Thursday, July 19, 2012

Love For All Things Metal: Interview with Jill Janus(Huntress)

Congrats on a great debut album,  it really rocks!!-love it cannot hear it enough!!   I understand sales are good?

It pleases me to hear you’re addicted to Spell Eater! I prefer to remain focused on the creative aspect of Huntress, but I hear sales are strong and more than we had expected. We’re an underground metal band that just released our debut album, so it’s been a trip to have so much attention.

What was it like recording the album was it a good experience?

It was rewarding, to be given the opportunity to record music you love. Chris Rakestraw produced “Spell Eater” and I personally work very well with him. We have a deep understanding of the Voice. The demons did come and I nearly lost my mind, but that suffering makes it more beautiful and brutal.

The videos for "8 of Swords" & "Spelleater" any comments on the shooting of the videos?

“Eight of Swords” was magic. I asked the Tarot to reveal one card that would become an epic song. Eight of Swords chose Huntress. It was effortless, the concept came to me instantly, the director Simon Chan appeared and brought the vision to life. 

When we decided to shoot the video for “Spell Eater”, we hired Simon Chan again and took our show to the Mojave Desert. It was snowing and brutally cold, I broke down after both days of work because it was so emotionally draining. But it did create a special music video, so it was all worth it.

You had sung opera as a teen what was the reason you chose Heavy Metal as a career?

I’ve always known my purpose was to be a vocalist. I was born with a four octave coloratura soprano range and was very disciplined from childhood to live only for my purpose. But I was difficult, fighting with directors and actors, all the while recording thrash songs with my best friend in high school. Metal has always been my true love, the Voice has given me many opportunities and now my classical training is the foundation for my screams.

Do you find it hard travelling with all the men in the band/crew?

When Huntress first started touring in March 2012, I had a very hard time adjusting to life on the road. I had to shed my female bullshit and become a warrior. I had to man up or fail.

What does the occult mean to you, also do you study witchcraft and if so how misunderstood is the craft?

Witchcraft guides every aspect of my life. I was fortunate to have a family who encouraged the secret sight and my Pagan ways since birth. There will always be misconceptions, I’m not here to change the world nor will I reveal much about my beliefs.

How do you warm up before a show?

The Voice rules me, I live a strange existence since Huntress started touring heavily. This means limited speaking before shows and complete vocal rest after shows. I don’t speak until I do speech warm ups in the morning. I don’t drink or drug anymore (except weed and the occasional shot of Jager), that sucks but it’s worth the sacrifice. My vocal teacher is Melissa Cross. She has helped me to maintain my screams night after night.

I have noticed the amazing talent growing for the women in Heavy Metal, with only a few before(Lee Aaron etc), now the bands are getting better press & more labels are picking female lead bands or full female bands(Vixen before, now Kittie) any thoughts on that and who do you admire as a singer?

Rarely do I admire female singers. However, Ann Wilson of Heart was a huge influence on me growing up. Her vocal ability and attack is effortless.

When writing the music are the lyrics written at the same time or before/after?

I have visions, lyrics are beamed to me along a thin blue line into the top of my skull. Sometimes I’ll give the band a theme or song title, it depends. They bring the riffs, I wail.

Do you find it hard to be taken seriously as a metal singer just being that you are a woman and not just a  sex object being such a pretty woman.

This doesn’t affect me, I don’t let others opinions influence my purpose.

Anything you might want to to add regarding the album or concerts-how is the band being received etc?

I would like to say thank you to those who have faith in Huntress. It’s been the most magical time of our lives.

Thanks so kindly to Jill Janus for doing this interview.

Thank you for reading this
Compiled from an email
By Anthony Nadeau

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