10 Minutes with Jill Janus of Huntress

10 Minutes with Jill Janus of Huntress

This month lead vocalist Jill Janus of Huntress made a trip to the Affliction store in Seal Beach, CA to gather some essentials for her North America tour that recently kicked off.  As you all know, Affliction is all about heavy metal, living fast and supporting those of a like mindset.  Needless to say, we were stoked to hear that Jill and the guys from Huntress are huge fans of Affliction!

Founded in Highland Park, California, Huntress was signed to Napalm Records in November of 2011 after their debut EP Off with Her Head was released in 2010.  We had the chance to sit down with Jill and talk about the band’s 2013 tour, her music career and other randomness that you won’t find in any other Huntress interview~

Affliction:  What was it like going from singing opera to singing metal?

Janus:  Without my classical training I wouldn’t be able to sustain the screams night after night.  The voice rules me, and that discipline from a very early age gave me a very strict sensibility about the voice and keeping it healthy.  I’ve always loved metal and have always known that I wanted to be a metal singer.  Melissa Cross has an excellent DVD called ‘The Zen of Screaming’.

Affliction:  That is awesome- so have you worked with Melissa Cross?

Janus:  Yes Melissa is my vocal coach, and I’ve been fortunate enough to have lessons with her in New York City when ever we stop through.  Melissa’s training gave me the tools to switch from my classical voice into my scream, and to me there is a real science to the voice that Melissa has helped me with.

Affliction:  What did it take for you to get that transition from your classical voice into your metal vocal style?

Janus:  It really took getting immersed in touring.  I feel that I have really grown in the time we have been touring.  There is no in between, you either melt faces or you go home.

Affliction:  What is the most annoying habit that your fellow band members have on tour?

Janus:  You know, I’ve been very fortunate to have 4 band members that rarely annoy me.  It’s kind of odd- we should have more conflict, but we really don’t.  We’re really like this family unit.

Affliction:  So are you saying you’re like the metal Partidge Family you’re saying?

Janus:  We have a dedication to staying healthy on the road, so when we aren’t playing we spend a lot of time juicing.  We always bring our juicer on the road, we smoke a lot of weed and listen to 70’s metal.  We also spend a lot of time talking about writing and gearing up for our next album.  We do everything like a family and we have a very strong unity and friendship- they are like my brothers.

Affliction:  Since you guys are 420 friendly, do you drink less when on the road?

Janus:  My rule is that I don’t drink at all on the road, except for the occasional shot of Jagermeister.  [laughs]  The boys prefer weed over booze- it’s funny to walk into the dressing room before shows to see a bottle of whiskey, Jagermeister and some American beer night after night- the boys always go right for the beer.  Beer and weed- so we never get hang-overs.

Affliction:  What do you want for Christmas?

Janus:  I want a Unicorn.

Affliction:  Good answer.

Affliction:  So you were a DJ before becoming a metal singer?

Janus: Yes, I was a DJ to fund my music career.  I’ve been a promoter and DJ prior to being with Huntress, but once we signed with Napalm Records, I had to choose to focus only on the band.

Affliction:  What’s your favorite color?

Janus:  Blue.

Affliction:  What was it like going from being a Playboy model to singing in a metal band?

Janus:  Oh it was all a part of the journey!  Playboy is definitely family.  It came about because I was gaining recognition as a female DJ, so they approached me about doing a spread with other female DJ’s called ‘Beauty and the Beat’.  After that I ended up DJ-ing for the parties at the Playboy Mansion, and I worked there for 8 years with Hef’s girls.  I used to DJ metal and rock at the mansion- Hef’s girls love AC/DC, Guns n’ Roses and Metallica.

Affliction:  Did you get to hang out with Hef a lot at the Playboy Mansion?

Janus:  Yes, and he is such a gentleman- so intelligent.  He is super witty, and I am so thankful to Playboy for helping me during that point in my career.

Affliction:  If today was your last day on earth, what would you do?

Janus:  I would leave society, go deep into the forest with my dogs and I would stay there.  I love my dogs- we always take the smaller ones on tour.  I grew up Pagan, so I am always surrounded by my little ‘critters’.

Catch Huntress live on their current tour with Lamb of God, Killswitch Engage and Testament in North America, followed by a European tour in 2014.  Like Affliction on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter for more updates and news on Huntress.