June 5, 2008

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Melvins stomping voodoo
New upstart band works to make it big
By Brian Early bearly@hippopress.com

Dave Ainsworth calls me up to pitch me a story about his band, which will play two nights in Laconia at the Naswa during bike week. He calls me a couple of times to remind me.

Ainsworth’s gigs at the Naswa are the first with his new band, the Stomping Melvins. On June 20, they’ll play a show at Murphy’s Taproom in Manchester.

“I call clubs and talk the game,” he said. He finds out who books, when they’ll be in, and calls back. “I’ll call back like I know the guy.”

When we first talked, the name of the band was Bootleg Voodoo. By our last conversation, the band was named Stomping Melvin. The time frame was about two weeks. In that time, the group got a new bass player.

Ainsworth says he’s serious about making a band work. “We’re just getting out of the gate.”

He says he keeps trying to put bands together, but in rock music things often fail quickly. One band member quit after two good gigs, then his two other band members jumped ship to another band.

“Everyone wants to be in a band before they get into a band that’s good,” he said. It’s easy to get on Ainsworth’s bad side, it seems. He wants his bandmates to do their homework and come prepared, because he does.

They’re a Manchester-based band, and as such they’re an aspiring cover band — it’s the genre with the most financial success. They’re working on classics, including “Jessie’s Girl,” and new hits like “Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy).”

“We want to be very versatile and adjust to the scene,” he said.

Ainsworth sings, Doyle Barnes is on the drums, Rob Clemens is on bass and Mark Bradford on drums. The new group dumped the Bootleg Voodoo name. Ainsworth was having a hard time getting gigs. They told him, “You guys sound like a Southern rock band.” The members chose the name Stomping Melvin. “Melvin,” Ainsworth said, is a colloquial name for the total jerk who can ruin a show or a scene.

“Everyone wants to stomp out all the Melvins from the week,” he said, and put the stress behind them.


Stomping Melvins

Stomping Melvin
Where: Naswa Resort, 1086 Weirs Blvd., Laconia.
When: Friday, June 13, from 7 to 11 p.m.; Saturday, June 14, from 2 to 6 p.m..