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Jackknife Stiletto: Punk Attitude with a Fresh Sound

As seen in Guitar Girl Magazine Issue 14 – New York-inspired

Jackknife Stiletto is an all-female rock ‘n’ roll band from New York City. The trio is known for their aggressive drive and punk attitude with a fresh sound. Think Rancid meets Black Sabbath—with chicks. Jackknife Stiletto has toured nationally, sharing the stage with acts such as Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, Cheap Trick, Murphy’s Law, Cherie Currie, Less Than Jake, Anti-Flag, and Bret Michaels. Their powerful live performance has also commandeered SXSW and Warped Tour. Members Annie Stoic, Mel Funk, and Foxy Roxy believe in loud, melt-your-face-off music, guaranteeing one hell of a sexy, unforgettable rock show.

Their latest release, Chronicles of Jane, is a series of EPs and comic book narratives, featuring illustrations by Toronto artist Becca T-R. The project debuted on the NACC Top 200 charts at #103 and was nominated for Best Rock EP by the Independent Music Awards. Chronicles of Jane: Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 are available now on Blackheart Records. The band is currently in the studio working on their next album, with tours to follow.

Jackknife Stiletto’s known for its hard-rock raw edge and rebellious punk rock attitude. What inspired your sound?
We’ve all been in different bands over the years and have varied tastes in music. We can’t really say there’s a certain band or influence that started this band. It was more the situation of a few girls who wanted to form an all-girl rock/punk band, work as hard as possible to get our music out there, and tour a lot!

Generally, how does this group go about writing music?
It really varies from song to song for us. Our songs can be inspired by anything from bad relationships to stalkers to tacos. Whatever we may be feeling at the moment, a book we read, or something that might have happened years ago can spark our songwriting process!

What gear are you currently playing with/out of?
Annie: Gibson Les Paul Studio; WBGear: SIT Strings, InTune Picks; MesaBoogie Mini Rectifier Head; 4×10 Marshall Cab; Pedaltrain board with Electro-Harmonix pedals: Pitch Fork, East River Drive, and Canyon; Shure GLXD16 Wireless System; Bullet Spark Plug cables.
Roxy: Warwick Streamer LX 4 Bass with D’Addario EXL170 strings; Fender Rumble 200 combo amp; Darkglass Microtubes B7K Pedal (V1); Temple Pedalboard; and Hosa cables.
Mel: SJC Custom drum kit; Soultone Cymbals; Ahead drumsticks; Cympad Cymbal Felts; and ToneAlly Stick Trainer

What are some of your favorite songs you’ve written? What’s your favorite song to play live?
Annie: I like playing “Dear Jane” live; vocally, it’s a very erratic song to sing. I am looking forward to releasing our new songs!!
Roxy: Favorites to play live are “Schadenfreude” and “Fall Back Down.” The new, unreleased songs are my favorite songs written.
Mel: My favorite song to play live is “Heart in a Holding Cell.” I love a driving tom-heavy drum beat. And I agree that I am so excited to release our next album with all of our new favorite songs!

So you are out on Blackheart Records, which is, of course, Joan Jett’s record label that includes such rockers as L7 and The Dollyrots, among others. How did that come about?
When we finished our first EP together Chronicles of Jane: Vol.1, with our producer, Dave Caggiano, we were really proud of it and knew we had something there to send to them. Annie has been with the Blackheart touring team for a while and showed the songs to them; they loved the EP and said they would put it out on Blackheart Records. We are so thrilled and honored to be next to such amazing artists and trailblazers.

You‘ve essentially created your own genre called VAGXCORE for women who rock by women who rock. Tell us more!
VAGXCORE is female rock ‘n’ roll in every way, shape, and form. We work hard at promoting female musicians in the industry and strive to make a community of female musicians supporting each other.

Your recent series of two EPs called Chronicles of Jane are now out, and also out as a comic book narrative with illustrations by Toronto artist Becca T-R. How did that collaboration form?
Annie: We were really looking for a female comic artist who saw our vision, and I literally just searched through Instagram hashtags and found Becca. We emailed her our ideas, and the first thing she drew for us was right on point. We love working with her; every vision we had, she was able to bring to life!

Along with all the major changes and shutdowns in the music industry over this past year, you have started your Music Monday Hangouts where you Livestream with special guest artists and bands for a fun Q&A, music, and quarantine talk, as well as live streaming DIY home shows. What made you want to go down that route and how has it been?
Well, there isn’t really another route right now. We wanted to stay in touch with our fans and keep them entertained in any way we could. It’s a time where they can see us at home and in our real environments, so it lets people into your lives on a more personal level. As for Music Monday Hangouts, we wanted to stay in touch with the bands and musicians we normally get to see on tour, plus be able to introduce each other’s fans to each other while we are all unable to tour. It’s been great being able to see our friends (virtually) whom we would’ve seen this year, but we can’t travel to them!

You’ve shared some cool stages with some big names all across the country. Once touring can resume, what would be your dream tour?
Annie: Dream tour would be Jackknife Stiletto, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, and Halestorm (How about that for 2021?!).
Roxy: I’d love to play with Hole, Garbage, Alice in Chains, and Rancid.
Mel: A tour with Dresden Dolls, Halestorm, Sum 41, and Foo Fighters, with an epic drum breakdown with me, Brian, Arejay, Frank, Taylor, and Dave jamming together. Ha-ha, yeah, that’d be great.

New York City has always been a hugely important center for music and its development. How has getting started in such a rich cultural center inspired you? What have been the challenges?
Mel: From an inspirational standpoint, there was certainly no shortage of shows to see and musicians to learn from. Going to a music college in NY created many networking opportunities, which is so important in the entertainment industry. It’s how Annie and I met and started this band.
Roxy: The challenge with NYC is that the music scene is oversaturated. You could have like ten-plus shows going on in one night, so it’s always tough to get people to come out, especially when they could be seeing a bigger band on the night that you’re playing. Also, parking is difficult, and lugging your gear down long city blocks is never fun.

If you could have a one-on-one cooking or music lesson with a famous (or not so) musician (living or dead), who would it be?
Annie: I’ll take a music lesson with Nita Strauss and a cooking lesson with Eddie Money!
Roxy: I’d like a music lesson from Eddie Van Halen.
Mel: Music lesson from the late and great Jaco Pastorius, and a cooking lesson from Snoop Dog.

What’s next? What are you most excited about for 2021?
More live streaming for now, and we have new videos out every Thursday on our YouTube channel. But we are excited about our new record and hopefully playing live again!

Photo provided by artist with permission to use.

Platinum Viking

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