Quick Q and A with Melissa Ferrick

There are many adjectives that one can use to describe a performance by Melissa Ferrick: riveting, passionate, intimate, energetic, inspirational, and so on and so forth.  Just take a look at a thesaurus and look up any of those words and you’ll find a dozen more to add to the list.  As the interview below reveals, Melissa is feeling more and more comfortable with her art.  She’s got a lot to say and her songs resonate on all kinds of levels with music fans and lovers of lyrics that speak to the heart and soul.

Learn some more about Melissa on her website.

Here’s a taste of Melissa live.

You’ve been a woman who is wearing many hats lately.  Not only did you sing and play on your new self-titled album, but you recorded and produced it in your home studio—not to mention doing pre and post marketing.  When did you sleep during all this?

Ha…. yes, and I teach part-time at Berklee College too, so there’s that!  I have worked very hard at learning time management over the last decade or so.  I feel like it’s a great asset to have especially for anyone who juggles more than one career.

How would you compare this recording to some of your older recordings?

This one is much more intimate and introspective in regards to the sound of it.  As for the songwriting, I believe it’s another step forward into the “I’m becoming a better writer with every project I participate in ” truth.

What have you learned about yourself and your creative process over the years?

I have learned to trust my process and myself more.  I used to have a deep fear that my ability to write songs would “go away.”  I can recall feeling frozen inside thinking things like “I will never write another song better than this one” type of thing and then a year would go by and I would write another song, a “better” song and think, well I guess that fear I had last year was unfounded. I have learned this really only by continuing to create records and write songs. From the repetitive nature of writing, recording, and performing over the last 25 years I’ve deducted this, I just need to show up and this has sometimes proven to be more difficult to do than others.

What brings you the most joy — writing, recording, performing?

This has changed for me.  In my 20’s and early 30’s it was touring and performing.  Over the last decade my joy has come more from the recording and writing process.  I love subtracting and adding things. I love making more refined choices; I really enjoy getting close to a song as a producer and, of course, as the writer/performer if this is the case.

Have you done much co-writing in your career?  If so, did you find that kind of collaboration to be inspirational or is it easier to craft a song on one’s own?

I believe co-writing is really a talent unto itself.  I know people who do a lot of co-writing and it seems it takes its own set of personal attributes to be a “great person to co-write with.”  But, this is also one of those things that works well for one person and maybe not so much for the next guy.  So, in my own writing life I have not done a lot of co-writing.  I believe I have only co-written three times actually and all three were great experiences. I haven’t pursued or fallen into the co-writing scene at all but I hope to do more of this, as I get older and more practiced at working in groups.

Most of your music resides in the acoustic/ indie spectrum.  Have you ever dreamed about doing something totally different — for instance, something n the classical or world music realm?  A project that would be pretty alien to what you’ve done in the past–a project that people would say: What???  Wow!!!!

Sure yes, I have produced songs for other artists that are straight up pop to writing instrumental pieces for poet Alix Olson’s last album and this year I am embarking on writing music for a film that is a musical, which I am really excited about!

When you’re not making music, what else do you like to do when and if you have spare time?

I have a really full family life and enjoy being home, taking walks, drinking coffee, making arts and crafts in the kitchen, and making a slow cooked meal on a freezing day.

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