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Interview: Melissa VanFleet (EUA)

EC: Your contact with music began very early, at age 12 you released your first demo. How do you see yourself grown not only as a singer but also as a composer after all these years of music? 
MV: As a young girl I wrote poetry and lyrics as a form of therapy to help deal with the complications of having a parent with a chronic illness. As I got older I started playing instruments and could finally put melodies to the lyrics I was writing. I have since composed hundreds of songs in every genre imaginable and I realized what worked and didn't work for me. Then a few years ago I found my voice as a songwriter and it is much easier to write songs now that I know exactly who I am as an artist and what I want to convey with my music.

EC: In addition of being a multi-instrumentalist, you are also a composer. What inspires you
in the compositions? How is the process of composing your songs?
MV: I naturally gravitate toward dark themes and topics. The dark subject matter correlates with the melodies I come up with and consequently the lyrics and music feel cohesive. I usually start with a melody idea and sing words that don't make sense. Then on piano I figure out the chord progressions I heard in my mind and the nonsensical words eventually develop into lyrics.

EC: In 2012, you have recorded an acoustic version, with you piano, of "Sleeping (In the Fire)" of the american band WASP, at first as a present for your father and then tou also posted it on YouTube, where you released also "Too Late" of Black Sabbath. Both were very successful. Did you expect this receptivity from the audience, how did you feel about it?
MV: I absolutely did not expect the favorable reactions from either video! When I posted the
W.A.S.P. cover I was still finding my style and who I was as an artist. The Black Sabbath song helped me to realize that the response from the other video wasn't only a one time occurrence and I began to focus my attention on more metal covers. I released an album called Metal Lullabies in 2015 with piano versions of some of my favorite metal songs and acoustic original songs as well.

EC:  What are the bands that serve, or have served as musical inspiration for you?
MV: Growing up surrounded by music of the late 80s and 90s was so inspiring. From a young age I connected to the music and vocals of my dad's favorites Ronnie James Dio and W.A.S.P. and on the other hand my mom loved Seal, Elton John and Lionel Richie. As I started to branch out and listen to music I liked I was influenced by strong female artists with unique vocals including Alanis Morissette, Fiona Apple and Tracy Chapman.

EC: In 2015 you performed at the Full Metal Cruise II, presented by the producer of the German festival  Wacken Open Air, alongside Blaze Bailey, Doro, Hammerfall among others. What about the experience of performing alongside these great metal names?
MV: It was so much fun. The crowd energy was unbelievable. Having conversations with the other bands and artists as well as the fans aboard the ship was an experience I'll never forget.

EC: You made your first tour in 2015 in Europe. Are there plans for a new tour? Can we expect some presentation in Brazil?
MV: I have been in the writing and recording phase for awhile but I am definitely looking forward to touring. I am constantly formulating ideas in my mind for the live show. I would love to perform in Brazil!

EC:  You are releasing an EP produced by Marco Coti Zelati from Lacuna Coil. Could you tell us something about the new job?

MV: Working with Marco and the entire team behind Lacuna Coil's latest release Delirium in Milan was exhausting but very rewarding. I have been listening to Lacuna Coil since the band formed and when I heard Marco's production on Delirium I couldn't believe how he captured what I was hearing in my mind with the new songs I was writing. I released my debut single "Raven" in October 2017 and it features Douglas Blair of W.A.S.P. on lead guitar. We worked on several songs during my time in Italy and I can't wait to share them.

EC: I would like to thank you for the interview for Elegia e Canto. Could you leave a message for our readers?
MV: Of course! Thank you for taking the time to read this interview and I hope you are moved by my music if you choose to listen to it. "Raven" is available to stream/download here: http://smarturl.it/MVRaven. I look forward to seeing you soon in Brazil!

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