Vocal Coach to the Metal Stars Reveals Her Favorite Metal Moments and Some Tips, Too!
Whip shopping with Lamb of God‘s Randy Blythe? Haunted houses with Dani Filth? It’s all in a day’s work for New York City-based voice teacher Melissa Cross, who is known for her work with some of the biggest names in metal! Visit www.melissacross.com and see her list of clients, a ‘who’s who’ of metal superstars, ranging from Every Time I Die to All That Remains to Machine Head to even Courtney Love! Any metal vocalist worth his salt visits Cross. She told Noisecreep some of her favorite moments with her clients.
Whippin’ it with Randy Blythe: “Most people know that Randy has a hobby of collecting of whips, like bullwhips. He collects them. He wanted some whips. I had no idea where he could find these except in the West Village. We go to these shops and we find one, bring it to the register and the girl asks me, ‘Is this for you or him?’ I said, ‘It’s for both us! I am his mother!”
Haunted Houses with Cradle of Filth’s Dani Filth: “Dani is one of my favorite clients, because he is so funny. I was in Lincolnshire, helping him during ‘Thornography,’ in the middle of the English country. I swear the place was haunted. I was in a haunted facility with Dani Filth! It was like ‘Spinal Tap!’ I have read Wiccan stuff in an academic way, so I utilized that terminology in that house!”
Cross also offered some advice for aspirant metal singers, from a philosophical and physical perspective, saying, “You can’t buy this at Hot Topic. Don’t try to imitate this. If it’s in your soul and you feel you will die if you don’t express it , do it because you have to! This is a tough job. From a technical point of view, learn how to express rage from your heart by stabilizing your body. So in two words, don’t push.” She reveals that she teaches her clients how not to overuse their vocal folds, saying, “I instill the technique via their imagination and images that operate the coordination without thinking about it.” The clients have homework, so to speak, in the form of speech warm ups, singing warm ups and auxiliary warm ups. She even records exercises for their iPods.