Atira will launch their unique blends of smooth soul, groove and RnB in the form of their much anticipated debut album 'Butterfly Rocket' this October.Founding members Melissa Erpen and Chris Targett will bring to life 'Butterfly Rocket' hitting the stage with a dynamic nine-piece band.

Atira have been on an exciting adventure creating this album which has seen them work with the likes of Phil Stack on bass (Thirsty Merc), Bill Risby on keys (Tina Arena and Wendy Matthews), Rex Goh on guitar (Air Supply and Savage Garden), James Muller on guitar (James Morrison and Renee Geyer), Tony Azzopardi on percussion (Marcia Hines) and Perth's very own, the ever popular Howie Morgan.

'Butterfly Rocket' was recorded at Electric Avenue Studios in Sydney by ARIA award winning engineer Paul McKercher (Eskimo Joe and Sarah Blasko), Co-produced by Russell Finch (Kd Lang), Mixed by Grammy award winner Matt Marrin, L.A (Chaka Khan, Usher), and finally mastered by Grammy award winner Gavin Lurssen, L.A (Raising Sand by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss).

Atira has been unleashed and is now ready to set the music scene on fire and the launch of 'Butterfly Rocket' is sure to be a performance to remember, so come and join the fun and be entertained and captivated by the refreshing sounds of Atira.

Butterfly Rocket
Thursday 14th October 2010
Fly By Night Musicians Club: 1 Holdsworthy St (Entrance via Parry St), Fremantle, WA
Doors: 7:30pm
Special Guests: DJ Meezy and Howie Morgan
Tickets $25 presale or $30 door

Interview with Melissa Erpen

Question: Did you have any pre-conceived ideas about the music industry?

Melissa Erpen: I knew that it was a very tough business with a lot of competition. You really have to be thick skinned going into the music industry because people can be critical of what you do and will try to bring you down. You just can't take anything personally and always keep moving forward.

Question: Do you write your own songs? What's your inspiration?

Melissa Erpen: One of the most rewarding experiences for me is the songwriting. I love it. The inspiration to write can come from anyone or anything! Love, desire, frustration, Fear, Joy, embarrassment, despair... I draw stories from all my emotions and experiences.

Question: What music/artists do you listen to when you are not playing your own?

Melissa Erpen: Oh there are so many! My musical palate ranges from a love of neo-soul and RnB to contemporary and pop music. Some of my favourites are India Arie, John Mayer, Erykah Badu, Sia, Fleetwood Mac, The Script and Brooke Fraser. The list doesn't really end!

Question: What's next? Tour/Album/Single?

Melissa Erpen: It's all been such a wonderful adventure so far! Next on the agenda is the launch of our debut album "Butterfly Rocket" on Thursday the 14th of October at the Fly By Night Club Fremantle, in our home town, Perth. After that we will be releasing our first single followed by a national tour.

Question: Was there a moment you contemplated throwing in the towel?

Melissa Erpen: There were definitely moments when I was at a crossroads and felt disheartened about the Industry but I don't think I ever had it in me to throw in the towel.

Music is what I do and what I love most. The one thing I have learned is to never give up because there's always something around the corner waiting. Cliché I know, but what doesn't kill you makes you stronger right? ;)

Question: Do you prefer performing live or recording?

Melissa Erpen: I enjoy both! Although there is a certain element of performing live that you just can't capture in a booth. It's the atmosphere of the crowd, the band and the spontaneity of it all!

Question: What/who was your inspiration to go into the music industry?

Melissa Erpen: I always knew music was what I wanted. From the moment I could talk I was singing 'Piano man' by Billy Joel! I was nurtured by the most supportive family and amazing mother who sacrificed a lot to send me to classes and schools to help me grow as a singer and performer. I'm very thankful I was able to have the opportunity to do what I do.

Question: What is the biggest challenge you have faced along the way to your musical success?

Melissa Erpen: There has been some big challenges but I guess there will always be mountains to climb but it's those challenges that drive me and make me more determined to work harder.

Question: What's a typical day like?

Melissa Erpen: To be honest, every day is different! One day I could be in the studio recording, the next I'm meeting with the record label but I always like to make time to chill with family and friends... And sometimes I can manage a sneaky shop or two! Keeps it fresh and never dull :)

Question: What has been your favourite part of becoming a music artist?

Melissa Erpen: I have been so fortunate to be able to make my own decisions and have artistic control of what I am doing and the music I am making. I love seeing the journey unfold and I just simply love being surrounded my amazing people and great music everyday!

Question: If you could collaborate with another artist, who would it be?

Melissa Erpen: Oh that's so tricky...There are so many artists that I look up to. But I would have to say John Mayer. He is a musical genius and his songs and writing have inspired me to want to be a better musician. He delivers with such ease and his performance is always faultless and never over the top. I also admire his incredible pop sensibility and how he has been able to capture such a wide audience. It would be an honour to work with someone like that.

Question: Are you single? What do you look for in a partner?

Melissa Erpen: Haha no I'm not single! But I like cute butts and I can not lie!! ;)

Question: Do you have a website fans can visit?

Melissa Erpen: Sure do! or hit me up on Facebook

Question: Can you tell us 5 things required for a happy healthy & enjoyable life?

Melissa Erpen: hmmm... well for me it's music, a close nit family, great friends, good food and ice-cream (99.9% fat-free of course!)!

Question: What message would you like to say to your fans?

Melissa Erpen: Thanks so much for all the love and support and really looking forward to bringing the new album 'Butterfly Rocket' to you!

Question: What is the story behind the bands name?

Melissa Erpen: To be honest I've just always loved the name! It's feminine yet strong and represents our style. To be trivial, "Atira" was the first asteroid known to have an orbit entirely within the earth :)

Interview by Brooke Hunter


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