1. When we last spoke, you told me that you had never performed with a metal band before. Now that you’ve done a few shows with Hell Ever After, what have your experiences been like?
My first time performing with HEA I was terrified! It was something so far out of my comfort zone I had zero idea what to expect. I will admit I needed some liquid courage go get me on the stage but after it was over I was really surprised at how many compliments I was receiving from both audience members and my bandmates! The next two shows after that I felt much more confident going into them and I think it really shows when I walk on stage now.
2. Has rehearsing with a metal band inspired any new techniques within your approach to operatic/classical vocals?
Honestly, I don’t think my approach to vocals has changed all too much. I will say that I have explored stretching my “chest voice” a bit higher to get my sound across as sometimes my voice can become overwhelmed by the other elements of the band.
3. I understand you will be leaving the band, and leaving town soon to pursue mortuary school. How did you first develop interest in this field and can you talk about any interesting situations you’ve already been a part of as a mortician?
The golden question! Funeral directing is something that was in my family in the past although it skipped a generation. My maternal grandfather worked as a funeral director in Westchester county for many years and I have memories of tagging along with him in the hearse and hanging out in the casket showroom as a kid. Growing up exposed to this industry took away the fear that most people develop regarding death. I always knew I wanted to be involved in the service industry, so I decided that this was a way to do that in the most meaningful way.
Last summer I completed an internship at a local crematory where I gained a wealth of experiential knowledge of the field. Being unlicensed there were some things I was not permitted to do, but I had the opportunity to shadow some amazing people in the industry and had many of my random industry related questions answered. I am both terrified and excited to start this new chapter but I think it will be a truly rewarding career.
4. Have you gotten into any new metal bands over the past year or so as a result of performing with Hell Ever After?
I’m sorry to disappoint but I can’t say that I have. I did watch the movie Metal Lords on Netflix recently though and I found the main character very relatable as he started off completely unfamiliar with metal but found himself playing in the band!
5. What concerts have you attended since Covid restrictions have been widely lifted?
I know I mentioned him in my previous interview, I was super excited to have seen Sullivan King at the Town Ballroom this winter. I also was able to catch Rezz at Buffalo Riverworks. My favorite show that I have seen post covid restrictions was Liquid Stranger at the Ballroom. His visuals and innovative bass sound is just MUAH *chef kiss*
6. Of all the live shows you’ve done with Hell Ever After so far, which has been your favorite and why?
Our most recent show at Rockin’ Buffalo was definitely my favorite. Not only was it the most confident I have felt on stage with HEA, I felt like the chemistry we had as a band was just incredible. The audience was clearly enjoying the show and I think that helped to make it even better in the moment.
7. Would you rejoin the band after school if you had the time, or are you permanently leaving Buffalo?
Right now it’s really difficult to tell what the future holds for me musically. I do plan to return to WNY after school, however the life of a funeral director is a busy one. I would like to make it happen but I also respect the time and effort of my bandmates and do not wish to be a flake. Regardless of what happens next, I will always hold my experience with HEA very near to my heart!
8. What’s the inspiration or story behind the chair you sit in during live shows? I’m also curious about the props surrounding you.
I LOVE my electric chair!!! Back in 2019 I suffered a sports injury that I decided to push through until the end of my time at Buff State. After continuing to abuse my ligaments for a few more years it was decided that surgery was necessary to repair what we thought was just a partially torn ACL. It turned out I had a fully torn ACL, both lateral and medial meniscus tears, and arthritis as the cherry on top. My surgery was on May 6th, exactly a week prior to our double header weekend. Needless to say, I wasn’t going to be able to stand on stage for those shows. Luckily, Lawrence already had the idea of a prop chair so my inconvenience was the perfect excuse for that vision to come to life!
9. What sort of other musical endeavors have you gotten involved with recently? Or, would you say that all music is on hold for you at the present time?
I was very thankful to have been a part of the Buffalo State College Chorale for multiple semesters throughout my college experience. My final concert with that ensemble this semester was likely my last choral performance until further notice which makes me super sad. Choir has always been my little slice of peace during such stressful semesters. If I find that HVCC has a performing ensemble I can definitely see myself becoming a part of it should my schedule allow that.
*taken from our July 2022 Hell Ever After Revisited Issue available on Amazon and at select Buffalo-Rochester stores
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