The WiMN’s Front and Center is a weekly column that showcases accomplished women who work in the music and audio industries. We spotlight successful female performers, manufacturers, retailers, educators, managers, publicists, and everyone else in between. Want to be featured? Learn how here.
Front and Center: Award Winning Metal Singer and Songwriter, Pamela Moore
There is no arguing that Pamela Moore is a talented and serious musician with a powerfully striking set of pipes that will stop you right in your tracks.
You may remember her for her performance as Sister Mary on Queensrÿche’s 1988 release Operation: Mindcrime, which was so powerful that Billboard magazine said she “became enshrined in Queensrÿche’s legacy.”
When we heard her latest release Resurrect Me, she instantly wowed us with her vocal prowess and impressive range. And we’re not alone! Her album earned her numerous awards from well-respected entities in the metal community, and she was also bestowed with the 2013 Best Singer award by Classic Rock Bottom, tying with well-respected singer Richie Kotzen.
If you’re in aspiring singer, whether it be in metal, pop, classical or country, you can take a page or two from Moore’s book, as she is also a vocal coach in her native Seattle, Wash.
Listen for yourself below, and visit her website here for more info.
WiMN: Describe the moment and time you first realized you could sing.
PM: Oh gosh… maybe a more accurate question would be, “…When did you start singing” (laughing). My mother has said that when I was about three or four years old, I would constantly sing at the top of my lungs making up my own melodies and words that never made sense but I sure sang them proudly! That passion I just never grew out of, I guess (smile).
WiMN: Which singers or bands have had the most impact in your career?
PM: This question is always so difficult for me to answer because I find so many artists (men and women) who inspire me all the time! But, if we are talking about my earlier influences I would have to say the Wilson sisters of Heart.
As a teenager, I would be completely enthralled watching them perform. Nancy has such great presence and looks so damn sexy playing that guitar and singing. And her sister Ann? My God! The woman is SPECTACULAR, even to this day! Vocally she has power but can be tender; she has range, color and her expressive delivery is magical! Other songwriters? Many. Just too many to mention. Seriously, my taste in music is very eclectic and open to so many genres of music.
WiMN: Do you think the metal scene is friendly to women? Feel free to elaborate.
PM: Ugh. I seem to grapple with this question even more so as I mature. Age seems to be more of the culprit but women in general seem to bare the burden at a higher level visually than do men. Perhaps the ‘metal’ community can be a bit of a good ‘ole boys club, too, but women are powerful beings. We can rock and we can roll, and there is no reason not to do so! It is what it is… be smart, hold your head high, don’t forget to smile, give a little wink and by all means wear that sexy little outfit if you want (smile)!!!
WiMN: You recently launched the Pamela Moore Icon Design Contest. Did you select the winner? If so, when will you reveal the final design?
PM: No winner just yet… I’ve received some really great idea’s but I feel the Icon/Symbol should be a very definitive design that resonates with me and my brand. So, I’m keeping it open until the right one pops up! I have faith it will happen! No hurries…
WiMN: We LOVE your latest album, Resurrect Me. You’re truly a trailblazer for women in prog rock. Tell us about the creative process for the album – did you write, produce, etc.?
PM: Thank you so much. Resurrect Me was truly a labor of love. It took nearly four years to finish but the positive response has been overwhelming, very emotional and validating! I feel very fortunate and blessed.
During those four years, I had a lot of growing up to do. I was experiencing a very painful divorce, moving from my hometown of Seattle to Chicago, then moving back only a couple of years later. Life got in the way, but for me became the perfect “breeding ground” for the songwriting process. Needless to say, I was feeling a lot!
Michael Posch and I wrote all of the songs on the album except for the song “Breaking Down,” which I co-wrote with my dear friend, Brooke Lizotte. Michael and I also co-produced the CD along with his friend Mark Alano and Chuck Macek. It was Chuck who also mixed the record. Because I moved back home, we were forced to write the material long distance which worked pretty well, actually.
Thanks to technology, Michael would send over his music files filled with these wonderful, guitar riff-laden, musical compositions! I would write and record my melody and lyric idea’s, move around the format if I had to, then send the files back to Michael. I loved the whole process. Am looking forward to doing it again…
WiMN: Name three bands you’d love to go on tour with.
PM: Oh my goodness! Honestly, I’d love to be on a festival tour! Especially in Europe! I remember performing many festivals while touring with Queensrÿche in the past and the energy was unbelievable! Plus, I feel my brand of rock would be a perfect fit with the European Metal/Hard rock based market. Of course, supporting Queensrÿche would be a no brainer… I could jump on stage with them, too (smile)!
WiMN: You also teach vocal lessons in the Seattle community. What styles of music do you teach, and do you have a lot of women learning metal vocal techniques?
PM: I’ve been a vocal coach for a while now and blessed with some amazing students. I tend to be asked for training in the pop/rock/country styles as opposed to classical training… not because I don’t agree with classical training (base work from a classical teacher really helps develop breathing and resonating techniques) but a brighter sound is more acceptable in those genres so there is need to learn a new set of ‘placement’ skills.
Personally, I have had a lot of experience (good and bad) with these styles of music from my early days of club bands, so I am able to articulate alternative ways for the student to learn and develop. I must say, since I’ve been coaching, my own techniques as a singer have become better and the opportunity to give back what I have learned over the years is a very emotional win-win for me.
WiMN: What’s the best professional advice someone has ever given you?
PM: “Believe in yourself. Be true to yourself. Be an original. Never try to be someone you’re not. Never compare your life to someone else’s. Do what you love because you LOVE doing it and not for any other reason.” ..This is what I tell my students every day.
WiMN: Are you working on new material or any new exciting projects we should know about?
PM: Yes! I am currently writing material for my next solo CD and hope to have it completed this time next year or early spring 2016. I’ve also got a few more live shows booked for next year.
WiMN: Let’s wrap up with your favorite quote.
PM: “When life gives you lemons… squirt it in your enemies’ eyes!!” Kidding!!!! Seriously, I have a lot of wonderful quotes I’ve collected over the years but this one comes to mind for me today.
“Let the beauty of what you love be what you do” ~ Rumi