I know you're an environmental activist. We don't seem to be making any progress there. Any solutions?
The environment is such a funny thing. It's in the mind of the beholder. We have to bring it back to ourselves. It's about our own personal environment. If our own personal environment isn't healthy, how am I supposed to expect them to be concerned about living in the world environment? It's the hermetic principle, "as above, so below." You gotta work it out here first and then it'll take care of itself out there.
It was Breast Cancer Awareness Month. You're a survivor. Do you take part in events or anything?
It's funny. I was diagnosed in October, and man it comes every year, and I have a celebration. I'm all for being aware. I emphasize and really try to bring home: It's awareness of your own self. It's not about being afraid. It's not about running out and getting a mammogram out of fear. I would hope it could turn into the awareness of being aware of taking care of yourself, of nourishing yourself, understanding that food is medicine and stress will kill you. These things we can look at.
I don't' take part in a lot of big pink things. I do spend a lot of time talking about it in October; people ask me questions about it. I try to let them know as a ten-year survivor, a "brvivor," as I call it, this is what's working for me, being mindful of myself, understanding what I'm eating and the stress I'm under.
What do you do on a daily basis, like to nurture your soul?
It's about being in touch with yourself, with your own happiness. Happiness and joy are extremely important to put so far down the line. That'll make you sick. If it's not one of your priorities, you're not going to get it; you can't have a happy ending to an unhappy journey.
I really focus on that, on the joy in my life. I can't stress healthy foods enough, whatever I'm putting in my body, just understanding the energy, where it comes from and what it's going to do to my body. And stress. A little bit of stress is good, but the stress that worries us and wears us down, that'll make us sick. I monitor that. And yoga. I think yoga is going to save the world.
And how about therapy of making music?
I'm so lucky to be able to make music. Music is just a healer. To exchange that energy with people is amazing, to sing my innermost thoughts and scream them out into the world is extremely healthy. Yes, I think it's great.
Are you working on anything new musically?
The new album came out. I have a new band, and I'm taking my rock roots and sort of stretching them. Where I used to be like a Led Zeppelin, the one singer with the rock band behind him, now, I'm looking more of a Joe Cocker thing. A more soulful band. I have backup singers for the first time. I'm really excited about this tour.
My bass player is the incredible Jerry Wonda; he was the bass player for the Fugees. He's put together the Platinum Sound. He has a whole music factory in New York City. I asked him to join forces with me.
How do you hope people respond to this new sound?
I hope they get up and dance and can't sit down!
Melissa Etheridge: This is M.E., 8 p.m. Friday, November 28, at Pompano Beach Amphitheater, 1806 NE Sixth St., Pompano Beach. Tickets cost $45 to $75 plus fees. Visit PompanoBeachArts.org.