EMQ’s with JENNA LEIGH-RAINE
Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with London, UK based Alternative Multi-instrumentalist/Singer/Songwriter, Jenna Leigh-Raine. Huge thanks to Jenna for taking part.
What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
Jenna Leigh-Raine. I play electric guitar, keyboards, synths and drums. I began writing songs aged 14, then picked up the guitar while also having drum lessons.
I have been a solo artist since 1986. I have been signed to different music label companies, and management agencies and agents, since 2005.
I have recorded around 13 albums and am currently recording my next album. I write, record, produce and engineer everything. Even the artwork, which I love doing and think it’s right I do it, to get the image and look as I see it.
How did you come up with your band name?
I use my real name.
What country are you from and what is the rock/metal scene like there?
I currently live in Central London, and was born in a place called Lightwater in Surrey.
I actually think metal is evolving and I’m seeing it more recently. I would even add myself in this new sound. It is more the use of a rich, cold, metallic electronic mix of rock, punk, and metal, a touch of guitars with a wall of dark synth. I think this is happening naturally among those who like rock but appreciate alternative sound too. LA is producing some great acts like Ghostmane.
London is always a fire pot of good emerging bands. I also watch to see what is coming out of Berlin and the US. I’m even following the Asian markets.
What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)
“KRAFT” is my current album release available on all platforms and stores.
‘Eden Black (Official Video)
Who have been your greatest influences?
Gary Numan / David Sylvian / Avril Lavigne / Hans Zimmer. My list is quite long.
What first got you into music?
It felt natural as I became a teenager. While my friends were into what girls get into, I was focusing a lot on writing lyrics then picking up a guitar.
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
Interesting. I think it would be someone current. If I had to pick names on the spot, I’d love to collaborate with Avril Lavigne, Yungblud, or Poppy.
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
It would be somewhere on a beach, at night, on a big stage. I’ll settle for Coachella! In the UK, I’d choose Reading. I have some great memories associated with it. I hosted and entertained a few girlfriends around Central London a few years ago, who were about to go to the festival. I took them to the Crobar (which now Dave Grohl says is his favourite and had put his name, and some cash even, along with others, to save it from impending doom) and the Mean Fiddler, a known rock stomping ground. I walked inside the latter and said to one of the bartenders, “Oh, I’ve got Guns ‘n’ Roses in the car, I want a table with free Jack Daniels.” She came back to the car and looked, as DJ Ashba waved, she almost fainted. It was a heady, crazy night that definitely was Rock n Roll. After their Reading gig they returned and wanted to see more of London.
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
A wedding proposal…
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
Thank you. I appreciate every sale of records you have brought, wherever you have been in the world. I’m trying to get out live as soon as things open up again.
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
Marc Bolan. I wonder what he thinks of music today. Or Elvis.
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
I love creating new music.
Worst is definitely fighting doubt. Being solo you feel it a lot. You have to re-centre your head and say, ‘come on, you’ve done a good job’.
The industry is upside down right now, but I do think a new sound will arrive, which I have.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
Treat alternative as valuable, commercial music. Make real music the hub and put bad chart music at the back.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
Oddly, it’s not rock – it’s “Gone To Earth” by David Sylvian, or “Dance” by Gary Numan. I love “I Disagree” by Poppy.
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
Vinyl. Conversation over!
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
Well, I think it’s just ahead of me, in LA, to be announced if things get sorted. Alternatively, I did one at the Garage in Islington, London and I seemed to have played really well that night.
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
A full-time writer. I write whenever I’m not making music.
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
What’s next for you?
New album. I’m currently recording it. It has a few working titles. It’s about imbalance – a track called ‘DEIMO’ (working title) is a highlight. I’ve mixed very metallic synth walls with dirty, heavy, rock punk guitars.
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
My records are on sale at Amoeba, LA; HMV UK and Rough Trade UK/USA.
Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?
Biscuit. I used to love them, dipped too in coffee, ha.
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
I think rock music in all its forms will evolve as music often does, especially after a world crash, or say, after a war. This epidemic is a reset. I see rock becoming more driven by a new synth order. There isn’t any need to panic about its future. I’m noticing that other rock artists are also feeling that if you introduce an almost wall of synth around rock metal or punk guitars, it sounds like the dark side of the sun.
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