(I was so honoured to have my debut novel, Hope Quest, make this list! )
2020 was certainly a year in which books were a huge part of my life, with that want for escape and learning being needed more than ever. With that said, here are the top 5 five books that helped me survive the odd year that was 2020…
I’m excited to be kicking off my series of indie interviews with the frontman of Perspectives NY, a nu metal band who I first discovered via Instagram a year ago. Their powerful and impressive debut EP, Home, is a daily listen on my Spotify playlist. Their music is raw and cathartic and incredibly passionate, a visceral expression of life’s darkness with a reminder of its enduring light. They are a selfless group, constantly promoting and supporting other bands via their social media (most actively on Facebook).
Give the interview a read, give their music a listen on Spotify (see media player at end of interview) and give them a follow on Instagram:
Let’s create a strong and supportive indie community!
Hi boys and girls, smiles of all ages. It’s G-motion causing all commotion for your underground promotion. But you can just call me Mouth, AKA G, G-baby, Gerriah Carey or any other creative moniker you can come up with….most just call me the wrong thing anyway..cough cough “Gary”. I’m the vocalist of the local band in Rochester, New York called Perspectives NY.
Tell me about the band: how did it start? Who’s in it?
Our mission statement is: Positivity through aggression.
We formed on 8/18/18, believe it or not. I went to get out of the house. I had just lost my job, needed the sweet escape and therapy of local music. So I ended up going to the Bug Jar, a great local venue here and it was packed like a tuna can yet everyone moved in every part of the room. When in the middle of the night I see Jordan, the soon to be guitarist of the band, at the same show. So I snuck up and was like “hey brother, long time no see”. Come to find out he just got out of a relationship that has been a thorn in his side for some time so he came to escape as well in the sweaty tuna can.
Cut to a few minutes after: Rein the ripper enters stage left ” Hey guys I’m not from around here I was wondering if you wanted to partake in this sticky substance”. So we went outside and we discussed this substance and got to talking about forming a band. When around the corner a wild drummer appears….it is not Cody Chaos the drummer of Perspectives NY, but another fellow looking for a band. Our energies didn’t click so we didn’t work out, but a few weeks later Chaos melded into the mix…we all went to support Benzeath hells sky last show which Jordan was a part of at the time we formed. We both performed with them that night since it was chaos (pun intended) because in the middle of the night, the mighty Cody chaos met up with us in the crowd and started discussing his intentions of being in a band. Thus Perceptions was born….
…then a few short months later they became rabid and had to be put down (Legal issues) As Perspectives NY was reborn from the ashes. A year later, a loyal fan named Greg, who I’ve been friends with since introducing him to our music on messenger, was pulled into the mix pretty recently. The live stream we played at The Montage was his first show. Even though he’s a late entry he’s always had the band a part of him and now we’re all a part of each other and it’s glorious. The evolution is real is all I’m saying to that.
How would you describe Perspectives’ sound?
Our sound is a medley of heavy and light elements. We all listen to every genre and we try to encapsulate that. Everybody describes us differently for that very reason but we try to keep that raw-ness of the nu metal vibe. But we don’t like to label or be labeled. It’s just a part of the game.
Who or what got you started in music?
I never shy away from the fact that I’m a 90’s baby, so I enjoy so many different types of music. One minute I’m bopping to Left to Suffer, next thing ya know Frank Sinatra is blaring in my brain.
I love music in all senses but when I first started screaming and singing it was when I started listening to an eclectic assortment of groups: Pantera-Vulgar Display Of Power, Slipknot – Iowa /Lamb Of God/Cradle Of Filth – Nymphetamine, but then always mixing it with Eminem- The Slim Shady LP/Twiztid-Freek Show/Limp Bizkit-Significant other.
But, to answer the question of what got me started, it was all the family members that sang around me all my life. From my grandfather singing Frank Sinatra or my momma singing Pink, music never stopped, so you could call me Spongebob cause I soaked in every bit of it. Music is my life and it has kept me alive more times than I can count. It has become my greatest gift and tool. Art saves in the darkest days.
What’s the band’s creative process?
Our creative process is very different for each person in the band, but we all take this as personal as we can. When we need this band, it’s there for us.
Our creative process is a caged animal needing release from the demons within. For the first month of creating our first single “Flatline”, which is about the loss of a loved one and coping with that loss, reminding yourself that their life and yours will live on after flatline, we lost ourselves, we went into a void and a darkness because we pulled out personal feelings so deep that it was like a therapy session. Tears, screaming at each other, hugging and reminiscing. It was cathartic and honestly that is the best way to describe our sound is Cathartic –what we are saying or doing on stage, that is our way of coping with life.
Favourite song to perform? Favourite venue to play? Who would you like to collaborate with?
