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November 19, 2018

THANKFUL FOR CHANGE – BLOG POST # 4

It’s been a while! This is my first blog post in a few months, and a lot has changed in my life, personal and otherwise. I wanted to take a minute to appreciate what 2018 has brought me, since it is coming to a close. This week is Thanksgiving – a US holiday completely dedicated to celebrating what you are thankful for.

This year a lot of amazing things happened and I tend to have trouble celebrating my own accomplishments. I always just move on and look for the next big thing. I know that I need to slow down and feel things as they happen, and be thankful for it as it’s happening. Here is me attempting to do that, forgive my word vomit:

-My band played a sold out show opening for Buckcherry and we were nominated for a New England Music Award.

-My band opened the Rock and Shock festival for the second year in a row, and it happened to be with one of my favorite bands that I really look up to. Chatting with one of the vocalists of Ne Obliviscaris was definitely a nice highlight.

-I played the lead in a Gozu music video released via Metal Blade Records, and filming it was super fun.

-Overall, this year has been really good for modeling inquiries. I was able to work with many talented fashion designers and brands, and we created some cool content together.

-Dyed my hair black (lol)

I also stepped down from a band that meant a lot to me: Blind Revision.

The decision was not easy, but necessary. Change is necessary, and change is not a negative thing. Blind Revision gave me a creative outlet and allowed me to get to this point in music. I met so many amazing people because of the band, and I got to perform alongside many talented people for many years. I am very thankful for the time I spent with them, and the music we made.

In late spring I was asked to do vocals for a new project: Mimesis. The songwriting process was the fastest and most successful musical process I’ve been a part of. I can honestly say I’ve never encountered such professional, talented musicians than this wonderful group of people. I’m so excited to see what is in store for 2019.

Oh yeah, and we flew to Vegas in October to shoot our music video. That was cool.

I was hungover for the second day of shooting but we got through it (it’s Vegas, don’t judge me.)

In the summer I was asked to do vocals for Novarium, a gothic metal band that I stayed friends with when I met them in Salem a few years ago. So far the songwriting process is super fun. Having an outlet to get in touch with my darker side is really healthy for me in a variety of ways, so I’m really digging what we are creating. I’m not sure what the final production will sound like, but so far I’m getting In This Moment/Amaranthe vibes from the material. I spent Halloween writing a few parts for the songs, and it made me very, very happy to be alone and spooky by myself, writing by candlelight with a bottle of rum.

The transition from summer to fall was a roller coaster for me, because a lot of the things I just mentioned were happening all around the same time. I had to make a lot of difficult decisions in a short time period – but I do not regret anything. Everything has its time. I feel like I used to be stuck somewhere for a long time, in limbo. Now I’m not, and the direction is clear. Don’t be afraid to make a change if you can sense there is something wrong. The unknown is not always a scary place; it can be an adventure.

I am so thankful that I am here, and that I exist, and that you exist too.  I’m not sure why you would want to, but thanks for reading my word vomit.

-Jen

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August 18, 2018

#RAISEYOURHORNS – MENTAL HEALTH IN THE MUSIC COMMUNITY – BLOG POST 3

This week we lost two very talented female vocalists in the music industry: Jill Janus of the band Huntress, and Aretha Franklin, the queen of soul. Both were incredibly sad, but what strikes me the most is how much talent we have recently lost to suicide. Jill Janus now adds to the long list, including Chester Bennington of Linkin Park, TV personality Anthony Bourdain, and fashion designer Kate Spade. All were artists and creative people – so what does this mean?

On a personal level, I don’t show anyone most of the lyrics I write. Most of them don’t see the light of day, and they never leave my notebook, or my laptop. It’s because I’m afraid that people will worry about me if they read those words – or maybe they will misinterpret who I am. These are the deepest, darkest parts of me. That’s not something everyone needs to see. I started writing music when I was a child because it made me feel better; it was a purging of the negativity. It was catharsis. It ended up turning into other things too, good things. But it began as a way to deal with complex emotions. I think a lot of artists use types of art as an outlet to do this. 

A few weeks ago, I found out my band was nominated for best hard rock and metal act in the New England Music Awards. This is an incredible honor, especially because the awards span an entire region of the United States, and many of the fellow nominees are people that I have looked up to for years in the music scene. A few days later, I found out my band will be opening the October 13th Rock and Shock festival in Worcester MA this year – opening for a massive tour package including one of my favorite bands, Ne Obliviscaris. In addition, Amorphis, Omnium Gatherum, Dark Tranquility, Wintersun, Moonspell and Sarah Longfield will be performing. This year has been a whirlwind for Blind Revision; we have been offered so many opportunities and so much love from the rock and metal world. But still…am I happy?

