I have no doubts that life as teenager is more stressful, confusing and challenging than it was in my day. New communications technology brings a much greater awareness of so many different aspects of things from around the globe. My years spent as a secondary teacher certainly confirmed my concerns regarding the difficulties of teenage life. Melia has managed to come through her teenage years as a survivor and is now a brilliant role model for both her peers and the next generation. Two things have been crucial in ensuring that she is now in a position to impress greater numbers of fans; these are an embedded self-belief and a supportive family. When others were desperate to be kept informed about the exploits of Hannah Montana, Melia was drawn elsewhere, Soundgarden, Nirvana and Green day were more of an attraction for her. She was fortunate enough to have a mother who was willing to take her to see Green Day, and as part of the audience during the ‘American Idiot’ tour she was motivated by seeing a member of the crowd being invited to play along with the band on stage. She vowed to her mother, “the next time they come to town, I’m gonna be the one pulled onstage.” In Albany, several years later in 2009 she took a sign to hold in her fourth-row seat, “pick a girl to play guitar” – and so it was that she was indeed chosen and sat in on guitar for ‘Jesus Of Suburbia’. All the more incredible as Melia hadn’t been a guitar player when she made that pledge to herself. It was two further years before her parents agreed to let her take up this new instrument.
Her determination paid off and after many hours of committed daily practice she is now an accomplished performer and is even managing to pass on her skills to others.
She recently released a seven track EP, ‘Soundproof Walls’, and it presents a very mature range of tracks that reflect some of her formative experiences. She has taken some of the troublesome events of her youth and used them as a basis for a delightful, dynamic and dazzling set of driving rock numbers. In addition to her guitar work, she manages to showcase a very powerful voice and clear intelligent lyrics. To complete the line-up she is very ably supported by Dominic Ciaccia on drums and Tim Latus on bass. Mainly hard rocking with powerful hooks, the EP includes some more understated moments that help to illustrate her versatility. Undoubtedly some may seek to devalue Melia’s achievement as derivative as it echoes other bands, but I believe contemporary musicians have to accept that it is virtually impossible to produce something that has never been done before. With so much prior experience to draw inspiration from I feel it is worth quoting a recent comment from Grim Dylan. “Why are so many bands bitchy to/about other bands? A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle …. bands are meant to work together.”
I recently had the pleasure and privilege of interviewing her on-air and was very impressed by her enthusiasm and was also heartened to hear that new material is being worked on – watch out for more from this rising star. In the meantime check out her ReverbNation profile, and the EP.
Full track listing for ‘Soundproof Walls’:
1/ Soundproof Walls
3/ Checking Out
4/ I Wanna Be Your Girl
5/ Just A Bride
6/ Thinking Of Her
7/ Sleaze Parade