Name: Mikaela (Mikaela Attard)
Star Sign: Taurus
Your new band, Hex Omega, is a metal band. Where do you draw your inspiration from regarding this genre?
Hex Omega is a mixed broth of influences I gelled together that varies from the men that started it all, Black Sabbath; men that thrived on experimental and progressive riffs and piano interludes, Emerson Lake & Palmer; Metallica’s Kill ‘Em All thrash; Alice in Chains’ melodies and harmonies over grunge (to name a few) to anything that reaches Opeth, Meshuggah, Machine Head, Pantera, Sepultura and the list goes on. Personally, I find myself inspired by classical music too, the depth and harmony within is simply beyond this world. We just had our début show a few days ago performing at The Farsons Great Beer Festival. We really enjoyed it. The feedback we are receiving from the public is incredible. And that was only the début, there is much more to come! More details about the band and upcoming news can be found on www.facebook.com/HexOmegaOfficial
How has going to Berklee improved your passion as a singer/song-writer… natural talent plus learned skills?
My passion for music has always been there. I’ve found that I always communicate best through music, it’s the perfect way for me to purely express myself. Being accepted to the Berklee College Of Music in Boston and attending my chosen programme at this music institute was a vital stepping-stone in my career and undoubtedly, affected every angle of my perception to music. Every experience does, let alone such a school. My mentors were amazing, truly talented and fulfilled with dedication to teach us and help us with our music enquiries and song-writing as well as help us prepare for our own shows in Boston, USA. Thank you for the compliment by the way, there’s more to it than natural talent I think – it’s how, and how much, you can develop and nurture it that gives back satisfactory results. We all must find ourselves in the music we make, otherwise what do we actually do it for then? Scrupulous commitment and self-discipline is what drives it off in my opinion, and Berklee offered the righteous state-of-art facilities.
Give us a brief timeline of the evolution of your tastes in music – who you’ve listened to through the years to this day?
You swore you’d get me on some proper listing with this interview didn’t you? Hehe… In a nutshell, when we were kids we used to listen to Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Queen, Ozzy Osbourne, Deep Purple, Barclay James Harvest, Elton John and Pink Floyd as much as we brushed our teeth. My father was the first man to ever introduce us to innumerable albums of those artists and even more that we came across along the years. We always discussed music and gave our views on shows and performances, sounds and new albums that we had heard and how we can relate to them, even from a young age. A few years later, I heard Janis Joplin’s electrifying raw voice, the queen of psychedelic blues, and she just hit me like a bullet. Her voice is anything but polished and predictable, something I always liked in her and in a voice in general. You could almost touch the freedom in her voice with your own hands. The more my state of mind was being indulged by music, the more I raped my tapes and CDs. The many more music, voice and piano courses I attended, the more I could understand music from down its cellars to up its skies. It is all like a chain, one thing leads you to an other, a band leads you to its pioneers and influential bands, and more bands that were likewise inspired. I got into doom and stoner doom as soon as I heard Dio and his powerful voice which led me to discovering other bands. Emerson, Lake & Palmer got me into progressive, which led me to progressive metal coming from Opeth, Porcupine Tree and Tool, Pantera; into groove thrash, Sepultura, Death and more. Joplin, Hendrix, Blue Cheer, MC5 and an endless chain, all took me on a pleasant journey of blues and rock and roll. It’s all an evolution that is always leading to growth and expansion.
Does your strong image reflect what’s going on inside and in what way?
The image is the crust of the person you are so I guess in some way or another it does reflect. I love change in general, I think it’s highly motivational and makes you stand a bigger chance of meeting new challenges, identifying more opportunities and succeeding. I think you can’t force an image unless you feel that way; you can’t be someone you’re not. As regards to the way I portray myself – it’s just being me really. Red hair, pink hair, blonde hair, tattoos, piercings, the way of dressing up and so on are just an exterior addition that I like to any personality, that’s been me over the years. They weren’t necessary but I did them because I liked them, not to prove myself or to impress anyone but because I felt comfortable having them. They are as fundamental as much as you make them. However, rather than approaching it from a physical point of view, let’s take it to another level as, in my opinion, eventually it is the internal mind that needs to engulf any changes as it adapts to new ventures, to fully influence the way the mirror inside reflects.
What else holds your interest besides music?
Apart from my performances as Mikaela and with Hex Omega, at the moment I love keeping a hectic schedule and I’m always taking on new challenges. Travelling must be one thing that hits the top of such a list as I love the adventure of being in a different country, and learning all about it, the music, the culture, the cuisine and anything that makes it what it is. I adore art and simply enjoy drawing and painting when I have some time to spare. Writing, reading and literature are a humble pack of hits too, as well as training and working up a sweat at the gym. I enjoy spending time with family, my better half and my friends too – loving life and living life to the full.