We had the chance to interview Janet Gardner for our blog-magazine. Janet talks about her solo-album and her upcoming solo-tour and plans with Vixen.
Q: Are the songs on your first solo album all brand new or are there some songs left from the Vixen days or were specifically written for a new potential Vixen album?
A: Justin and I wrote all of the songs specifically for our project together. There were a few ideas I'd had in my head for the last few years that I wasn't sure whether they would end up being used for Vixen or my solo album. Some of them and ended up on this album and some did not.
Q: How long did it take you to record the album ? Do you have a home studio ?
A: This all happened very quickly. We really didn't have any plans. Justin was messing around in the studio and I heard a couple of things that really inspired me. So we just sat down and started exchanging ideas. Within about three months… We had a full albums worth of material written and recorded. We can recorded the whole album in our home studio.
Q: Were the songs recorded in the old fashioned way with a band or were files sent/traded over the internet ?
A: Justin and I did everything ourselves. We thought of having a few people come in and play a few songs but once we got rolling, we just wanted to keep the momentum going so we kept just doing it all ourselves. As we live together, it was easy for us to just walk downstairs and throw down a few parts here and there.
Q: The album is very diverse – there are some songs that remind me of your past work and some pretty heavy stuff with industrial/Nu Metal influences as well.
What does Janet Gardner listen to at home?
A: I listen to a little bit of everything depending on my mood. I really like Shinedown, Slipknot, Sixx am, and Halestorm. I also really like some of the European bands that nobody really knows about here in America like Reckless Love, Gotthard, and Hardcore Superstar. I also really like Pink, Life House, and the Pretty Reckless.
Q: Is there a tour planned to promote the album ?
A: Yes! The tour is underway! We just played two shows in Michigan and we start our East Coast run this week. We're also going to do a few shows in Texas and on the west coast of the United States. Hopefully, after that will head across the pond and play a few shows in Europe and the UK.
Q: Your voice is still very strong and totally recognizable– how do you train you voice to keep it in shape?
A: Thank you! There are a few warm-ups that I do and a few vocal exercises but really not too much. Singing is such a physical thing and it requires full body cooperation… LOL! So I try to keep myself in decent physical shape. The greatest thing ever invented is the in-ear monitor system. That is such an incredible voice saver. When you can hear yourself, it really helps to not blow your voice out. I wish I would've had that back when we were doing 200 dates a year!
Q: The unavoidable question regarding Vixen: The only time I saw you was at Super Rock Festival in 1990 in Mannheim/Germany together with Poison/Aerosmith and Whitesnake among others. I thought you were top notch back then! You did not tour very often in Germany sadly. Do you have memories from this show (good or bad)?
A: Thank you so much! I do remember that show and it was incredible! What a great crowd and an amazing response. We did play quite a few shows in Germany with the Scorpions and Deep Purple. They were all very memorable. German rock fans are the best. They really seem to stick by bands that they like. Here in America, it's sort of "flavor of the month."
Q: Any chances to see you solo or with Vixen in Germany anytime soon ?
A: I'm really hoping for both actually… We are currently in talks with our agent to get us over to Europe for my solo project. Vixen has been talking about it forever!..... hopefully they will both happen soon!
Q: Some people feel kinda ashamed when it comes to be reminded of their 80’s days (like Jon Bon Jovi for instance who seems to deny that he was the "King of the Hairbands“ back in those days) . I still love that era to this day. What are your thoughts about the 80’s period? And do you think the Grunge wave was inevitable?
A: I'm proud to be a part of that time period. There were so many great musicians and great singers that are still around today and I think that that's proof right there that it was a very positive time. Yes I do think that the grunge wave was inevitable. Everything became so oversaturated that people are really ready for something new and different.
Q: Is it still tough being a woman in the music business (if there is such a business anymore these days) and what are the most significant changes compared to 25 years ago?
A: Yes I do think it's still tough. But I do think it's gotten better… Male fans in particular do seem to be a little more open to women invading their boys club! LOL! There is still more pressure for women to have to look good and present a certain image whereas it seems to be much less important for male bands.
Thank you for the Interview Janet !
Thank you Martin! I hope to see you in Germany soon!