Nicole Ocran, Staff Writer

Writing songs in the bathroom may sound strange, but frontman Brad Rhodes of Melodime appreciates its simple solitude. To escape the craziness of growing up in a household full of older siblings, at 10 years old, he retreated to the basement bathroom of his house to begin the writing process.

This Northern Virginia band’s latest endeavor, The Bathroom Diaries, Vol. 1, is a nod to Rhodes’ songwriting tendencies. Although now, the rest of the band—keyboardist Sam Duis, drummer Tyg Duis, bassist Nate Thomas, and violinist and George Mason University music major Katie Shanta—play a large role in the production.

Rhodes, Sam and Tyg have been together since the band’s inception. Rhodes was first introduced to Tyg in high school by a mutual friend and soon after, they recruited Tyg’s brother, Sam.

“They’re brothers so, [there is a] package deal with that,” said Rhodes. “It was just us three for awhile. In the spring of ’06 was when we kind of got serious about it and started playing together. Then, the two new members, Katie and Nate; they were brought on [about five months ago].”

The group has been slowly but surely climbing up the ranks. “D.C. is definitely a great place to grow and it’s a very creative place to be when you’re making music. It’s been good, there’s lots of great places to play and bands to play with, so it’s been nice,” said Rhodes.

Their hit song, “Sweet Contentment” off their debut album Memories in the Form of Sound was featured on Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance last summer.

Rhodes explained the differences between Memories and their upcoming album.

“With the first album, we had a much larger budget and we had a lot of time just to go into the stud . . . we were kind of learning how we wanted to do it,” said Rhodes. “This album on the other hand, we had a very small budget, and we had not a lot of studio time . . . The whole thing was recorded, pretty much in about a week—it was a lot of just all-nighters in the studio, recording this one. It’s a totally different feel.”

After an abundance of studio time and playing three-hour sets at local bars, what’s next for these up-and-comers?

“We’re trying to get a lot more opening slots for bands down the road. I feel like that’s the next thing we need to do to broaden the fan base,” said Rhodes, “we’ve also been working on a few tracks in Raleigh, N.C. with our producer that we’ve got hooked up with, which we’ve never do . . . so we’re hoping with his connections, some things can happen to take us to that next level. That’s kind of what we have in mind for the future.”

Described as a “stripped down, acoustic-y feel,” The Bathroom Diaries, Vol. 1 is comprised of songs from their first album, as well as exclusive tracks. The album release party will be held at Iota in Arlington, Va. on Oct. 24.

For more information, check out the band’s MySpace at