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Jill Janus

Lead Vocalist for HUNTRESS Personal Facebook Page: Jill Janus Facebook Band Facebook Page: Huntress Website:  Huntress
THE METAL PIT: Hi Jill! Congratulations on being chosen as this month’s Metal Maiden. Jill Janus: It's an honor, thank you!

THE METAL PIT: How did the formation of Huntress come together? Who else is in the band and how would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard you before? JILL JANUS: I started the search in 2006, met an underground metal band Professor in Los Angeles three years later. Played them some demos, which they called "Iron Maiden Lite" and they said "Fuck it, let's join forces and make it heavier and darker". What I wanted most was a band that is authentic. No gimmicks, no scene jumpers or trends. I wanted the real deal, true to the roots of heavy metal. And we all despise the glorification of mediocrity.

THE METAL PIT: At this time, I’ve only heard the single ‘Eight ofSwords’ from your upcoming album  “Spell Eater” (release dates: April27 –Europe & May 8 -USA) and your vocal range immediately impressed me. It definitely wasn’t what I expected. Can you tell our readers a little about your background as a vocalist?
JILL JANUS: I love hearing you didn't expect it, that's always fun for me. I was born with a four octave range. I sang opera for years, which is the foundation for my approach to metal.

  jill2THE METAL PIT: How does the material on "Spell Eater" differ from the "Off With Her Head" material? JILL JANUS: I call the first phase "Baby Huntress". We're "Teen Huntress" now, cutting class and gettin' high under the bleachers. THE METAL PIT: After listening to Eight of Swords a thousand times, I feel that there is a very strong sense of melody with the roots of your music firmly in the New Wave of British Heavy Metal of the early 80's. How would you describe the Huntress sound? JILL JANUS: Staying authentic is most important to us. We love heavy metal and will always embrace the NWOBHM sound. We've been called melodic/death/thrash and that's cool, we can relate to that.

        THE METAL PIT: I was reading some of your previous interviews, you have described yourself as a “white witch” and from reading your lyrics and watching the symbolism in the video for Eight of Swords it’s apparent that you have a great deal of interest in the occult. Did you first discover the occult from listening to metal music or was it prior to that? JILL JANUS: I grew up on a white tail deer farm in the Catskill Mountains of New York, a place known for it's ties to the occult. I had a magical childhood, my parents encouraged my Pagan ways. I've never had to speak of my devotion to witchcraft until now. I still keep my mystery, but more will be revealed on Spell Eater.

    THE METAL PIT: You originally worked as a metal DJ in New York and Los Angeles and then as a model before getting into your other band Chelsea Girls. Was the plan at that time to always form your own metal band? Who were your metal heroes growing up?jill3 JILL JANUS: Everything I've done prior to Huntress was training for this moment. I was poor, I learned to DJ out of financial desperation. But I always wanted to sing metal. Always. Suicidal Tendencies was my first love, thrash and skating was high school for me.

      THE METAL PIT: From looking at your press photos and from the video it’s apparent that you aren’t hiding your sexuality. I would imagine it’s a double-edged sword, in that it gets you noticed, but at the same time you must have to deal with the “frat boy mentality” of “whip your tits out” when you’re playing a live gig. Do you feel it’s not a big deal and it goes with the territory or does it get frustrating at times to be taken seriously as a performer? JILL JANUS: I eat frat boys for breakfast. I use sorcery to draw you closer to the flame, then burn you alive. I have the Voice. I'm never frustrated by others opinions. I don't think of them, I'm so focused on my purpose that nothing else matters. I do what I do. Nothing will stop me.

  THE METAL PIT: At the time of this interview you’re gearing up for the U.S. version of Paganfest with Turisas, Alestorm, Arkona and others. How does it feel to be on the same bill as these acts? JILL JANUS: It's thrilling! And we don't have our album out yet. When Paganfest is over, we join up with Dragonforce and our album Spell Eater will drop mid-tour. Party! And then we head to Europe for Metalfest Open Airs with Megadeth and Kreator. Shit's about to get real!

    THE METAL PIT: The Paganfest tour just ended and you're currently on the Dragonforce tour, how is that going so far? JILL JANUS: Paganfest was incredible, it was our first national tour and the fans were awesome. We miss the crew and bands madly. The Dragonforce tour with Holy Grail is going great, coming into this new life of touring we didn't know what to expect on a bill with such mega metal shredders. But all the Dragonforce dudes are so cool, Holy Grail is family (literally, their drummer Tyler Meahl is our lead guitarist Blake Meahl's brother) we are always having a laugh backstage. Most of all, we continue to learn on these tours and grow as performers.

      jill4THE METAL PIT: Getting back to the new album “Spell Eater”. What are some of the themes that you write about and if you had to pick one song from the album as your favorite, what would it be and why? JILL JANUS: I'm a little witch who loves heavy metal. It makes sense my debut album would be a tribute to spells! My favorite? It depends on my mood, but right now I'm having fun performing Senecide live with the boys.

      THE METAL PIT: Once “Spell Eater” is released will you be going on a headlining club tour at some point? JILL JANUS: Absolutely. Our agent in the US is Tim Borror of the Agency Group and I'm certain he's got something cookin'!

    jill7THE METAL PIT: How does it feel to be chosen as The Metal Pit’s MetalMaiden of the month? JILL JANUS: It's badass! I hope I'll make Metal Crone of the Month someday too...

      THE METAL PIT: Hahaha! I’ll we’ll make that happen in 50 years! Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to do this interview Jill. In closing, is there anything you would like to say to our readers? JILL JANUS: I want to thank our fans who have so much faith in Huntress after hearing only one song, "Eight of Swords". We will never let you down and we'll always stay true to the roots of heavy metal!

***Photos used by permission of Jill Janus.