Andy Animal needs no intro but you may know him from the STALKERS or from just having a good time with him if you’ve been within a few feet of him- to say he’s a personality is an understatement. We met at a Two Boots Pioneer Theater (RIP) at a B Horror movie double feature in the East Village in 2008 but really became friends when running into each other at the Lemmy doc premier. He’s continued to do a lot of cool stuff over the years but facilitating Meltasia is a massive undertaking and event and definitely deserves a Create to Destroy inquiry.
What is Meltasia? What the hell does that even mean?
Most people who know me know that I like to use the term “melt” or “getting melted” as a term for partying. “Meltasia” is more than a festival, it is a land. A land of melty fantasy.
Did you ever think you’d be booking a fest?
It’s been a dream of mine for a long time, yes. It seems to be something I’m kinda good at. I’ve been doing a more private one in Upstate New York for almost five years now. My “Meltdown Funabration Weekender.” It’s a weekend-long bender I do with a few hundred friends and acquaintances at a campground. It started out with a bunch of tiki torches and the music turned up on my car stereo. A couple years later we started having bands. It started getting all kinds of write ups, so I thought to myself, “I can do more with this.”
Is it just you doing this?
No, no. It started that way but I made a bunch of phone calls and put out the word that I wanted to do something big. I hooked up with this dude Richard McSherry who runs Onward Indian Touring out in Asheville. He seemed hungry for some serious action down South, so we shook hands over the phone and he has assembled a powerhouse team. I’m really impressed with what he has gotten done.
How long have you been planning this? I’m assuming it’s a hell of a lot of work (and fun) but hard work.
Not that long really. About six months later than your average fest planning. That makes it a bit more nerve racking but I am way in to the challenge. My people are working around the clock to assure that Meltasia will be an outstanding experience for all and I just can’t be more thankful for it. It is a lot of fun but can be stressful as fuck.
One of the first guys I talked to about helping pull it together suggested doing something down South at a time of year that isn’t disgustingly hot but just regular everywhere in the country else hot. There doesn’t really seem to be any other festivals happening that weekend either, so yeah. It’s close to where all these outstanding bands live. It just works. I love the South.
What’s the best way for us to get there?
ROADTRIP!!! Or a flight to Atlanta or Chattanooga. Flights to Atlanta are cheaper but Chattanooga is closer. 90 minutes versus 30 minutes. We are working on a shuttle bus from Atlanta.
Andy with Jim Dandy of Black Oak Arkansas
Who are the headliners?
To me really, the headliners are all in the eye of the beholder. I can tell you that the more well known acts that are playing are Black Lips, Danava, Shannon and The Clams, Nik Turner’s Hawkwind, Cherie Currie, The Coathangers, Bloodshot Bill, The Coathangers, Biters, Quintron and Miss Pussycat, Black Oak Arkansas. I’m a Black Oak fanatic and have worked with them before and I am proud to call them my friends. Lots of people don’t know. They hear the name and think Allman Brothers. They are southern rock pioneers, but are almost like the Stooges of the south in weird way. Ask Jello Biafra, Keith Morris, Greg Ginn or any of those guys what they think of BOA. They will speak with very highly of them. Ya know that star belt buckle that Jello wears? That is his salute to Jim Dandy. But yeah, I hand picked just about every band on the bill and the bands that I have listed are not all closing out the each night.
Did you get the headliners first and then book the fest around them?
Are you doing any shows prior to the fest in NYC or Atlanta?
Yeah, I got little things popping up here and there. I put a band together a couple shows for NYC’s legendary hippy/punk/marijuana rights advocate/Jabbers producer David Peel. I put a band together for that, including myself on guitar. He is playing at my upstate thing and at Grand Victory in Brooklyn. That’s gonna be the after party for the upstate thing. I’m also DJ-ing all “Weird Al” Yankovic for a UHF 25th anniversary party, also at Grand Victory. Things come up here and there. I know some people in ATL are planning some cool pre-parties for Meltasia.
Where are you expecting people to come from for the fest?
All over the south it’s looking like, but I’m hearing of a lot New York buddies coming down as well. We will see.
I see our very own Bay Area’s LECHEROUS GAZE are playing as well as NYC punk staples like HANK WOOD and CRAZY SPIRIT. How do you feel this fest brings together all genres of hipper punk and rock ‘n’ roll?
I’m just bringing what’s good and trying to cover all the in my opinion bearable styles of raunch. You will naver catch me sniffing molly at some “EDM” festival. I got a little something for everyone. All these bands combined will create something psychedelic in a way. You’ll see.
Is this a camping fest? Or is this a festival? Is there a difference?
Well there is camping and it is a festival. You be the judge.
What do you advise for those wanting to go to the fest?
Just get ready for the time of your life. I throw good parties. Bring camping essentials, tents, sunscreen, condoms, socks, undies, bathing suits. Please don’t bring any booze. We will be selling it at very reasonable prices. That is how we can keep this thing going.
Where can we get tickets?
Did you have a choice using a corporate medium like Ticketfly? Are they taking a certain percentage of the sales? Do we have an alternative to buy tickets or is that the only way?
They were recommended to me by some friends. That’s about it. They do take a bit. I’m gonna work on finding a more independent way of selling them next year, but time was limited so I jumped on the first reasonable deal. This stuff is pretty new to me. Tickets will be available at the gate as well.
Are you adding any new acts from now until September?
The chances are slim. We are working on scheduling right now, so we will see.
How can we stay up to date on the fest?
facebook.com/meltasiafest, Twitter [at]meltasiafest, meltsia.com and/or Instagram [at]meltasia
Any last words, Mr. Animal?
I’ve been reading MRR since I was about eight. Hand-me-downs from my older brother. It’s a real honor. I love you. See you at Meltasia!