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ROCKWIRED INTERVIEWS MARISSA MISHELLE

SWEET EX-SIXTEENER
REALITY TV STAR MARISSA MISHELLE
TALKS TO ROCKWIRED
ABOUT HER E.P. 'ONE FROM THE HEART'
BEING ON THE VANS WARPED TOUR
AND BEING EXILED IN INDIA
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INTERVIEWED BY BRIAN LUSH
Music is filled with little princesses stepping up to the rock plate for the purpose of  either wanting to be taken seriouusly as an artist (PINK, ALANIS MORISSETTE), or simply getting some cutesy, vanity project out there for people to scoff at (BIJOU PHILLIPS, KELLY OSBOURNE). At the moment, it's difficult for me to tell what category the former 'MY SUPER SWEET 16' - star MARISSA MISHELLE falls into, but after listeners to a few cuts off of her debut E.P. 'ONE FROM THE HEART', it is clear that this petite collection of pop rock kiss offs to asshole boyfriends, comes straight from the the CD's titular heart.  Coinciding with the E.P.'s release and MARISSA's new found musical direction (she released a pop single in 2007 called 'JUST SO ABLE') is MARISSA's appearance on the spin-off to the MTV reality series 'MY SUPER SWEET 16' - 'EXILED', which finds the "ex-sixteener" shipped off to India without a toilet or shower in sight. Recently, she's been seen cutting her eye teeth in front of that often hard-to-please rock crowd for this past summer's VANS WARPED TOUR. Clearly this is a princess that doesn't mind getting dirty.

ROCKWIRED spoke to MARISSA MISHELLE over the phone. Here is how it went.

How did the VANS WARPED TOUR go?
It was great. It just ended a couple of weeks ago, but it was so much fun. It was one of the best experiences ever. It's just a bunch of craziness - like a big carnival with all of the bands and everything going on. It was awesome.

It is a little different than what you are used to musically, right?
Not really. I've heard all of the bands before and everything, but it is definitely a different experience in terms of performing. You're there at nine in the morning to check in and you don't know what time you're going to play. You find that out every single morning that you sign in, so you have to be ready to roll at eleven or you might not be on until seven-thirty. The times change every day. It's so much fun though and the element of surprise to it is just awesome.

Who did you enjoy hanging out with the most while you were on this tour?
I got to meet some really cool people. On one of the dates I got to dance with KEVIN LYMAN, who is the main guy on the tour and at the final barbeque, our guitar player JOSH got to play guitar with guys from REEL BIG FISH and with someone from PENNYWISE. It was the best experience ever. I met the guy from ANBERLIN and he is just the nicest guy I ever met. I got to meet some really amazng people.

In reading your press it talks about how your choice of music with this current band that you have. It calls your new sound surprsing. Why is that?
I would consider it surprising because  it's got the rock edge to it, yet my voice is a little more pop. I think it's a really cool and different thing and I think people are really going to dig this new sound, so I'm really excited about getting into the studio and get a couple of new songs out.

SO this E.P. 'ONE FROM THE HEART' is just a sample of what is to come. Is their full length LP in the works?
'ONE FOM THE HEART' is a couple of songs that I wrote with an old partner and now I'm going in this new direction and working with other people and trying out new and different things.

What drew you to music in the beginning?
I've always been into music. I think the first time that I was on stage singing, I was five years old and singing in front of five hundred people and ever since then, I think I was hooked. I have a little bit of a musical theater background. I've always loved singing, but getting into the band world and all of the touring is just this whole other experience. It's a thrill! It's the best feeling in the world.

Growing up, what music spoke to you?
I'm the kind of person that listens to all kinds of music. Right now, on my i-pod, I've got everything from THE BEATLES to PARAMORE to CARRIE UNDERWOOD. I like taking my influences from everything and turning it into something new that people can relate to.

What got you to the point of wanting to write songs for this E.P. with this other person.
HE and I just sat down one day after meeting each other randomly. We wanted to try out some writing and see how well we worked together. Literally, the songs were coming out really quickly. We wrote probably about ten or eleven songs together and things were just really good. I would write the melodies and the lyrics and he would write all of the guitar riffs. It was really fun. Now I'm working with  different people and and trying to get into the moment and really trying to feel the music.

Who was this mysterious songwriting and partner and what do you think that he brought out of you that you don't think you could've done on your own?
His name was MIKE OLIVER. He was the first person that I was ever in a band with, so being able to have someone to rely on and have my back was just a great learning experience.

Where do you think that some of these songs came from; for instnace 'WORDS DON'T MEAN A THING'?
'WORDS DON'T MEAN A THING' has a lot to do with my personal experiences. I'm sure every girl has gone through situations where guys talk a lot and make you feel good and say what they think you want to hear. It's all just words and half th time, they don't even know what they're saying.

You've got another song called TAKE IT BACK AWAY. How many break ups have you been in already?
I think that song is just about having new experiences and wanting to try new things and not dwelling on the past.

You are one of a flux of artists that I have been interviewing lately that is on a reality TV show.
Reality TV seems to be the way to go right now.

Especially for recording artists. It's no longer enough to get a song on the radio or a video out there. You have to have a reality show.
Pretty much.

Talk about this show 'EXILED'.
'EXILED' is a spin off show of the MTV reality series 'MY SUPER SWEET 16', which I was a part of when I was sixteen. With EXILED, what they do is ship off these girls to different countries and I was shipped off to India and lived in a village with a tribe in the middle of the jungle. It was actually really amazing. What they do is, they put you in different situations and assign you different tasks within the community . I was with this tribe living in a mud hut and experiencing what they go through every day. I think it's a show that people are going to be able to take a lot out of and see what great experiences I had as well as the other girls.

Talk about that a little more. When you signed on to ddo this show, did you know ahead of time where they were going to send you or was it all a mystery until it was announced somehow.
It was a big surprise. They sat me down with my parents and a couple of my friends and told me that I was going to India and that I was leaving tomorrow. I knew the show was called 'EXILED' for a reason and I had to get a bunch of shots when I signed on to do the show, but I really had no idea where I was going exactly. I didn't know much  about India, but I did know few things, like they speak twenty two different languages there.

And it's hot as hell at certain times of the year, and it's overpopulated and it's got a lot of poverty. I'm sure when you heard the news that all of this was going through your head.
It wasn't a bad thing. I've always been interested in world travel. I've been to Brazil and I really enjoy seeing that other element of life and how other people live. I was actually pretty excited to go but it was a big surprise when I got there because there were no bathrooms or showers. I was showering in a bucket. It's a totally different experience. I wasn't expecting any of that at all.

How do you think this is going to look on television?
I think it's going to look really cool. In the beginning, the show sort of makes me out to be this brat but I think people are going to see what a growing experience it was. I hope the experience will be good for my music as well.

In what way?
I got to sing a few times on the show and that was really neat. I got to sing with PERNILLA who is this girl that I had been living with and we got to share great stories. She really enjoyed singing too and I got to sing with the kids in the villages. It was really fun and really amazing.

You hinted earlier that you are working with different people on these new songs that you are working on. Are there any hints about what will be different this time?
I think this time, it's going to be driving music that's going to be totally fun. I think people are going to love dancing to it. It's still going to have that rock element to it. I think it's going to something that people are really going to dig.

With this current E.P., what would yuop like a person to come away with after they heard it?
I really want someone to take the lyrics and feel the music and walk out feeling better about doing day to day things. Life isn't perfect and things aren't always going turn out exactly as you pictured them, so I hope the music helps people connect and lets them know that they're not alone and that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.