Misty Gonzalez

As we sit here crying over this Ravens game, you may wonder about our bias when we learned our latest feature, Misty Gonzalez, just sang the national anthem for the Cleveland Browns last week. If you thought PEV would be bias… than you would be mistaken! We never have a problem with the singing of the national anthem (as long as it’s not in Pittsburgh – just kidding?). Seriously though – Misty Gonzales is a great talent, a great person and smart as hell! Who wouldn’t agree with her live show statement: “People should not pay for auto-tune.” So right, so accurate.

More importantly, Misty, along with her partner, Tom Wilson, own Freedom Child Entertainment (FCE), an indie record label that supports a children’s school in Cayes Jacmel, Haiti (told you she was great). Even better, a portion of sales on the new album, “Rock & Roll Freedom Show” goes toward support of the school. Gonzales gets into the album: “‘Rock & Roll Freedom Show” is different snapshots of my journey so far. Expect some daisy soul power for the ears, some great rock guitar licks, sweet slide guitar, yummy toms and a great story… I’ve always been drawn to guitar tones of the 70’s, love the vocal soul power of Aretha Franklin and dig the story telling of Bob Dylan. That combination is where I get most my yummy inspiration from.” 
Excellent listen, to be sure. Check out “Rock & Roll Freedom Show” ASAP. There’s so much more to get into (and fortunately this Ravens game has changed dramatically), so keep going for all the answers to the XXQ’s.
XXQs: Misty Gonzales
(PEV): How would you describe your sound?
Misty Gonzales (MG):  I’ve always been drawn to guitar tones of the 70’s, love the vocal soul power of Aretha Franklin and dig the story telling of Bob Dylan.  That combination is where I get most my yummy inspiration from.
PEV: Now living in Los Angeles, from a stay in San Diego, what kind of music where you into growing up? Was anyone your main influence?
MG:  I was born and raised in Colorado, lived in a very small hippie town and always surrounded by classic rock, blues or country music.  Doobie Brother, Janis Joplin, CCR, Zeppelin.  My mom also listened to The Pointer Sisters, Natalie Cole and a lot of gospel.  I think that’s where I learned about soulful vocals.
PEV: Tell us about your first ever live performance.
MG:  It was at a local talent show with my two sisters.  We won.  Killed the competition with “You are my sunshine.”
PEV: What was it like for you when you first started out and making the transition to professional musician?
MG:  It depends on what the definition of “professional” musician is.  If it’s being able to pay your bills by doing what you’re passionate about, or if it’s having to grind out a day job - do what you’re passionate about on lunch breaks and at night TO pay your bills--I’ve pretty much been all over the map.  I think the biggest transition to being successful is to set your mind and THEN keep your mind SET on what you want to accomplish as an artist - and work towards that as hard as you can every damn day.
PEV: What can fans expect from a live Misty Gonzales show?
MG:  That I sound as good or even better than my record.  I think it’s so important to give people their money’s worth.  People work hard for their money, and I work really hard preparing for live shows.  People should not pay for auto-tune.
PEV: What is the first thing that comes to mind when you step on stage?
MG: I always want to fill the room with the beautiful colors of sound & music.  I want to take my audience on a journey to the places I go when I sing my songs.
PEV: What was the underlining inspiration for your music? Where do get your best ideas for songs?
MG:  I think it’s just from living and learning.  There’s nothing more I can speak truthful about than what I’ve experienced or learned from. Pursuing a dream has been a far out journey and I know it’s hard.  I really like to relate to people who are out there pursuing their dreams.
PEV: Tell us about your latest album, “Rock n’ Roll Freedom Show”. What can fans expect from this work?
MG:  Rock & Roll Freedom Show is different snapshots of my journey so far.  They can expect some daisy soul power for their ears, some great rock guitar licks, sweet slide guitar, yummy toms and a great story.  I worked with record producer Warren Huart who produced legends like Aerosmith and nominated for a Grammy with The Fray.  We called in some great musicians to cut the songs and I’m really proud of this record.
PEV: Describe the kind of mindset you had to be in to create this album?
MG:  I think most of all I had to decide what was important and honest within myself.  I thought to myself--"self, if this is the last album you ever record you’re gonna kick yourself in the ass if you don’t lay it all on the table, so say what you want to say and sing how you want to sing."  And that’s all I have to say about that.
PEV: What’s one thing we’d be surprised to hear about Misty Gonzales?
MG:  I was born with a very sick sense of humor.  Some people call me “imaginative.”
PEV: Is there one area you wish you could travel around and play that you have not yet?
MG:  I will be in Peoria, IL in November!  It’s been on my to-do list.  I’m very excited to finally get out to the Midwest.  I’m singing the National Anthem for the Cleveland Browns game Oct 23, doing a few November shows in OH & IL, and a two week Midwest tour first of the year.  I had the awesome privilege of performing a private showcase at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in March. They really have some great rock history out there and the people are just amazing.
PEV: How have all your friends and family reacted to your career? What’s it like when you get to play at your hometown?
MG:  Last summer I ended my tour with a home-town show.  It was amazing.  My Uncle has a ranch and we cleared out one of his tractor steel barns for a stage.  We invited family, friends and locals to “Rock the Ranch” and had a great turn out.  It was crazy to see one of his fields full of parked cars.  My family has traveled out to see many of my shows so I’m really lucky.  I get a lot of “WTF’s” when friends from high school find me on Facebook too, that’s kinda funny!
PEV: What can we find you doing in your spare time, aside from playing/writing music?
MG:  Along with my partner Tom Wilson, we own Freedom Child Entertainment (FCE), which is our own indie record label.  We help support a children’s school in Cayes Jacmel, Haiti.  Started a music program there and will be going back in January for our second visit.  A portion of sales on this new album go towards further support of the school.
PEV: Is there an up and coming band or artist you think we should all be looking out for now?
MG:  Yes, her name is Misty Gonzales and she is looking for her "Freedom Children" all over the world.
PEV: If you weren’t playing music now what do you think you would be doing as your career?
MG:  Honestly, I would probably be wondering why I hated my life so much and figure out a way to write music, play guitar, sing and rock stages--because that’s when I feel most alive.
PEV: So, what is next for Misty Gonzales?
MG:  To really work hard promoting the new record and to find my "Freedom Children" all over the world.  Aside from that just to be grateful for what a beautiful opportunity this is.
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