WW: What's up Mythica? Welcome to
M: Thanks for having us!
WW: Tell us how you all met.
M: We all met as students at the University
of Delaware. Currently, three of us are
alumni, one is a grad student and one is an
undergrad. Melissa (lead singer), Nicole
(backup singer) and Matt (bass player) were
friends for years before Mythica came to
be, then we held auditions and found Curt
(drums) and Erin (violin/keyboard).
WW: Did music always play an important
role in your lives as you grew up?
M: Absolutely! Melissa and Nicole grew up singing, taking dance lessons and acting. Erin, who is currently a music education major, has always been involved with music and playing several instruments. Curt and Matt were involved with music through school, and later through other bands with their friends. Had we not been exposed to music through school, we wouldn't be here today. That's why alot of us feel it's extremly important for public schools not to cut funding for their creative programs. They are really important to kids' development and skills building.
WW: When did you all know you wanted to go into the music industry?
M: Well, when you want to be successful in music, you have no choice about going into the "industry" part of music -- you HAVE to go into it in order for your band and music to survive. That for us means putting in the time, money and sweat equity to get shows, interviews, get on the radio, network, make great recordings, etc. It does NOT mean for us to play what the industry expects us to play. We are not trying to be like everyone else. We are trying to be ourselves by playing the genres we want to play.
WW: Who were your musical influences while growing up?
M: Each band member is different of course....Melissa was heavily influenced at first by Led Zeppelin, Shawn Colvin, Sarah Mclachlan, Simon and Garfunkel and Jewel. Then later she discovered Tori Amos, Cocteau Twins, Massive Attack and A Perfect Circle -- artists with a harder edge. Nicole was influenced by Tori Amos as well as The Changelings, Mirabilis, Ani DiFranco, Muse, and Rhea's Obsession. Erin was influenced by the classical artists - Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Stravinsky and Schubert, and contemporary artists like Radiohead, Sigur Ros, Portishead and the Arcade Fire. Curt and Matt picked up the funk / jazz / jam artists like Red Hot Chili Peppers, Dave Matthews Band, Funkadelic, Dave Weckl Band, Marcus Miller and Victor Wooten. Whew, that's alot!
WW: When did you write your first song as a band? What was it about?
M: Most of the writing is done by Melissa, who had a solo career before Mythica. But when it comes to writing different parts for the songs, each band member has alot of creative input. Sometimes we make changes based on everyone's input and opinions of how the song should sound.
WW: Where do you draw the inspiration from to create music?
M: Usually, the songs are about personal experiences in one of our lives - the first track on CD, "Don't Be" is about growing up under constant pressures from parents, friends and classmates. The lyrics in that song illustrate the confusion kids experience growing up and how dark it can get sometimes for a child who should be having fun and playing in the school yard. Melissa's song "elijah, elijah" is about trying to let go of something (or someone) that is obviously bad for her, but she doesn't know how -- very much like Frodo wanted to let go of the One Ring, but could not. This idea is universal - everyone experiences this in some way -- drug abuse, unhealthy relationships, gambling or smoking addiction. Why do we love the things that hurt us so much? Songs can also be about what is going on in the world at the time - for example, our song "Candy Love" is about the continuing struggles of women in Afghanistan.
WW: Tell us about your most current album.
M: Our debut EP "Dangerous Little Monster", which came out on May 1st, is a four-song CD. People can pick it up on our website, www.MythicaMusic.com or on www.CDBaby.com/Mythica.
When we went into the studio, our mission was to create 4 completely different sounding songs, and I think we succeeded. "Don't Be" is very Irish / Scottish....almost like you are running into battle with William Wallace of Braveheart. We focused alot on marrying traditional Celtic instruments with rock/new folk sounds.
The next song, "elijah, elijah" is traditionally folk, but we added a strong European flavour to it by using a classical nylon string guitar and a reed piano that almost sounds like an accordion. "Dive" is sort of like synth folk rock. We melded a synth keyboard with acoustic guitar, cool bass line and a snappy drum beat.
The last song, 'Escape,' was definitely a surprise to us all. It started as just a folk song, with guitar and vocal, and grew into this trip-folk song. We used four different synth sounds from the keyboard, added a drum loop, then we put the acoustic guitar and Melissa's vocals through a Leslie spinning speaker to get that "telephone" effect. Then to make it even crazier, we added a hammered dulcimer (an instrument that dates back to the Old Testament!)....and for some reason, it worked out perfectly! Who would have thought a 3,000 year old instrument like the dulcimer would sound so beautiful with the synth sounds of the 20th century? It completely blew our minds.....
WW: Where can we catch you in the upcoming months?
M: On Thursday, Aug. 3rd we will be performing at the Grape Street Pub in Philadelphia. On September 2nd we are performing at the famous Arden Fair in north Wilmington, Delaware. The weekend of September 8th we are performing at the Newark Film and Music Festival (www.newarkfilm.com) and on Sept. 10 we are performing at Chadds Ford Days in south PA. More info about our shows can be found on our website or http://www.myspace.com/MythicaMusic
WW: Thanks! Best of luck to you.
M: Thank you, and best of luck to everyone at WildWritings!