Jeni Foster Interview
(Princess Pang)

They're one of the "hottest" groups around. They're Metal Blade recording artists "Princess Pang." The group has been getting rave reviews from not only the press, but radio as well.
What's all the fuss about? We let Princess Pang's lead vocalist Jeni Foster explain.

Q. I'll tell you what's so strange about your success. You're a New York group that signed with an LA. label. How did that happen?
A. Well, they saw us at The Ritz. A and R people go all over the world. It's not like they stay in their town and wait for people to come to them. They generally go all over the place looking for bands. It just so happened that we were in the right place at the right time kind of situation. At the time we had other labels interested as well. We went with Metal Blade because they seemed to have the truest commitment to the group.

Q. I see a trend in music today, and I want you to tell me if I'm wrong. Twenty years ago Janis Joplin and "Mama" Cass Elliot were on top. It would appear anyway that lately, more emphasis is being placed on looks than talent. And, if you don't look like Madonna or Stevie Nicks or even Jodi Foster, you can't get your music heard.
A. No. I don't agree with that. First of all, I don't consider myself that good looking. I used to think that too. I used to dress myself way, way down, and try really hard to make myself look bad. I think it's a reverse prejudice. I think you should just be yourself, regardless of whether you look good or bad. It just doesn't matter. Cyndi Lauper isn't exactly the best looking female singer in the world, but she's certainly neat looking. I think the trend is just honesty, being yourself.

Q. When you were looking for a producer, you found that all the producers from the 70's were either "coked out" or they couldn't bring an album in on budget. Why couldn't they bring an album in on budget, because they were "coked out?"
A. Well, I don't think I said that, I think that was probably from our drummer. People who have done a lot of albums, older producers don't care about the budget as much anymore. You can go over budget by ordering too much food. (Laughs.) It's not just drugs. It's maybe sloppy planning too. If you use an extra-kind of effect, it causes extra money. Well established producers are a lot more money, obviously. Older producers are not able to work within the confines we want them to. They want what they want. They know what they need.

Q. How did you survive in a city like New York, when you were literally starving?
A. I just did. You just do what you gotta do. Now, I feel like I'm rich, because I can actually go to the supermarket and buy food, where for a long time, we were living off of spaghetti and ketchup, or Kraft Macaroni and Cheese for forty-nine cents a box, for weeks on end. We became so used to it, you know, that it just became part of life. It definitely has its toll on your physical body. That's what’s so difficult, because as an artist, you're fighting and trying to do music. As a front person stamina-wise, it's basically out of shape because you can't eat. It's the determination, and the fight and drive is always there. That's what gets you through.

Q. Your drummer told one magazine that at one point, you had serious boyfriend problems and that causes you to write a lot.
A. (Laughs.) No. That was like really dumb.

Q. Have you ever had a boyfriend get jealous of the attention you receive onstage? Is that a problem for you?
A. Yeah, it can be a problem. It's not easy for both ends as far as a relationship goes. It's not easy for a woman who is a girlfriend of a rock star to deal with. It's hard to deal with. You just do. You realize this person really matters to you, and you deal with it.

Q. As the singer and front person for Princess Pang, you're singled out for most of the attention. Does this cause any jealousy in the group?
A. No. We're pretty healthy that way. No one's ever felt it was too much that way. I think it's been pretty good. It's been pretty even anyway. It's not like it's only been me.

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