Scale Model is an indie rock/pop band based in Nashville, TN. They combine interweaving guitars and synthesizers with catchy vocal melodies and a danceable rhythm section to create a sound that transcends the staples of pop. They will be performing at The High Watt in Nashville on Saturday, December 6.
Scale Model is: Megan Rox - vocals/synth, David Johnson - guitar, Steve Cross - drums/programming
I met Megan Rox last year through a local coaching program, and was quickly drawn to her passion and love for music. We became friends not long after meeting, and I am so grateful for her. On stage, she is a powerhouse, and totally in a zone. Off stage she has a passion for helping people, and the knowledge to facilitate healing as well. I am excited for you to meet her and one of Scale Model's other band members, Steve Cross, on Embody Your Muse!
What does Creativity mean to you?
Megan Rox: Playing with what makes my spirit sing (literally and figuratively)
How do you expand yourself creatively?
Megan Rox: I find my creativity is inspired by watching/reading inspiring creative people do/perform their art and also it's correlated with my connection with spirit, so the more I devote time to my spirituality, the more creative ideas come to me.
Were you creative as a child? If so, how have you evolved through the years? Did anyone encourage you, especially?
Megan Rox: Yes. I started playing musical instruments from age 3. I had years of musical training to complement my natural talent. My parents always encouraged my musical interests.
What inspires you most?
Steve Cross: Musically, just listening to an even mix of brand new music and older music from past decades that I'm just now discovering. And hearing how the really good and successful bands/artists take inspiration from decades past and put their own "sauce" on it to make it their own.
How does a relationship and/or children affect your creativity?
Megan Rox: My husband and I songwrite together and there's a synergistic effect (the product of 2 minds working together is greater than 2 minds individually working). We frequently read each others minds while song writing.
Is there a Creative, past or present, that you would give just about anything to work with? Who, and why?
Megan Rox: Yes! I want to work with the music producer, Philippe Zdar who has produced some of my favorite bands, and because he's french and lives in Paris and I'm a francofile and francophone.
Steve Cross: There are a few that I can think of, but one of them is Matt Mahaffey, and thanks to this band I'm currently in I did get to work with him- he mixed our album!
How do you care for yourself to ensure you’re available when ideas present themselves?
Megan Rox: I always record a song melody or lyric that pops into my head on my cell phone's voice recorder.
How do you balance life and art effectively? Or, do you?
Megan Rox: This past year, with my band, we've had to do a lot of business stuff so the creative/songwriting part of what we do just gets pushed to the back burner when we have pressing/time-sensitive business stuff to deal with. It's the natural cycle of a band. You just have to make a point to schedule time to focus on songwriting.
How do you deal with creative dry spells? Do you make space for them, or push through?
Megan Rox: I use dry spell periods to focus on other aspects of my life (usually my spiritual side). It all seems cyclical and all in the best timing for my highest good.
How does criticism affect you?
Megan Rox: It used bum me out but it always made my competitive side come out and I had even more drive to show them wrong. Now, because I've done so much personal/spiritual self-work, it doesn't bum me out any more but still motivates me to work harder.
Steve Cross: It depends on the project, but in general it used to affect me much more personally than it does now. Especially in the music world. With music you absolutely MUST learn to have a thick skin and not take criticism personally. It's important to pay attention to where the criticism is coming from and think about it within the context of their background or experience. Respected/reputable sources of criticism should be noted, but also balanced with your own creative vision so as to never lose track of yourself and your creative vision.
How important is self compassion to your creative process?
Megan Rox: Well, if you are a perfectionist, you will burn yourself out or self-implode and quit whatever you're doing creatively, so it's definitely a necessity to have self compassion - or specifically not be afraid to create shit. Even professional songwriters have to write a dozen or so shitty songs before they get gem.
Steve Cross: I take that to mean being able to forgive yourself and not be too hard on yourself when a creative endeavor fails. You just have to look at every failure as another opportunity. And also plan ahead and make sure that if you do fail, you have something else to fall back on and "your ass is covered."
Do you have any other mediums you use to express yourself creatively?
Megan Rox: I like doing crafts, sewing, knitting/crocheting, and interior design and fashion design.
Do you enjoy collaborating, or prefer to work alone?
Megan Rox: Both. sometimes i'll prefer to write a song melody or lyrics by myself, other times i love the joy and magic of songwriting with someone else. the performing aspect of music is best doing it with others. the combined energy is much stronger.
