GES: Hello Jennifer, I hope everything’ s going well for you !
Jennifer: Yeah –lots of work this year. I will have gtimes as well
GES: I know that you have composed and recorded a new solo Album, can you tell us more on it ? Is there already a title, a cover art ?
Jennifer: I’ve had the cover art for several years. It’s a painting of a punk mermaid by the same woman that’s done my others. www.pamelina.com . The CD is not finished yet but will be called. “Off the Deep End” I’ve programmed everything myself this time and have a lot of vocal samples and killer drum loops as well as guitar synth and regular guitar. There’s some comedy in it as well, and lots of ear candy with sounds.
GES: Will some guests make appearance ?
Jennifer: I’ve gotten vocal samples from several friends and am still waiting for a special guest to do a whistling track for one song. I also hired the bassist Andre Berry from my first CD to play on one track. On a ballad I hired a cellist and violinist too.
GES: Is it true that you have been signed by Steve Vai’ s Label Favored Nations ? They also re-edited your previous solo Albums ?
Jennifer: I haven’t actually signed yet but have been offered a contract. They’ll rerelease my first 2 CD’s when the new one is done.
GES: Your last solo Album Momentum was released in 1997, did it take you a long time to compose the new one ?
Jennifer: It takes a very long time to compose and record partly due to my travel schedule. So far this year, I’ve been to China, Australia and Japan twice as well as Canada. I haven’t been home much to work on the CD.
GES: How do you record your solos ? Do you prefer to improvise and keep what you prefer, or are they in your mind before playing them ? For example I remember Steve Vai saying that he had the solos in his head, he could sing them and the difficulty was to find how to play them on the neck…
Jennifer: For this record I recorded with computer. I jammed for 5 or 10 minutes on each solo section and took my favorite parts. It’s very tedious comping solos though. A 5 minute solo could easily take a week to put together. I think next time I’d choose full takes and if it isn’t mostly OK, keep doing a full take until you like it all.
GES: What are your favorite guitar effects ? Did you use a lot of them on the new record ?
Jennifer: My all time fav is Digitech’s whammy pedal for bending notes or chords down a whole step. I always use the whammy a lot since 1991 when they released the first one.
GES: Every person who knows you, has may be heard your “Giant Steps”, “Flight of the Bumble Bee” covers… using incredible Tapping technics ! Are you still working a lot on these technics ? If you had to choose a new cover today, which one could it be ?
Jennifer: I don’t spend time any more working on chops kind of pieces. I spend most of my time recording and writing which I enjoy more than live playing and touring. Bringing an idea to life that you hear in your head is intoxicating.
GES: There are some Artists who give the opportunity to their fans to buy “Bootlegs” Live cds through Internet ( A good example could be Frank Gambale ) . It would be a very good idea to do the same, don’ t you think ? I’ m sure a lot of people would be interested !
Jennifer: I’ve never been satisfied enough with my live shows to allow a bootleg. Maybe in the future when I have a band together that has played a lot together I’d reconsider.
GES: Are you planning about releasing some new instructional book or video ?
Jennifer: I’d like to do a few books of transcriptions of the stuff from my records and also a book on tapping too. I’ve go one tapping book that has ben recently put out of print for a few years by Hal Leonard Publishing. But I have a lot more material to release in book form. I just need more time at home !
GES: I would like to know more about your equipments… What is your basic studio equipment at the moment ?
Jennifer: I record with Logic 6 still and Pro Tools hardware. I run my guitar from the Digitech GNX4 into a Boogie Strategy 400 power amp and into Randal Isolation. It’s a 1X12 celestion speaker in an enclosure stuck in my closet which is wired for a mic. I then run the mic into an Avalon tube preamp before going into the recording device.
GES: Are the computers affecting the way you compose ?
Jennifer: Yes. I like the possibilities of editing but overall I don’t like computer recording partially because I don’t like staring at a computer screen to record. I think it will evolve into a more Intuitive process because lots of people complain about it.
GES: Can you tell us what are your actual endorsments ?
Jennifer: Digitech effects, Peavey amps, Washburn guitars. Dean Markley strings.
GES: Before we finish, some short questions ok ? .. so short responses are welcome !
Touring with Michael Jackson, a really cool experience or just professionnal ?
Jennifer: It was the best. I got to tour the whole planet and get paid well to boot. He was a great boss to have and I was a fan before joining the band. It was an eye opener for me and began a career of globetrotting to follow. He treated everyone really well.
GES: Touring with Jeff Beck, the same ?
Jennifer: The Beck tours were wonderful and more intimate as a band since there were only 4 people instead of 6 and a load of dancers and singers. There were 6 people on the band bus and 6 in the crew bus. We’d always have dinner with Jeff and also party with champagne after the shows. He’s a very social creature and wants to share in the fun from playing a good show.
GES: Your favorite Albums ?
Jennifer: Jeff Beck Blow by Blow, Weather Report Heavy Weather/ Mr Gone, Professor Trance and the Energizers, Deep Forest 1, Afro Celt Sound System-(first 2 cd’s).
GES: Your favorite movie ?
Jennifer: Forest Gump
GES: Your favorite food ?
GES: Some hobbies ?
Jennifer: Stained glass projects
GES: Do you know some French Guitar players ?
Jennifer: The Gypsy Kings are French. I love their stuff. I play it on car rides.
GES: Thank you so much for your responses ! A last question, but very important for your European Fans, any European tour plans soon ?
Jennifer: There are no plans for Europe as yet but I may do a guitar festival in November. Dates will be posted on my site www.batten.com/tourdates.htm
GES: I hope we will get your new Album as soon as possible in the Shop, and I really want to thank you very much for your time. I wish you the best for the future !