My favorite song to perform is a hard question because every song has a special meaning and therapeutic trait to myself but more importantly the smiles in the crowd. I’ve become so connected to all of them on a personal level that I know which ones make that bad day go away or help them deal with the loss they had to go through life or just in general a job or gf. “Home” hurts and that’s my proudest song so far because of the euphoria it gives performing it feeling the weight lift as I’m yelling at the demons inside of everyone in that room. “No not everyday I’ll walk with smile stretch cross my face but I will be condemned if I just throw it all away”. Even writing it gives me chills because I have to remind myself that every day dealing with Depression Anxiety PTSD from my losses and tribulations I never felt I could say that to myself and look at me now mom, haha.
Favorite venue …All venues that are giving us a place to go to get away from our outside life for a few hours that’s my favorite venue. And I thank them everyday for continuing during the craziness and feel for everyone closing. It’s like our churches being shut down because this is our religion or spiritual enlightening, if you will, or at least that’s how I feel..but I don’t think I’m the only one.
There’s so many artists I’d love to collaborate with being such a fan of so many genres locally and nationally. Jebus…M…Heist….Corey Motherfucking Taylor just because I’ve met him before and I acted like a jackass “I’m not worthy I’m not worthy”, but I got to watch suicide silence with Mitch with him and I’ll never forget, but he is my biggest inspiration. I’d be lying if I said otherwise.
But locally, so damn many for so many different reasons: Todd from Into the harbor, Ryan from Gutted alive, Cole from White tides, Paddy from Diluted, shit Kyle From Sirens and Sailors would be legendary. I digress. Too many to choose from. I’ll work with everybody (haha). But the one from out of our neck in the woods Taylor from Left To Suffer Sweet Genuine Soul with a heart of gold and the vocals of a grizzly bear huge Inspiration of the new school guys. The boys of Dropout Kings sure would mesh well too.
If you found yourself shipwrecked on a deserted island, which three songs or albums would you want on your playlist?
Stranded on an island with 3 songs on my playlist for the rest of the time being?
Might I just say Fuck!!!. This is a hard question (haha). I had to pace the practice space to think …
2. Lynrd Skynrd -Simple man
3.Cane hill-Kill the sun
3 albums would be:
2.Knocked loose-A different shade of blue
What’s your superpower? Do you use it for good or evil?
The power of optimism. Da da da da daaaaaaa it’s Captain Optimism here to brighten your day, because I can keep every single person happy, but my kryptonite is I cannot do it for myself. Captain slash a smile ?? Has a nice ring to it.
Best part of being an indie musician? Hardest part of being an indie?
The greatest part of being in an indie band is the close relationship we can have with our fans – making family, the smiles that keep the wheels turning. That’s the greatest part. Being home and feeling like the ones that come from broken homes feel at home. My heart is full. Everytime it’s the smiling faces or hearing the voices ringing out when I’m not even singing. Priceless.
Hardest part of being in an indie band is seeing true colors from people that you looked up to for a long time. But other than that, I love this responsibility to continue creating to help ourselves and the ones that follow with slashed smiles.
Where do you see yourself and the band in 2 years?
I can honestly say that every part of this band is like being on a constant grind to better ourselves physically, mentally, spiritually, musically. I can safely say that if the world can stop burning and be unified and shows become the new normal again we will be playing with some of our idols. This isn’t cockyness this is confidence and for the first time in life I can say that I’m proud and I stand by the product we are creating together. Whole-heartedly, as long as we stay united, we can touch the stars… And even if that doesn’t happen, I’d still be happy playing for anyone, anywhere if they respect the message of love and respect.
What do you most want listeners to take away from your music?
What I and the band would like people to take away from our music is that this world is disgusting, but beautiful, that our heads are filled with darkness, but also, if given the flick of a switch, consumed with light. We are the change we want to see in the world and by “We” I mean all of us as a people. We need to be United no matter the differences besides the obvious pedophilia will Never!!! be accepted. We are all connected no matter the distance or difference and our music is the spark to the light we want to spread. Bring your hate, we will retaliate. With positivity.
Elegant Execution, my debut poetry book, also featuring my dance photography, is now live on Amazon and available as an e-book (FREE if you have Kindle Unlimited) and a paperback.
I am well aware that poetry is a hard sell, but I took on the project in order to immerse myself in the self-publishing realm and to learn KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing). It was a lot more work than I expected. I quickly learned that formatting poetry for digital devices is somewhat of a nightmare. Formatting the paperback was a whole other process and much easier – although it took me 7 attempts and it took me 9 goes at getting the e-book formatted! Four frustrating days and alot of swearing at the computer, but it finally got done. There are still formatting errors in the e-book, but it’s done, it’s out there and I learned from it what I needed to in order to have the confidence to to self-publish Hope Quest next month.
I truly had no expectations on selling Elegant Execution at all. It really was just meant for me to learn the process, so it was a very pleasant surprise to see my KDP report during the three days after the release. I had 10 e-books downloaded and sold 5 paperbacks! I sold my first 5 paperbacks!! THAT was pretty exciting.
