Janet Gardner and Justin James Interview (Part 2 of 2)

INTERVIEW WITH JANET GARDNER AND JUSTIN JAMES (PART 2 OF 2)
Date: July 9, 2020 (via Skype)
Interviewer: Christopher Carroll
Photos: Christopher Carroll ROCK Photography

FORMER VIXEN LEAD VOCALIST JANET GARDNER AND HER HUSBAND / GUITARIST JUSTIN JAMES ARE BACK FOR ROUND NUMBER THREE WITH THEIR NEW ALBUM ‘SYNERGY’ BEING RELEASED VIA PAVEMENT ENTERTAINMENT ON AUGUST 7, 2020. SLEAZE ROXX CAUGHT UP WITH GARDNER AND JAMES TO DISCUSS THE NEW ALBUM IN DEPTH IN A FUN INTERVIEW FILLED WITH LAUGHTER. PART 1 OF THE INTERVIEW WAS POSTED BACK ON AUGUST 1, 2020 AND IT IS NOW TIME FOR PART 2!

Sleaze Roxx: The next song is “Gone” This is a ‘kick the door open’ kind of song. And for those who haven’t heard it yet, the chorus is:

“Going outside to catch my breath,
Going for a ride to fake my death!
Going to a party, have a shot of Jack
Going for smoke and never coming back”.

I love this!  That person really wanted to be gone!  Where did that come from? I got into that song the first time I heard it. I had to like rewind and listen to it a couple more times. I loved it.

Janet Gardner: [Laughs] Cool!  Thanks!

Justin James: That song is, I think, the most straight ahead rocker, “The Good Or The Bye” from our first album, sounding song.

Janet Gardner: That’s the opposite of the song that we were talking about before with the layers and layers. It’s like bass, drums, guitar — done!

Justin James: Ironically, in that song, because we wanted this big gang chorus, ‘anthemy’ type of thing going, our 15 year old daughter and her friend are singing in the background on that. So they make an appearance! We tried to get the boys to do it, but they refused, so…

Janet Gardner: Yeah, that one, we just wanted it to be driving and fun. And the lyrics, when the first time the chorus comes around, I heard in my head, “Goin’, goin’ gone.” And then I thought, “Well, it would be funny to say, I’m going to do this and I’m going to do that and I’m going here and I’m going there and then going, going gone.” So that’s kind of how that all came together. And then, you know, we just got ridiculous with it!

Sleaze Roxx: It’s perfect. I love it. So after that song, I thought, “Well, the album’s over. That’s the end…” but you’ve got two more songs on there. “Flying On Faith” which has a soft yet ominous feel to it. A lot of added percussion in there. Right? That was very interesting. I love the way the vocals and guitar weave through each other. That’s a song you listen to in the dark!

Justin James: That was the first song written for this album. That was the song that when I came back, on New Year’s Eve, and said, “I’ve got this idea.” I started recording and said, “Oh, my God, that’s cool. That’s awesome!”

Janet Gardner: It was definitely done like that — more early ’80s, kind of mid ’80s Peter Gabriel, kind of musical but moody. [looks at Justin smiling and says] “What?”

Justin James: This is where we differ like, subtly. To me, it’s kind of more of like an ’80s band, something like a mature sounding song, for a band. You know that some of the stuff that’s come out recently by some of those artists.

Janet Gardner: [In her most adorable three year old voice]  “We’re all grown up!”

Sleaze Roxx: [Laughing]

Justin James: We did that and then “Say You Will” was the next song that was written and recorded for the album so those two songs, it was like, “Okay, this is kind of starting out to be a little bit more of a mellow album.” So I thought that was the direction the sound was going to go in.

Janet Gardner: Yeah. Oooooh, no, nooooo.

Justin James: It never happens that way. But, “A Way To Your Heart” and oh God, I can’t remember the name of it. It was the second song we wrote for that album — “Should Have Known”! On ‘Your Place In The Sun’, they were the first two songs written for that album. So I had the same thought on that one, “Oh, it’s gonna be mellow” and that didn’t happen either. So….

Janet Gardner: We have our moments of mellow… but they don’t last long!

Sleaze Roxx: All right, last song was “Talk To Myself” and that one you already released also, at the perfect time.  It was obviously inspired by your having to stay home all the time throughout the whole pandemic.

