UTG INTERVIEW: Donovan Melero of Hail The Sun

We’re pleased to present to you this exclusive interview with the talented Donovan Melero, drummer and vocalist (yes, you read that correctly) of the post hardcore powerhouse, Hail The Sun!

Originating from the gorgeous college town of Chico, California, Hail The Sun have made quite the name for themselves since their inception just four years ago. Having toured extensively and released two short efforts that made nearly any listener perk up with excitement, Hail The Sun have been on many radars and we, along with anyone that’s heard them, are waiting anxiously for their follow-up to last year’s revered Elephantitis EP. After finishing up a tour with Jonny Craig and Kurt Travis (see our photos of the tour here), Donovan took a moment from his busy schedule to answer some questions about the band and what we can expect from them in the near future. Continue through the jump and get the scoop!

So you’ve told me that you’re the only member still living in Chico. How is this affecting the progression of the band?
This just means that we have to work harder to write music. But we strongly utilize the time that we have with each other. And touring has undoubtedly been a major factor to keeping this band together.

Please tell me you’re working on a full-length! Yes?
[laughs] Thanks for the interest, man! We are definitely working on new music!

Can you give us some details on what we can expect from the new material? And do you have any rough estimate of a release date or when we’ll start hearing some of the new stuff?
I am personally seeing that the newer stuff will be very similar to the style of Elephantitis. But we always throw in some new ideas and feels. Even I don’t know what to expect [laughs]. We are hoping by the end of 2013 to have new stuff being released.

So you guys just finished touring with Jonny Craig and Kurt Travis, right? How did that go?
The tour went extremely well. We had a blast! And we were Kurt’s backing band, and me and Aric also played for Jonny. In 30 days I played 27 shows and 81 sets. It was amazing.

How does Jonny seem these days?
Jonny seems well! He killed it on the road, and he is a cool guy. I am glad to have worked with him, and would not be opposed to again! We are glad he took us out on the road.

And you just played SXSW, too. First time? How was that?
It was awesome! There is just TOO much to do though! And too many awesome bands to try to catch. I was so tired at the end!

You did vocals on the new Stolas album recently. What are the chances of a tour with those guys in the near future?
Chances are very good, [laughs]. (Almost immediately after this interview, it was announced that they would in fact be touring with Stolas).

For my own personal curiosity having lived in Chico for quite awhile, what are some of your favorite things to do in that beautiful town?
Oh man, this town is beautiful. I go back and forth between lazy as fuck mode and active mode. One of my favorite things to do in the summer in ACTIVE mode is to go swimming in all the natural swimming holes. I also LOVE going to local cafes, Empire and Mondos, and just booking tours and sending e-mails. Warm nights and bike rides rock. I wish I was more of a hippie sometimes though. Oh, and late night swims at “One Mile.”

How often do people tell you that you sound like Anthony Green or vice versa?
Very, very often [laughs].

Is he an influence on your music and vocal approach?
He is an influence for sure. I have been singing how I sing for a long time though. When I first heard Circa I realized that I had a similar style, and utilized my high range more. I do not try to imitate his vocals though. I think we might just think alike. That dude is fucking amazing.

What have you guys been listening to the most lately?
We listen to a ton of our friends bands like A Lot Like Birds, I The Mighty, Stolas, The Speed of Sound in Seawater, and I listen additionally to Stanley and the Search, Dance Gavin Dance and other shit like that.

How would you describe a HTS live show?
Horny as fuck.

What’s your favorite movie?
FUCK! I always have some, and I always think “write this down, Donovan” but I never do! And now I cant remember. I really like Debbie Does Dallas 2, though. Django was amazing, and I really like Fight Club, too. Edward Norton is hawt.

What has been the biggest obstacle for you guys as a band?
Deciding what to do after each tour with us all living in different places and what to do with the band once we all graduated from College. We joined Artery at the perfect time.

What do you love the most about being on the road?
Eating different foods that are unique to the city we are in, (when I can afford it) and always being active.

And finally, what is your ultimate goal as a musician?
My ultimate goal as a musician is to make this a living and touch the lives of people who feel what we do. In other words, make an impact and change that would not be there without us. I also want to be a booking agent, and touring helps this. I book tours through Melero Group. Checkout the bands on my roster: Stolas, Second to Last, Stanley and the Search, As Artifacts, No Tide.


Written and conducted by: Brian LionFollow him on Twitter
Photo credit: Jessica Amaro

Brian Leak
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2 Responses to “UTG INTERVIEW: Donovan Melero of Hail The Sun”

  1. miguel sanchez says:

    collest band of all time

  2. Brian Lion says:

    Thanks for reading, Miguel. They’re pretty fantastic.