Interviewed by: Anders Sandvall
Thanks to Birgitt Schwanke at GerMusica PR for setting up the interview. Thanks to Metalapolis Records for the promo pictures of the band.
Jessica Wolf is the kung fu practicing actress/stuntwoman that took up music and singing and released her debut album RENEGADE back in 2013. Now it’s time for her third album release in PARA DICE to be released at the end of June and the album is jammed with some great hard rock jewels. Since I loved PARA DICE I thought it would be in order to hook up with the Finnish singer in order to know more about her past present and future. If you’re interested in what she had to say and to hear about her music then continue to read…
Hi Jessica and thanks for taking the time chatting with me and metal-rules.com today. How are you doing?
Thank you, I’m doing very well. I have been spending a lot of time at my summer place due to the corona-virus. I’ve been doing a lot of work around the house and in the forest, painting, working out and reading.
The biography states that you are an practicing kung-fu female , acting and that also doing stunt work.. is that true? How and when did you get into doing music?
Yes it is true. I started acting as a teenager, started with stunts in 2008, shortly after found my way to Wushu Kung-Fu and a couple of years later I started kickboxing as well. I started singing when I was 12. Mainly classical music. I performed with ballads and in musicals until the age of 18 when I switched to pop rock.
Your previous album GROUNDED came 2017 what have you been up to in between the release of that one and the new album PARA DICE?
Quite a lot actually. I did a couple of roles and stunts in some movies. Got a Rottweiler. Went on tour, then I finished the third album when I came back. I also got married.
You have been out on tour with the Swedish act Treat and you also headlined your own tour, where did you tour? Was it mainly in Finland or outside Finland as well?
I did a few headliner gigs in Finland and then we went on tour with Treat in Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands and Belgium. My headliner tour 10 days later was only in Germany.
Where in the world do you got your biggest fanbase?
At the moment I’d say Germany, Scandinavia, USA and Switzerland. Before that it was Japan and India.
What about the rest of Scandinavia how do you work there like Sweden and Norway and how big are you back in Finland?
I do have some recognition in Finland, but the Finnish population is quite small and most of the people listen to Finnish songs. So it’s a bit challenging to break through. I had more success outside of Scandinavia though I have a lot of fans in Sweden and Norway. Why not doing another tour with Treat, this time in Scandinavia.
Your band is called Wolffpack, have they also been a part of the song writing process or is it mainly you that write the lyrics and music?
I usually write with other songwriters the melody and lyrics, but I have also written with a couple of my band members. In the studio however they have my full trust and they get a lot of free hands.
What do you think are the main differences musically if you compare GROUNDED with PARA DICE?
Para Dice is a bit heavier and represents more the live sound of the band.
When did you start to work on material to PARA DICE?
I started right before my first tour in 2018.
Does the title of the album have any special meaning to you and who came up with the title?
Yes it does. “Para” stands for counter. Like going against the force. “Dice” represents the courage to take different paths and risks in life. We often connect the word paradise to complete happiness. But I think a great happiness or paradise can’t be achieved without some challenges in life. When you go through them you learn and grow as a person. You know what you want and don’t want and easier to find the path your really want to be on.
Who did the cover artwork to the album and are you happy with the outcome?
His name is Timo Honkanen, he has done the art work for all my albums. I am really happy with the outcome.
The album clocks in on about 35 minutes, which in my opinion is more of an EP length, were there any songs that didn’t made it on to the final edition of the album?
It’s maybe a little bit short. But you get 10 songs and no fillers. Yes, there were a couple of songs that didn’t make it. They just didn’t fit into the concept or were just not good enough.
Most of the songs keeps within 3 to 4 minutes, was it your intention of writing shorter songs or did it just happen?
It just happened. I didn’t really focus about the length.
What are the longest songs “Perfect Kind Of Wrong” and “Superhero” about?
Perfect Kind of wrong is about a relationship. It’s about ups and downs, but in the end always finding back to the paradise together and getting stronger as a team on the way. Superhero is about no one being unbreakable no matter how tough they are. Even the strongest people need help and comfort sometimes.
How would you like to describe what kind of music you play?
Guitar driven rock with catchy hooks and modern sound.
I’ve read that PARA DICE sounds much more like the way the band sound live on stage, harder, more direct and straight in your face. What do you think of that, is it true?
Yes absolutely. It was a conscious decision. I wanted to bring out my band members personalities on the album. I also grew as a person and artist since Grounded and realized I started to get more drawn towards a heavier sound. During the tour we found our vibe on the stage and it became clear what sound I wanted on the album.
At the end of April the video to the song “Ella’s Song” was released, what can you tell us about the song and the video? I understand the song has a special meaning and message?
Yes, it’s a very important song for me. I came across Ella through a charity organization. She was so school bullied she quit school and didn’t dare to go outside. I contacted her mother and offered to come and hang out, take walks, talk or train together. After a while we decided to make a song about her story. When I wrote the song I constantly sent Ella updates about the lyrics to make sure they matched her feelings and thoughts. We still have contact today on a regular basis.
Ella’s Song (Official lyric video)
I think PARA DICE is a brilliant piece, are you happy with the outcome or would you have done anything in a different way if you look at the album in retrospect?
Thank you so much. I’m very happy with the album and wouldn’t change anything. I think that’s the most important thing, to always give 100%. If you don’t it’s very likely it will bother you later.
Do you think the old hardcore Jessica Wolf fans are going to appreciate PARA DICE?
I only received positive comments from my fans yet. But I can understand if someone doesn’t like the new sound. We’re all different and we all change. It’s 3 years after Grounded. A lot of things happened. Para Dice sounds like we feel now. (And do you think my fans want to have a Grounded part 2?)
The album is due to be released at the beginning of June, before the pandemic hit the world did you have any plans on heading out on tour once the album was out?
We did have plans to play some summer festivals and go on tour in autumn. Now we just have to wait and see. But I’m sure the tour will happen sooner or later.
Your website hasn’t been active for a while, why?
Thanks for the reminder. The answer is embarrassing. I’m quite terrible with social media and updating my website. Every time I do it my brain turns into a little gray raisin and I’m about to throw out my laptop through the window. Thanks for the reminder though, I really should improve.
Well, that was all for me this time around my time is up. Again thanks a lot for taking the time making the interview, I wish you and the band all the best, stay safe and healthy! Do you have any final words of wisdom to share with fans and readers?
Thank you too, I really appreciate it. I would just like to thank my fans so much for supporting me as an artist. Thanks to them my music stays alive! I’m really looking forward to catch up with my fans as soon as possible at one of our shows!