Florida born Jessicka Fodera was a founding member of 90’s mostly girl seminal rock band Jack off Jill. While burning the candles at both ends she mixed in the same musical, sexual and social whirlpools as Marilyn Manson, back when he was just a spooky kid. Her band enjoyed a large cult status touring with the likes of L7, Joan Jett, and Manson himself.
In 2000 she formed a new band Scarling with guitarist Christian Hejnal. Robert Smith from The Cure is a big fan and describes their music as “dark, desperate, chaotic, gorgeous pop, the sound of the end of the world”.
Now married to Christian, and known as Jessicka Addams (they both changed their surname together), we caught up with her as part of our Art Month 2011.
What are you up to at the moment?
I’m currently working on a show entitled “Little Grey Secrets” that opens at the La Luz De Jesus Gallery in Los Angeles on August 5, 2011. I’m also in the process of working on a new Scarling album.
We haven’t set a release date because both my husband and I have been preoccupied with other commitments, but it’s in the cards and written in the stars.
Is it all sex parties, blood drinking and rock n’ roll, or is your life more sedate now?
I still have a good time. I’ve certainly not made the teenage satanist in me proud as of late, but there’s still hope for the future.
Did you get an formal artistic training?
I’ve never been formally trained but I have been lucky enough to observe and get some helpful tips from people I consider modern masters.
Do you like making ‘Art’ more than making ‘music’?
It is really hard to choose. I guess the answer would depend on which mood or day you catch me. Both music and are art have different challenges attached. I realize how incredibly lucky I am to be able to pursue both in my lifetime.
I have always seen the voice as a powerful tool. Each of us has an opportunity to use our voice to make a powerful impression, the way a painter uses his or her brush. I believe an artist is an artist, and as I continue my career – this time using a paintbrush rather than my vocal chords.
I hope I can convey similar emotions to the ones I do when writing music. To me it’s all a great release. Honestly, this is why I believe this transition to be a natural progression for my career.
You have collaborated with a number of brilliant artists, do you find it easier to work with someone else?
I do, especially when two people come to have a similar idea and it happens organically. Having somebody to bounce ideas off of is always a plus.
Why are you fascinated with the Easter bunny and masks?
For years, I had been noticing the symbol of the rabbit occurring in unlikely places. One of my first happy memories is the Easter Bunny; I was also fascinated with the White Rabbit in Alice In Wonderland and Brer Rabbit from Uncle Remus stories of the Southern United States as a child. More recently, rabbits just kept popping up in my life. It just felt right to use the bunny mask as a central theme tying all of my work together.
The Easter Bunny has roots that go back to pre-Christian, Anglo-Saxon history. The holiday was originally a pagan celebration that worshipped the goddess Eastre. She was the goddess of fertility, springtime and her earthly symbol was a rabbit, a perfect symbol to use when covering artists work I find sacred.
I’ve always been obsessed with masks because they represent a place to hide and an opportunity for those who look upon them to seek out what lied beneath. Masks were used in shamanistic practices for their ability to evoke fear. I feel that they evoke certain emotions in my work as well.
What is your fav John Waters movie?
Hands down! Female Trouble “Who wants to be famous, Who wants to die for art?”
Are there any new Scarling records on the horizon?
There is! It’s just that our schedules are constantly changing. Just when we think we are able to focus our full attention to recording music some other opportunity that we can’t turn down comes up. To be perfectly candid, It’s been a lot about prioritizing and time management as far as the delay of the album.
If ‘The Cure’ and ‘Fleetwood Mac’ (Rumours era) were both playing in your town on the same night, who would you go and see?
You sir are the devil for asking this. Forgive me Robert Smith as you know I love you and The Cure more than words can express but I’d have to pick Fleetwood Mac, as this interviewer is offering me a time machine!
Who is on your stereo at the moment?
My Bloody Valentine, You Made Me Realise.
Where is your fav place in the whole world?
Three way tie! Chiyoda,Tokyo, Key West, Florida, or Tortola, British Virgin Islands.
To find out more about Jessicka and her art visit her website www.jessickaaddams.com
Click HERE to see the rest of our Art Month 2011 including interviews with Graffiti Godfather Blek Le Rat and cartoon madman Jason Fischer.