Learnin’ Stuff: With JVee Melo

Man oh man, it’s finally time for another INTERVIEW! It feels like it’s been a year since we did one of these, even though it’s only been like a month. And I’m super excited, because this week I bring to you an interview with fellow Central Floridian Emo, JVee Melo the Palm Springs living, bread making, husband of Krys Melo of Melo-Drama. Let’s dive right in!

Q: What are your wife’s social media handles?
A: Instagram: @melodrama
Blog: Melo-Drama

Q: How did you two meet?
A: Krys and I officially met 15 years ago at a Finch/Steel Train show at the State Theater in St. Petersburg, FL, but prior to that we had been chatting on AIM for a few months. We were introduced by a mutual AIM friend. We’ve been attached at the hip ever since that day.

Q: Classic AIM love story! And what’s the theme of her social media?
AI think the theme for her blog and Instagram has evolved, and continues to evolve, but right now I would say it’s vintage-inspired lifestyle for modern life. Lately there’s been a huge focus on the home aspect of it, but there’s also drinks, recipes, a ton of DIY projects, and travel. I’m actually a huge fan of where she’s taken her blog, because she’s showing this very specific style, that can be too bold for some, but she’s showing how it can be livable and functional for everyone.

Q: Do you work with her on it? How often?
A: I would say I’m involved at some level in most projects. That could range from me nodding and agreeing with her ideas, to being involved in a concept and how we can bring it to life, or coming up with an idea for a post. Most of the time I’m very hands-on with anything food & drink related. I love to cook, and making cocktails. Any other projects I’m mostly there for support. Krys usually has a very clear vision of what she wants, and how she’s going to carry it out, so I know that my job is to make that happen (basically I mostly do Target/Craft Store runs for her lol).

Q: When did you get involved with Krys’ social media?
A: Since we’ve been together for so long, I’ve been involved since its inception, and all of her prior projects. When she was a wedding photographer I was her assistant and even did some second-shooting for her (I wasn’t good, so that didn’t last). But, yeah I think the blog as you see it today is something that started with us just bouncing ideas off each other, and mostly me just pumping her up and letting her know that she had a unique voice, and there was audience out there for what she had to say.

Q: Do you work at a separate job, or are you strictly a moonlighting wedding photographer? Haha!
A: I do! I’m an Account Executive for a software company, which couldn’t be more opposite of what she’s doing. But I work 90% from home, so we do get to spend a ton of time together, and I’m here almost every day for my “nodding and agreeing” duties.


Q: Let’s move to the hard hitting questions: I’ve heard you like making bread, is that true?
A: Ha! Yes, I do love making bread. It’s something that I got into a few years ago. I love tackling really challenging kitchen projects, and making great bread seemed like the ultimate achievement. There’s so much that goes into it that no recipe can prepare you for. You really have to study a ton, but also just make it and begin learning from your mistakes. It’s really become one of my favorite things to do.

Q: It almost seems like a metaphor for life….So how about you tell us your favorite type of bread to eat/make?
AI love making (and eating!) sourdough bread. It’s a very intensive process which you have to plan for days if not weeks ahead to get the result you want. The actual bread-making takes place over three days, but the results are very much worth the wait. My sourdough starter (her name is Joanie if anyone asks), will be a year old next month!

Q: Mmmmm….Sourdough…. So what do you get from making bread, aside from the chance to eat it?
A: I am by nature a very anxious person. I also have severe ADD, which typically means I can’t focus on things for too long, and I don’t have a lot of patience before giving up and moving on to something else. Bread forces me to slow down, to focus, and to pay attention. It’s extremely therapeutic for me to make something from scratch, especially something that requires so much from me. I also get really tasty bread, which can’t be beat, really.

Q: I’ve also seen a picture or two of you from your “Emo” days. Care to give us some original emo recommendations? Any funny stories regarding the scene?
A: Haha, yes! If you thought my answers about bread were lengthy, get ready! If there’s one thing I am passionate about, it’s emo, and defending it lol. You and I are both Central Florida emo kids, so I’m sure you have your share of stories as well. Some of my favorite memories are obviously just going to shows with all of my friends, and meeting so many people that are still a huge part of my life. There’s also specific memories, like back-alley music sessions with Jack Antonoff (now from Bleachers, but back then it was his band Steel Train). After he played show, a few of us would hang out after, and he’d just play whatever songs we didn’t get to hear during his set, it was really intimate and special. It’s crazy to think how he’s blown up since. We also got to hang with Adam Lazzara from Taking Back Sunday a few times, including going shopping for sunglasses at Urban Outfitters in Ybor City once. Now, if you were an emo kid in the early aughts, you know this was MAJOR haha.

As far as original emo recommendations, I think you need to start with the classics like American Football, Jawbreaker, Mineral, Braid, and The Promise Ring. After that, there’s so many early 2000’s bands, Taking Back Sunday, Brand New, Hot Rod Circuit, The Get Up Kids, Bright Eyes, and Saves the Day. But mostly I just hope people keep supporting the scene and the current emo revival. There’s so many good new bands out there like, Sorority Noise, Julien Baker, Mom Jeans, The Hotelier. I could go on and on. I just really think it’s important to support that scene. I always say, if you find yourself saying “I used to love that band”, chances are that band is still around. Check out their newer music, go see them play a local show, buy their merch, do what you can to support them.

Kyle here again, that was an emo knowledge bomb for all of you uninitiated. I second his recommendations of American Football, Sorority Noise and Mom Jeans. I’m sure you’ll love them as much as JVee loves his Joanie (just kidding!). If you want to check out some pictures of his bread creations, go to @breadletterday. Also, please take a moment to appreciate the emo collage I made using some of his emo pictures. I hope you guys are still enjoying these interviews, and if not, I’m sad. See y’all next week!

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