By day Gala Bell (aka Meredith Metcalf) is one-third of theatrically complex indie rockers Bodies of Water, but by night she’s a dancing queen, a Silverlake Donna Summers performing glistening disco pop that would make the Bee Gees jealous. Bell, along with Torg (Adam Siegel) and Kamer (Daniel Metcalf), is part of the L.A. dance rock trio Music Go Music; their sound is an intoxicating blend of disco, prog rock, ’70s soft rock, and metal, all neatly packed together with a melodic pop sensibility that makes it immediately accessible and irresistibly danceable. We caught up with Bell to learn a little bit more about the band and their new music video for “Light of Love” (a Flavorpill exclusive).
Flavorpill: How did Music Go Music come to together?
Gala Bell: The three of us were at a friend’s party and we were just talking about music. David and I were playing in Bodies of Water already, and we were talking to Adam and just kind of nerding out about it. Adam (Torg) was like, “Why don’t we write a song together?” So we went over to his house, to his basement studio and we all wrote a song. That song was “Light of Love”… it was just a really easy process writing with the three of us. So we decided to continue writing and recording songs gradually over the next couple of years. Not with really any plans to do anything with the songs, it was just fun to write them and play them for our friends. We created a little MySpace page, but just for a way for our friends to hear our songs.
FP: I have to say that is a great first song for you guys to write. How did that feel?
GB: It was kind of magical. We just sat down and wrote it pretty fast and it was so fun to record and sing and we were like, “Holy crap! We should keep doing this! This is really, really fun.”
FP: What influenced the song’s lyrics?
GB: We actually write the melody of the song before we write the lyrics, so the musical tone of the song inspired the topic of the lyrics. The melody sounded to us like it would be a song about redemptive love and that was our influence for the “Light of Love” lyrics.
FP: Tell me about the new music video.
GB: It is us playing “Light of Love” live on a [fictional] talent show-type program called Face Time. It’s pretty simple. I mean it’s kind of like a live performance of us, but it’s kind of…
GB: I guess it looks retro. I mean, yeah, it does. When I really look at it I don’t know what exactly is retro about it because it is shot with modern cameras. You know?
FP: Yeah I watched the other Face Time videos and I thought there was a ’70s feel to it, but I guess it had more to do with the way you guys dressed.
GB: Yeah that is true, and they are all different, but I also think it is kind of old fashioned to have an in-studio live multi-camera video shoot. You don’t really see that anymore as an official video. It is pretty rare these days to have a band perform live instead of sing over their album track and I think it just registers as retro. It’s funny because the kind of response we have been getting is like straight out of the ’70s. We are like, “Wow is it really?” I mean there are elements that are like that, but we weren’t going for that. I guess that is kind of like our music too. We weren’t setting out to be a retro band, but I guess it just kind of sounds more like music that was made in the ’70s instead of music that is made now.
FP: Are there any other plans in the future for Face Time?
GB: The plan is to do more Face Time videos and have other bands perform live on the show. I think it could be really fun, but we are so busy right now, which is a good thing, but it is a real bummer that we haven’t had time to do it as of yet. Hopefully we will have time soon. I am really interested in the simple, almost public access format, you know? It just kind of allows you to focus on the basics of the band just playing the song.
FP: That’s a great idea. You are definitely on to something. After I watched your other Face Time videos, I tried searching for more of them thinking it was a syndicated show.
GB: Haha, you will just have to wait a little bit. I mean, I am Gala Bell, executive producer of Face Time.
FP: Other than the obvious ABBA references, what other bands influenced MGM’s sound?
GB: Like I said it’s not like we set out to sound a certain way, but I guess there are times when you are like hey this sounds kind of Sabbath-y. So you can kind of hear all the different influences because we listen to it and like it and we appropriate it. People are always like, “This definitely sounds like ABBA.” It’s funny because when we finally did put these songs out we started to hear these comparisons and it actually made me start kind of listening to the bands we were getting compared to. I was just listening to Blondie the other day and I was like, “Oh yeah I can totally hear that.” I never really put it together that much before.
FP: On “I Walk Alone” you seem to tap in to a darker disco feel. How long did it take to get that intro shriek just right?
GB: Oh my gosh! This is the best story! I think I am the most proud of this one over any other recording moment ever. The song was basically done, we were just recording it and doing some overdubs and stuff. I was just listening to the beginning — this was before that part was in there — and I was like, “Wait a minute let me just go in to the recording booth and just try something out.” Adam pressed record and I just sang that whole part and was like, “Whoa that is rad!” I was really happy about the turnout. It’s like my favorite part of the song, I love singing it, it’s just so crazy.
FP: It came from your heart.
GB: Yeah and that’s what has been really fun about this band, everything just comes really naturally. If something isn’t rad right away when it blurts out of our bodies, we ditch it right away.