Janet Gardner: Yeah, we were going crazy and we just wanted to do something fun. You know, the fun part of it. We figured, ‘Okay, we’ll just goof around in the house, and do something light hearted because it’s really depressing in a big way for a lot of people just being stuck at home and having people having financial problems.’ We just wanted to, you know, touch on the lighter side of that… but then, we did “Lonely We Fight” which is more on the serious side of it. And YOU were IN it!

[Interviewer’s note: Janet is referring to a photo of me (Christopher Carroll) used in the video! They used photos of several people they knew, which I thought was very cool and it helped tell the story!]

Sleaze Roxx: Yes!  That’s right!

Justin James: Originally, for “Lonely We Fight”, we always kick around the idea, in the middle of recording like, “Should we just spit something out there to surprise people”?  With ‘Your Place In The Sun’, it had been less than a year since we put that out, but, we thought, surprise everyone and say, “Here’s another song. Here’s a sneak peek!” That was the original plan, to be the first song to kind of spit out. And then when we did “Talk To Myself”, and I was like, “Oh no, this is perfect for this time.” I mean, everybody’s so bummed and out of it. Well screw it, let’s do the reverse — just have fun and be stupid, throw something out there, just kind of a fun song that’s not meant to be taken seriously.

Janet Gardner: Well, no, there was one serious bit though, the pizza with the weenie on top. Yeah, it was inspired by Justin feeding our dog, a whole piece of pizza! I’m sitting down here in the basement, and I see the dog run by with a full piece of pizza in his mouth! I’m like, “Since when do we feed our dog, a whole piece of pizza?” So that’s how that lyric came about and, you know, ‘the weenie on top’, people were desperate for food ideas during that time. So I thought, ‘You know, that’s a good idea, too.’

[Talking to their dog] “Jazzy needs pizza. Right?” She’s looking at me. Okay, okay, okay. She has to make an appearance in everything. [Holds Jazzy up to the camera] She’s eaten too much pizza. She’s got a little belly.

Janet Gardner / Justin James‘ “Talk To Myself” ‘quarantine’ video (from upcoming album Synergy):

Janet Gardner / Justin James‘ “Lonely We Fight” slide show video (from upcoming album Synergy):

Sleaze Roxx: Janet, is there a book in you? Have you ever thought about writing one? Do you have enough that you want to throw out there?

Janet Gardner: I’m a very private person. Yeah so, and plus, I don’t like the way, you know, in order to write a book that people are going to want to read, you have to throw people under the bus. You HAVE to. If it’s not juicy and you’re not ratting people out, then, nobody’s gonna want to read it. It’s not my style. I would much rather write songs that are more symbolic, where you’re sharing experiences from your life and things that you feel something about, and you’re not so literal.

Sleaze Roxx: So these lyrics in the songs that you write, are they, for the most part, about things in your life and people in your life?

Janet Gardner: In one way or another. Of course, they’re fictionalized also. Yeah, you make stuff up too but it’s usually based on an experience or a feeling that you’ve had. Sometimes, you want to just flat out tell a story and make up a story too. Like, “I Promise”, that’s just kind of a made up story. But it’s fun. It’s fun to do that too, to just fictionalize. Most of the emotions in the songs are real. It’s from something that has either hurt you or made you happy or anything that you’ve felt.

Sleaze Roxx: Yeah, something made you write that song. Production wise, and you’ve both played on albums before this, what’s the real difference that you see in having an outside producer and you guys producing this stuff yourself?

Janet Gardner: A lot more money in our pocket!

Justin James: Absolutely. I mean, it would be great to be able to hire somebody that’s insanely awesome, but there’s also a satisfaction to doing it yourself. And I know there’s people that are zillion times better than we are at this, but it’s just like writing the music. Like to us, that’s another fun part of it is sitting there and playing with new toys and trying to make it sound good. You can go crazy. Because it never sounds perfect. You always want to tweak stuff and eventually you have to just say, Alright, it’s close enough. Close the door and walk away.

Janet Gardner: Yeah, because you do reach a point where you start going backwards. You start going, “Well I thought the mix, like three mixes ago, was better than this.”

Justin James: Or you get angry kids that are sick and tired of hearing the same verse repeated 5,000 times because you’re trying to tweak one little thing in your song. They love the song later but….

Janet Gardner: They’re like, “Stop playing that soooooong!”

Justin James: But, yeah, it’s definitely financial reasons, you know. But, again, I think the other part is, it’s just fun. I love trying to outdo what we did last time and try to make it sound better. I enjoy it.

