In a new interview with music writer Joel Gausten, VIXEN singer Janet Gardner, who works part time as a dental hygienist in New England, spoke about how she maintains artistic integrity — as well as her sanity — in an ever-challenging business.
“I’ve had periods of inactivity where I was focusing on other things in life,” she said. “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.”
Gardner‘s self-titled debut solo album was released on August 18 via Pavement Entertainment. The disc is a collaboration between the singer and her husband, guitarist/producer Justin James, who has previously worked with STAIND, COLLECTIVE SOUL and TYKETTO.