Jeni Foster Interview
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
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
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
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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