Joe Le Groove interviews Rob Mello

Friday 28th September 2012 | Laura


The British DJ/Producer/Label co-owner interviews Mello about his career and how he gets his amazing sound.

What music inspired you when you were a teenager?
 I spent my teen years in the 80's also being the youngest of four kids, I was influenced and inspired by the music being played constantly at home. My parents were / are also into their music. Everything, from African jazz, reggae, soul, rock, rhythm and blues and more. I honestly love it all.

At what point did you realize you wanted to be a DJ/producer?
 I don't think I ever had that “light bulb” moment. I really just kind of ended up doing this through a variety of happy accidents.

You co-produced the theme for the cult film human traffic, how did that opportunity come about?
 I was introduced to Justin (The Director) as he needed some guide music for a very rough cut of the film. No writing was involved at that point. It was just finding tracks that would fit the mood for scenes in the film.  As the process unfolded, I found myself getting more involved. After a few meetings with Pete Tong and Arthur Baker, I ended up writing the incidental music with Matthew Herbert for the whole film. An amazing experience.

I remembered your set at Secret Sundaze about 6-7 years ago, and it was one of the best sets I heard at Giles and James party. Your precision mixing on vinyl is not a one off, as technology has changed the game and you too are playing a lot of cd’s, what's your view on this subject?
Well, to be fair, I still play mainly vinyl. Yes, I do play cd’s as well. For me it's really just a case of what suits the way you work. I think there are benefits to playing with any medium. I don't think the public really care. It still comes down to the music you play and probably should always be this way.

 What projects have you been up to this year?
Studio wise it's been remixes and original material. Vinyl-only releases on my No Ears Label. Also I have been working on the acoustics in my studio. Building acoustic panels and bass traps. Now I'm hoping this will improve the mix downs in my studio.

You have been producing for some time now, have you thought about producing an album?

I would love to do an album. The thing is I don't want to do a straight up dance album.

Because of technology it’s made it more accessible for people to  produce quality music without the use of a studio with loads of outward gear, how do you currently produce in today’s climate?
 I've gone completely the other way. For me, it's always important to keep my options open and try new ways of working. By spending the last decade trying different approaches working inside the computer, I now find myself working less and less using the computer when writing. Using external sequencers mpc3000, sp1200 TR 909 and various synths and recording live. I'm loving it.

If you were not in the music industry, what would you be doing today?
One of my other passions that doesn't involve staying up all weekend is cooking.  So would probably be something along those lines. I've done a pop up restaurant that went very well however really hard work. In the meantime music will do just fine.

You are a quality producer a wicked dj and an around nice guy, if  the scene had more people with your attitude and charm it would be a better place, what has kept your feet on the ground all these years?
 Ha ha thanks for the props. Well, I do have my moments, trust me. I do what I do because I love it, but it doesn't define who I am. I've invested a lot of time into music, but I couldn't have done it without the other parts of my life allowing it to happen.

If you had to create a new music genre what would you call it?
My old time studio partner and good friend Zaki Dee and I used to make tapes for each. Essentially, for listening to on our headphones. These tapes would consist of very indulgent deep house music that you could lose yourself to. We used to call it "Headphone House" In fact Slip n Slide asked us if they could use the name for one of their compilations.

If you were stuck on a desert island and had to take 3 famous  people with you dead or alive, who would you take and why would you take them?
Sasha Shulgin, Elena Arzak, Minnie Ripperton.

You are playing big vinyl circus on saturday morning 29th september, what should the crowd expect from you?
Deep groovy sexy house music!


By Joe Le Groove