JANET GARDNER

I wanted to bring my two cents worth in bringing you this new interview with JANET GARDNER. Anders Ekdahl ©2019

When you decided to go solo and use your name was it an easy decision to put that kind of burden on your shoulders?
-It was sort of by accident. My husband, Justin James and I just sort of started fiddling around in the studio and once we got going, we couldn’t stop. Lol! Then we had to decide whether we wanted to do a band or just have it be my solo material. We decided that it would be better to use my name because I do have a small but mighty Fanbase. I really don’t feel like there is pressure…quite the opposite. I have a great partnership with Justin and we feel very free and inspired to create whatever we feel whenever we are moved to do so!

Who would say have laid the foundation for the kind of sound you have? Who are your heroes musically and what have they meant to you personally and to your sound?
-I remember hearing “Crazy on you” by Heart on the radio when I was very young. It had a huge impact on me. I read interviews with them that said they were influenced by Led Zeppelin. So I started listening to more 70s hard rock… Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Aerosmith. I think those were the bands that had the biggest influence on me. Later on, Boston, foreigner… More melodic bands also had an impact on me. The sound that Justin and I have developed together is definitely a combination of our influences from the 70s hard rock through more modern bands. Justin is a huge fan of kiss and 80s music.

When you play slow do you have to think differently arranging the music than if you play faster and vice versa?
-We adjust the speed is the songs until it feels right. I drive Justin crazy adjusting the tempos until they’re just right!

Will your music work in a live environment? What kind of stage environment would best suit your music; a big stage or a small club?
-We have been playing The material off our first album for a couple of years now. Before this second solo album came out, we also put several of the new songs in the set. We love to try our songs out on a live audience and getting a reaction from the audience. These songs are an absolute blast to play live! As far as large crowds versus small clubs, we really like to do both of them. It’s satisfying to connect to both large and small audiences… It’s just different.

It is very hard to be 100% satisfied. Everybody seems to be disappointed with something they have released. Is there something that you in hindsight would have done differently on this your latest recording?
-There are always and always will be small things that bother me after we release something. Things you think of when it’s too late! Lol! We learned so much from our first release and made some major improvements on this second one. I think that’s the most important thing.… That you learn, grow and improve. That will also be our goal on our next release.

Promotion can be a bitch. Even today with all different platforms it can be hard to reach out to all those that might be interested in your music? What alleys have you used to get people familiarized with your band?
-It’s hard to keep up with the ever-changing landscape of promoting your music. People used to say “don’t put your music on Spotify. You’ll never get paid.“ Now all the sudden… It’s “put your music on Spotify! It’s a great way to get your music out there! Try to get on playlists“ same with YouTube. So i’m just happy to put it out there and have people hear it regardless whether we make money or not. We’ll use any means possible. There is SO MUCH music out there on the internet, it’s difficult to get noticed.

To me art work can be the difference between bust or success. What to you is a great front cover? What should a cover have to make it great?
-I don’t feel the same way…I think the most important factor is the music. Were always just looking for something striking for a cover image but most of our effort goes into what’s inside.

Do you feel that you are part of a national scene? Is a local/national scene important for the development of new bands?
-Yes, we tour anywhere and everywhere! Yes, I do think it is important for new bands to start with a local scene and build from there.

I could just be me but I got the feeling that the live scene is not what it used to be. Could be that more and more people use the net to discover bands instead of going out and supporting new bands live. What is you experience with the live scene?
-At the end of every show, the last thing I say to the audience is “thank you for supporting live music!“ Unfortunately, It is becoming increasingly more difficult to get people out to shows. With every one recording shows and putting them up on YouTube, many people don’t bother to leave their house!

What does the future hold?
-Music, music and more music! As long as there are people supporting what we do, we will keep doing it! No matter how many or how few! More live shows and more recorded work!

Thank you so much Anders! Hope to see you at a show soon!

Janet

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