Huntress feels like they were born from an amalgamation of sorcery, NWOBHM, Catskill Mountain upbringing, and some damn fine weed. Some of that is conjecture and some of that is pure investigative reporting (Ha!). According to her bio, Jill Janus, lead singer of Huntress, ‘came from humble beginnings as one of seven children. By the age of fourteen, she received a scholarship to tour Europe with a choir. Her work ethic was fierce growing up, holding down several jobs to fund her vocal training. Between her voice lessons and high school classes, Janus would record thrash songs in her best friend’s basement and was initiated into a coven at the age of fifteen. Witchcraft has guided every aspect of her life since. At the age of seventeen, she won a national vocal scholarship to attend the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City. As she studied, Janus began working in New York’s burgeoning nightlife scene as a DJ and promoter and she moved to Los Angeles in late 2003 where she finally was able to form Huntress.
The search for Huntress musicians grew to a fever pitch. Janus spent the next few years writing and recording demos, auditioning several guitarists and drummers, but would never compromise on her vision. By 2009 she met Professor, an underground metal band from Highland Park, California. She played the boys her demos, which they described as “Diet Maiden”, but they gave her a chance to wail. After one rehearsal, they decided to join forces and become Huntress. They released a three song EP titled “Off With Her Head” in 2010, followed by a self-funded music video for their single “Eight of Swords”. Huntress (JIll Janus, Blake Meahl, Carl Wierzbicky, Anthony “Pockets” Crocamo and Ian Alden ) inked a deal with Napalm Records in November 2011 and has been touring relentlessly since recording their debut album Spell Eater.’
Watch here as we talk to Jill about touring, sorcery, and the future of Huntress…
All photos ©2013 AWeldingphoto and Pittsburgh Music Magazine
Huntress received an extremely warm reception from a notoriously rough crowd in Pittsburgh last night. Their old metal sound combined with the amazing stage presence and vocal range of Jill was certainly enough to get the crowds juices flowing. With solid tunes such as “Zenith”, “Destroy Your Life” and “Spell Eater” it’s hard not to be impressed by the imagery and sounds projected full force at one’s ears and eyes. Of course, the crowd went nuts for the Lemmy co-written, “I Want To Fuck You To Death”, the catchiest and most feminine empowering song to come along in metal for well…ever. After some Jager shot toasts to Pittsburgh, Huntress closed out with “Eight of Swords” to an audience with metal hands held aloft. Not an easy feat among all the very hardcore thrash metal heads who may not take kindly to a “girl” singer. Jill may try to un-sex herself when she sings, but it’s pretty hard to look at her and feel anything about her as unsexy. Her voice is “Dickensonian” though and with talent and drive like that Huntress won’t be an opening act for long.