Pearl Aday is a dynamic singer/songwriter who has toured the world as a backing vocalist for Meat Loaf and Motley Crue. Now Pearl steps into the solo spotlight with the release of her debut album Little Immaculate White Fox and as the opening act for legends like Heart and Velvet Revolver. Pearl kindly joined Artist Spotlight to discuss her new album, her new tour, and her support of The Painted Turtle camp for children with life-threatening illnesses.
What is the greatest inspiration for your songs? Are you more inspired to write during tragedy or triumph?
- On this album I'd go more with the old saying, "misery breeds creativity". The songs on this album are particularly cathartic for me having been written during some of the hardest emotional times in my young life. Although, I've always agreed with my dad that even though a song may have been written with a particular subject in mind, it's your job to convey those words and melodies to your audience the best you can, but let them relate it to them selves, create their own story around it, make it their own.
I lost my mom to cancer a few years ago, so your song "Mama" especially touches my heart. Do you have a favorite song on "Little Immaculate White Fox" or a song that is particularly dear to your heart?
- Mama is top on my list. It's a song that's just so close to me, and in my blood, and the sentiment is something I live and feel everyday of my life. I actually wrote that song after a beautiful day I had with my mom, and then realizing it was just a bright window in the long and dark hallway ahead.
What is your all-time favorite song (by another artist)?
- Wow. That's almost impossible to answer. That's like choosing which hand you'd like to keep attached to your body.
Is there any artist you dream of performing with someday?
- Bonnie Raitt has always been one of my idols. She is amazing. I'd, of course, absolutely love to sing with her. Steven Tyler, Chris Robinson, Pat Benatar, Cyndi Lauper, Paul Rogers, Roger Daltrey, Stevie Nicks, and Robert Plant would be up there at the top of the list, among many others.
What message would you like your music to convey to the listener?
- I'm not sure there's a message per say, but more of a feeling. The stage is the only place where I feel safe enough to be completely open emotionally, to just feel free to express and be. I'd like for my audiences to feel the same for themselves. It's rock and roll. It should make you move and groove and and scream at the top of your lungs if that's what you want or need to do, whether you have a smile on your face or tears in your eyes. It's all ok.
Name five adjectives to describe your personality.
- Open, driven, stubborn, observant, nurturing
Name five adjectives to describe your music.
- Rock, and roll, and rock, and roll, and rock...
Name five performers who have influenced you the most as an artist.
- Tina Turner, Steven Tyler, Janis Joplin, Meat Loaf and Diana Ross.
You have performed for charities like The Painted Turtle children's camp. Can you tell us more about the charities you support?
- The Painted Turtle is a charity that my father introduced me to. Amazing. What a blast it was to win that $500,000 for them. I am so proud to have had that opportunity!
How has your husband, Scott Ian, influenced your music?
- Scott has definitely lent some of the harder edge on the album. Since we've been together I've learned so much about the metal world, and in turn I've turned him on to artists like Delaney and Bonnie, Gram Parsons, and Otis Redding.
For nine years, you toured as a backing vocalist for your dad, Meat Loaf. What did you learn while performing with him?
- Growing up watching my dad perform, and then actually sharing the stage with him has given me so much as a performer. I think two of the top things I've learned from him are, #1: Performing is a privilege it is not a right. Those audiences are there to see you give them a show. Without them you'd have no show. You are there in that spotlight because your audience wants to see you share, and to be lead on a journey. It's your job to help them escape. #2: Always give your audience one thousand-million percent. It doesn't matter if there are 5 people or 500,000 you always give it everything you got.
Also, from both Dad and Patti Russo, I've learned how to pull my vocal power from my guts. The two of them are such unstoppable, powerful vocalists.
Please describe your experiences performing as a backup singer for Motley Crue and Sixx A.M.
- Touring with Motley was one of the best times of my life. Having been a rabid fan since I was a kid, I was pinching myself every night sharing the stage with them. The vibe backstage was at times appropriately mischievous as you'd expect from those guys.
I can't say I actually toured with Sixx A.M.. Nikki called me about a month before their first press conference and introduction to the public with the book and album for "The Heroin Diaries". We were in rehearsal for about two weeks prior,then performed the press conference, and after that we rehearsed more for a one-off we did in Salt Lake City as direct support for Korn. After that, they went on to tour with Crue Fest for which I had to bow out because my band had the opportunity to tour as direct support in the UK for Velvet Revolver. I loved working with Nikki, D.J. and James. The music was great, and I always like being the only girl allowed in the boys club.
Which performance do you consider the highlight of your career, thus far?
- At this point that would have to be our appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live this past January. We've only just begun, and that was a big deal for us.
Please tell us more about your US, UK, and European tours?
- We'll be touring the U.S. from the middle of April through mid to late May 2010. Tour dates are posting now at http://www.myspace.com/pearl
The UK/Europe dates are still currently being scheduled, but we'll be doing club dates in between some of the major summer festivals, and possibly opening for a major A-list act...
Stay tuned to those sites. All tour dates and info will be posting shortly.
PEARL'S ADVICE FOR ASPIRING YOUNG ARTISTS:
Do it because you can't NOT do it. Do it because you love it it with your whole self. Sing everywhere and for anyone. Never stop. Never take no for an answer. Stay true to yourself. Remember that performing on stage for an audience, whether it's 2 people or 2 million, is a privilege and not a right. You owe your audience 1,000,000% effort every time you step on that stage. Write every lyric idea down no matter how dumb you think it is. You'll never use a lot of them, but you'd be surprised at how many old pieces fit into new ideas and become gems. Sing from your heart and your gut. Know your lyrics. Don't over think when you're singing. Tell a story. Share your gift. Hold your head up and shine.
- Wow, thank you so much. All I really want is to share and communicate and get down while I'm doing it.
Cheers, love, rock,
Thanks to Pearl for sharing her time and talent. Check out Pearl's albums Little Immaculate White Fox and The Swing House Session: Live & Acoustic.
Visit http://myspace.com/pearl and http://cheersloverock.com/
For more information about The Painted Turtle children's camp, please visit http://thepaintedturtle.org/turtle/