Interview – Joe Melillo
You have a lot of nicknames listed on your website – which is your favourite and why?
Wow. This is very difficult, because each of those nicknames was given to me by a different group of people, so it’s very much like asking me to choose between my friends. But I won’t be wishy-washy about it. I’m gonna choose “Jojo” for two reasons. One, as I mention on my site, the name is kinda private between me and the family that was put together at our local bar, The Wicked Monk. Two, my nephew Christopher, who’s in my REAL family, has taken to using it.
What is your favourite song of all time?
The greatest song ever written in the history of mankind is “The Rising” by Bruce Springsteen. I’ve never heard anyone else agree with me, but I stand by it. The song is a rocker, a ballad, and an anthem all at once. It was written at a point in history when we needed it, and, while it wasn’t the first song about September 11th, it was the best in helping us heal from the greatest attack we’ve ever experienced, not only as a nation at the time, but as a planet.
How did you get into music from the start?
I’ve always been into music, as early as I can remember. I took piano lessons from the ages of 10 through 13, but didn’t take to it. I later learned this was because I wasn’t dextrous enough. I tried to teach myself drums when I was in my late 20s, but, again, my lack of coordination was my downfall. I finally found an instrument that was good for my physical limitations in the harmonica. I later learned in life that my late grandfather actually played harmonica, so maybe it was in my genes!!
I was always a decent singer, and, throughout my life, I’ve had people tell me I’d be awesome if I just got lessons. So, one year, I think it was 2005, I made a New Year’s Resolution to get singing lessons. I went through The Yellow Pages online, and found the closest singing teacher to my office, so I could get a lesson on a lunch hour. I was VERY lucky that that person happened to be Janie Barnett.
Janie has been the person most responsible for any of the success I had in music. She was the one who first exposed me to the idea of songwriting. I apparently do it backwards from the way most people do it, because I write lyrics before I flesh out the tune. However, I found out just two days ago that I earned a Runner Up placement in the 2014 Song Of The Year Contest for my Christmas song “Tree To The Sky”!!!
What is one of your best memories of singing live?
I think my show at my last birthday party was the best cover show I ever did!! I added a keyboard player to my band. We never rehearsed, and each member of the band had played with each other, but never all four together as a band. They were FLAWLESS, and the keyboard allowed me a LOT more freedom in my set selection, and totally added to songs where, in the past, I never had it! It was a 4 1/2-hour gig, which, to this day, is the longest show I’ve ever done!!
How can we keep up to date with what you are up to next?
My appearance calendar can be found at my ReverbNation page:
But you can keep VERY up-to-date by downloading my Android app at
You should also find out when stuff not related to appearances happened by subscribing to my newsletter at http://www.joemelillo.net/newsletter.