Carisa Bianca Mellado. Mysterious musician and sometimes terrifying vocally, Carisa spans the styles akin to 80s goth rock to the melodic stylings of black opera. Exploring stories that call to the unexpressed desires of fantasy creatures and sometimes the desires of our own that we dare not utter out loud, the Journey of each album is not without reward.
Carisa is offering fans of The Goblin Ball her pre release album at an advance price of $7 USD! Proceeds from the prerelease sale go toward funding her UK performance and the album is available for download NOW!
Interview after the jump and Video for Human Things at the bottom
I first met Carisa in St Kilda back in 2005 At the Blue Angel Centre for well being where I was soon to commence a year long stint as the resident Tarot reader. Little did I know we would soon embark on an otherworldly journey of artistic expression and tormented buildings. Through our years of Friendship Carissa and I spent our time exploring Melbourne’s haunted houses and numerous live performances of her then band The Time of The Assassins. After Carisa relocated to Los Angeles (and I to Vancouver) our friendship continues over brief coffees between connecting flights at LAX and lunch on Hollywood Boulevard.
From authoring Ask An Angel Oracle cards by Toni Carmine Salerno to her two solo albums that explore extremely different subject matters, Carisa creates a conduit for her characters to explore and engage with the listener. I took some time to catch up with Carisa and explore where her life journey was taking her.
Let’s start with your album The New Queen. I am in love with this album and it’s intensity. I played it every Halloween in Vancouver. The first track War lulls you into a false sense of fairytale and then you are stabbed in the head with the following track The New Queen. What inspired you to compose such an epic tale of violence and betrayal?
I became really fascinated with pre-rennaisance sound. As a singer it was amazing to me that instruments other than the voice were considered evil by the church and the styles of songwriting were so bizarre and dissonant. It was fascinating to me to have to go to a primal listening space within to uncover what was there in the beginning. It was really fascinating to me that when the black death plague came and wiped out so much of Europe, people began to question the nature of life, death and science more and as this awakening happened our ears changed. Before that awakening there was just a strange, mystery, darkness.
The world, life and death was all faith and mystery. I was really inspired by a film called Queen Margot and the film became a source of inspiration. Both the characters of Catherine De Medici and Margot were fascinating. Catherine as a woman who had become insane out of fear of losing power and safety and guided her son to instigate one of the worst massacres of all time; the massacre of St Bartholomew's Day.
Margot, who was sexually shared by her brothers and a victim and developed sexual cravings as a result, going down into the streets and sleeping with strangers. The theme was madness that came in searching for meaning, that desperation.
Over the span of the album it all breaks down and what is left is to give up the fight and surrender to a higher source. I was extremely interested in understanding the shadow aspects of sexuality. I think in a fundamental way the album is also the expression of rage at the feelings of rejection. There is a pleasurable side of female sexuality that involves becoming objectified and becoming the prey.
There is shame in talking about that and it is a definite shadow aspect but it's there. I think when this aspect is out of balance in either direction it can turn into a form of madness, deprivation, rejection and desperation. She's searching for meaning, connection and ultimately love.
Your new album Kore is similar in tone to begin with however we are taken in another direction. The track Human Things reminds me of when I used to stay up late as a child of the 80s and listen to the goth playing radio stations without my parents knowing. How did you manage to capture that etherial feeling?
Kore was a really different project for me. The word means 'maiden' and that's basically what it is about. I was a kid in the 80's and the 80's influenced me a lot. I love pop music. Pop influenced me and I wanted an album that was closer to the albums I grew up listening to. I love jazz and eastern music and I think there's an influence of that style in there that might add to it's ethereal nature.
I was really in the space of a pretty honest and open energy when I wrote these songs. It starts with Birth, a heartbeat and goes on the journey of awakening, falling in love, the nature of desire, losing the self, going into the underworld, finding the self again, rebirth, ascension to a higher state of consciousness and love. Into The Barbwire Dream Again, The Twice Born and Dawn were actually written when I was a teenager. It was really special for me to do versions of them now.
The New Queen explores a Royal line of a family in the year 1608. Kore explores the story of a Sirian Dolphin Princess who goes through the underworld transition to a human girl. How do you find inspiration for such multidimensional characters and mythos?
The truth is, I kind of do believe I am an incarnated Sirian Dolphin Princess (laughs). I have had this story in my mind since I was a teenager and I had been trying to understand my weird crippling phobia of dolphins and whales. There are stories out there about how dolphins and whales come from Sirius and how people incarnated from the higher dimensional fields of Sirius into Earth. It always felt like a very accurate story for me and in my mind I always got a clear picture and understanding of everything to do with Sirius.
Whether it's literally true or mythically true doesn't matter to me because the result is the same. I have the sense that me and every other human has incarnated from a higher space where we were full shining embodiments of ourselves and we are born here to learn and ultimately share that light with others. I think a lot of wisdom can be found in mythology. Joseph Campbell is my biggest hero and I recommend his work on mythology to everyone. My personal mythology is informed a lot by paying attention to colours and styles that are standing out to me at a certain time. It always starts with a mood and is fleshed out from there.
Your next journey is to the UK to perform your new album live. This is such an amazing opportunity. From Pony in Melbourne, to LA and now to the UK your life seems to be a forever path forward. What do you hope to experience in the UK?
I'm excited to play and record with some incredible musicians over there, most notably Nick Hudson, who I've been a fan of for many years. I'm looking forward to working with really incredible classical musicians and collaborating and recording with Nick Hudson.
Kore is available at the advance price of $7 USD! Proceeds from the prerelease sale go toward funding the UK performance Kore is available for download NOW! Tracks from Kore may be played in The Goblin Marketplace and we can't wait for you to experience the magic on the night!
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