Steve Cross: Musically I prefer to collaborate. I'm not good at coming up with musical ideas from nothing, but I'm great at developing a song idea once that initial seed has been sewn. As a photographer, I prefer to work alone mostly.
Do you work in a studio/space designed specifically for your creativity, or on the spur of the moment/anywhere inspiration strikes?
Megan Rox: I songwrite anywhere, complete the song and rehearse it in our band's practice space.
Is it important for you to have a creative, inspiring environment?
Megan Rox: If i'm collaborating, the other person(s) energy must be positive, but i can songwrite anywhere. i'm especially inspired to songwrite in the mountains or at the beach.
Do you have a preferred way of cataloguing ideas?
Megan Rox: I record song ideas on my phone's voice recorder.
Steve Cross: I try to use Evernote to capture ideas, because they always seem to happen when I can't really work on them. It's been fairly successful, but the biggest challenge is getting into the habit of using it in the first place. Musically as a band we just use our phone's voice memo app to make crude recordings. It works better than you'd think!
Do you utilize social media? If so, how?
Megan Rox: Yes. it's necessary if i want to make money with my music. i can play in my house or at bars as much as i want but if no one knows i'm playing out and if no one has a chance to hear my music online, i will never make money.
What is your typical day like?
Megan Rox: A better question is what is my typical week like. Work part-time M-F, practice or songwrite with my band on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and at least once a month, play a show one night and go to someone else's show to get inspired.
Does spirituality and/or culture play a role in your creativity?
Megan Rox: Yes. My life goal to help people connect with their spirit and live from love vs. ego inspires my lyrics.
Steve Cross: Yes, but I think it's much more culture than spirituality. I think of culture as basically the socio-economic, educational, and artistic context in which creative work is inspired and produced. That context is both the past and present. I think culture is inextricably linked to anyone's creative output, while the spiritual component of that is much more variable. For me, the spiritual component is very minimal because I'm agnostic and tend to view the world through a scientific, fact-based lens.
Do you believe art can change the world? If so, how?
Megan Rox: I think music can (sorry I'm biased:) because it incorporates communicating words/lyrics. Music is pervasive (you can hardly go a day without hearing some kind of music) and if you can send an important message with your music, it's a vehicle for messages that will change people's lives
Do you believe that connecting with your creativity, or helping others to do so, can positively affect the world? If so, how?
Megan Rox: Yes because my creativity seems directly connected with my spirit and whenever I'm connected with spirit, the energy I send out through my positive feelings & love affect others. My art involves performance so people can see I'm being authentic to my true self and when I show that, it inspires others to do the same.
What effect do you want your art to have on the world?
Megan Rox: To inspire women to connect with their authentic self and not be afraid to show it and live it.
What music, if any, plays while you work?
Megan Rox: Anything on XMU satellite radio station.
What is the best advice you’ve been given?
Megan Rox: When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change
Do you have any advice for aspiring creatives?
Megan Rox: Do what makes your spirit sing and don't worry about what anyone else thinks about it.
Steve Cross: Thick skin thick skin thick skin thick skin! Just like I said above- criticism should not be taken too personally, the source of criticism should be researched, and it should always be balanced with your own creative vision so that you stay firmly grounded on yourself.
How does being a part of a group affect individual creativity?
Megan Rox: It magnifies it. When you combine the high level of energy of 3-4 people when they're in their creative bliss, it feels amazing!
Are you easily able to showcase everyone’s talents?
Megan Rox: Yes, I think so.
Steve Cross: For the most part, we do a pretty great job of allowing each member's unique talents to come through. With a band, I think what distinguishes a great band from a good band is when the result is greater than the sum of the parts.
How do you resolve creative differences?
Megan Rox: Usually majority rules decision-making works well. It requires give and take. Sometimes you have to sacrifice your idea if the group doesn't want to do it.
Do any of you have creative personal projects?
Steve Cross: Yes. Mine is Steve Cross Photography. I'm currently in the process of rebranding and relaunching my wedding photography business, so keep an eye on www.stevecrossweddingphoto.com for updates on that front.
Megan Rox: www.coach-rox.com
David Johnson: www.scalemodelguitars.com
Where can we find your art?
People can find our music on several media outlets- iTunes, Spotify, Bandcamp, Soundcloud, and of course our website (where there are links to most of those outlets).