A consistent highlight of the Macon music scene, Hindsight has been earning fans and accolades while continuing to mature as a band. That evolution can be heard on the excellent new single, “Alright”, a guitar-heavy, pop-laden anthem with an epic chorus that could echo into eternity. Hindsight is readying to release another single and video for “Tour Song”, and there’s also considerable excitement surrounding 2019’s Happy Holiday Time. Their annual show is back for year number four, this time at the Hargray Capitol Theatre on Saturday, December 21st. If you wanted to (and I’m gonna), you could describe HHT4 as a showcase of Macon’s very best. In addition to Hindsight, Magnolia Moon and Fooligans will take to the stage to shake the Capitol– and shake it will. Hindsight’s Caleb Melvin dropped by the cozy, Cadillac confines of Sound and Soul to talk about the show, the band’s new music, his American Idol experience, and what’s on the 2020 horizon.
AI- What’s the plan for the new record? Do you have a date in mind?
CM- We’re going to be releasing some more singles after we drop this next one this week as well. I don’t want to go too far into detail, but 2020 is going to hold a lot of changes for us. We’ve started working on the next album. We’ve got a lot of songs written. I’m still finishing up a lot of stuff as well, just trying to have a good plethora to pick from, you know what I mean?
Are you gonna actually do like a full-on album release or are you just going to continue to do singles?
We will when we do the next album but for the time being right now, we’re just going to be putting out some more singles. And like I said, man, I don’t want to get too far into detail just ’cause I don’t want to spoil anything or talk about it too prematurely. But 2020 is going to be a big year for us, I feel like. Just with really buckling down on trying to grasp the professional side, the marketing, and the branding and this, that, and the other. We’ve done a great job with a really nice organic start, but it’s time for us to push forward a little bit. There are some issues that we’ve run into… Mainly with our name.
Are you saying that there’s going to be a name change?
I mean, I’m not saying that is going to happen necessarily in the next couple of months…
But by the time this record comes out, it may be under a different banner?
Right. Just because… Man, we’re trying… It’s so difficult to push through and to gain notoriety, especially nowadays because there’s like just so much stuff to filter through. Anybody that has a phone or a computer can be a music artist. I’ve got beats on GarageBand, you know what I mean? I’ve recorded full songs on GarageBand on my phone.
Since you’ve brought that up– sort of in that arena of conversation– I wanted to ask you specifically about American Idol. You got a golden ticket? You went and did the audition…
Tell me a little bit about what that process was like. Because you see people go, and they give their take on it… And I’ll be blunt– was it bullshit or was it cool?
It was cool. It was very cool. I mean, it’s just like any other gig, man. You sit around and wait for the longest time and then you get to sing for like a small fraction of the time that you’re waiting for and then you’re just done.
Who did you sing for when you were there?
So I got a gold ticket, right? But it wasn’t THE golden ticket. I walk in, there’s a huge line. Thank God, a buddy of mine, Justin Baxley at 13 WMAZ, hit me up and was like, “Yo, some producers from American Idol have reached out to me and are asking for suggestions for people that can basically get a front line pass.” I got the email through him, a lady contacted me, I sent her some stuff, I sent another person some stuff, and then they gave me a front of the line pass. So I go in, go to the front of the line, fill out all this paperwork about my life and my story. Basically, there’s like four people that go to a booth, and they’re maybe six to ten booths, and they bring you up one at a time, and you sing 10, 15, 20 seconds. And then if they like you, they tell you to hang around and tell everybody else to kick rocks. Or if they like two or three people out of the group, they’ll tell those two or three to stay and then sing something else.
I did that, got the golden ticket from the first lady, which was just one of the, I guess, producers of the show. Went downstairs to this little room, sat for three and a half hours in a cold room with no jacket or refreshments and then sang three one minute clips. They sent that to producers in Los Angeles. So then after I heard back from them, that was when I got the invite to the Nashville auditions. I went to the Nashville auditions. I didn’t make it through the Nashville auditions, but dude, there were so many people in there that… It was just like, “Why are you not famous already?” There was this one chick, I remember she sang that 4 Non Blondes, “What’s Up? ” Dude, ridiculous range, man. And just effortlessly, like killed it. She wasn’t the only one, but she was just one of the ones that I heard, and I’m just like, “Damn, man. Like…”
The new Hindsight single “Alright”. Full-on hit you in the face, the production is absolutely amazing. Where’d you guys put that together? Where’d you record?
That was done at Toast & Jam Studios up in Buford, Georgia with our friends, Dom Maduri, Matt Wood, I believe is his last name, and then Ian Joshua Riley was the producer for it. Man, we had a time recording that song. We tracked that song like three different times over the past year and a half to two years– and just was not satisfied with it!