Janet Gardner: Justin definitely has the patience for that kind of mixing, mastering kind of stuff that I don’t have. And it’s good though, because I’ll walk away and then I’ll come back and he’ll say, ‘Is this better? You know I fixed the cymbals or whatever. Is it better?’  That way, I can have fresh ears and I don’t have to deal with all that, which is great!

Justin James: Yeah, bad, bad ear fatigue — eventually you’re just listening to the songs so much. Like “You Can Kiss This”, I remember listening to it 100 times and they always suggest that when you do this, you do it kind of quiet so you don’t burn your ears up. You can’t!  You gotta blast it as loud as possible make the whole house shake!

Janet Gardner: Right and then you reach a point where we’re both looking at each other like, “Is it good? Is it bad? We need to go to bed and try it again tomorrow!”

Justin James: ‘I can’t hear anything!’

Sleaze Roxx: One of the first things I noticed on your first album was the production. I was really impressed because most of the time, I wouldn’t think that any band would want to produce themselves, because most of them get too wrapped up in their part. And it just always suffers. With an outside producer, you have somebody listen to the whole song. But you guys, you seem to have a great idea of where the song should be and how it should end up. That’s impressive!

Janet Gardner: Thanks! It’s just the two of us, which does make it easier because we’re co-writing all the songs. So, you know, we know what the song needs. And so there’s nobody wanting more of themselves because we’re both all over.

Justin James: It’s kind of funny. We actually do the opposite like “On A Wire”, the chorus, I’m like “The guitars are too loud.” So I turn them down and then she’ll do that with the vocals, “Oh, the vocals are too loud.” I mean, we’re like opposites with each other where you think the guitar player would be saying, “I want to be louder. I need to be heard more.” We don’t do that.

Janet Gardner: No, we’re definitely the opposite. I’ll be like “Justin, the guitars aren’t loud enough. The drums are killing the guitars.” He’ll be like, “You sure?” So, yeah, you definitely fight for each other instead of against each other.

Sleaze Roxx: Have you guys ever played on anybody else’s album or done any demos for somebody else? We’ve all heard stories like, Don Dokken sang on the early scorpions demos, for whatever reason.  Have you guys ever done anything like?

Justin James: Well, on Whitesnake’s ‘Whitesnake’ [album], [John] Sykes just couldn’t hit the note. So secretly, I came in. I’ve never told anybody that story.

Everyone: [Laughs]

Sleaze Roxx: And he’s in hiding. So he’ll never say anything different.

Justin James: Unfortunately… Yeah, for me it was just, local people in the Chicago area and stuff. I mean, I’ve played with some great people before but never demoed, with anybody else, but you definitely have… [he looks at Janet].

Janet Gardner: Yeah, I sang on some different songwriter demo stuff. I don’t even know where the songs went. [Janet‘s eyes get wide as she remembers] Oooohhh!!  I know where one went!  It’s called “Waiting For The Big One!” YOU know THAT band!

Sleaze Roxx: Wow, you sang on a demo for that?

Janet Gardner: Yeah, I sang on the original demo for that!

Sleaze Roxx: Wow. Interesting. I don’t even see how that…

Justin James: I can see the Blabbermouth headline now, after this is posted!

Sleaze Roxx: I don’t even see how that would how that would happen… Is there a story there?

Janet Gardner: Yeah, um, we were working with, Rick Neigher and David Cole, who were also producing Femme Fatale and they [Rick and David] wrote the song. And I think it was maybe, possibly for Vixen. I’m not sure. It was towards the end of when we were recording. So they asked me to come sing it. So I did and then I didn’t hear anything about it until all of a sudden Femme Fatale did it. I don’t think I’ve ever told that story before.

Sleaze Roxx: I’ve never heard it! So I think that you have not! I probably would have heard that sometime, between the two bands, if it was ever mentioned in an interview. By the way, are you a very sweet woman who had to learn to be strong or are you a strong woman who makes an effort to be sweet? Because I’ve seen glimpses of both and I’ve always wondered.

Janet Gardner: I really had to learn to be assertive.

Sleaze Roxx: Oh, really? So you started out sweet!

Janet Gardner: Yeah, I’ve been like my mom, pretty much. And she was the sweetest woman ever. I definitely had to learn to be assertive! You know, try to make my point but not be a bitch. Because then you get a reputation for being a bitch and nobody wants to be that either!  But, at a certain point, you do have to sort of make your point in an assertive way.

