VIXEN Vocalist JANET GARDNER Performs Solo Show In Hollywood; Fan-Filmed Video Of "Rat Hole" Posted
January 14, 2018, a year ago
On January 11th, Vixen vocalist Janet Gardner performed a solo show at the Whisky A Go Go in Hollywood, CA. Fan-filmed live video of the song "Rat Hole" from Gardner's solo debut is available below.
In a feature by music writer Joel Gausten last year, Gardner discusses her new self-titled debut solo album, Vixen’s plans for the future and how she is able to rise above the loneliness and depression that impact so many musicians on the road. An excerpt from the piece appears below:
In addition to taking her solo material on the road, Gardner remains committed to fronting the current incarnation of Vixen, which features fellow classic-era members Share Ross (bass) and Roxy Petrucci (drums) alongside new guitarist Britt Lightning and keyboardist Tyson Leslie. While the band has experienced a host of breakups and reformations of the years (and not always on the greatest of terms), Gardner still feels at home participating the band that earned her international fame.
“It’s kind of a sisterhood. We have disagreements, and people go their own way for a while. Then, we’ll start talking again and get back together. There’s a lot of respect and love there, and I think that’s why we keep being able to work through a lot of disagreements about what to do and how to do it – things that are natural for bands to go through. I think it’s mainly the respect thing that keeps us glued together.”
Unlike many of her original contemporaries, Gardner remains active and creative in a profession not commonly known for ensuring longevity. For her, the key to maintaining artistic integrity – as well as her sanity – in an ever-challenging business is knowing when to give it her all and when to step aside. When not on stage or in the studio, she works part time as a dental hygienist in New England. This duel identity has allowed her the rare and much-needed opportunity to gain strength and perspective when the music world gets tough.
“I’ve had periods of inactivity where I was focusing on other things in life. I think having those other things solid in life is really important because the music business is not super-friendly. It can be really harsh and very much a rollercoaster ride. If you don’t have your personal life somewhat together – and you don’t have a good, solid family, friends and people who love you and are there for you no matter what – it can be brutal. People say, ‘Why do these people end up in rehab? They seem to have it all. Why do these people kill themselves when they have all of this?’ It’s hard to explain, but sometimes it’s a very lonely feeling. You’re out there playing for a bunch of people, you go back to your room and all you pretty much have is you when you’re out there. It’s a very strange feeling. But I just always made sure to reach out to family and keep people I love close. I hang out with my dogs; simple things are really important and help you get through it. But for me, I went back to college; I got a real job that keeps me very grounded, too. It’s something that I like doing, and I have a lot of friends there; that’s like another family. They’re very supportive of me in my music, too. They say, ‘Yeah, you’ve got to take the week [off] to go do your music. Working here will be here when you get back. The roof won’t fall in when you’re not here.’ I’m very fortunate to have that, because that gives me a lot of peace of mind that I’m not at the mercy of such a fickle business.”
The complete feature is available at this location.
Back in August, Gardner released a video for “Rat Hole”, the opening track of her new self-titled solo album. Watch the clip below.
As the lead vocalist of Vixen, Janet Gardner's powerful vocals propelled that band to the top of the Billboard charts with crossover hits "Edge Of A Broken Heart" and "Cryin’'" and AOR rockers "How Much Love" and "Love Is A Killer”. Vixen toured extensively, grinding out 200 shows per year, opening for the likes of Deep Purple, Ozzy Osbourne, The Scorpions, KISS, and Bon Jovi.
In an era primarily dominated by male rock musicians, Vixen's all-female lineup didn't come without its struggles. But their undeniable musicianship, matched with Gardner's unique and powerful vocal style, propelled the band quickly to Gold Album status and earned the band critically acclaimed success that is still celebrated to this day on the likes of Sirius XM, MTV/VH-1 Classic, and nationally syndicated specialty radio shows. Vixen, along with their predecessors, helped pave the way for the current wave and success of female-fronted acts such as Halestorm, In This Moment, The Pretty Reckless, and many others.
Teaming up with guitarist/songwriter/producer Justin James (who has worked with members of Staind, Collective Soul, and Tyketto), Gardner ventured into the solo realm to unleash a new side of her musical creativity. Together, Janet and Justin have penned a collection of emotionally charged songs with gritty grooves, infectious hooks, and inspired lyrics that merge hard rock influences from the last four decades.
The result is a perfect blend of modern hard rock with a touch of old school flare that will turn the heads of generations of rock fans. The self-titled Janet Gardner album hits shelves on August 18th, released through Pavement Entertainment (North America) and Eternal Sounds Records (Europe). The album will be available both digitally and in retail stores.
Janet Gardner has once again proven herself as a leader in the female-fronted hard rock world.
“If You Want Me”
“Your Problem Now”
“Let It Be Over”
“The Good Or The Bye”
“Rat Hole” video: