Paying the Rant

In a Prozac moment, the band gets almost jangly on the punkish "Devil with the Black Dress On"; on the local favorite "My Cat," Jessicka's ode to her water-skiing feline, she gets downright -- well, not unhappy. "That's as close to cheery as we get," she admits.

If Jessicka revels in playing the wrathful martyr on-stage, she sounds remarkably balanced on the phone. "I hear that a lot," she says. "But would my point be any more valid if I got on the phone completely drugged out or if I sounded like some sort of lunatic? I can save that for the stage." In fact, she says, conducting an interview filled with angst or bitterness is a good way to get your music overlooked: "There have been a lot of female bands in the past that have had something to say, but when they speak to people, they take it to another level where they have to be angry all the time. I express my rage well enough on-stage that I can have a normal conversation on the phone. I don't have to be whacked out and put the phone in my ass."

So, I ask, is it all a gimmick? Just for show? Wearing black, glorifying death, entering the old Judas Priesthood? "That's like saying that your emotions are gimmicks," Jessicka shoots back. "To rant and rave right now when I'm in a pretty good mood would not be necessary. Nevertheless, a half-hour from now someone could piss me off and the next conversation would be different."

I ask if this dichotomy between her calm and cantankerous sides might detract from what the band is trying to do. Her response is immediate. "No, because the band is what I'm about, and what I'm about is being angry and intelligent at the same time. There are two sides to it. Regan from The Exorcist wasn't crazy all the time. The fact is, sometimes there is a possession. For me, being on-stage is like a possession."

Jack Off Jill plays Tuesday, December 2, at the Theater, 3339 NFederal Hwy, Fort Lauderdale, 954-565-5522, with Lords of Acid. Doors to this all-ages show open at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $17.

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