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QRD #36 - Valentine's Special - February 2008
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xo #3 - first time
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Valentine's Interviews with:
All in the Golden Afternoon
The Backsliders
Book of Shadows
California Oranges
Grappling Hook
Here Comes Everybody
List of Likes
My Glass Beside Yours
Northern Valentine
Paris Luna
Something About Vampires&Sluts
Shiny Around the Edges
Silk Stocking
The Wades
Windy & Carl
The Winter Sounds
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Valentine's Interview with Myotis
February 2008

Jason & Melissa have been together for about five years & been musically connected for the last four.  I know them from Grayland (whom recently disbanded) & now their main project is Myotis.  They enjoy their band very much.  It is a creative outlet that they need since they don’t necessarily get one in their day jobs.  They just want to do what they love doing & hope someone out there can appreciate it.

QRD – How do you turn music mode on & off in your relationship with each other?  Or do you find yourself pretty constantly collaborating on music even if it’s songs about cooking? 

Melissa – We have always been pretty good at separating them both.  We make sure that we have time just for us, outside of the band & our regular jobs.  I am very schedule oriented -- maybe too much sometimes; but it does allow us to say “band time” starts & ends at a certain time, & that’s when our time begins.

QRD – How has your music changed by having someone you’re romantically involved with working with you? 

Melissa – We write a lot of love songs & actually pretty positive music overall, & believe that comes from being in a strong relationship.  It’s not necessarily that we go into writing music to write love songs; but songs come from emotion & that is the strongest emotion that we have. 

QRD – How do you keep things professional rather than getting personal in the band?  Like not letting being upset that someone’s not doing their house chores spill into band practice? 

Melissa – We have gotten pretty good at it, with practice!  This is the second project we have done together, & we learned quite a bit about separating band & relationship from our last band Grayland.  We balance each other out pretty well – & there really are no personality conflicts in this project as opposed to the other, which helps out a lot.

QRD – Do you think working musically together increases the strength of your relationship?

Melissa – Most certainly.  A band is like another full time job, & it allows us to not only spend time with each other; but to really see the others creative side, which is a big turn on!  We enjoy the road trips for shows, getting ready for them, & we both thrive on performing on stage.  If we were not in a band together, or in different projects, our relationship would still be fine; but it would take a lot more work on both sides.

QRD – Do you think the music ever suffers because of your relationship? 

Melissa – Quite the opposite; since we live together, we always have someone to bounce ideas off of, or can practice together.  Since we are a 3-piece band, we always try to be considerate of our third member, & be as political as possible when it comes to ideas.  He’s in a great relationship as well, so for a Goth band, we’re all pretty happy.

QRD – Being in a romantic couple, do you try to curb lyrical content to or away from things in your relationship? 

Melissa – Not really ? we just write what we are feeling at that moment.  Songs many times are about your current emotions, but sometimes they are about things that have happened in the past.  We have written songs in the past where it sounds like the world is coming to an end, but they aren’t about what is happening currently, but maybe things that have happened in the past, or even thoughts about how things could have been, but typically they are pretty upbeat when the song is dealing with love or relationships.

QRD – A lot of families kind of look down on musicians as immature, do you find that going out with another musician has eased relationships with your parents or in-laws?

Melissa – Our families are unbelievably supportive of our music.  We both had been in bands prior to even knowing each other, so they are used to it.  We both are extremely grounded, & know that there is a time for everything like work, band, personal time, etc…  As far as maturity goes, we are probably one of the more chilled out bands around when it comes to the “band lifestyle.”

QRD – Which came first the musical collaboration or the relationship & do you feel that at this point that you could have one without the other? 

Melissa – The relationship came first, though we were in different bands before we knew one another.  When we moved to Richmond, that is when we first became involved with Grayland & while in that band, we started Myotis as a side project.  We could certainly have the relationship without the band, but music somehow will always be a part of our lives.  You have to have some type of outlet to keep you sane, & this is certainly ours.

QRD – How do things work with band members besides the two of you to get the same level of connectivity while playing your music? 

Melissa – We are very lucky with our third member Yancy.  We were good friends with him before we ever worked on music ? he was in another band.  So having that level of friendship first really makes a difference.  We are all romantics as well, so the bond & the connection between us all is pretty strong.

QRD – Do you find music related gifts to be romantic or more like giving someone an appliance? 

Melissa – We love our gear, but we both love clothes just as much or more!  When it comes to gift giving time, we also try to do some of both ? relationship gifts, & band related as well.  When in doubt, buy clothes!!

QRD – The musician life style has an inherent lack of financial security & healthcare.  Do you find yourself thinking, “How can we start a family & continue our musical careers?” 

Melissa – We both work full time & have good careers, & are doing pretty well.  Music is our outlet outside of our jobs.  We also like our family the way it is ? us, our dog Marley, & our cat Anelah.

QRD – Do you ever switch off instruments to give each other ideas? 

Melissa – With the nature of Myotis, we all do a bit of switching around, which helps quite a bit.  We have all sang lead vocals in other projects, so we all take turns singing, which hopefully keeps the audience guessing a bit.

QRD – A lot of people say they feel most spiritually connected to another person is when they’re on stage & the set is working.  Is this what you find & how does this energy flow into your romantic relationship? 

Melissa – Certainly!  A great show has an energy that is remarkable; & a bad one, well they hurt.  We could go into how a good show flows into the relationship, but the interview may begin to get a bit x-rated.  We’ll just say when a show is good, it’s all good; & when a show is bad, the relationship is still good!

QRD – Some couples start to get seen as a unit with one member as dominant.  Do you ever want to get one of you more recognition? 

Melissa – We are so chill that the dominant thing really doesn’t come up.  If anything sometimes we both are just too indecisive, but we certainly are good at pumping each other up, & helping to boost the other’s confidence.

QRD – Do you feel a need to have separate projects where you just work on your own? 

Melissa – Not yet, Myotis keeps us so busy right now that unless they add more hours to a day, we really couldn’t even begin to think about another project. 

QRD – Musicians often run into fans with crushes, is there a secret to recognizing when something is getting inappropriate instead of being band promoting? 

Melissa – Neither one of us ever expresses any other interest in fans other than genuine gratitude, friendship, & thanks.  We love that people like our music, & it gives us a great feeling inside that someone takes time to come see us, or listen to our music; but we know that we are together to stay.  It’s extremely evident to other people that we are a couple ? we’re very affectionate to one another.

QRD – Any advice for other musician couples?

Melissa – Just to have fun, trust one another, & have confidence in the relationship.  We think it’s important to do something together that you both enjoy, & we are very lucky that it is making music.