JESSICA WOLFF, the skilled multi-talent from Finland just has released her brand new album “para dice”. Editor Kai Brockschmidt used the occasion to chat with the blonde lady up from the far north of Europe:
Thanks for doing the interview with us! Even though you have 3 albums out now, can you briefly describe yourself and your music with a few adjectives so people know what to expect?
Thank you for having me 😊 Wild, edgy, deep, rock, sensitive, explosive, caring.
Being the front lady and namesake, do you like terms like “female fronted rock” or do you think that’s a redundant term? What about equality in rock? Do you see yourself in the same category as Doro, Lita Ford, Joan Jett, Pat Benatar, or Katy Perry, Pink on the more pop side etc.?
I don’t usually think about artists being male or female. The genders are equal to me. When I make music I usually don’t compare myself to others or try to imitate. I just do what comes from the heart and feels best.
Your backing band solely consists of male musicians like Gonzo Sombrero (is this his real name? ;)) on guitar – how did you find the guys or were they recommended to you? Isn’t that quite tough to tour with a bunch of men while being the only female? How does a typical day on tour look like? Don’t the guys burp or fart sometimes when you’re around? 😉
Haha, this question made me laugh. Gonzo Sombrero is his artist name. His real name is Ari Manninen. I found them through friends and the music team I worked with. It’s not a problem for me at all to be surrounded by men. Most of the extreme sports and hobbies I do/done are quite masculine. 90% of my friends are men so it felt natural to me. Last tour it was me plus 17 men, living in the same bus. For sure there is farting and burping, which also caused a lot of laughs, I usually just opened the window. The only problematic thing was the symphony of snoring since I’m a very light sleeper.
Being from Finland – with regard to rock music – do you consider this rather an advantage or disadvantage? Are you in touch with other, maybe famous musicians like Nightwish, Timo Tolkki or the Stratovarius guys?
I think it’s an advantage for sure. I like being surrounded by rock musicians who share the same passion. I did warm up for Nightwish in Tokyo once. It was an incredible experience.
“Para Dice” is your latest album – do you plan your career or do you take things as they come? Step by step, some kind of (musical) evolution?
I usually do what feels right and take it step by step. I write the goals in stone but the plans in sand.
Do you work with other songwriters or do you sit in your appartment and write the songs yourself? How did your style develop?
I always work with different songwriters. I feel it’s always better to be two people especially if you click well. We bring out the best ideas through each other. I also feel it’s good to write with different people so the songs don’t start to get to similar to each other.
In your “daytime job” you are a personal coach, I even heard you work as a stuntwoman – is that something that helps you guiding the band/your career? Determination?
Yes, I work as a personal trainer, nutrition- and wellness coach. On the side I work as an actress and stunt woman and train martial arts. They definitely help the music career. Getting used to being in front of the camera helps with the performance. The martial arts are a great way to keep your mind balanced and your body in shape for the stage.
I think I need to ask you about Corona – do you fear that everything you have achieved so far might be wiped away by the virus crisis? Or do you take the “downtime” positively?
It’s been a tough time for everyone but personally I don’t see why it would stop me in my music career. I also think people need music more now than ever.
“Para Dice” obviously is a play on words – why didn’t you call the album just “Paradise” but “Para Dice” instead? is there a deeper meaning behind the words?
Yes there is. “Para” stands for going against the current or “counter”. “Dice” stands for daring to take risks and paths in life. How can you ever reach your goals if you don’t dare to try something all the way. When we connect the words we obviously have “paradise”. I think most people connect paradise to happiness. But in order to get happiness you sometimes have to go against the current, go through some challenges in life and “throw that dice” to learn who you are and what you want in life.
Can you complete the following sentences please?
– Nobody knows that I … tend to steal people’s socks but never a pair. I always wear white, gray or black socks but they never match. I think that’s why I accidentally always asume all socks are mine, haha. It’s not on purpose
– I would like to be …on the stage in front of thousands of people rocking my heart out.
– If I had a million dollars … I would make more albums and travel the world, and buy a little house in the Dominican Republic.
What’s next for Jessica Wolff?
I have a couple of stunt gigs coming up, and two movies about to be released. I will finish my acting studies in the autumn and then I’d like to continue studying personal training but for older people. As soon as the touring possibility opens up it will be my first priority.