5 Questions With Jill Janus of Huntress: New Album ‘Static,’ Health Struggles + Motorboat 2015
Metal band Huntress are gearing up to unleash their hard-hitting new album Static on Sept 25. We had the opportunity to chat with singer Jill Janus about the new release. She also discussed her inner struggles with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, as well as battling uterine cancer.
Janus also spoke about the band’s upcoming trip as part of this year’s Motorboat. When asked what band on the cruise she would like to be part of, if she could, she said, “Huntress! I’m living the dream. I’m cognizant of our success, but I won’t let it feed my ego. The moment I believe the hype, I will become an a--hole. I treasure my humility.” Check out our interview with Jill Janus of Huntress below:
Static is the name of the new album -- what does the title mean to you personally?
The concept for Static came to me on tour with Huntress, in a truck stop restroom. Static is a monster that exists within all things electrical. She turns humans into “Zombies of the Noise,” brain dead humanity. This is a reflection on how I feel about the current state of the world and the glorification of mediocrity.
How was the overall creative and recording process for you on this album?
The writing and recording process was difficult at times, touring relentlessly. Huntress kept getting amazing opportunities with Lamb of God, Arch Enemy and Amon Amarth. Our vision is strong, so the imagery and music always comes organically. We just let it evolve, yet kept up our pace. No rest for the wicked.
You were brave enough to speak on your struggle with mental illnesses and uterine cancer. How have these mental and physical issues affected your music throughout the years? How has writing and creating your music affected you mentally?
It has always been a fight, within myself and with those closest to me. I work at a level most can’t comprehend, due mostly to my bipolar mania. It’s a driving force that is almost supernatural, yet very destructive if I stop taking medication or break sobriety. I have achieved so much success in my life, but the path is scattered with little painful failures because I have done awful things that are triggered by schizophrenia.
The visions I have. inspire my songwriting and this new album reveals much more about my struggle with mental illness. I was recording Static when I was diagnosed with Stage 1 uterine cancer. I chose to wait to have surgery until I finished recording vocals. There are a few songs where I was singing and crying at the same time. It was brutal. But now I am completely cancer-free after a hysterectomy.
What advice would you have for someone who is going through this in hopes of finding some sort of balance and peace?
I’m still figuring that out! I guess what works for me is being on medication. But it took me 20 years to feel this stable. There are many new medications available, I just had to find the right combination. I also work with Naturopaths, they designed a holistic plan for me that supports my lifestyle and nutrition. I just got insurance, which I never had. Without it, things would be much more difficult. I know this too well, ending up in Los Angeles County psych wards because I couldn’t afford proper care. Exercise and stay sober, that’s the best advice I can give right now.
I’m very excited about this year’s Motorboat Cruise, and Huntress will be on board. What or who are you looking forward to the most about this experience?
Suicidal Tendencies! They’re my favorite metal band, and have been since I was 13. I’m hoping I won’t dork out and fan girl them too hard!
Our thanks to Jill Janus for taking time to speak with us. As previously reported, Huntress were forced to drop off their late summer tour with Avatar, Gemini Syndrome and First Decree, as Janus continues to recover from her cancer surgery. However, the band will be aboard Motorboat 2015. For more info on the cruise, go here.
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