If you’re not already tuned into Jesse Jo Stark, now is the time to change that.
Following a string of single and EP releases, the 33-year-old, who is a member of the Chrome Hearts fashion family, was ready to unleash her debut album, DOOMED, in September of last year. Blending thought-provoking imagery with a range of sonics from dark-pop, punk, and country, the 11-track project, co-produced alongside Michael Harris, Matt Schwartz, and The Neighbourhood frontman Jesse Rutherford, is a testament that Jesse Jo Stark is no ordinary gal who can be boxed into one genre.
As the album celebrates its first anniversary, Jesse Jo Stark is currently embarking on her first world tour. With a European leg completed and the North American leg about to be wrapped too, she will next make her debut in Asia by supporting her rockstar boyfriend Yungblud and Bring Me The Horizon on their co-headline tour. On September 29, she dropped the haunting dance anthem “Breathe” with producers DVBBS. However, just two weeks later, Jesse Jo Stark arrives with even more music — the vulnerable and stripped-back “Fallout.”
In an exclusive interview with Principle, we find out more about Jesse Jo Stark’s time on the road, releasing her debut album, working with Linda Perry, and what she has planned next.
You just completed a headline tour across Europe and are now performing across North America. How have the shows been going so far?
Every night is always so different for us. My favourite bit of the show is around the second song. The lights go up and I can see everyone’s faces. The way they are taking in the show gives me butterflies. I’m having too much fun.
Last month, you made your Reading and Leeds debut, which is pretty major — congratulations on that milestone. How was the experience?
INSANE. I was very nervous to play this one because of its history. I really just wanted to kick ass and make sure no one fell asleep. I love how much people appreciate music in the UK. Festivals hit differently there. People wanna hear good shit.
What cities have been a highlight so far?
Manchester, Paris, and Amsterdam.
Where in the world haven’t you been able to perform yet that is on your bucket list?
I’m about to play some shows in Asia, which was on my list. I want to play The Hollywood Bowl in LA because I’m from there. Australia and Mexico are on my list too.
The shows you are embarking on right now are in promotion of your debut album, DOOMED. You had been working really hard up until that point. How did it feel to finally put out an album?
DOOMED turned one today! I wanted to call this tour the “DOOMED Tour” simply because it’s a hot word and my heart still stands by the meaning, but the set consists of some of my first tunes and a few new ones. Putting out DOOMED was like getting your first bikini wax. I’m now ready for the next!
How did you feel about the reception of the album? Was it everything you hoped it would be?
I wouldn’t use the word hope. It was more like I had finally reached the top of this high daunting mountain. I had so much fear of climbing. Now, I’m already ready to put out another! If anything, I’m back to where I was when I was 16. I wanna make a country album. A spooky country album, whatever that means to anyone.
Has it been important for you to not be associated with just one genre?
I think it makes it harder, it’s not on purpose.
You’re a very visual artist. Do the visuals come to you during the creative process or does that all happen after?
It usually happens before. I dream a lot. I’ve turned a lot of my fears into visuals. I don’t think I’ve made my best video yet. It’s still inside of me somewhere.
You’ve been able to work closely with Linda Perry, who everyone knows for being a prolific songwriter and producer for so many songs, especially for women. What advice has she given you that has really stuck with you?
Most of all her advice has stuck with me. She took me seriously, which was advice in itself. Especially in a male-dominated world, the time she spent with me changed me. She doesn’t fuck around, and it makes you want to slay.
And lastly, what else can fans expect from you soon? It seems like you’re always working on a lot of stuff.
I have more new music coming out. I recently sang on my friend DVBB’s track, which was different for me. The video is amazing! What else is coming? Movies, Asian shows, and of course… Halloween!