Young Grunge

by Feb 16, 2022Art & Culture, kids, North Brunswick

Audiomelt, the region’s youngest rock and metal band, is a rising star on the local music scene.

Many music lovers can remember a time growing up when all they wanted to be was a rock star. For the members of the local band Audiomelt, that dream is on the verge of becoming a reality. Students by day and rock stars by night, these four young men are making a name for themselves in the Cape Fear region and beyond.

The band consists of 16-year-old drummer Josh Cook, a sophomore at North Brunswick High; 20-year-old singer and Cape Fear Community College student Landon Clark; 16-year-old bass guitarist Owen Wasterval; and 15-year-old guitarist Nico Holt, both Laney High School students. Their music ranges from classic rock and heavy metal to modern day rock and original songs.

Audiomelt gained internet notoriety this past summer thanks to TikTok. A video posted of the band performing Alice in Chains’ “Would?” quickly went viral and garnered hundreds of thousands of views within hours. From there things exploded, and Audiomelt has been playing shows across the Cape Fear area, much to the delight of the band’s rapidly growing fan base.

Recently, North Brunswick Magazine spoke with Audiomelt about their new-found fame, their shared passion for music and future goals as a band.

Leland NC Audio Melt

How did your relationship with music begin?

Cook: My dad, who also plays music, gave me a snare drum when I was one year old, and when I started playing with it my parents noticed there was actually a beat to what I was doing. When I was two I got my first drum set, and around nine I started taking lessons. That’s when I knew it was something I wanted to do professionally.

Clark: I started playing the guitar when I was about nine, and I liked to sing then, too, but never in front of anybody. It wasn’t until freshman year of high school when my voice started to change that I really got into singing.

Holt: I started playing piano when I was eight and then got into guitar at about ten years old, and I’ve been playing ever since.

Wasterval: Nico and I have been best friends since preschool. When he started playing guitar, I wanted to do it too. I was about 11 at the time and started taking lessons for about a year. The rest I just self-taught.

How did the band get started?

Cook: Owen and Nico had been jamming together and wanted to start a band, and so then Nico found me though Instagram. The three of us played together instrumentally for a while, but we didn’t have a singer. I knew Landon was a singer, and so I invited him over one day last September. The four of us started playing together and all thought it was a great fit for us. We played a few shows, and then at the start of this year things really started happening, especially this past summer. It’s been a really great opportunity for all of us.

Leland NC Audio Melt Band

Can you describe your music?

Cook: We play a variety of hard rock and metal from the ’80s and ’90s, like Van Halen, Wheezer and Alice in Chains, plus our own original music.

Holt: The music we’re making is what we want to hear, but we each individually listen to a variety of music and pull in a lot of different inspirations. I think that’s what makes our original music so good.

Where did the name Audiomelt come from and what does it mean to you?

Wasterval: We were actually auditioning for the TV show Outer Banks, and they were looking for a background band. We didn’t have a name at the time, so we put up a poll on our Instagram for people to suggest name ideas, and one follower suggested Audiomelt.

Holt: We thought the name was cool because we’re a loud rock band and that’s the attitude we’re going for, even though we’re all super nice people.

How do you balance school and the band?

Cook: For me, balancing has been very simple. The only challenge has been finding time to practice during the week, because it doesn’t always work out if I have homework. School is a priority and has to come first. We make it work and find time when we can, usually on the weekends, and we have fun with it.

Holt: We practice together mostly on the weekends, which is kind of a treat for us because we love getting together as a group. We’ve learned that you just have to utilize your time because balancing is really all about being good with time management. If you’re not good at that, then something’s not going to work out.

Describe your fan base.

Clark: Our fans are really supportive, and we see a lot of familiar faces at our shows. We have a big mix of people, many of them in their 30s to 50s because a lot of what we play is the music they love from when they were teenagers themselves.

Audio Melt Groupies NC

What do your parents think of what you’ve accomplished?

Cook: My parents absolutely love it, because they both love music. It makes my parents really proud and happy to see me doing the thing they also love.

Wasterval: Everybody’s been so supportive. The stuff we play is usually the music our parents grew up listening to, so of course they like it.

Holt: I think our parents are really happy we’re doing this instead of playing video games. All we do is practice all day and talk to each other. It’s what we love doing and our parents see that, so they’re really proud of us.

What are your plans for the future?

Cook: We plan to release an album in the next few months, and we hope that does well and we start playing bigger and better shows. Down the line it would be cool to go on tour and travel around the U.S. or the world, but we know we’ve got to work our way up to the top.

Clark: If I could make music a career I absolutely would, but it’s a one in a million shot, so if not music then I hope to work in film and video production. I’m a huge fan of film making and the process behind it, and so I’d love to be a part of that.

Holt: Hopefully, my future is Audiomelt, but if that doesn’t go according to plan I’d love to do something in music production because I’ve had fun learning about it. But if Audiomelt doesn’t really pick up, we’re still going to play together no matter what, because we’re not doing it to get famous, we’re doing it to have fun.

Want to hear Audiomelt?
The band continues to play on multiple stages across the region, including repeat performances at Jacksonville’s Hooligans Pub and Music Hall, Seven Mile Post and Mad Katz Bar and Lounge in Wilmington, Cadillac Ranch in Leland and Seawitch Café and Tiki Bar in Carolina Beach. They also plan to perform soon in Myrtle Beach and are currently working on an album to be released in early 2022. Whatever the future holds for Audiomelt, it sure does look bright.

To see the band’s performing schedule, go to Audiomelt.net.
Find them on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and TikTok @audiomelt

Photography by Bill Ritenour

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