Jillette Johnson Is Home For Christmas But Don’t Tell Santa About The Whisky

Jillette Johnson sings with a sultry voice beyond her years but possesses the spirit of someone who will always be young at heart. Fresh off a whirlwind tour with Mary Lambert, Jillette is home for the holidays in New York City (with a new Christmas cover to prove it). After the success of her first album, Water In A Whale, Jillette is moving triumphantly towards the new year, a new album and new possibilities.

by: Shannon Kurlander

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What were some of your favorite behind the scenes moments on tour?
First off all it was an amazing tour, the whole thing was a lot of fun. The third night of the tour we went to a speakeasy after one of the shows, I think we were in Albany. We wound up closing down the bar and playing songs on this little funky upright piano in the corner. I sat down and I was like “I guess I’m going to play you guys a song that I’m not playing on this tour because you’re going to have to hear my voice every night – I don’t want to be overly redundant.” I played a song I was fully about to discard. They all forced me to play it every night after that…actually Mary brought me up the last show of the tour to play the song during her encore.

And what is the title of this song?
A song called “Bunny”. It’s not really available anywhere but probably going to end up on the next album.

Your “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” cover is enchanting! What’s the best part about being home in NY for Christmas?
It actually feels like Christmas here. There’s something really fulfilling about being in the cold and the energy of New York. It feels like the way the holidays should feel and both of my parents are here; I don’t get to see them very much. It’s always a great thing to remember who you are.

Also speaking of Christmas coming up- what’s one thing that would put you on Santa’s naughty list?
Just one thing? I do like my Whisky. That probably doesn’t go over well.

Your song “Peter Pan”, from Water In A Whale, make us never want to grow up. What are some your childish things about yourself that you will never give up?
I’m a mess. I’m so messy and I can’t keep my apartment clean for the life of me. I hope that’s something I can grow out of but it’s not looking good. I have a really bad sweet tooth and I really love candy. As much as I try, I can’t escape it. I douse everything in sugar.

You mentioned earlier a possible new album. Can you elaborate more on what’s next for you?
I haven’t started making it yet but I have written a lot for it. I think I’ll probably be writing more before I can say I have everything that I want to put on it. This next album is going to be a more organic album…I would like to not use a lot of modern sounds. I would like to use a lot of real instruments and have them recorded in a way that sounds like you could place it in any era. I want to have a lot more space on the album…there will be a lot of cool spooky guitar sounds. I have been really inspired by Emmylou Harris a lot of my life but I would like to more directly reference her for this next album.


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