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A Dirty Dozen with ELISSA PEARSON of COLD KINGDOM – July 2019


According to a recent press release: “Born of Minneapolis in 2014, Cold Kingdom is a full-out, juggernaut hard rock band that dispenses a lethal combination of fury and sentiment, delivering emotional lyrics wrapped in an unbreakable hard rock casing. COLD KINGDOM has released the official music video for “A New Disaster,” the debut single off of their LP, out May 24th, 2019.” We get singer Elissa to discuss new music, influences, and much more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets the band put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

We released a full length album on May 24th, called Into the Black Sky and we couldn’t be more proud! You’ll notice a lot more synth work on this album, as well as male backing vocals making a return! There are a few lyrical nuggets in there, but I’ll let the listeners find them. 😉 I can’t remember if we kept any, but I make very weird noises and comments during the recording process, and sometimes our producer, Mr. Ian Combs likes to turn them way down and place them in songs.  No one may ever hear it, but it’s hilarious.  Another fun thing is that both my, and Collin’s voice have been turned into synth pads in a few songs.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

From a very young age, it was clear my heart was in performing. I was involved in dance, choir and musical theater for a long long time. I did karaoke, and community concerts all the time and just loved the feeling I got from it. I’ve always written lyrics, and poems, and I dabbled in writing music and joined a few different projects. Nothing really turned into anything— but I did meet a lot of people because of it. One of those people had a couple friends who were in a band looking for a female backing vocalist— so i auditioned and got the gig. The bass player and drummer were previously in a female fronted rock band that I was a huge fan of, so I (and Collin actually) pushed writing and exploring a project with me as the lead singer. When they said yes, and it became a thing— that’s when i realized there was really no going back. I had always loved singing, but writing and performing your own music is, to me, so much more rewarding.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

Oh man, that is tough to narrow it down to even a couple. There are so many different moments for me that have guided my musical taste— and probably still so many more to come. Lacey Sturm is a big one for me. I remember the first time I saw her— it was when she was still in Flyleaf and it was at a music festival in St. Paul, MN. My little sister and I went together. We knew some of the security guards because my family, including my sister and I, were employed through the same company— we got to be ticket takers at some of the larger venues in town— for sporting events, concerts and what not. So, they let us come up to the way front, and before they let everyone out of the barricades to run up to the front of the stage, they let us go— so we were front and center for the whole show. Here Lacey is singing and screaming her guts out.. one of the most sincere and honest performances I’ve seen, and I think to myself, this is EXACTLY what I want to be doing.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

Oh man, only five is tough! Hmm, Lacey Sturm, Meg Myers, 30 Seconds to Mars, Birds of Tokyo and Alanis Morissette.

5. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

I think if I got the chance, I’d love to collaborate with Lzzy Hale. She’s a super badass musician and singer – I’d love to just belt out some crazy harmonies with her. And also get some tips on how she walks in the crazy heels she wears!! Oooh, or Jared Leto, because I love the epic sound of 30 Seconds to Mars and the way he approaches his vocals is perfect.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

We are a hard rock band who packs a punch with each song, while diving in quite deep on the lyrical end of things. Since we have a female singer, we get compared to Paramore, Evanescence, Halestorm and Flyleaf a lot. Not saying that’s a bad thing, because I am a fan of all those bands, and the singers that front them, but I think sometimes female fronted bands get grouped in together no matter how different they may be.

7. What’s the best thing about being a musician?

Performing, and the fans. I absolutely get lost in the moment when we are performing, or even practicing. To me, it’s one of the most releasing and expressive things in this world. And then for someone to be moved by what you do is an even crazier concept. One of my main hopes is that our music mean something to people, so when someone tells you that it has made a difference to them, it’s pretty cool.

8. When the band are all hanging out together, who cooks; who gets the drinks in; and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

When it’s the band hanging out on an off-night, the band wives are there. So, Evan’s wife, Angelina, is the one to cook – and TRUST ME, that’s a great treat! If she wasn’t cooking, it’d probably be Collin – he’s brilliant on a grill. Let’s see, I’m probably the one who would recommend playing a game. Honestly, it is just a fun time all around – we all are a hoot and have a blast. We eat food, drink drinks, play games. Just like an any other group of friends would do. It’s such a family.

9. When was the last time you were star struck and who was it?

Hmmmm, Well, it hasn’t happened yet but I’m a bit beside myself that we are playing RockFest on the same day as Evanescence. They were one of the first bands I got SUPER into. I just remember hearing “Bring Me to Life” for the first time, and was like YASSS. So, when I was in high school and college, I worked for a company that provided security, as well as ticket takers/ushers for events at larger venues around the Twin Cities, so I got to go to be present at tons of huge concerts, sporting events and that type of thing. Evanescence was touring with Breaking Benjamin and Seether I think, and I went to the show instead of working it — i knew all the security guys, so once I pushed my way up to the rail, they took my purse and put it behind the rail and got me water— it was awesome. And then I didn’t meet anyone in the band, but I saw them from afar, and I was a bit star struck then— so now playing on the same day as them is just a bit of a big deal for me.

10. If you weren’t a musician, what would be your dream job?

I’d probably be an event planner. I love putting together parties and events, and I am pretty good at it I think. Although, when I was little, I swore I’d be three things— a singer, an actress and a lawyer. At least one of those panned out.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over”, even if it didn’t change your current situation?

Are there things I wish I would have done differently? Of course. I wish I would’ve started an original band earlier. But honestly, I wouldn’t change a damn thing, because it brought me to where I am now, and I couldn’t be happier.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

Jagged Little Pill. Alanis Morissette. This was the first album I picked out by myself. I remember buying the cassette tape and listening to it – my mom ended up confiscating it from me because of the profanities! And days later, I would overhear her listening to it, and to this day, it’s still one of her favorites. Just the rawness of this album was astounding to me – I’d love to have just been there and see the emotion that went into it.





Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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