Born from the tormented soul and twisted creativity of vocalist Jill Janus, Southern California’s Huntress has been one of metal’s most talked about bands over the last few years. Janus and guitarist Blake Meahl have guided the band through its first two records, Spell Eater in 2012, and Starbound Beast in 2013. On September 25, Huntress will release its third offering, Static. This week, Metalholic and Metal Nation Radio spoke with Janus about the new record, the band’s newest members, and her recent disclosures about her mental and physical health.
Riding high on the success of the band’s first two albums, Huntress began preparing for the birth of Static. In the midst of it all, Janus found her life-long struggle with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and Dissociative Identity Disorder, as well as alcoholism building to a breaking point. Adding to all of it, Jill was also diagnosed with Stage I uterine cancer. The combined chaos led her to the brink of suicidal ideation. Janus recently talked openly about her mental illness in an informative and inspiring interview with Psychology Today (which can be read here). With the love and support of family and friends, Jill pushed through the recording of Static and began working on getting her mental and physical health under control. This month the singer turned 40, and she is in a better place than she has been in years, and excited about the new record and the next chapter in her life.
With everything that has been going on over the last year, we asked Jill how these experiences impacted the making of Static:
“This album is absolutely the most prolific we have done, and it’s the most cathartic for me, especially considering recently revealing my struggles with mental illness. So much of this album is inspired by those struggles. As an artist I feel I am able to relate in a different way to fans now because I’m putting that out there.”
Huntress has been moving at a whirlwind pace since the band’s inception. Not everyone can keep up. Static marks the first record for new guitarist Eli Santana, and drummer Tyler Meahl. Both serve double duty with fellow metal contingent, Holy Grail. Tyler is Blake’s younger brother. Janus talks about their impact on the new record:
“They’re just amazing on so many levels. It feels like a family now. The reason why we’ve had this most recent line up change is because of that fast pace, and setting those goals. We have written one album a year, and that’s been something I really wanted to do since we were signed with Napalm Records. Now we feel like were the best, the strongest, the tightest we’ve ever been.”
Huntress has often been referred to as an occult metal band because of Jill’s passion for the subject. She offers that Static represents the third of the Triple Moon Goddess trilogy, and she shares the story:
“Falling into my Pagan ways and the worship of nature; the three albums, which I call my trilogy–and the boys have been in the band supporting that trilogy since the beginning: So we have the three albums. Now the trilogy is complete. The prophecy is fulfilled. Spell Eater is in the Maiden phase, Starbound Beast is in the Mother phase, and now we’re coming into Static, which is the Crone phase. And the Crone is a nasty, brutal, horny old cunt. And this is the woman that was really the force driving underneath the album. So there’s a lot of brutality, a lot of doom elements as well; sadness, sorrow, and also wisdom. Each of the records falls into place with this imagery, and I would say for sure that this is our heaviest and our catchiest album so far.”
Check out the full interview below as Janus talks in greater detail about her recent revelations, the soul of Static, and her thoughts on Lemmy and the upcoming Motorhead Motorboat Cruise. You can also check out Jill’s 12 Days of Static–a track by track breakdown at HuntressKills.com