Interview with Rock Vixen Melia Maccarone

by Jaide Alicia / 404 days ago / Comments
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Entering the music industry at the young age of sixteen is no easy task, but with the right amount of ambition and determination anything is possible- and alternative rock artist Melia shows us just that through her first two EP’s Soundproof Walls and Skeletal Remains. Melia has made her impact in the rock scene not only through her first two EP’s, but through playing with various respected rock and metal artists- ranging from 80’s rockers Steve Vai and Asia, all the way to new school Halestorm and Black Star Riders. Melia’s latest work, Skeletal Remains, was produced by Grammy winner Kevin Killen and is currently available on her website meliarocks.com.

 

Who were your musical influences growing up?

I have a ton but I’ll try to make it pretty short for you. It’s mostly rock music, I mean I like all styles but mostly rock. The grunge era was really big for me: Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana, Green Day and My Chemical Romance. It kind of depends on song structure, versus lead players I would say Jimmy Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Lita Ford- and I’m super excited to open for her actually, I’m so psyched.

I know you’re still pretty young so I was wondering around what time you decided you wanted to start pursuing music?

I always kind of wanted to.  I always had that connection to music and that desire to, but I strayed away from it for a very long time. I didn’t start playing guitar until I was 16 and I think by the time I started guitar and I could see that I took to it really fast that was about the time I made the decision that that’s what I wanted to do.

Why did you choose to stay away from it for a while?

I really think it’s because I kind of got bullied a lot, not like a ton, but enough that I just stayed away. I really tried to stay away from music for a while, the band teacher wasn’t that great which has something to do with it but you know I was playing flute at the time and it wasn’t the coolest thing in the world. So that mixed with everything else is really what made me want to stop, even though I wanted to continue music in some way. So I shied away from that and from chorus, and then eventually I had gotten into a lot of rock music during the time I was getting bullied and whatever, the kind of dark period of my life, and I was listening to that a lot and I think that’s what made me pick up a guitar and gave me the courage. I think that was when I was about 14 but my parents made me wait a couple years until I was 16- but yeah, I did it for a little bit and it took some time for me to get back into it. And I always wanted to sing which is another thing I shied away from, but nobody in my high school band at the time sang so I ended up doing it and it kind of took a life of its own.

You mention on your website that you literally practiced all the time, did you feel you needed to dedicate more time to it because you had a bit of a late start?

Yes and also because of the fact that I just loved it. I really did enjoy doing eight hours, or ten hours a day, and I was really driven by it. I was really determined and really driven and it was something I really loved, it might have been the first thing in my entire life that I was really passionate about. So there was that and definitely the fact that I started late, I just wanted to be good and I knew that being good took a lot of hard work.

So now you’ve graduated high school, do you attend college? Or did you decide that it was time to focus purely on music?

I did take some basic courses and I try to do it here and there depending on where I’m at with music. I had to stop because I started to do shows out of town a lot and a lot of them are last-minute, like national shows. A lot of the time I just get thrown on them very last minute and it just ended up being too hard to balance all of that.  Right now I’m just kind of pursuing the music, and I’m teaching too- I teach at a few local music schools but I’m happy with where I’m at. Eventually, I would like to go back.

What made you want to start teaching?

I didn’t really want to. Well, it’s not that I didn’t want to but my teacher, after one year of lessons, ended up hiring me because he needed another teacher. So I ended up kind of just doing it and it was my first job. Normally you start with a high school job at like McDonalds or whatever , but mine ended up being that.

Your first EP was Soundproof Walls, at what point did you think that your music was going well enough that you should do an EP?

Right after high school, really when I decided that I wasn’t going to go to college right away. I mean I had written with my high school band but I was at the point where I was getting better at writing and I knew if I was going to not go to college right away I was going to work really hard. So I started writing songs like crazy until I had a few that were really solid to me, and actually, I had a demo out before that which was like, three songs, but no one really knows about it. I think just writing and becoming confident with my writing made me want to do the EP.

You started receiving awards as early as 2012, did you expect such great reception from your first EP alone?

It was really surprising, not too long after I got a call from the Indie Music Channel and they wanted me to enter into the award show. I ended up getting nominated for “Just A Bride” and some other stuff too, and I won Best Rock Song for “Just A Bride” and then song of the year- so it wasn’t something I thought was gonna happen. I mean I did hope I would receive some recognition but I definitely didn’t expect any awards for it.

Your latest EP is Skeletal Remains, now was there any inspiration behind this or did you just have fifty songs in the bank and you were ready to do another one?

I just had the songs and was ready to do another. I was actually really fussy about it because it took a long time to come out, but it all worked out really good. I had a lot of songs and I did kind of go through some writers block for a bit, but then all of a sudden I just started writing and I was ready for the next EP.

Why did you do another EP, opposed to maybe waiting a little longer and doing a full-length album?

To be honest, financial reasons. I mean being an independent artist it costs so much money, especially as a solo artist. I was actually originally going to do a full-length album but then I got the opportunity to work with a producer named Kevin Killen, and he had done Peter Gabriel’s Sledgehammer album and a bunch of other stuff. So I got that opportunity and it definitely was a little pricier, but I had been raising money because I really couldn’t even afford the full-length CD but I ended up going with Kevin because it was a really big opportunity. He just did the David Bowie album so it was crazy, I was at the Magic Shop Studio which was where David Bowie did his album and a ton of other people. So that’s what made me want to do an EP, plus talking with him it’s kind of the day of the singles. Rarely do people listen to CD’s front to back, which really bums me out. I think our generation was really the last that would listen to a whole album opposed to just a couple songs.

And I think it’s our genre as well. I feel like rock fans are more inclined to listen to an entire album opposed to a pop or hip hop fan.

Yeah, for sure. And in the end I had to make a decision, like did I want to do 5 really good songs or did I want to do 12 mediocre ones? And I ended up choosing to go to New York City and I really tried to make it the best that it could be, especially when people are donating money to it I don’t want to give them a piece of junk.  I really wanted to make sure it was good and professional.

Are you working towards anything now? What’s next for you?

I definitely want to do another EP, probably. I like the idea of EP’s now a lot because if I’m at least doing singles I’ll be able to put a lot more material out more frequently. I am working towards it and I’ve already started writing songs for the next one. But until then I’m just excited to play Skeletal Remains and all the music I have right now and hopefully I’ll have some new material out next year.

 

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About Jaide Alicia

Jaide Alicia Journalist

For as long as I can remember music has been my entire life. Due to starting my own website about music, my life has turned into a total dream come true. I've been able to interview some of my life idols and make great friends within the industry- something I thought was a complete long shot. On top of music, I went to a great cosmetology school for one year, and although I never finished the curriculum (because I decided music was a better way to spend my time) I still learned a ton about the industry, which has given me the opportunity to write about hair and beauty on many other platforms. I do the best I can to make my family and myself proud, and the best part of my life is seeing what the future has in store.