With over 300K streams on Spotify, Pam Ross has gained a loyal following for her unique blend of rock, Americana, and country music, which her fans lovingly call “Pam Music.” Pam has been making waves in the music industry with her powerful vocals and soulful songwriting, including multiple international iTunes chart appearances. With a new single coming out on February 16th, “In Your Smile,” Pam took a few moments to answer some questions in this exclusive interview.
What inspired you to start making music?
Nothing really inspired me. It’s something that I always wanted to do. Even in my earliest memories, I wanted to play music.
How would you describe your music and what sets it apart from other artists?
I’m constantly asked, “What genre are you?” I listen to a lot of different music and that comes out in my songwriting. My friends and I started calling my music, Pam Music, to describe how I sound. I’m usually called americana, but I’m more than that. Listen to one song and it leans roots rock. Listen to another and it leans country. The next song will sound like the Stones, Johnny Cash, Tom Petty, and John Mellencamp all went drinking together and wrote a song. That’s the best way I can describe my music. What sets me apart is I don’t sound like anyone else. It’s Pam Music.
Can you tell us about your latest single, “Better Than a Good Thing” and what inspired its creation?
I sat down and started strumming out the chords. I wanted to write a happy, upbeat, but realistic, song about love. Something that people could relate to. Some of the song came from listening to neighbors and friends talk about their family life and some of it comes from my everyday life. Better Than a Good Thing is about the craziness of everyday family life and all the laughter, tears, and joy it brings.
What has been the most memorable moment in your music career so far?
So far there have been two. The first is signing on with MTS Group Management and Records. The second is winning 2023 Musician of the Year at the Who’s Hoo Indie Country Music Awards. Both were so amazing and have made such a positive impact on my career.
Who are some of your musical influences and how do they inspire your music?
As I said earlier, I have a lot of musical influences. My earliest influence is Elton John. I love his older stuff. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road and Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy are incredible albums. Elton and Bernie have put together a catalog of music that few can compare to.
Eddie Van Halen is my guitar hero. That band had it all. Eddie on guitar. Alex and Michael were providing the backbeat. David was the quintessential front man. For me, they literally defined how each person in a band should be doing their job.
How can you not love Dolly Parton? She is an incredible songwriter. She puts on a great live show, has a wonderful sense of humor, and never says a bad word about anyone. She focuses on music and stays away form the celebrity BS. She’s the total package.
I’m a huge fan of grunge music and no one did it better than Nirvana. I’m also a big Foo Fighters fan. Maybe I shouldn’t throw those two together, but I do. Dave Grohl is amazing. I think I listen to the Foos more than Nirvana. I love the aggressiveness, lyrics, and songwriting style of Dave.
Springsteen and Pink Floyd. Why? Because Bruce writes songs that people can really relate to, and David Gilmore is my #2 guitarist of all time. If you want people to like your music, then they have to be able to relate to it. Bruce does this so well. He has the ability to tap into what people feel. David Gilmore is a completely different guitarist than Eddie but absolutely brilliant. My two favorite solos are Eruption and the solo from Comfortably Numb.
There are others like R.E.M., Fleetwood Mac, Glen Cambell (he had perfect pitch and was part of the Wrecking Crew), Talking Heads, Johnny Cash. Their unique styles and approach to music all shaped how I write.
Can you walk us through your songwriting process?
I always come up with a melody or riff first, and once I have that, I write the rest of the music and lyrics at the same time. For me, it’s about coming up with a good musical hook / melody. That’s the starting point. Then everything else is done simultaneously. The pre-chorus, bridge, whatever. I’ve written a couple of songs on the keyboard and the process was the same way.
What can fans expect from your album, “When Therapy Fails”?
Well, I only have one more song to release from this record and it comes out February 16. I will be re-releasing Fire In the Hole on April 19 because I wasn’t with MTS when I originally released it. Still, all but one of the songs are out there. If someone hasn’t listened to all of the songs, one of the first things they’ll notice is each song is different. Sometimes the songs on an album can blend into one another and start to sound the same. It’s never like that with me. Again, it’s Pam Music and each song has it’s distinct flavor.
How has your music evolved since you first started making music?
Lol, it’s gotten a lot better! I think that’s true with any songwriter if they keep at it and make an effort to learn. I’ve been writing songs since I was about 13. I figured out how to do it by imitating my favorite songs. For me, the structure was easy to follow. I never wrote 15-minute songs or songs that just rambled. The songwriters I listened to didn’t do that, so I didn’t. Well, Bruce did write some long ones like Jungle Land, but that wasn’t the norm. I also realized that, even though I could write good songs, I still needed to improve. This led me to working with some professional songwriters in Nashville, and they helped me fine tune things. I already had a good grasp on how to write songs, but they pointed out little things that make a big difference.
Can you tell us about any other projects or collaborations you have in the works?
I’m working on my next record. Right now, the tracks are in Canada where Yvan Petit is recording the lead guitar. Then the tracks will be sent to Nashville to be mixed by Marc Frigo. I plan on releasing it in early summer.
What message do you hope to convey through your music?
I’m not a political songwriter so I don’t think I really have a message. Occasionally, I’ll write something where I’m trying to send a message like Falling Off the Merry Go round. Overall, I just want people to listen and enjoy my music. Turn it up and sing along.