Monsters riding waves of light. Prophets of doom
—From Huntress last album ‘Four Blood Moons’
FROM OPERA TO TOPLESS DJ TO ROCK
Jill Janus was being trained as an opera singer when she was growing up on a farm in New York State’s Catskill Mountains. She was 10 years old when she was cast in her first opera at a local theater. In her teenage years she went in a totally different direction and turned to the heavy metal music known as thrash, loud fast tempo that combines heavy metal and punk rock.
Jill battled bipolar disease from an early age. When she was 18 she developed a split personality and became a topless disc jockey in New York who called herself Penelope Tuesdae. She posed nude in the April 2004 issue of Playboy.
She lived for a time in Monte Carlo and sang at the Monte Carlo Sporting Club and the Bravo Bar, where Monaco’s Prince Albert was a patron.
“I was so naive,” Jill said later on her DJ program, “I’d never been drunk. I’d just drink Shirley Temples and flirt with Prince Albert.”
Back in America she was the lead singer of the band Vexy Strut before forming Huntress in California in 2009. She was the lead singer for the band’s three studio albums, the last one was Static in 2015.
WORLD TRADE CENTER NIGHTMARE
Before all that, in an historic brush with fate, she was working in cabaret at Windows on the World in New York’s World Trade Center right up until the night before the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001.
“I left the World Trade Center at 2 a.m. on September 11,” Jill told a caller on her DJ program. “A few hours later the building collapsed. It was terrifying. It was such a beautiful day. The sky was so blue. I had nightmares for a week.”
As a victim of mental illness, she became an advocate for mental health, telling her fans who were suffering to get help before it was too late.
It became too late for Jill on August 14, 2018 in Portland, Oregon. She killed herself at the age of 43.
“Beyond her accomplishments in the music world and her advocacy for mental health issues,” band members wrote in a statement, “she was a beautiful person, passionate about her family and animal rescue. She will be missed more than she could have ever known.”
HUNTRESS ‘EIGHT OF SWORDS’ LIVE IN MONTREAL