Hard Rock & Metal

Interview With Melanie Jo of Fortune Child

Interview With Melanie Jo of Fortune Child

XS ROCK: Tell me about the latest band news? Any new projects coming out, live shows or

We just released our debut album “Close to the Sun” which was produced by Kevin Elson ( Journey, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Mr. Big )

XS ROCK: So how long has the band been together?

We started a little over a year ago but myself ( Melanie Jo – Drums ) and Buddy ( guitarist ) having been working on writing songs for two years.

XS ROCK: What was your main motivation for originally starting or being in a band?

I’ve been a professional musician since I was 16. I’ve been the touring drummer for Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top and have played with Slash and Nancy Wilson of Heart. Music and playing music is my whole life, it’s all I know. I have always been the drummer for someone never in my own band, then when I met Buddy and we started jamming I knew we had to start an original band. We just feed off each other’s playing so well. Then when we got Christian and Jon everything fell into place.

XS ROCK: What is your music background?
I have a degree in jazz drumming but I like rock n roll. I’m influenced by John Bonham and Stewart Copland, but also drummers like Eric Moore and Thomas Pridgen.

XS ROCK: What image do you think your music conveys?
High energy with rippin guitar solos and loud drums and bringing back that old school 70’s vibe.

XS ROCK: What are your current music career goals?
To tour the world with the band, I love playing music in a different place everyday. If I could be on the road everyday, I would, it’s where I feel at home.

XS ROCK: Which do you prefer? Writing new songs and recording or playing for a live audience?
Playing live for sure, I feed off the crowd. I play way different live then I do on recordings. I change up the drumming all the time so you never know what you’re gonna that night. lol

XS ROCK: What are your songs’ lyrics about? (What specific themes do they cover?)
Christian does a great job with lyrics. I actually interpreted his lyrics differently then what the songs are about which we hope our listeners will do as well. Some are about relationships or playing around in relationships. Lol We have Tie the Line which is about Veterans and the struggles of ptsd.

XS ROCK: What is the single most important thing to you as a musician? Entertaining people and giving them a memorable experience when we play.

XS ROCK: Do you have any outrageous tour stories from the road? If so, please fill us in. Well I have many specially with Billy Gibbons…my favorite is Billy making us mojito‘s in Cuba. I actually told Billy about the band and he invited everyone for a bus hang with him till 4am. We played guitar ate lots of great food. The rest of my tour stories are NSFW….lol

XS ROCK: What’s the strangest request that you’ve ever received from one of your fans? This guy at Rocklahoma wanted me to sign his butt, he was wearing a green thong but mostly people ask for my broken heads and sticks and to sign them.

XS ROCK: Are your friends and family supportive of your choice to play in a rock band?

My parents are, my half brother don’t get it at all, and I’m not really sure if the rest of my family even knows what I do to be honest. haha!!

XS ROCK: What advice do you have for new bands trying to get started? You are gonna be broke. Lol

XS ROCK: What are your favorite tracks to play live? Close to the Sun because of the 7/4 time signature and Far. Far I do this Steve Gadd type groove, with more jazz fills. When we play that live durning the guitar solo we go all out.

XS ROCK: Which band or artist inspired you to perform? Why? Probably Incubus, I fell in love with that band as a little kid and Brandon Boyd lol. They are great musicians and so energetic on stage. Cool thing about Incubus is each album is so different it’s like 5 different bands in one.

XS ROCK: If you could design a dream tour for your band, who would be on the bill? Guns N Roses, Foo Fighters ( Taylor passing away broke my heart….the times I’ve gotten to talk with him he was just the kindest soul and a great musician. ), and Incubus.

XS ROCK: What do you consider your greatest accomplishment so far? That’s a hard one..touring with Billy Gibbons and playing with Slash but also I never thought I would have started this amazing band Fortune Child with Christian, Buddy, and Jon and with an album I’m so proud of. Those as of now I would say our my great accomplishments.

XS ROCK: If you weren’t performing in a band what kind of career do you think you
would have? Honestly I’d probably be living in a van in the Colorado Rockies Mountains living off the grid. I love nature and being in the mountains. That’s not a career but I don’t think I would have one, I’d just be a hippie in the woods. Maybe a storm chaser I like adventure and traveling.

XS ROCK: What type of equipment do you use for live shows?

DW performance or collectors series, Zildjian Hybrid cymbals, all DW hardware, and Vic Firth 5Bs.

XS ROCK: What do you think of the current music scene? I think rock needs to be in the mainstream again. I keep seeing it being snubbed out of award show performances and things of that nature. It’s slowly going to make a come back. Also more real instruments on songs. Computers are cool but there is nothing better than real drums played by a real human. A computer will never master the feel and grove of a human…I hope anyway.

XS ROCK: For anyone that doesn’t know you, what would they be surprised to know
about you? That I’m barely 5 feet tall…most people don’t realize how small I am for how loud I play. When people see how little I am that’s the first thing they say…”you look so much bigger on stage” lol

XS ROCK: Is there anything that you’d like to promote or say to your fans out there? We just released our debut album “Close to the Sun” I would like to thank them for supporting us and coming out to all the shows.

XS ROCK: Thanks again for taking the time to talk with us at XS ROCK!

Christian Powers – Vocals

Melanie Jo – Drums

Buddy Crump – Guitar 

Jonathan Ward – Bass 


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fortunechildmusic/

Instagram: @fortunechildmusic

TikTok: @fortunechild_

Twitter: @fortunechild_

About the author

Bobby Caughron

Bobby Caughron is a music journalist and Editor-In-Chief for XS ROCK. He began a life-long fan of hard rock and metal music after hearing KISS as a kid. He is still an avid fan of the 80s metal scene and continues to discover and write about new music in all rock genres today.

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