She blew the Hard Rock Hell III main stage crowd away with her gritty metal and fearsome attitude and 2010 looks like being a breakthrough year for Estonian Marya Roxx.
With a Kevin Shirley-produced album under her belt and a belting band to boot it seems nothing will stop the LA-based rock diva in her quest for world domination.
But before the pint-sized singer makes too much noise we caught up with Ms Roxx for yet another rushonrock exclusive! Enjoy…
rushonrock: You’re still pretty new to the UK but how have you been received by British audiences?
Marya Roxx: It seems that everyone in the UK is into my music right now which is a good sign. I’ve played to audiences who like what I do and the club dates last year were a big success. It was the right place at the right time most nights. There were a lot of metal heads getting into what I do and that’s what gives me the biggest buzz. People were actually stage diving to my music and it’s an amazing feeling to see that. It gives me so much more energy on stage and I love it.
rushonrock: Is breaking the British market a big deal?
MR: Of course the UK is key to me in 2010. It’s such an important and huge music scene. It’s regarded as one of the countries to break wherever you come from. If you’re a rock artist then everyone is looking to the UK as the place to make it big. And the record industry still looks at what’s successful in the UK before making any big decisions. But because of all of that interest it’s a very competitive scene. I’ll just see how it goes but for now I’m optimistic.
rushonrock: Fill us in on your career so far.
MR: I’ve been working with my current band for four years now. Before that I was always into music. As a kid I can remember singing from an early age. I’m based in LA now after moving from my home country of Estonia. It was a move I felt I had to make.
At the time I made the move I had no idea what to expect from America or LA apart from what I’d seen or heard. It was a bit intimidating at first but I thought ‘what the hell – I might as well take my chance’.
rushonrock: Was it the Iron Maiden producer Kevin Shirley who persuaded you to quit Estonia for a foreign country?
MR: I have known Kevin for some time and we came to an agreement that if I did move to LA he would do his best to help me work on putting together an album. We got together and talked about what I wanted to achieve and he introduced me to all of my band mates. He’s a key figure in my music career and has been for a while.
rushonrock: Moving to the other side of the world must have been a huge gamble though.
MR: Leaving Estonia was tough. I don’t see my family or my friends but I say thank God for Skype! I can see them and talk to them every day – if I wanted to! And I now have a lot of good friends in LA and all over the world.
rushonrock: So why take a break from Tallinn?
MR: Estonia has a pretty good music scene and there are a lot of gigging rock and metal bands. Metal is one of the biggest music genres back home – people love it. But in the end I felt the country was just too small for me to make serious progress in the music business. You can do the full circuit of gigs in every major town and city easily within a year and in the end you become a bit stir crazy.
rushonrock: Is it tough being a woman making her mark in the metal scene?
MR: Coping as a woman in the metal world depends on your attitude. I try not to play on the female side of things too much and don’t overly expose myself to the criticism that I’m using my image to sell records. I try hard not to make more of that side of things than is already there. I’m part of a band and I’m just one of the guys. But of course I’m a woman and that gets noticed!
rushonrock: Is there some kind of secret to ensuring it’s your music and not your image that grabs the attention?
MR: I just try to remain as professional as possible – if you do that then it doesn’t matter if you’re a woman or a man. If you’re good at what you do gender really isn’t an issue. If you do what you do like and do it with your whole heart people will respond to that positively. I’ve been lucky that my attitude has cut me some slack. I haven’t met anyone who has concentrated solely on my sex. People usually comment on how small I am before anything else! But when they see me performing they see that size doesn’t matter and being a woman doesn’t matter – that’s when they start to take me seriously.