Justin James: Yeah, I mean…

Janet Gardner: [A big smile comes across her face as she points to Justin who just began speaking] Yeah. See? He has an opinion here! Be careful! Careful!

Justin James: She is the sweetest girl I’ve ever known in my life. But she’s one of those people that she can take a lot but if you push her over the edge and it just goes too far, then watch out. But she’s always so kind and caring to everybody else.

[Janet smiles while she leans over puts her arm around Justin to give him a hug and says “Awwwww!”]

Sleaze Roxx: You’ve always seemed very easy going to me! Maybe you’re just being nice! That’s why I thought I’d ask. I just wondered!

[Interviewer’s note: For the record, Janet has always been incredibly nice, funny and playful and super accommodating whenever I’m (Christopher Carroll) around her. The only reason I asked this question is because I know that, in business, she has to take charge a lot of the time and that’s not a bad thing! And I’m not gonna lie and say it’s not sexy!]

Janet Gardner: No, I grew up in Montana where we didn’t lock our doors and were friends with other neighbours and with block parties and backyard picnics, and, you know, just… Life was a shock to me when people took advantage of me. After a while, you learn. I’ll be nice to a point and then you gotta reign it in and say, I’m gonna get stepped on, I’m gonna get walked all over so I’m going to stop it.

Sleaze Roxx: So who is the rock star that’s most fun hanging out with?

Justin James: For me, it’s Janet.

Janet Gardner: I was gonna say, it’s Justin!

Sleaze Roxx: Come on guys. You’re giving me a cavity. There’s nobody that sticks out like “Oh my God, it was so fun hanging out with that person?”

Janet Gardner: I love Deep Purple — all of them. I love hanging out with Jon Lord. Great guy. So charming, so smart, so talented. Such a gentleman. I love hanging out with him. He’s probably my all-time favourite. But I mean these days, with all the cruises, everybody’s become like a family. So everybody is great and you know, Mark Slaughter’s great and all of my Scrap Metal guys — Matt and Gunner [Nelson]. We have such a good time on those Scrap Metal shows there… Eric Martin, a blast! Phil Lewis was on the last one I was on. Awesome to hang out with. We had so much fun. So lots of them. I think we all kind of grew up and nobody really acts like ‘Rock Stars.’ You know, they’re loving being out playing and enjoying the music and that’s what it’s about. So, yeah, a lot of good people to hang out with.

Justin James: Yeah, I mean, like Ted Poley… just fun. He’s always smiling, great personality.

Janet Gardner: That’s right, he was on the Scrap Metal one too. That was the first time I really hung out with him.

Justin James: And Eric Martin, Oh my God, he’s really funny! He’s like a little kid. He still looks 12! You know, that’s great. It’s a compliment!  And so nice and funny and talkative and friendly.

Janet Gardner: And you know, Mark Slaughter… He’s a lot funnier than anybody knows! His impressions of like Ozzy and Gene Simmons — hilarious! He is so fun and he does Jerry Lewis!

Sleaze Roxx: So in all your years of being on stage, being out around crowds of fans, you’re two great looking people…  I’m sure you’ve both been hit on many times in that whole scene. Any funny or awkward stories there?

Justin James: Well, probably when we were hitting on each other the first time we met!

Janet Gardner: Yeah, that was hilarious! Thank God no one was watching!

Justin James: When we first met, you know…. just sayin’, the two of us. Just the awkwardness and the nervousness. You know, we were both tensing up and acting like two dorks, you know, staring at the floor!

Janet Gardner: Two 15 year olds!  “….. Hi”, “…… Hi…”. Back in the old days, most of our fans, like, in the early Vixen days, were nervous. Yeah, they weren’t really hitting on you. They were like [makes a face with a wide eyed stare] “Uh…. Hiiiiiii….. Can I take a picture?”

[Interviewer’s note: Once again, I’m laughing hysterically. She is so funny! The faces she makes along with her silly attitude. She doesn’t seem at all self-conscious. We are no longer doing an interview. It feels like we are all three just hanging out on the sofa, telling stories!]

Janet Gardner: Occasionally, you’ll get like a crazy, you know…. lunatic. One guy was hanging on the back of our van that we were driving back to the hotel and he probably rode for a mile on the back of the van before we noticed!

[Interviewer’s note: Cue my laughter again, as she is totally straight faced, telling this story.]

Janet Gardner: It’s like “There’s a guy hanging on to the back of the van. We should probably pull over!”

[Interviewer’s note: Justin, inaudibly, says something to Janet to remind her of another crazy story.]

