Thursday, August 16, 2018


JILL JANUS, frontwoman of the heavy-metal group HUNTRESS, has taken her own life, Blabbermouth reports. She was 43 years old. Casey Wood, Janus's longtime friend and former bandmate, shared the news via Facebook; Huntress' former manager, Jackie Kajzer a.k.a. Full Metal Jackie, confirmed the story to Loudwire. The band also shared a statement and a call for people experiencing suicidal thoughts to reach out for help.

"It is with crushed hearts that we announce that Jill Janus — frontwoman for the California heavy metal band Huntress — passed away on Tuesday, August 14," the post on the Huntress Facebook page reads. "A long-time sufferer of mental illness, she took her own life outside of Portland, Oregon. Janus spoke publicly about these challenges in hopes of guiding others to address and overcome their mental illness.

"Janus was a truly special creative involved with numerous musical projects including her role as vocalist for female metal/hard rock cover bands TheStarbreakers and Chelsea Girls. In addition, Janus was co-composer and creator of an upcoming rock opera with Trans-Siberian Orchestra's Angus Clark and had a decade-long career as NYC DJ Penelope Tuesdae. Her musical career began in childhood.

"Beyond her accomplishments in the music world and her advocacy for mental health issues, she was a beautiful person passionate about her family, animal rescue and the world of natural medicine. She will be missed more than she could have ever known.

"If you or someone you know might be at risk of suicide, Call 1-800-273-8255 to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. It provides free and confidential support 24 hours a day, seven days a week for people in suicidal crisis or distress."

Janus formed Huntress in 2009 in LA. The group released three albums, 2012's Spell Eater, 2013's Starbound Beast and 2015's Static, and toured on Ozzfest 2016. As well as for her powerhouse operatic vocals, the singer was known for her courageous openness about her struggles with mental illness, including bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, a battle she first talked about publicly in a 2015 interview with Revolver. "I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder first, when I was 20. I started to show signs of it when I was 13, though, and I struggled with it through high school," she revealed. "But it started to get dangerous in my early teens. ... I was suicidal constantly. I was very suicidal early on in my life. Then in my mid-twenties, it shifted to full-blown mania, where I can't really remember much of my twenties." Looking ahead to a hysterectomy that she would have in July that year, she closed the interview by saying, "I know I'll survive. I've survived much worse." R.I.P.

* thanks for introducing me to Huntress, Timewaster!

Nita Strauss, the Los Angeles-based guitar shredder for the ALICE COOPER band, has paid tribute to her THE STARBREAKERS bandmate Jill Janus, calling the singer "passionate, generous" and "supportive to a fault."

Earlier today, Nita took to her Facebook page to write: "The first time I met Jill Janus was in 2009. HUNTRESS had just released their first record. On the first day of the tour, Jill bounced into every dressing room in the building, wearing an undecipherable black metal logo shirt and chirping, 'Hi! I'm Jill from HUNTRESS. This is our dog, Party Time' while thrusting this tiny chihuaua with a spiked collar in everyone's face. I remember thinking... this girl is WAY different from any musician I've ever met. I didn't realize then HOW different, or that I would share the stage with Jill so many times. From belting out [IRON] MAIDEN songs at my birthday party to our cover band, THE STARBREAKERS, Jill brought that same level of enthusiasm to everything she did.

"Jill got sober shortly after I did. I remember when she finally got sober, the next time I saw her at rehearsal, she brought me an amethyst pendant she had made herself with the AA symbol attached. 'This will keep you safe, and strong,' she told me. 'Just keep it near you.' It HAS kept me strong, more so than she probably knew. I told her not too long ago about the many times I had escaped to bathrooms at events or bars and taken her little charm out of my purse to hold it and remind myself not to drink. She loved it. She made me take the pendant out of my purse to show her. I still have it with me now.

"Jill struggled with depression and mental illness for most of her life. I wouldn't have known it unless she spoke about it so publicly. As a friend, she was kind, passionate, and generous, supportive to a fault, and ALWAYS willing to go the extra mile. Her vocal range was like no one I ever heard (she covered five octaves during our shows) and her dynamic performance style made everyone who saw her an instant convert.

"Thinking of my friend alone somewhere in a dark enough place to take her own life is more than I can fathom.

"Sending all the strength and love in the world to her HUNTRESS band mates and loving boyfriend Blake... it was an honor to know your girl.

"Miss you, love you, and hope you have found the peace you needed."

1975 - 2018


Hobgoblin238 said...

Always said liberalism is a mental disease. lived outside of Portland...that is like democrat central.

Jim said...