Lead Photo by Paula Potter
Pamela Moore has had an eventful year right alongside her musical friends and Seattle neighbors in Queensryche. It’s actually been a pretty amazing year to be a fan of both Pam and Queensryche as they have both released great new albums, both of which reaffirm everything they do best. Ms. Moore’s new record “Resurrect Me” is a heavy metal record in the truest sense of the word, almost startlingly so as crushing riffs and soaring vocals dominate throughout. As an artist who has released several dreamier, poppier albums, this powerhouse is a bit of a reinvention for Pamela in many ways but also the kind of album fans have been clamoring for from their beloved “Sister Mary”. I spoke with Pamela again to talk about the new album, her contribution to the latest Queensryche record and more, read on…..
Legendary Rock Interviews: Pamela, your new album “Resurrect Me” is amazing but I wanna start by asking you about your little cameo on the new Queensryche album, how did you wind up being on my favorite song on the album, “A World Without”?
Pamela: Well, it happened pretty much at the last minute. They had asked me about it and I said “Sure, get a hold of me, you know how to get a hold of me, if I have some free time and I’m able to do it, I’ll help you guys out”. As it turned out they were in Germany or something when they got a hold of me at the last minute (laughs) so I wasn’t really able to be with them. Really the part I do is really subtle but I think it’s a beautiful song. I think it turned out gorgeous and I think Jim Barton did a great job with the production and of course I love working on Queensryche material. Things are certainly a bit different with the band right now, but I wanted to help my friends.
LRI: I just think that song and the spooky lullaby intro are totally “Mindcrime-esque” which is easily my favorite Queensryche album?
Pamela: I think so too, it really felt like I was listening to Queensryche when I heard the playback, it had that signature stamp on it. It is very evident that there is still that magic happening when all the band members are together and writing together on material. I will say it is one of my favorite tracks on the record too and it’s not because I’m on it (laughs).
LRI: You’ve worked with the band prior to Todd joining and of course since and have that unique perspective. Do you understand some of the complexities of the whole situation and the reason the fans are so invested?
Pamela: Well of course I do. It’s almost like having your parents break up. The fans, most of the fans, have been following the band for many, many years, you know. I’ve met them, I’ve seen them having worked with the guys on and off for over 25 years and I’ve become very close with many of them too over the years. To tell you the truth, I really feel sad for them because it is so polarizing and you know, when I talk about these things and do these interviews, I’ve got my talking points but in this situation if I say one thing or another I’m gonna be damned if I do and damned if I don’t. I do have to say that I think no matter what, change breeds opportunity and I see nothing but opportunity as far as new beginnings for both camps. I think that will help a lot as far as the fans also. It’s not my battle but I certainly understand people feeling the way they do and the bottom line is it’s all going to be worked out. Things will be settled and it will be up to each individual fan what they wanna listen to or who they wanna support whether it’s Queensryche or Geoff Tate’s Queensryche.
LRI: Actually they should listen to Pamela Moore’s “Resurrect Me”, as I implored them to do in my review. It’s a great album.
Pamela: Exactly! (laughs). That’s a brilliant segue, I was just about to say that. You should put in a link for them to do that right now! (laughs).
LRI: I will for sure. The video you made for “Paranoia” perfectly illustrates what the album is about. It’s a goddamn metal album.
Pamela: Thank you so much John, I am really proud of it. I’m so glad you enjoy it, Michael (Posche, Pam’s musical partner and guitarist) and I have been getting overwhelmingly positive feedback.
LRI: It feels like the album we have been waiting for from Pamela Moore. It’s got your melodic vocal sensibilities but it’s all about the heaviness for the most part. I know when we spoke about your last album you mentioned Michael working with you on heavier stuff. How far back do the roots of this album go?
Pamela: When I was living in Chicago in 2006 and still touring with Queensryche for Operation Mindcrime 1 and 2 I knew that I needed to start working on material and I knew that I wanted it to be in a much heavier direction. I knew I wanted to show off my range and show off the different types of things that I could definitely do and I thought that I should seek out a guitar player in that same realm that I was looking for. Low and behold, one of the musicians who played with me in Chicago when I was doing Pamela Moore band was Michael Posch who created this beautiful, opening introduction piece for me when I was doing some shows. It really turned out great so I approached him and said “Look, I’m starting to write this album and looking for collaborators, would you be interested?”. Luckily, he said yes and then we kind of embarked on this four year journey, because that’s how long it actually took to see the album to release. During that time I ended up moving back to my hometown of Seattle, Washington, I did a couple of tours with Primal Fear during that time as well and so, again, luckily, Michael stuck with the project and we ended up sending a lot of files back and forth where I would record something he sent over and would send it back to him and he really liked it. We kept collaborating like that, which is how we finally finished it. We finally finished it at the end of last year and then began shopping the album and hooking up with Ratpak Records.