And you’re satisfied with it now?
More so than I ever have been. A buddy told me one time, he was like, “Are you ever really done writing a song? Is it really ever exactly where you want it or more so just a continual work?” That stuck with me a lot, and it helped me out to realize, don’t be so set on like, “Is this exactly perfect?” ‘Cause you’re probably not ever going to be 100% satisfied. It just got a lot of frustration that had built up with that and thank God we finally did it– but I got to the point where I was like, “I don’t even care if we put this song out anymore more (laughs)! I’m just ready to be done with it!” But it was a blast. We did that with the guys at Toast & Jam Studios and then it was mixed by our buddy, Andrew Simmons, and it was mastered by Troy Glessner. We’ve got some other singles that’ll be coming out too, some fun stuff. But yeah, we want to put out another album so bad.
Are you talking about the collection of songs that you’ve been working on so far being the next album, or are you talking about actually ready to go in and start recording something completely different?
Something completely different. These songs that we were working on at Toast & Jam are the singles that we’re releasing. That’s just kinda ’cause we’ve kinda been stagnant on Spotify since we put out [Out of Touch] in 2017– which three years is not that terribly long. It’s really not in the scheme of things. You look at some bands that have like six to ten-year lengths between when they put out a record… But the next album is going to be a lot different from anything that we’ve put out thus far. Just because I, as a songwriter and as a musician, am constantly striving, constantly studying, picking apart things… When I go to a concert or when I watch somebody else or listen to music, I’m not just listening. Everything that I’m taking in or hearing, I’m studying. Whether that be R&B, hip hop, country, jazz, rock, reggae, Americana… Whatever, man. I listen to so many different types of music because I don’t want to get put in a box. When you think of an artist, like the Beastie Boys, for example. I’ve been listening to a lot of Beastie Boys lately and dude, they are so diverse. It is ridiculous, man.
While maintaining the integrity of what they are.
Their core. Absolutely, man. ‘Cause you listen to Licensed to Ill and that album from front to back is just like straight old school hip hop. But then you put in Ill Communication or Hello Nasty, and it goes from just like nasty, fat old school, MC cutting’ on it type beats– and then they’ve got like an acoustic song or two and like some kind of trippy ’60s soundin’ rock shit as well. It’s just like, “What are you doing? What do you got going on right now? It’s beautiful!” Or like The 1975, their album, A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships. I wasn’t a huge fan of that record at first, but I actually went back and really listened to it [while] I was driving home the other night from Norcross [after] finishing up a music video. I listened to that record and I’m like, “Dang, dude, this has got like a little bit of everything on it!” I think that’s the most beautiful thing about music, when you can just get out of your comfort zone and play something that appeals to everybody.
Let’s talk about that music video. Tell me about that. You said you were shooting up in Norcross?
I was finishing up some solo shots with Zak and Jonathan Washburn. They’re brothers, and they did our first music video. Well, Zach and Dom did our first music video, but Zach and Jonathan are doing this one. I was finishing up some solo shots that should be out, hopefully, Friday.
What song is it for?
So you’ll have “Tour Song” out Thursday, midnight, is that what you said? And then the video for it on Friday? And of course Saturday, we’ve got a huge show, Holiday Time IV.
Four– the symbol of excellence, the world around.
Number four, baby!
And it’s an extremely big one this year! Hindsight, Magnolia Moon, and Fooligans.
Yeah, man! Last year and the year before last, we did it at Grant’s Lounge, which was awesome. We love them, love that place. There’s just so much history and character in that building. It can’t be replicated. The year before that, we did it at Fresh Produce. So we’ve kind of just been taking steps, and I just really wanted to make it a super family-friendly environment. And it’s hard to do that at some locations just because, you know, some people don’t like being around cigarette smoke, some people don’t like being in a bar, or some people worry about their safety… People will come up with all kinds of excuses if they can find something. But the Capitol Theatre? No excuses. No smoking, they’ve got your bar over here, so you don’t have to go near the bar if you don’t want to go near the bar. It’s going to be just family and friends and as much fun as you can possibly have… Sober (laughs)!
If that’s your choice!
Right, exactly. But man, we just wanted to kick it up a notch and hopefully, if all goes well, maybe we’ll be back there next year or maybe we’ll be at… Who knows? The Grand Opera House or possibly the City Auditorium?
Keep thinkin’ big, baby!
But you know, this isn’t necessarily an event for us to get “out there” with, you know what I mean? This is more so just like a time for us to all get together when a lot of family and people are in town, to just come together and have fun. Listen to some music, hang out, catch up on what’s been going on in everybody’s life. Life is crazy, so it’s going to be big. It’s going to be great! It’s going to be huge! You’re going to love it (laughs)!