-half years since the release of Patagonian Rats, but the band have released an EP and single since then in a relatively productive period. We at the 405 liked their new record so much that we decided to ask the band a few questions about it.

They're heading out on tour with TTNG in a few days, so we asked them about that, as well as plenty about the new record. Turns out they're not actually 'X'ed Out and Tired' at all.

All questions answered by Nathan Latona.

Hi guys! How are you all feeling at the moment? Your new record is out soon - what's the mood in the Tera Melos camp? Relief, excitement, or something in between?

Right now we are in scramble mode to get ready for tour. I would say that the mood is one of impending doom with a bit of excitement thrown in. Kind of like riding a roller coaster for the first time after it has been re-opened because major repairs were done to prevent deaths. We haven't played in front of an audience since we were in Russia 9-and-a-half months ago and we are going to be playing a bunch of new songs, so thinking about that can be pretty daunting. Like, real deal human beings have been conceived and born since we last played a show. Added to that, we are a bit spread out, so we only get a chance to play together after plane tickets are purchased and time zones are adjusted to. So hopefully one can see why we could have a bit of nerves going back out there. Still, I think we are all really excited to be back out showing people new songs.

What did you do differently this time around? There was a sonic shift between your debut and second album Patagonian Rats, and X'ed Out seems like another step forward for the band, so was there anything you learned whilst making your last album that you tried to apply to this one?

This time around I think we all did a lot more thinking about our individual parts on our own time so that when we got together in the practice room we could focus more on how exciting it was to hear the songs take shape, rather than playing parts over and over a hundred times and wondering if they were going to take shape. The air in the practice spot was definitely more relaxed this time around. That isn't to say critical thinking didn't go into the song writing, but I feel we individually thought about things that we could edit out as opposed to things we could cram in. I think the result is a record that feels a bit more exciting and ambitious than what could have happened if we tried to make it the same way we made Patagonian Rats.

What was the best thing about making 'X'ed Out'? Similarly to the above, is there anything you picked up whilst writing/recording the album that you could apply to future releases?

We recorded the entire record in our friend's bedroom. It really takes a lot of the edge off that can come along with recording in a sterile studio environment. It kind of took things back to being 12 or 13 and learning to play music with friends by making noise in bedrooms and making all these cool discoveries about your instrument. Same principle, we are just all a bit better at our instruments and the discoveries are more about different types of reverbs or amp configurations.

Have you been surprised by the reactions to the new songs, either from around the web or on tour? Do you think people have preconceptions of the band, and did you consciously work to free yourselves from such notions, if so?

I have paid a bit of attention - A lot more than I would like to. I have been really happy with what I have seen, though. Like, if someone trashes a new song and is unhappy with the direction, then for me it is "mission accomplished". That means we have taken our music somewhere new. It is also great because I have seen a lot of people who are along for the trip with us. I have seen chatter from people who totally "get" our band; people who not only say that they like what they here but also acknowledge that there is a progression in the music, and that is very reassuring.

Speaking of, you're headed out on tour on April 18th with label-mates TTNG. Are you excited about taking a chunk of the new album on the road? Are you going to be playing 'X'ed Out'-heavy sets?

Very excited. There will definitely be some pre-show jitters. We will probably be playing a good deal of songs off of X'ed Out, yes, but it has been pretty trying to make a set as a lot of the (now) older songs are really fun to play live as well. The only solution is to keep touring so that we can change up our sets with each tour.

Which of the new songs are you most pleased with? Which are you looking forward to playing live the most?

I am very happy with the whole thing, but as far as a live setting goes, I would say that I am most excited to play 'Bite'. It is a pretty different kind of song for us--I would even say that, despite being a traditional song that all three of us are playing very loudly on, it is fairly minimal in its instrumentation, so I am really curious to see how that plays out.

Are there plans to play Ireland or the UK later in the year?

We would love to. I think we should be coming over and playing as frequently as we would the US. It is very important to us to build on something once we set a foundation. If we don't plan on going back, then there is no point in ever having gone in the first place. And anyways, it is really exciting to travel to places that you haven't been to hundreds of times. We still don't have a band picture at Stonehenge! Hopefully we will be over there before the end of the year.

If you could tour with (a) anyone from Sargent House, and (b) anyone full stop, who would you choose, and why?

Hmmmm... from Sargent House, I am going to have to go with Bygones. It would be cool to actually finally get to see that live, right? Boris would be cool because we have toured with them before and it would be fun to have a little reunion. Adebisi Shank would be fun because while we have played on three different continents with them, we haven't really done a long haul tour. I know that they did one with Fang Island and I was a bit jealous that we didn't get see them take their first long American road trip. I have a feeling a lot of people would like to see us play with Fang Island, too.

For non-Sargent House bands, I am going to have to go with Lite (see Adebisi Shank reasoning above, and also because they have brought us to their turf twice), any Mike Watt project (the sweetest man alive, and full of knowledge and amazing anecdotes), Melt Banana (maybe my favorite band to watch live, and we have been fortunate to tour with them twice), Dirty Projectors, Devo... probably tons more that are escaping me. It is always fun to reunite with people we have previously toured with because at this point we have more friends spread out around the world than we have in our home towns.

In between tour rehearsals, what else have you all been listening to lately?

Antibodies by Birthmark is a good one--one of the only current records I think I have been turned on to lately. I am sure once I hit "send" I will let out a Homer Simpson "D'oh!!!" and think of a bunch more that I meant to mention. There is a great band called EV Kain that is so new that they only have a 7'' with two songs available, but I hope they record more soon. They are playing all of our California shows with TTNG. I think with all the streaming capabilities and music services that we have nowadays that everybody who reads this should go discover a band that they were always curious about but never checked out because they were too financially strapped to do so other wise or just didn't for whatever reason. Dig deep.

Finally, what are you most proud of having achieved as a band?

It is constantly humbling and mind blowing to realize that people outside of our weird little circle of friends are interested in noise that we make together. I never thought that something we started doing without expecting people to be in to would take us to all over the world. Pretty nuts!


X'ed Out is released on April 15th on LP, CD and download via Sargent House.