LRI: Michael’s contribution is amazing, not just from a songwriting team standpoint but also his playing which is just out of this world good. It’s definitely a Pamela Moore album but he really contributes a ton of crunch here…
Pamela: Yep, I know. That’s what’s so awesome. When I would ask him to send me guitar riffs he would send me full musical pieces (laughs) and orchestrations which I would kind of chop up sometimes or re-arrange, sometimes not. One song I wrote with an old friend of mine which is the ballad on the album called “Breaking Down”, it’s really layered and emotional and Michael put down some amazing guitar parts on it. What I love about Michael’s playing is that there are a lot of hooks on the album without it coming off as “poppy”. It’s very heavy but the licks and riffs are very memorable and catchy at the same time, which really inspired me as the process went on because he would give me a lot of space to create things, melody-wise. We would feed off of each other’s ideas and I would draw a lot of inspirations for arrangements and lyrics from a lot of our back and forth. It was really cool because a lot of times we would both have the same kind of ideas on where we wanted to go with the arrangements of the songs. That always helps, when you’re connected in that way with a collaborator.
LRI: “Sky is Falling” is one of my favorites, the riff is just crushing….
Pamela: What is funny is that song was sort of about the fact that Armageddon was coming and we were all gonna be gone by December, 2012 (laughs). Obviously….THAT didn’t happen but the song is still a great song about reflection and about the “What if?” if the world was going to end. If you lived your life like it was your last year on earth, how would you live it, that sort of thing? It became a song about living your life for what it’s really worth.
LRI: I love you and your album but I’m a little worried about you after hearing “We Are Damaged”. I think people should buy the record if for no other reason than to hear you sound completely deranged and scary Pamela….Between the sexiness and the children and the juxtaposition it is definitely a unique track.
Pamela: (laughs). Well, let me ask you a question. Do you have an idea or a thought about what that song might be about?
LRI: Well, I took some psych in college and I can hear a little bit of lost innocence and shattered childhoods but your delivery and throatiness and sexiness isn’t childish at all, some of the notes you hit are almost orgasmic in nature. It’s a pretty unnerving song in some respects but cool, nonetheless….
Pamela: Well, it’s about a lot of that and also somewhat about my beliefs in the seduction of large government and large corporations also, that’s kind of where the “Pledge Of Allegiance” part comes in and the childhood part of sort of getting back to our roots or our innocence a bit. Having said that, the whole idea of the song goes back to that idea of being seduced; I mean everyone likes to be seduced once in a while, right? (laughs). It kind of goes into that darker, almost porn place and touches on seduction but at the same time goes back to that innocence. To me, it’s like why can’t America go back just a little bit to its innocence and not be so overwhelmingly seduced by big money and big government and just be good to each other a little more. If you listen to it with that in mind you might be like “Oh, okay….I get it”….(laughs).
LRI: Obviously the title track “Resurrect Me” has a pretty deep meaning to you personally but you could also easily apply that phrase to what the album and this project are doing for your career and your reinvention.
Pamela: You know, the last four years that I’ve been writing this album I have been going through a lot of personal changes just like Queensryche has, things like relationships and also my career. Those kind of things connected to me are just bound to come out of my writing during the creative process. When I’m trying to process my heart and my head that usually comes out in the creative process as well. The reason that we wanted to call the album “Resurrect Me” was because we really thought that was a standout song at that time and it was also a bit of a pun about my past and where I’ve been, the character I’ve played Sister Mary and her plight and the theatre show we did. You’re right though, it is almost also a resurrection of sorts for me to be solidly back in the rock realm after going through the various things I’ve gone through personally and musically. I’m back to where I want to be.
LRI: I think that you need to get out there and tour with your old pals from Queensryche. The odd thing is, interest in Queensryche has never been higher so your timing of the album being delayed worked out perfectly….
Pamela: (laughs). It’s so weird. I know, I wanted this album out two years ago but here we are. As for playing the material live, believe me, we definitely want to play dates and will whenever possible. I would love to open some shows for the guys if they would be interested in having me and I think it would be a great bill but it is just funny how it’s all played out.
Pamela will be appearing alongside many artists including Queensryche April 7-12 at CRUISE TO THE EDGE www.cruisetotheedge.com