Young songwriter Klaryssa Nicole (aka Chamber Of Echoes) from Fullerton, CA has entered the studio with Jay Gordon (Orgy) and Jay Baumgardner (Linkin Park, Linkin Park) to produce a debut EP which will be out later this year. We grabbed at the chance for a raw and honest chat with the passionate artist about what has brought her to this point.
S] How does it feel to be working with Jay Gordon and Jay Baumgardner and how have they helped you develop your sound?
Klaryssa] This whole process has actually been a surreal, unbelievable experience that I am truly grateful for. I have been a fan of Jay Gordon since I was a kid, and he has been a huge influence on me musically. Also I have admired Jay Baumgardner’s production work for many years, and he has worked with and produced many of my top favourite artists. When all of this began, it was just a real shock that I got to work with both of them, and that they were willing to help develop my craft and be my musical mentors. I am very fortunate, and this has been the greatest experience of my life.
As far as the sound development part, a lot has changed from what I used to sound like. At first I was really stubborn because I am very strong in my artistic conviction. Before I worked with my producers, I wrote, played, programmed, sang and engineered everything myself; I was basically a one-chick band that delved within the Industrial, Ethereal and Goth genres, and I was very experimental when it came to song-writing. When they stepped into the picture, many things drastically changed, and now my music has evolved into more of an alternative pop-rock sound, with some Industrial ambiances and distorted drum loops that peek through on occasion. Instead of the songs being based around programming, they were restructured with a live band on the new recordings, and then I put programming back into the space that was left available. The producers really stretched my vocal range and ability, and pushed me up a couple of octaves. Also, much of the lyrical content was changed because they felt that my vocabulary and subject matter needed to be simplified in order to appeal to the masses.The reason why they turned me in this direction is because they felt that I needed to have some sort of crossover appeal to be successful to the mainstream market, and I’m not gonna lie, it was a bloodbath at times.
Though my sound is changing on the EP, in the future, I am going to write, play and program what feels natural to me, but I will infuse many key elements and techniques they have taught me to better my songwriting. At times it felt like I lost much of my artistic control, but I realize that they only changed my sound to make me marketable to labels, and because they thought this was the best option for me that would ultimately lead to commercial success. While the new sound is different, I am happy with the results. It was quite frightening at first to not have had complete creative control, but it’s widely known that every new artist goes through this, and contrasting the new sound with the old actually shows my versatility and adaptability as an artist. I was told “This EP is your Pretty Hate Machine, you can have your Downward Spiral later…”
S] How will the new ‘Lock and Key’ EP expand on the themes and ideas you have dealt with on previous material?
Klaryssa] The themes presented on the EP are actually just revised renditions off of the songs that were my original demos. Much of what I write about is based on the human condition; re-occurring themes of loneliness, rejection, isolation, questioning of existence, death and loss, obsession, romantic idealism, and revenge. However, since the lyrical content has changed and developed, listeners may not necessarily recognize those previous themes. You can still hear and feel the emotions, and some metaphors are still present, but the subject matter is now geared towards a younger demographic instead of an adult audience. Because of this, topics range anywhere from seclusion, angst, abusive relationships, ardor for androgynous boys, and cries for attention from those I am infatuated with.
S] How did you find your live band, and what are you most looking forward to about taking your outfit out live?
Klaryssa] [Laughs] I am still working on the whole live band situation. I have quite a few people that are willing to make this happen, and are very skilled as performers themselves, but I am still auditioning people. I found some of them by going to shows, or I worked with them previously on the EP, I was introduced to others through mutual friends, and even found some online. I want to make sure that I find musicians that are just as passionate about music as I am, and are not in it for just the money or the fame. I am ecstatic to finally be able to perform as Chamber of Echoes, and bring my music to life as both a singer and a musician, as well as play live with other musicians. I can’t wait to connect and communicate with my audience, and be able strike emotion in the hearts of people. I am also excited to begin showcasing for labels in the Spring. To be able to hear and feel my songs unfolding live is a very moving experience.
S] As a result of you new relationships, have you been asked to do any guest spots on the new Orgy record when it surfaces?
Klaryssa] [Laughs] well, not really. As far as right now, Orgy is still on hiatus. Jay Gordon is currently busy helping produce and develop other artists, and also DJs for events, while Ryan (Shuck) and Amir (Derakh) have branched off into Julien-K. Jay and I have still remained friends, and I assume we will continue to work on more material in the future. I have made other new relationships that I am excited about, and those relationships allow me to have the opportunity to be a songwriter for other artists and work on potential side-projects.
For more information visit the Chamber Of Echoes Myspace.