Father Fudd Melms Interview (Amphibifudd)

Tangento: Give the unprepared world a quick rundown of how Amphibifudd came to be.

Melms: Well, being a big Clifford (an early Severed Heads fan,)
and not hearing anything else like it at all, I set out to expand on what Ellard and Co. began the 10+ years before.
The first incarnation of 'Fudd came about in '93 through a Casio sampling keyboard, my bass guitar, and an old GE home stereo system.
It was all recorded to tape on the GE, and the connections were god awful, giving mega-hiss. This is evidenced on the "Pre-Fudd" CD.

T: Name your top 3-5 influences.

M: Severed Heads obviously, Throbbing Gristle, Skinny Puppy, The Residents, and Black Sabbath.
If you hear anything HEAVY in any of my work, you can be sure it was a Sabbath influence (and maybe a Sab-sample too.)

T: What is your approach/ stance in terms of the (potential) popularity of your music?

M: If people like it, then that's great.
Although I don't really see it becoming popular outside of a cult fanaticism.

a. do you feel that music of this nature would have a potentially larger audience,
if it were given more widespread exposure?

M: Oh yeah, not much larger, but it'd pick up a few stragglers on the road.

b. Do you think there will ever be a time when music like yours will be heard on large-market radio?

M: Not unless we get wider choices in programming on these stations.
They're addicted to a verse-chorus-verse formula and are afraid to take any real chances on anything out of the norm.

T: Can you briefly explain the strange phenomenon of 'Backwards Bing'?

M: When you hear BB, it's like you've summoned the ghost of Bing Crosby
and he's right there in front of you revealing all the secrets of the universe in another language.
Scary, yet beautiful.

T: Tech Talk: What are your primary instruments of Destruction and/or Creation?

M: A Gateway computer loaded with Fruity Loops, Creative SB Live!KeyBoard, and Cool Edit 2000 to throw it all together.

T: What does Father Fudd listen to in the car these days?

M: Right now it's "The Best Of Siouxsie And The Banshees", but I've also been listening to
the new KoRn album "Untouchables", the new Napalm Death "Order Of The Leech", and Mike Patton's Tomahawk.
I also mix my own CDs for Various Artist overload. There's nothing like Merman and Motörhead.

T: Have you ever felt the urge to interrupt FM signals to your car by means of
Radical Radio Dissection via Heavy-Duty Hedge Clippers or an M-80? ...I have.

M: Oh yeah. Chief offenders are Creed and Puddle Of Mud. I'll usually switch to AM talk radio though.
Phil Hendrie's a riot, and Art Bell is way out there.

T: Take us through the typical procedure involved in creating an Amphibifudd Track. What comes first?

M: First of all, I've got to be in the right mood.
It can be induced artificially by staying up all night 'till 4am,
then in the twilight of sleepiness, I'll usually come up with something that pleases me, which involves:

1. Finding the right samples
2. tweaking them
3. looping them
4. layering them
5. reviewing it
6. going back and adding / removing things
7. post-production (editing, fading, etc.)

T: Are you in love with Ethel Merman?

M: I'm in love with her voice. NO ONE ELSE could belt it out like that.
My track "An Earful Of Ethel" is a testimony to it.
Just listen to her song "I Got Rhythm." When she finishes the first chorus,
instead of reprising the melody for a second time through, she simply belts a single note (a high C) for an entire 32-bar chorus.
Her voice COMMANDED audiences the world over to applaud that song.
Celine Dion's got nothing on Ethel. Nothing!

T: Which 3-5 Amphibifudd Tracks are you the most pleased with?

M: "2X2L", "Arnold Gray", "Moo-Mi's Refrain", "CLC." "Anderson's Fun House (Room 3)" Is another fave.
It just puts me in such a relaxed state.

T: Are you aware that your song "Tinsel Throat" has the innate ability
to cause emotional meltdowns and Quasi-Religious experiences?

M: I just had to listen to it. What was I thinking?
It was recorded live from the old Casio in a loft in Garden Grove.
There's a good chance I was inebriated too. Did SOMETHING get channeled through me into it?

T: Name 3-5 artists you would recommend to fans of your music, but who do not necessarily sound anything like you.
Include the ones you feel have been the most under-appreciated over the years.

M: What's this 3-5 crap? (JK) Devin Townsend's pretty under-rated. The guy is simply a genius.
If you're into heavy stuff, this guy's worth more than a listen.
Gadgetto does some cool stuff. He's a big Rez/Sev fan too.
Voivod's been pretty under-appreciated through the years. I swear Piggy's got a pedal that screws with your brain.
The Avalanches do AMAZING things with samples. Check out their album "Since I Left You."
Renaldo And The Loaf are HIGHLY recommended. I'm listening to "Extracting The Rere Ritual" right now.
That's a haunter.

T: (Watch me put this guy on the spot)
Would you ever consider a collaborative project between Yourself, The Oft-Mentioned Franke', and me, Tangento?

M: Ah, the Trinity! Absolutely! Get your ass down here and let's do it!

a. If this were to take place, do you feel it would cause Irreversible Multi-Dimensional Disturbances?

M: Only if we "cross the streams." Let's cross the streams!

T: Are you in any way "ordained"?

M: Self-ordained priest of the First Utilitarian Church of Kalamazoo.

T: What is next for Amphibifudd?

M: Getting a few more tracks together for the next release "More Memoirs."
Putting www.amphibifudd.com together. Possibly getting a live show going.

T: Father, this has been a great pleasure for me.
Best of luck on future projects, and STAY WEIRD!

(now is the time on Schprockets when we DAHNCE)

M: It's been an honor. Really it has. TOUCH MY MONKEY!

This interview was conducted via email between November 25-27, 2002

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