By Tracy Dietlin
Jesika von Rabbit has a lot to be excited about. Not only will she be performing for the first time at Desert Daze Festival this Saturday, October 14 at 1:35 in the Wright Tent, but she also has several new projects that she’s working on. She took time last week to talk to CV Weekly about all of it.
“This will be the first time of JVR performing with a full band. I’m so excited about my new drummer and Ethan Allen from Gram Rabbit will be playing guitar with us. For the finale I have four dancers that will come out in different costumes. It’s going to be a great time,” shared von Rabbit.
“I’ve been going back and forth to LA a lot rehearsing and recording new material. I have a new album which is close to being finished and will be out in early 2018. At Desert Daze we will be doing most of the new songs.”
The new album is being produced by Gram Rabbit’s Ethan Allen and is being recorded in his studio in Silver Lake. “I record the songs here in Joshua Tree then take them down to him in LA and we take a look at them and polish them up and make them their best,” said von Rabbit.
She is also shooting a video for her new song “Innuendo and Out the Other,” which she says is a bit political. Also in the works is another new project she’s calling The Joshua Tree People. They will be making their live debut at a new festival in Joshua Tree on December 9.
“It’s a bunch of Joshua Tree Musicians and it’s very organic, not electronic like JVR, but more of an acoustic sound with a world music vibe, that’s percussive and tribal and spiritual. My vision is for it to be a collective and rotating cast of musicians so it doesn’t have to be a set in stone band. I’m open to collaborating with several local musicians and keep the structure, but at the same time be open,” shared von Rabbit.
She shared that her favorite venue to perform at is Pappy & Harriet’s, “You just can’t beat it!” As for locals bands she said that she enjoys The Yip Yops, The Flusters, Giselle Woo and Annachristie Sapphire, who is a high desert musician.
When I asked her what the highlight of her career has been so far she said, “I don’t know that there’s been just one. Playing Coachella back in 2005 was great. Having a song I wrote be in a Fruit of the Loom commercial that aired during the 2012 Olympics was pretty amazing. Having a Gram Rabbit song in the movie “Crazy, Stupid, Love” was pretty cool. It’s at the beginning of the movie with Steve Carrell sitting at the bar by himself. And recently having Boy George tweet and share my cover of his song “Do You Really Want To Hurt Me,” that was really exciting. I think all of those together make up some great career highlights.”
I asked her who she most admires in the music business and it took her some time, but she finally answered, “Madonna!”
However, when I asked her who she would most like to collaborate with she immediately responded with, “Tom Petty.”
At the time of the interview neither of us knew that Petty had been rushed to the hospital with a massive heart attack; about half an hour after the interview concluded, von Rabbit called me back to tell me that Petty had passed, which I had just heard on the news.
Finally I asked what inspires her to continue writing music. She laughed, “The voices in my head; trying to quiet them.”
Not only will she be performing at Desert Daze but she has a few other shows lined up as well:
Nov. 3 at Viper Room in Hollywood
Nov. 4 at Alex’s Bar in Long Beach with Fartbarf
Dec. Holiday show at Pappy’s TBD