I am continuing to write one to two poems a day and have already decided on putting out a second poetry and dance photography book later in the year (just did a model shoot for the next book yesterday!). Hope Quest will be broken up into 3 books. At nearly 500 pages, it is just too big to put out as one book, especially as my first published novel. So Book 1: Blackbird will be released May 18th and Book 2 will follow in about 6 – 8 weeks. Dare I admit that I am STILL reworking the ending?? I finished the final draft of Hope Quest last year after taking a year and half to write it, but I am still not 100% happy with the ending so I am working on it. I am hoping to get the final Book 3 out by the end of the year and eventually, offer all three as one book in 2020.
So many things in the works right now, but they’re all good. This has been a long time in coming.
My writing career, like my resume, has a giant gap of nothingness in it. Loads of writing and publishings in the 1990s and then nothing. Like my career as a social worker that stopped back in 2004 so that I could stay home with my daughter (and then my son……and then another son), my life – particularly my own interests – got put on pause for a bit while I raised my kids and worked from home (taking care of yet more kids).
I remember a moment on a rather draining day of caring for my own two little preschoolers plus another six kids on yet another long, exhuasting nine hour day and no thanks from anyone for anything, I remember in amongst the tiredness -the emptiness – a thought came to me, a secret thought – no a promise to myself – that one day I would live a creative life again. I would no longer just get through my days — I would create again, I would write again. I would not just continue to drag my ass through day after day of diaper changes and meal preps and story times and fake smiles with my daycare parents when they showed up twenty minutes late with no apologies, no consideration that maybe, just maybe, the daycare lady had a life – or wanted one – beyond caring for all those kids.
I would live a creative life again.
It was photography, not writing, that became that creative life. I had studied photography before the kids came along (I was a film student when I met my husband), so it was a pretty natural fit for me. I had been taking creative photos of my own three kids on the weekends (my daughter as a fairy in the woods, my son as a cowboy in a cornfield) and posted them on my facebook. Daycare parents and their friends started to notice. One of them asked if I would take photos of her kids – she offered to pay whatever amount I wanted.
My daycare parents soon converted to photography clients and Stay Gold Photography became my full time job. Seven years later, it is still the bulk of my creative life, but over the past year, I began to feel that emptiness again.
Creative Live had a show about fifty creators talking about why they love what they do and how they came to it. One of the shows had viewers ask themselves, who are the five people you envy, with the idea being five people in your creative field of work. I sat down and wrote my list – looked at it and laughed. Not a single photographer on the list.
All of them were writers.
I cut back on Stay Gold s business hours. I bought a tiny writing desk and a mini laptop. I read The War of Art – over and over and over again.
And I started writing.
For the past year, I have been living that creative life that I promised myself.
A short list of some of my published creative writings. I have also written for many student newspapers, both in high school (The Collegiate at the U of W and Bluevale High) and in university (U of Winnipeg, U of Manitoba and Griffith University).
Mindscape (literary magazine of The University of Winnipeg – Collegiate)
1993 edition :
The Truth About Paradise (poem); Leave a Light on for Me (poem); Divided Highway (poem)
Entries (short story); October Mourning (poem); Leaving Myself Behind (poem)
The Fresh Page (newsletter of The Canadian Authors Association – Manitoba Branch)
The Reader s Write (article) – February 1995
Completion (poem); Mourned by the Moon (poem); 3 Year Universe (poem) – June 1996
Interview with me about my writings – September 1997
Welcome to my writer’s webpage and blog. My name is Melanie Ever Moore and I have been a writer and published poet / short story writer for most of my life.
Writing has been an important part of my life for as long as I can remember. The first creative writing effort I clearly remember undertaking was a story in kindergarten (it was about a monkey and a bird arguing over their rightful spot in a tree) and I have been keeping a regular journal since I was seven years old. I had my first story published at twelve. At fourteen, I was awarded a spot at the Young Writers summer camp in Winnipeg, Manitoba. As a university student at the U of W, I was offered a scholarship in the Honours English B.A. program (but thought that Psychology sounded more interesting, instead).
As a member of the Canadian Authors Association in the 1990 s (Winnipeg branch), I was mentored by Young Adult novelist, Ishbel Moore.
My poems and short stories have been published in newspapers and literary magazines across Canada, the US and Australia.
In early 2017, after having the story and characters in my head for twenty-seven years, I finally sat down and wrote the story of Hope Quest, a teenage girl who discovers that she can pull stars from the sky. I finished the first draft in May of 2018 and am currently editing and revising my fifth….sixth??…draft of the book. It WILL be done by spring of 2019 and self-published via Amazon. The decision to self-publish came after having the fourth draft professionally edited and my traumatized editor suggesting a warning on the book or a heavy edit of the “triggering, sensitive, disturbing and troubling” material in the book. Despite it’s somewhat misleading title, Hope Quest is, like all of my writings, dark and challenging and not for the faint of heart.
Once Hope Quest is complete and available as an e-book (and maybe even a physical book), I will start in on the first book in the trilogy (Hope Quest is the middle story) and also another YA novel, What Remains.
Please subscribe to stay up to date with my latest blog posts, excerpts of my writings in progress and updates on the publishing of Hope Quest (and subsequent novels).