Bare Wires' Matthew Melton Talks Oakland Vs. S.F. and the Band's Upcoming Album

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Bare Wires, with Matthew Melton in the center
Bear traps? Painful. Barbed Wire? Equally dangerous. But Oakland garage-rock trio Bare Wires is mostly harmless. No matter how much its members may have been influenced by The Stooges, the no-holds-barred confrontational demeanor of Iggy Pop was left on the cutting board, leaving behind fun, glam-tinged garage-pop with guitar solos that singe your nose hairs rather than burn your skin. We sat down with the main songwriter of the band, Matthew Melton, to talk glam, astrological signs, and the band's new work. Don't forget to catch Bare Wires tonight at the Rickshaw Stop when it opens for Pierced Arrows.

How would you describe your sound without using genres or style names?: Leather jacket glitter fuzz.


Influences: Power pop, punk, overproduced glam records, Suzy Quatro, Roy Wood, Tommy James

Favorite decade: 1970s

Top 3 Glam albums:
Suzy Quatro - Quatro
Slade - In Flame
Gary Glitter - Touch Me

Inspiration for the band name: The name is from a 1968 John Mayall album, Bare Wires, and it seemed to fit because my idea for our sound was that it would be minimal in its foundation.

Current album: We are finishing arranging our new album, and we are going to Sacramento to record it in November. It's going to be similar to Seeking Love but with more glam sensibility and production. Hand claps, doubled guitars, slap back echo on the vocals, etc. It's all the same stuff though -- different types of pop songs mostly.

Day jobs: We are all unemployed in the official sense of the word, but in between tours I record bands on my Tascam 388. I don't charge much, but I love recording bands. Making something come together is the most satisfying thing.

Worst day job ever: When I was 15 I got my first job at Fred's Super Dollar Store in this crappy area of Memphis. It was pretty hilarious. I caught the manager smoking crack once.

Oakland or San Francisco?: Overall, I would have to say Oakland, because there is just so much more space and emptiness. San Francisco is awesome, but its feels so dense at times. I grew up in Memphis, where the core of the city is abandoned buildings and empty lots so I guess that's why I eventually gravitated over to the East Bay.

Favorite S.F. neighborhood: I would have to say the Tenderloin. There's nothing you can do to try to stand out in the Tenderloin. You could walk on your hands to cross the street or knock a trashcan over or scream and no one will even turn their head. There is just so much craziness happening all the time. It's incredible.

Best burrito: Taqueria Cancun

Favorite bar: The Knockout

Last song that was stuck in your head and you were glad to have it: Suzy Quatro - "48 Crash"

Last song that was stuck in your head and was annoying: Bay City Rollers - "Saturday Night"

Least favorite astrological sign: Cancer -- "they are so crabby. I never got along with them very well."

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