XMelt is the brainchild of Tonya Breaux and Jen Neitzel. The band was originally called Melt, but there were too many bands with that name already, so after much consideration the band changed their name to XMelt, but the “X” was silent for a hot second but people didn’t know what that meant, so we are now XMELT! Say it, like you mean it!
Tonya has spent much of her life song writing. Jen, on the other hand, was brand new to writing music. The two began song writing together – completely inciting each other, constantly carousing with their creativity and pushing each other to try new, impassioned, outrageous ideas. The band’s music has been referred to as ’90s female rock and roll, and hypnotic art rock, but that doesn’t explain their funkier songs.
Tonya’s baby sister Brooke, and her wife Rachel joined the band in July of 2018. Brooke and Rachel didn’t play the instruments that hold down the rythm section until they joined the band. Today, Brooke plays the bass and Rachel holds down the beats. Both have played other instruments but decided to learn something new to rock the house with Xmelt.
A Louisiana native, who began playing guitar and song writing in her teens. Tonya has created countless songs with friends over the years. She started a band called Those Bottom Feeders, while living in Austin Texas. She might be small, but she makes up for it with a loud and crunchy guitar. Tonya is a firm believer in guitars turned up to 11. Now living in Portland, Oregon Tonya’s life is filled with singing, rapping, playing guitar with her band, working as bartender at Delta Cafe and smoking big, fat blunts. When she’s fixing or starting trouble Tonya goes by Latoya. Don’t mess with Latoya.
She came out of the womb singing and has played many instruments over the years, but the ukulele is her first love, which she’s played for the last 7 years. Formerly, she was in a ukulele band called, The Fleas, before starting the band Xmelt with Tonya Breaux. Jen has overcome many health obstacles and is a bit of a health and fitness fiend, which she’s convinced makes her a more powerful singer. Jen loves almost all creative media and mediums, particularly sewing, crochet, knit, interior decorating, photography and video editing. Jen owns a boutique inn in Seaside, Oregon called Starry Night Inn. When Jen isn’t jamming with her band, or spending time with her family, she’s trying to chill out from all of the busy projects she does.
A theater nerd and actress who loves everything involving performing arts, Rachel has been dreaming of being a percussionist since she was a little girl. Instead, she was involved with classical violin and choir from a young age and only got to see her dream fulfilled once she moved to Portland, OR! Rachel has a passion for painting, special effects makeup, kick boxing and a new found love in song writing! When not drumming for Xmelt, you can catch Rachel performing for the Murder Mystery Company!
Growing up Brooke started playing music with her big sister Tonya. She has enjoyed becoming a member of Xmelt with her sister! On a visit to Portland, Jen gave Brooke a ukulele which fueled her fire for string instruments! She also has a history with the clarinet but when the band needed a new bass player Brooke didn’t hesitate to learn a new instrument! When not grooving on the bass Brooke can be found using her Masters degree to help the youth of Portland achieve their academic potential.