An Interview With Lead Singer of Huntress, Jill Janus
A Discussion of Witches, Weed and the Tour Life.
(A Picture I took at Mayhemfest, Jiffy Lube Live)
Jill Janus is the lead singer of Heavy Metal band Huntress and a rising star in the world of Metal. The Huntress crew recently finished their summer tour with Mayhemfest (which included Amon Amarth, Battle Cross, and Rob Zombie) and are going on yet another tour! How do they do it? Their fall tour will include shows with Kill Switch Engage, Lamb of God and Testament. Huntress has two albums out; the most recent one being Starbound Beast, which came out this year and featured a song with lyrics written by Lemmy Kimister, “I Want To Fuck You To Death“.
Right now I’m over the moon – and a few galaxies – with happiness since Jill Janus was gracious enough to answer my interview questions from the front seat of her tour van on her laptop, so let me get into it without further adieu.
MG: First question. What is it like to go on yet another tour after completing Mayhem fest?
JJ: Touring is so natural for us at this stage in the game. All my belongings are in storage, I had to surrender to the road. And now it’s my home. We’re stoked to have opportunities that enable Huntress to tour relentlessly.
MG: Many people who aren’t musicians have no idea what tour life is like. Can you describe to us some of the basics of your life on tour?
JJ: Well, I’m typing this sitting in the front seat of our tour van, driving non-stop to the next venue, which is pretty much the way it goes. I haven’t showered in 4 days and just peed in a bottle. It’s very glamorous! Staying on schedule with load in, sound check, interviews, pre-show preparation, make-up and costumes, vocal warm-ups and showtime.Then load out, get paid and drive til we find a Walmart or truck stop to park and sleep for a few hours. If we have a day off or short drive to the next venue, we’ll get a hotel room to shower, do laundry and sleep til it starts up again. We know how to party.
(The Huntress Crew: Metal Insider)
MG: Who has been your favorite artist/band to play with on tour so far?
JJ: Amon Amarth! We toured with the Vikings from Sweden this past summer on Mayhem Fest and played a few off-date shows with them. I adore them, they have such a cool stage design and truly bring the fury.
MG: Now I would like to ask a question about your two albums. I have Starbound Beast and Spell Eater and love them both! What do you think is the biggest difference between these two albums?
JJ: I feel we have become stronger musicians and songwriters. You can hear a natural evolution occurring on ‘Starbound Beast’ that doesn’t exist on ‘Spell Eater’…but there is also a unbridled viciousness on our first album that comes through effortlessly. We are writing and releasing three albums within three years. They are a spiritual journey, so to speak. Maiden, Mother and Crone. You can hear that influence on both albums. The next album, number three, is the Crone phase. And she’s a horny, nasty old cunt. Beware the Cuntress!
MG: I remember when you were on stage, you said that it took you a really long time to find a band that worked. What are the elements of Huntress that make you guys a great team and band?
JJ: We all share the same vision. There’s no compromise on this.
MG: Jill Janus, as far as metal vocalists go, you have a very unique style that I’ve never heard before. How did you achieve this style?
JJ: I was born with a vocal ability that developed into a metal voice after years of classical training. I’ve always known my purpose, metal became my medium once I knew the voice was ready. It took about one year to strip away my classical inflections. My greatest influences are Rob Halford, Freddie Mercury, Ann Wilson and Jared Warren of Big Business. My vocal coach Melissa Cross has been instrumental in my approach to screaming and maintaining the voice night after night.
(A Picture I took at Mayhemfest, Jiffy Lube Live)
MG: What is your favorite song that Huntress has written?
JJ: I can’t tell you that! It’s like saying which of my children I love most. I love them all the same, just for different reasons.
MG: Now the next few questions I would like to ask you Jill, are about your spirituality. I read in a previous interview that you have been Pagan since birth. This is of huge interest to Metal Gaia since we are a website that covers Paganism and other types of spirituality. As a Pagan myself I know there are many different paths. How would you describe your spiritual path as a Pagan?
JJ: I’m a little white witch who loves heavy metal and weed. I’d like to grow out my armpit hair and live in a witch hut in the woods, tripping my tits off on ‘shrooms with faeries and unicorns.
MG: How do your Pagan beliefs factor into your music?
JJ: Witchcraft has always guided me, I fall into trance to receive my lyrics. All Huntress song are beamed to me from other realms.
MG: Do you have any advice for other Pagan practitioners reading this interview?
JJ: No, I’m not here to offer advice. I simply live for my purpose.Blessed Be to my Pagan brothers and sisters!
MG: Last question. Huntress’s love of some good “laughing grass”… if you know what I mean… is well known. On a scale from 1 to Mount Everest,how high are you and the Huntress crew right now?
JJ: I just got hot boxed. I’d say we are climbing the foothills of Mount Everest right now.
MG: Thanks for answering all my questions! Much love to the Huntress crew! Keep rocking and kicking ass!
JJ: Sure things! Thanks, Jill Janus x