The answer is yes and no. I have good days and bad days. I think everyone does – a little of each. I truly believe that as artists, we see the world differently, we hear the world differently, and we feel the world differently. Sometimes it can feel like everything is just too much. Or not enough. It takes balance to feel “just right.” The highs and lows you feel being on stage and then coming off stage…it can be a lot of drastic changes all in one day. And even your favorite rockstar heroes are just regular people, with regular issues, and regular lives.

I know that accomplishing things makes me happy. It makes me feel like I will achieve my goals, and that’s something to look forward to. But happiness is not just one thing – it involves so many things. People always wonder why accomplished musicians and artists could commit suicide. It looks like they have it all, so why would they feel hopeless? The truth is emotions are not logical. You can say to yourself, “I have everything. My career is fantastic. I have great friends and family.” But you may not feel like that is true.

I think we, as a creative community, should talk about it more. We should reach out and make sure our friends know that they are loved, and valued. We should send that text, just to say hello. We should ask our friends how their band’s show was last weekend. We should ask our neighbor how their art show was.

We should.

Let’s do. Instead of wishing we could.

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July 28, 2018

ANGEL VIVALDI AND WATERMELONS – BLOG POST #2

Recently in Boston I saw one of my favorite bands, Coheed and Cambria, and my own band opened for guitar legend Angel Vivaldi…all in the same week. It was a pretty decent week.

Since I was at the venue early to load in, I was able to catch a few minutes of Angel Vivaldi’s VIP meet and greet before the show. I really liked what he did – it was a very chill and informal Q and A, followed by a jam session. There were about 9 people who bought tickets for the meet and greet, and a few of them brought their guitars to jam on some songs with him.

He talked about the music industry a little bit, and how expensive it is to create good content. For example, some of his music videos cost more than $10,000 to make. One thing that stuck with me was his view of the infamous “day job.” Many musicians dream of quitting their day job so that they can tour forever, or at least most of the time, and make music full time. But that is simply not possible for most people – even people who are quite famous. It is very difficult to make money in this industry, and one of the main reasons is because people don’t buymusic anymore. They just download or stream it.

His advice? Get a kickass day job. Get a day job where you become really good at it – get them to like you so that you can negotiate getting time off and availability to go on tour.

I really respect his advice, and I do think the path to success in this industry is with positivity and thinking outside the box. If you get weighed down by negative thoughts, you won’t have the motivation to keep going and do great things. If you think negative thoughts, I think you will attract negative thoughts. Positive people will attract positive things, etc.

The guitarist for my band happened to dress like a giant watermelon on this particular night.  Angel Vivaldi happens to be a big influence to him musically, so it was entertaining seeing him meet one of his heroes wearing a bright pink watermelon shirt. I felt like a proud dad.

By the way…Angel Vivaldi said that he liked his watermelon shirt. So his opinion is the only one that matters.

We were on third, and the sound at the venue was pretty good. The place was so packed, you couldn’t walk two feet in front of you without bumping into someone else. Overall it was a fantastic night, and a lot of our friends came out to see the show. Angel Vivaldi’s performance was stellar as usual too. That guy can shred.

Anyway, the point of my post is this:

If you want success, work hard. Angel did it, and at his meet and greets, he explains this. How did he get so good at guitar? Practice. If you want something, work for it. Anything that is truly worth having is usually only obtained through hard work.

And if you want to dress like a watermelon, be the best damn watermelon anyone has ever seen.

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July 27, 2018 

#JUSTNERDTHINGS – BLOG POST #1

Hello all,

I decided to start a blog. Although I am far too busy to write something each week, I will be trying to write a new blog post (minimum) once a month. I used to write poetry and short stories quite often when I was a child, and I do miss it sometimes. In college I was the news editor for my university’s newspaper and even won a journalist of the year award. So I should probably put that writing thing to use…

This blog won’t be just an update on what I’m doing though. It will encompass my feelings, thoughts and opinions on certain things, or events. It could be anything. I realized that I have both a music section and a modeling section here on my website, and I sometimes dabble in photography. But what if there’s something that I want to talk about that doesn’t fall into those categories?

For example, I am a HUGE nerd when it comes to graphic novels/DC/Marvel. Well…mostly DC. But I don’t really have an outlet online or on social media to completely nerd out about that sort of thing.

I also have bachelor’s degrees in both cultural anthropology and psychology (fun real facts) and I love reading research papers, lots and LOTS of books, as well as expanding my knowledge of similar topics. I also travel a lot, so making a travel blog was something I’ve always wanted to do. Although most people know me through the music community, I do a lot of things. I like being kept busy. And I’ve had a lot of people ask me for music industry/music scene advice, or ask me about my daily life. Although I find it odd that people find me interesting, I guess that’s a good thing. But I can be somewhat introverted at times. So officially, here is my first blog post. I will be posting some updates on all of my social media pages (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) when a new blog post is up, but feel free to check back here whenever you like. If there are any questions or specific content you’d like me to talk about, feel free to leave me a comment or send me a message on one of those social media platforms if you’d like to see me blog about something specific.

xoxo

-Jen

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