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A Dirty Dozen with MELISSA JANE of FINAL GRAVITY – January 2019

| 31 January 2019 | Reply

 

According to a recent press release: ““No Love” was inspired by a decade that started with a major terrorist attack that changed the USA forever and ended with an economic crisis that nearly led to a second Great Depression. It was also not a happy time for me personally. While many Americans were enraptured by the booming housing market, I was dealing with a great deal of personal adversity and my curiosity and extensive reading led me to realize early on that the economy was built on a house of cards, about to collapse. – Mike Clark (guitar)” We get singer Melissa 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?

The first single, “No Love” is a stand alone testament to the sign of the times where one needs to put forth some effort to, as the lyrics suggest to “learn to find love” in a very challenging state of affairs. Something we added in the mixing stages of the song per John Kurzweg’s suggestion was doubling the spoken word over the vocal harmonies that kick in after the musical break and we found it to really impact the strength of the messaging of the song.

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

I actually don’t ever remember a time that I wasn’t singing.  I starting singing before I could even talk.  Throughout my childhood my Mum would check in and ask me do you want to keep doing music or would you like to try something else and I remember very vividly tell her as a fun 7 year old “What! You better keep letting me go to my singing lessons. Don’t you ever say that again!”.  So I was very passionate about music from a VERY young age.

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

I owned a cassette tape of Aretha Franklin’s Greatest Hits and I had a little tape recorder player that I would play it in and sing every single song and still remember all of those songs word for word. That was at about 5 years old later in life at about 10 years old my older brother had discovered Guns N Roses which really got me intrigued with heavier music. Then at about 15 years old I discovered Nirvana and I starting listening a lot to Jimi Hendrix. At that point I was starting to really like interesting and heavy drumming.  I think those were the major influences that got me to be a soulful metal lover and after that I discovered Pantera, Metallica, Korn, Tool and later really fell in love with Dream Theater and Queens of the Stone Age. Another band I really loved and I have been super lucky to be able to sing in is an amazing Led Zeppelin Tribute band called Lady Zep.  Learning  all of those intricate Zeppelin songs has really influenced my style too.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

I guess I kind of answered that in the other question but a main influences they would be: Aretha Franklin, Guns N Roses, Nirvana, Jimi Hendrix, and Led Zeppelin.

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

I would love to work with Joe Barresi.  I just loved his work with Queens of the Stone Age.  We almost had him work on No Love but then Tool booked him for the full year of 2018 and he couldn’t fit us in.  However I have absolutely loved working with John Kurzweg and love what he did with the “No Love” single.  I definitely also want to work a lot more with John Kurzweg.

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?

Sometimes I have heard the comparison of Evanescence.  I just feel that my vocal are heavier and more on the soulful side so I disagree and that our music is more intense and certainly heavier drums. I would describe our music as Heavy Soulful Progressive Rock but more on the metal side.  We have two more song releases set “Sincerely Satan” and “Leaving” and these songs have for of the heavier metal sound and I can’t wait to get these songs out soon.

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

Definitely love performing, when you are actually performing the songs it is a magical feeling.  I really feel the songs every single time and it is like being in another world and energy spills out of me like Jimi Hendrixs said “music sweet music drips from my finger tips”. When performing and it could be to 1 person, 1 million people it just always feels right when I am making music.

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?

I would say John cooks, Charles is good with making sure there are drinks and me and Mike probably jamming.

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

I don’t know about star struck but I have working with some amazing artist that I was super impressed and inspired by.  I did a show called Rock N Roll Fantasy Camp and Matt Sorum from guns N Roses was my mentor for 2 weeks.  He was so knowledge able kind and inspiring and really learnt a lot from him in those two weeks.  I also got to spend two days with Sammy Hagar and perform a duet at The House of Blues Sunset and is was an absolutely pleasure to work with.  Again so kind and encouraging and showing that true talent has a good soul.

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

I have a few interests outside of music.  I breed snakes and am interested in being a reptile veterinarian, then my mother is an amazing Hypnotherapist and would be interested in learning what she does too.  So possibly working with the mind or animals.

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?

I don’t think any do overs but I would have like to not stay on some projects as long as I had and this would be more with session producers I worked with that I made money with but I think were a distraction from my personal projects like Final Gravity and just made things take longer to get off the ground.  Its hard to be successful when you are spreading yourself thin.  I feel I am at my most focused now and it feels really good.

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?

I would say Guns N Roses Appetite for Destruction.  When that album came out it was a game changer and every single song on that album was solid.  That sound is what intrigued me this heavier music even though it was more rock but it was the trigger and intrigued being more experimental.

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Todd ‘ToddStar’ Jolicoeur

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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