Janet Gardner: Oh yeah! The festival! Somebody got through security and ran at me and just tackled me!

Sleaze Roxx: Are you serious?

Janet Gardner: Oh yeah, it was people, you know, pulling people off, and [smiles] I was a little scared.

Sleaze Roxx: I’ll bet!

Janet Gardner: Then, he kissed me right on the mouth! A stranger!

Sleaze Roxx: Wow [Still cracking up but in shock]!

Janet Gardner: I was like this “Blah… Blugh…” [alternating spitting and barfing noises then throws her hands in the air and screams “Get some disinfectant!” Like Lucy from Charlie Brown when snoopy kisses her, then she ends it with a final “blah”!]

Sleaze Roxx: At home, who cooks?

Janet Gardner: I do!

Sleaze Roxx: You do? Are you a good cook?

Justin James: Yes. She’s amazing! Yes.

Janet Gardner: See, he’s saying that because he likes to eat so if he says, “Yeah, she’s not bad”, then there would be a problem!

Justin James: Did you just call me fat?

Janet Gardner: No! I just… I didn’t mean it like that. [She looks at Christopher Carroll] Now, see what you have created?

Justin James: She just called me fat.

Janet Gardner: No, I usually cook a few times a week.

Janet Gardner / Justin James‘ “Wounded” video (from upcoming album Synergy):

Sleaze Roxx: You guys always seem so happy. You really do. And Justin, I’ve never seen you without a smile. But even after the shows, with the band, you guys all seem just like a family, so happy to be there! And it’s not always that way for bands. I’m not saying that every band is hating each other but they aren’t always happy to be there!

Justin James: We are so lucky with Richie [Rivera] and Anthony [Gemignani] in the band. When we go out there and we’re on stage, I mean, it’s just awesome! We love playing and we love doing it, but we love doing it together and we just play off of each other. And I don’t think we’ve ever had a ‘bad blood’ moment on stage where it was like “What is so and so doing” or, you know, “Why is this person doing that?” It’s just always fun and just not taking it serious. I mean, the news and everything else. I mean, that stuff is too serious and getting up there and playing music is about having fun and enjoying and escaping all that crap that goes on. And I think we get together and the fact that we all live in different states, with the exception of us together. It’s great to see that and then it’s great to hang out and just have an awesome time. And it transitions after the show. And we come out to see everybody, and it’s a blast.

Janet Gardner: Well, the great thing about it, too, is we always end up laughing — every moment. When we were in Australia, you know, a lot of bands pulled out of the festival and there were some things that were kind of crazy. If we were not able to sit around out in the street going, “We don’t know where our hotel is. We’re in a foreign country. We don’t know what we’re doing.” If we couldn’t laugh about that together, we would kill each other. Everybody’s got a good sense of humour. We can laugh at ourselves. We can laugh at each other. Nobody gets hurt. And we all just have a great time even when goofy stuff happens. Later you laugh about it.

Justin James: It’s one of those situations where there were some stressful moments and it was a little scary leading up to it. And with the bands pulling out, what was going on and I am so glad that we hung in there and did it because it was like the trip of a lifetime! We’d never been there before. We did have situations where we go to a hotel, and then they come out and they tell like Richie and Anthony, “Oh, sorry, you actually gotta go to another hotel down the street.” Well, now we’re separated in another country!

Janet Gardner: They’re all beautiful hotels, though! We never walked in and went, “Yuck!” It was always like, “Wow, this is great!” But we did get separated.

Justin James: We did but it was one of those situations that, when you’re going through it, you’re kind of getting a little tense, maybe a little nervous, but you knew in a week or two, we were back home, you’re gonna look back and laugh at it and it made for a great memory and a great story down the road.

Janet Gardner: Anthony usually is the one — he’s great!  He contributes so much. He is so generous and such a great guy. But when he’s had, he’s HAD IT and it’s hard not to laugh! One day, we were getting picked up at the airport or something. And this guy has us walking all over the place, dragging all of our luggage back and forth and in elevators, up to the second parking garage, down to this other parking garage. We were walking around carrying all our crap — back and forth and up and down. Anthony finally stops and he goes, “HEY! I’m not moving. Get the car and come pick us up!” He was really mad, but I was laughing so hard inside. The rest of us were like, “Okay…..” walking around with bags but he just said “Screw this!”

