By: Denise Warner/ photos by Shervin Lainez
Melissa Ferrick is back with a brand new, self-titled, original album, which she made with the help of her very loyal fans. This interesting, unique concept allows her to get direct input from them. Gone are the days when a label executive tells her what she needs to do. She’s listening to YOU now and it’s FANtastic! I recently had
the pleasure of discussing the process, in depth, with the musician, herself.

This newest album, your 12th original album, 18th overall, has a very different feel to it. It’s a solo effort, just a girl and her guitar and it’s so raw and powerful. Was that the intention?
Yeah, and so, I’m really happy with it. It felt so much more like me. I think the song writing is getting stronger and stronger. I recorded this at home, so it’s me at home, recording and playing everything. I’ve been listening to some of my favorites on vinyl and I knew that was a sound I was going for. That layered vocal sound. I even went back to some of my early stuff, some of my first few records and listened to them. I could hear how...almost... “wanna-be commercial” they sounded. Even the pictures—how posed I was. That’s not me. I actually disliked it. So, if you notice, even the new cover, it’s just a simple black and white photo, no words, no text. I’m wearing my own clothes. My sister did my hair and quote unquote “make up” and it’s just me. Ya know? (laughs) Just me. What a concept, right?
How interesting that you went back and listened to your own older stuff. Is that the first time you’ve done something like that?
Delved into the past? Yes. Yep. I’ve never done that before. I sat upstairs and spent time listening to “Massive Blur” and “Willing to Wait” and “Everything I Need” and I also listened to “The Other Side” because that’s one of the few records I made by myself. So, I thought, I can do this better now. I’m a better producer, a better engineer. I even went back and looked at what the most downloaded songs were, to see what the fans liked best, what albums had done the best—and oddly enough I saw that “The Other Side” was one of the most popular with the fans and it’s the one I did all by myself. That really resonated with me and I ended up making the decision to do this, again, by myself, not through crowd funding, or Kickstarter but through a fan-based website that I started myself. The money comes directly to me through PayPal and it’s member based—so I could throw up demos, music, pictures—and get these couple hundred people who pitched in $100 or so a person, and get their actual input on everything and I could take it or leave it. It was really cool. It’s a great way to do pre-production. It’s a LOT of preproduction, a lot of thinking and getting a lot of advice and direction from the people who are the ones that are helping to get it made.
Well, it’s really paid off. The songs are incredible. I love “Elephant”—it’s so soothing (for lack of a better word). Like, soul soothing, really.
Oh, thank you! Thanks! That means a lot. It’s funny you said that, because I’ve never put an instrumental on a record before and it was actually my father’s idea. I had three other songs, but they just didn’t fit this particular record, ya know? I had a song called “Baltimore” that’s up on my YouTube site and two others—and who knows, I may record them and put them out eventually, but for this one, it wasn’t the right feel. I was...

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    _AUG 15 issue  

Without changing anything at
all, I just looked at my girlfriend, Alicia, and
said, “It’s done, that’s it. Just like that. It’s
done,” and she was like, “It’s beautiful just
the way it is,” and it really is.

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