Both Sides of the Bay
The group Melaquias started off as a vehicle for singer/songwriter Scott Simón in the latter part of 2003. Scott had returned from an uncharacteristically mild winter in the Pacific Northwest where he had spent the last year attending school. While burning much of his arm hair off in class, and having eggs thrown at him repeatedly out of class, he was able to focus on music. Several songs where written in Washington, and with the much-appreciated help of Seattle musician and engineer Mike McDermmot, Scott was able to record them. With these initial recordings a seed was planted that after two years would be fully realized. The handful of songs Scott returned to his home state of California with expressed a longing for home and regrets of a time past, but long from forgotten. The Album later to become the Melaquias debut would be kicked off with two of the songs from these original basement recordings in Auburn, WA. "Say It Ain't So," and "Smoke My Way Downtown" set up a mood that carries on throughout this 13 song release. Once in Oakland, Scott enlisted the help of a drummer friend of his, James Colvard. The two friends met years ago in grade school and would be a shoe in for a collaborative duo. And like this, it stayed for quite some time. The two of them practicing once a week in a run down building just shy of the Park St. Bridge in Oakland. The new songs were rolling out and the two musicians became more and more comfortable with each other's quirks and cues as performers. Though still at this point, the project was un-named. For recording of the remainder of the debut project, the two band mates felt that returning to Auburn would ultimately be best for the sake of recording continuity. Mike could offer the support and environment the group needed but at the same time was increasingly busy with his own collaborative project, Seattle's celebrated Alt. Country/Folk group, Pelusa. The three spent a straight week tracking for an additional eleven songs. In needing a bass player to round out the line-up, Scott and James turned to John Washburn, a first cousin of Scott's. John began practicing with the two and immediately it was apparent that the three would make for a good fit. "His Iron Maiden and Metallica roots lended to a unique mix that I liked," Scott has commented of his band mate. And with that, one thing remained.......a band name. After dozens upon dozens of suggestions the group decided to go with the given name of Scott's (and John's for that matter) maternal grandfather, Melaquias.