Justin James: But it’s good. Every band needs that one person that can kind of go into that realm and say what they really mean in that moment. But again, most of the time, I mean, like Janet said, he goes above and beyond to take care of stuff. He builds the guitars I play!

Janet Gardner: Yeah, we did the video at his place. He built a new drum riser. And you know, he just, he’s a great guy and so it’s Richie.

Justin James: Yeah, Richie is always smiling!

Janet Gardner: I don’t think I’ve ever seen him mad about anything. He just wants to play his drums and have fun and he’s really smart.

Justin James: He’s the single man in the band. He’s always on a mission. And yeah, it’s always the best story when it’s all said done. Nobody can word a story the way that guy can!

Janet Gardner: But they always, incidentally, start with, “Well, I met this girl….”  And you know, it’s gonna be good!

Sleaze Roxx: So what’s next for you guys?

Justin James: We actually have our first show, I think it’s September 26th. It’s in St. Louis. It’s our first show post — ‘everything that’s going on’. We’re excited about it. It’s kind of a bummer with everything that happened because we did have a couple of festivals this summer that we were supposed to do that unfortunately got canceled. So hopefully next summer, they will happen. But after that we’re booked to do 80’s In The Sand in Cancun, Mexico with Billy Idol, Cheap Trick and Belinda Carlisle and that, we are stoked about!

Janet Gardner: We hope Mexico will allow people from the States in there.

Justin James: Yeah, that’s one thing we’re nervous about. It’s at the end of October so hopefully.

Janet Gardner: Yeah, and we’ve got a new album coming out and obviously, we can’t tour right behind the release because now, nobody gets to play shows so we’re probably gonna do more videos. Why not?

Justin James: She’s gotten so good at editing these things!

Janet Gardner: Well, talk about new toys! I have Final Cut now so I’m ready to go!

Justin James: The mixing and the mastering and me having the patience with that…. She has the patience with the whole editing and everything else. She is just so good at sitting there. I’d lose my mind, the way I watch her just try to sync everything up and cut and paste these videos. They’re awesome

[Janet smiles and sneaks in a soft “Thank you, honey!”]

Janet Gardner: So, we’ll do some more videos for this and Justin’s already writing again. So more music! More, more music!

Sleaze Roxx: Well, anything that we didn’t hit on that you guys want out there?

Justin James: Well, the other day Janet said she was going to make me chicken and when I came home I had salad [Janet just shakes her head].

Sleaze Roxx: Well, I have one question from a fan about Spotify. Norman Voss asks if Janet Gardner owns any part of the Vixen name and why don’t you use the Vixen name?

Janet Gardner: Who owns the name? The truth is, I have no idea! I don’t know who owns the name. I walked away with nothing. I want nothing. Well, you know, things that I did, obviously, the songs I wrote, the publishing — I have that — but as far as Vixen moving forward, I walked away and I’m asking nothing. And I just don’t see two Vixens running around. It just doesn’t make sense to me. I know, there’s two L.A. Guns, Great Whites and I have nothing against them. Both versions of all those bands are great. It’s like, more of a great band to love because there’s two of them now! But I just…  I’m not interested in doing that. And I just didn’t see any reason why they shouldn’t continue. You know, why make a big stink and a big fight when there doesn’t need to be one? So yeah, I don’t know who owns the name!

Sleaze Roxx: Hmmm, interesting. Yeah, nobody on the outside ever knows what’s going on with anything like that so that’s why they wonder.

Janet Gardner: I don’t know either [laughs]!

Sleaze Roxx: Well, have you talked to those girls at all since then?

Janet Gardner: I have!  Actually [guitarist] Britt [Lightning] texted me on my birthday, “Happy birthday” and so we had a little chat back and forth. Just you know, “How are you doing? How’s your mom?”  Her mom’s awesome! And then Roxy and I texted.  We have the same birthday. She asked “How’s Chicago? How are you doing?” You know, “I miss you.” “Miss you too.” So yeah, very light contact but definitely friendly. Nothing [negative], which I would never want that to be, because we had a lot of great years together!  We had so much fun. We did some great stuff. You know, they’re good people. I love them to death. I’d never wish any ill will on them. So, yeah, I’m happy that it ended amicably instead of mudslinging ugliness that goes on most of the time.

You can pick up the new album Synergy from Gardner / James directly from www.janetgardnermusic.com and the record will be officially released via pavement Entertainment on August 7, 2020.

Excerpts from interview with Janet Gardner and Justin James by Christopher Carroll on July 9, 2020 for Sleaze Roxx:

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