Wednesday, December 1

Melissa Etheridge keeps the old fire alive on new album One Way Out

On her new album One Way Out, rock legend Melissa Etheridge brings passion to songs she was once afraid to share.

In the songwriter’s code, there is no statute of limitations for writing songs about your exes, according to revered American rock star Melissa Etheridge.

“I think that, as an artist, we are allowed to write about whatever we want. It’s art! “She says.

When she was compiling a retrospective box in 2013, the songwriter unearthed a treasure trove of works she wrote in the late 1980s and early 1990s, as her career skyrocketed around the world beginning with her groundbreaking self-titled debut album.

It was a time when she was finding her voice as an artist and before she came out and committed to being a loud and proud advocate for the LGBTQ community.

“When I found them, I wondered why I wasn’t putting them in my records back then. What was wrong with me? she says.

“And I realized that there was a lot of fear involved. These were written before I came out. And he was much more afraid of speaking forcefully than he is now.

“The songs that I found like As Cool As You Try and Save Myself, those feminist songs, I didn’t feel so comfortable sharing them back then. And now there is no problem. “

Etheridge decided to breathe new life into her old songs with the band members and studio team she worked with in those early years for her new album One Way Out.

He was lucky to find the prints in the first place. Countless master tapes and digitized film and record files were lost in a devastating fire that swept through Universal Studios in Los Angeles in 2008.

“I walked into Universal’s vaults and luckily mine didn’t burn,” he says.

“I was able to find my old tapes and digitize them. Going through all the old songs was a cathartic experience. “

The One Way Out project, along with her live broadcast shows for fans, kept her sane not only during the confinement but also after the overdose death in May last year of her 21-year-old son Beckett with his ex-partner Julie. Cypher after a long battle with opioid addiction.

“Music saved me. When Covid first came along, I thought I’d do these 15-minute Facebook things for fun until this is over. And it lasted 58 days straight and I really enjoyed it because I was going through my entire catalog, ”he says.

“And then my son died. So I had to take a break and rethink everything.

“During that time, I decided that I really wanted to learn more about broadcasting and technology, cameras and sound.

“After my son died, that really healed me, getting out of bed every day to build the studio, and when we started again at the end of June last year, the fans subscribed and we built this community of people singing. songs together.

“I was here with my wife and children, but many people were alone and bringing music to them helped to distract them for an hour and made them feel part of something.”

Hearing songs like I’m No Angel Myself and For The Last Time, written at a time when the music industry was not encouraging artists to publicly declare their sexuality for fear of alienating prejudiced fans, made Etheridge want to give your younger self a big hug.

“And not just coming out of the closet, but the frustrations in my relationship at the time, all of that,” he says.

“I wanted to say, ‘Oh no, you’re going to be fine. You will be fine. Just hang on. ‘

Etheridge remembers exactly why he put one of the album’s standout tracks, Wild Wild Wild, on the shelf in the late ’80s.

“I remember exactly why with that one because I hadn’t dated yet, they didn’t know me as a lesbian, and I felt like I was writing it from such a point of view that the other person I was singing to was obviously a woman,” she says.

“And at the last minute, I was like ‘yeah, I can’t do that.’ And I got out of there. “

The sonic time capsule is also infused with the energy of scorching, dynamic rock that propelled hits like Bring Me Some Water, Like The Way I Do, and I’m The Only on the world charts three decades ago.

Etheridge was determined to bottle that ray in the studio when they were reinventing the songs for the 2021 album even though her own emotional state, courtesy of wife Linda Wallem and her family, is in a much healthier condition than when she wrote them. for the first time.

“Yes, I wanted that passion, that fire.

“Look, I’m 60 years old now and I’m not in a bad relationship at all, I’m very happy and I don’t write those kinds of songs anymore.

“It was great to come back and live with them.”

One Way Out launches on Friday.

Originally posted as Melissa Etheridge keeps the old fire alive on new album One Way Out

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