Each Wednesday, Rocks Off arbitrarily appoints one lucky local performer or group "Artist of the Week," bestowing upon them all the fame and grandeur such a lofty title implies. Know a band or artist that isn't awful? Email their particulars to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The other day President Obama* emailed to ask us a very direct, very answerable question: What qualities must one (or one's band) possess to earn them (or themselves) a spot in the Artist of the Week Congregation of Ass Stompers? *Now, of course, at first we questioned the validity of the email. But after we scanned down to the bottom of the message and saw it was signed "Not Fake Barack Obama," that pretty much wiped away any concerns we had of it coming from a fake Barack Obama. Our response was simple. To gain admittance into The Congregation you (or your band) must either: 1. Rock tits. 2. Be a band named after one of the members of the band so as to repeatedly inspire that same Who's On First?-ish conversation between people trying to discuss your music. This week's act, Melissa Savcic, fulfills both requirements. So we linked up with Melissa Savcic, of Melissa Savcic, to discuss issues that relate to being Melissa Savcic in Melissa Savcic, samurai swords and stealing iTunes gift cards.
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Rocks Off: So, Melissa Savcic, fill in the blanks about your background a bit for us, will you? We heard that you're an avid collector of samurai swords, and that you were once an extra in a movie that co-starred Jamie Lee Curtis' little brother. Exciting stuff.
Melissa Savcic: You must be confusing me with Jessica Alba, the pale version [laughs]. I'm actually a terrible actress; I suck at my own video blogs. But my singing is a lot better. Samurai swords are not exciting when you're a musician. Exciting was SXSW! For the ultimate music lover, it was heaven. It was my first year so I took the week off from work, had two shows in Austin and met musicians from everywhere that do music full time. It was really inspiring the whole "being poor but doing what you love" lifestyle. I'm not sold on the poor part yet; and living in Houston, I would be pretty broke if my income only came from music, but just being there, that great energy, relaxing, drinking during the day, meeting people, getting ready for a show and singing your heart out. Now that's the life. My background? Well, I'm foreign but legal [laughs]. Lived all my life in Venezuela, where I started to write music at age 15, and moved to Houston three years ago searching for the American dream. Houston has become my home, and it has been wonderful meeting my talented bandmates here (Chris Garver, Craig Nelson and Andre Berry) and trying to make it in this very business-like city. God, where are the hippies?
RO: How amped are you for Lilith Fair? That seems like a concert you'd almost certainly be attending. MS: You know me so well. I grew up listening to the chicks playing at Lilith Fair. But living in Venezuela, none of the artists would come down for a show. It's a bit strange after ten years that I finally saw my influences live (Sarah Mclachlan, Jewel, Alanis Morissette...) just a couple of years ago after moving to Houston. One of the main things I love about America: all the bands we were dying to see in Venezuela, you can have access to them year after year. Would be awesome to play at Lilith Fair in the future, I can dream right? RO: Cool. And now that we've checked off the "Make sure you ask a question that's kind of insulting in an ignorant sort of way" box off my our do list, let's keep it moving. How great would it be if you and your band started a heated rivalry with Winter Wallace and her band? You should definitely do that.
MS: I see why you're mentioning this: she's just like my band! [laughs] The name of her band is her name and she has her awesome band mates backing her. Put us in a cage. I'm not concerned. I do kickboxing and yoga. Not sure how yoga will help me here, but yeah! I would totally smoke little Winter's behind, either on stage or in a cage. Very cute girl though. It's always awkward when people ask about the name of my band and I respond with a lame giggle, "It's my name, 'Melissa Savcic'." But I do like having it my name, not because of the obvious ego but I feel people are more connected because they know a person (me) is responding on Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, Ttumblr... Not the band giving an update, "Melissa" giving the update that she wants to go out drinking and people respond to that.
RO: We just got a $50 gift card in the mail for iTunes. We're really excited about. We didn't even expect it. Some lady that we don't even know sent it. And she kept referring to us as "Kelly" (i.e. "Happy Birthday, Kelly" and so on). What's more, a crazy coincidence: our neighbor's name is Kelly. The universe is a bizarre place. Let's say we keep the card, what CDs should I get from iTunes? MS: I say you go to iTunes and get my album Walking Into The Sunset. It's only $7.99. After you're done, be a nice guy and give back the card to your neighbor and suggest my album as well [laughs]. The name of the album comes from the first comment I received on YouTube for my original song "Life With You" saying, "Your voice makes me dream. It's like walking into the sunset. Thanks for that." I thought it was a pretty sweet comment and it stuck with me. After almost two years I finally have my album. RO: Any shows coming up that you want to plug? Or maybe a guy that you want to call a bastard or something? MS: Our upcoming show is for charity for The Down Syndrome Association on April 10 at 7 p.m. So, can I really call someone a bastard? Well, then it would be [Hugo] Chavez! My friends that want to escape Venezuela would appreciate this. See Melissa Savcic, of Melissa Savcic, online at www.melissasavcic.com.