Born the daughter of a third and second generation Puerto Rican-American couple on February 02, 1989, the second of three children of the Moreno family, Carmen came into the world quietly and without much fan fare. Though this was something she'd make up for in her later years. Her upbringing was a relatively typical one in Jersey City, New Jersey: homework, dances, fights with her older sister, chasing after her younger brother. Summers were spent in the Poconos chasing fireflies and winters waiting in anticipation for the sporadic harsh snows that always came with the new year for a chance to go sledding before melting or being plowed away. The quintessential tom boy, Carmen was notorious for wearing dresses and sneakers as far back as first grade - a complete contradiction to the feminine hobbies her mother kept her in such as ballet and piano.
Perpetually donning scabbed knees beneath her stockings and a wild mane only partially contained by the extravagant braids her mother gave her in desperate effort to eradicate any confusion about the girl’s gender, Carmen was breaking the rules long before she even knew any had been set into place for her. By the time her teenage years rolled around, though, Lydia had lost the privilege of input into Carmen's style choices which included a slew of secondhand items from thrift stores, Miguel, and guy friends in the form of jeans, flannel and band shirts, and her beloved Converse sneakers.
It was during these formative years, somewhere in the midst of dating, school work, and a part time job at Pac Sun, that she met Chris. The instant best friend that would someday turn complete stranger. Carmen was absolutely unaware of the impending tragedy as they shared everything from their love of certain bands to books and films. It was during a conversation about her formal music training that he had begun to request she sing for him, which she did, eventually, after months of hounding. It took another year before she reluctantly caved into his suggestions of taking performing seriously that their band The Fever was formed.
The romantic nature of their relationship never fully bloomed, but lingered in the shadows laced within the quiet spaces between them. Their intimate connection was obvious, but never moved beyond a solid and profound friendship. By the time she’d graduated high school and moved out on her own, Carmen had experienced her own metamorphosis as the front woman of the band. She’d fallen in love with performing and the power she wielded in the form of a microphone, on stage, engaging moderately sized groups of people who loved their songs and knew them by heart.
Unfortunately, just as the group was about to sign their first contract with a record label and were in the process of preparing for a coast based tour, the whole of the monument they’d built came crumbling down. Five years littered with accusations, disagreements on where and how the sound progressed, late nights and early mornings, and most importantly, Chirs' growing drug addiction, they were too inexperienced to know how to manage it all and before they even made it onto their shiny new tour bus, it was all over. The consequences from the breech of their contract included having to give up the band, its name and songs entirely, something Carmen was more than happy to do at the time. Her parents aided her to the best of their ability financially, allowing her to move back home and funding her while she paid her end of the debt off.
Never one to sulk for long or allow herself to stay knocked down, it took less than a year for her to find herself in with a new project, The Mellow Dramatics, which gained local attention and soon, a crazed following. Although she’s mostly recovered from the massive meteor that was Chris and The Fever, her life had been irrevocably altered. The experience better prepared her for the uphill climbs that potentially lay ahead and taught her a world of lessons on love, its beauty and wonder as well as its limitations. Generally in love with everyone she meets, Carmen is loving and affectionate with all of the people in her life, but comes with a solid set of boundaries. She doesn’t live her life by any set standard or rules, but rather on her own terms and personal code of ethics.
After the gradual disintegration of Violent Violet and TMD due to her bandmates' other obligations, as well as losing the empanada truck in May of 2014, Carmen slipped into an ongoing spiral of odd jobs, falling back on her past experiences as a nanny and DJ for a time. Carmen's kept strange hours in an effort to afford rent and bills in the pursuit of her one true love but hasn't picked up a guitar aside from the occasional music lesson since. Refusing to allow set backs and mountainous obstacles to deter her, she continues to take on each new challenge with her game face on, even if she does stumble and make a mess in the process. [More to come.]
• Lead guitarist + vocals for Violent Violet (2013 - 2015, 2017 -).
• Keyboard + other percussion for The Mellow Dramatics (2011 - 2014).
• Used to front The Fever, a pop punk fusion band (2006-2011).
• Fluent in English + Spanish + Spanglish.
• Managed and ran her own empanada truck for six years until it was stolen.
• Raised in a traditional Puerto Rican, Roman Catholic household.
• Shares a close relationship with her father and easily claims that he's her favorite.
• An out of the closet sci-fi nerd, Carmen isn't shy about her love of Dr. Who, Firefly, The Twilight Zone, or The X-files.
• Gregarious as a coping mechanism for anxieties rooted in memory preservation and fears relating to the intimacy of various types of her relationships, although naturally quiet and reserved.
• A sincere lover of music, there isn't much she won't at least give a fair first listen to, even if it's in the scope of genres she doesn't typically find herself attracted to.
• Potentially viewed as invasive, Carmen isn't shy about asking questions and systematically swan diving into people as she's getting to know them - which typically leads to falling hard and fast for the people she takes in.