Jessicka (born Jessica Fodera on October 23, 1975) is an American singer who is best known for her bands Jack Off Jill and Scarling.
Early life[edit | edit source]
Jessicka grew up in the small town of Sunrise, Florida. Jessicka was raised as an only child by her mother Nancy after she had divorced her husband, Joseph. Nancy enrolled her daughter in a local Montessori school, where she excelled in art and music. Nancy quickly enrolled Jessicka in Horizon Elementary School's gifted program where she excelled in theatre, art, and creative writing. In middle school Jessicka joined her school's chorus group and found that she had natural singing ability, but was soon bored singing standards and Christmas carols. By the time she entered high school Jessicka had immersed herself in music, Goth-culture, gay iconography, and feminist literature. She often wrote the word "cunt" on her knuckles, and began to drift from the norm; at seventeen she decided that she wanted to start her own band.
Music career[edit | edit source]
Jack Off Jill[edit | edit source]
After a few failed attempts at starting a band, Jessicka met Tenni Arslynian while attending Piper High School in Sunrise, Florida. They had begun writing songs, but had not yet formed a complete band when Robin Moulder and Michelle Oliver joined them to create the band Jack In Jill. In 1992, Jack In Jill got their start when they were asked to open for fellow Floridian and long time friend Marilyn Manson and his band, Marilyn Manson and the Spooky Kids at a Davie, Florida nightclub called The Plus 5 Lounge. Before advertisements for the show were printed, Manson suggested a name change to Jack Off Jill, which the foursome accepted.
Dreadlock-clad Jessicka was the center of all the hype and attention that JOJ received. She delivered her vocals in an angelic to banshee-like voice and performed on-stage antics dressed in Goth or kinderwhore attire, that included stripping young men on stage while the band and crowd taunted the exposed fans, as well as slicing her arms on-stage with a razor and covering the audience with multi colored spit, candy, and her own blood.
In early 1993, Jessicka and Manson formed Mrs. Scabtree. Scabtree was a side project where Manson played drums, while Jessicka shared vocal duties with then boyfriend, Jeordie White, known later as Twiggy Ramirez. In late December 1994, Jessicka spent a night in jail when she and Manson were arrested after a concert in Jacksonville, Florida, after being accused by the town's Christian Coalition for breaking the town's adult entertainment codes. Both singers were charged with misdemeanors. Though Jessicka's onstage behavior was often labeled as shocking, she never claimed to be a shock rocker. In fact, Jack Off Jill had more in common musically with riot grrl acts such as Babes in Toyland and Bikini Kill than they did with Marilyn Manson and the Spooky Kids, with whom Jack Off Jill would later be constantly compared. It did not help that after a four year relationship, then boyfriend Twiggy Ramirez, began to mimic Jessicka's dress and appearance, making critics' comparisons draw even closer. At this time Jessicka increasingly cut herself on and off stage, which earned her the title of Patron saint of self injury, a line that would later resurface in the lyrics to Jack Off Jill's song, "When I Am Queen".
Jack Off Jill released several independent records and several 7" singles on Jessicka's own label Rectum Records, all before her 21st birthday. It was not until she played a benefit show on April 8, 1994 with legendary Minneapolis based grrl band Babes in Toyland and 7 Year Bitch, that Jack Off Jill caught the eye of record labels. Jack Off Jill then caught the eyes and ears of Los Angeles based Risk Records, who signed them in January 1997. The band released their first full-length Sexless Demons And Scars, on September 9, 1997. The new manifestation of Jack Off Jill hit the road on several national tours throughout the United States and Canada.
Once back in Los Angeles, Jessicka began to question her commitment to Jack Off Jill. At this time not only were she and band mate Robin Moulder not agreeing on the band's direction but she and mentor Brian Warner were no longer on speaking terms. The initial strain in their relationship was due to the involvement of Manson's ex-guitarist Scott Putesky in JOJ, and Jessicka's ongoing feud with ex-boyfriend, Twiggy Ramirez. In early 1998 after reading Manson's semi-autobiographical book The Long Hard Road Out Of Hell, and finding her role in the story had been reduced to a mere mention as a groupie, she decided to contact Manson and clear the air. She found out that Manson believed that she had employed Putesky in retaliation to how she was negatively depicted in the book. Their renewed friendship is speculated to be the reason why by early 1999, Putesky was no longer a member of Jack Off Jill and the band were asked to take the opening slot on the Marilyn Manson / Monster Magnet / Hole tour after Hole departed. By most accounts, the split was amicable.
On July 17, 2000, JOJ released their second full-length CD, Clear Hearts Grey Flowers, just as their label was preparing to close its doors. Due to pressure, poor publicity for C.H.G.F, several line up changes, tension between founding members Jessicka and Robin, and management problems, Jack Off Jill played its last show at The Troubadour in Los Angeles in April 2000. They were joined onstage by guitarist Helen Storer of the UK band Fluffy and producer Chris Vrenna on drums. JOJ officially called it quits in late 2000.
Between Bands[edit | edit source]
Post-Jack Off Jill Jessicka worked with Kevin Haskins (a founding member of Bauhaus, Tones on Tail, and Love & Rockets), producer Chris Vrenna on American McGee's Alice soundtrack, drummer Samantha Maloney, and horror comic genius and master magician Roman Dirge. Fodera also appeared in a cameo appearance in the film Ellie Parker. It is speculated that she appeared in the film due to the involvement of her best friend, actress Jennifer Syme, whom died on April 2, 2001, in a tragic automobile accident.
Jessicka also teamed up with Meegs Rascon for a song on the Tori Amos tribute album Songs of a Goddess, an industral-styled version of "iieee".
Scarling.[edit | edit source]
After taking a break and making Los Angeles her permanent residence, Jessicka was invited in 2001 by guitarist Christian Hejnal to perform guest vocals on his solo album. The pair had only met a few months earlier through their mutual friend Lisa Leveridge at a Los Angeles night club. They began recording and rehearsing together and eventually recruited the musicians who would form the first and very short-lived lineup of Scarling. in 2002.
In early 2002 Jessicka was introduced to Long Gone John, owner of Sympathy for the Record Industry, by mutual friend Mark Ryden. On March 19, 2003 Scarling.'s debut single, "Band Aid Covers the Bullet Hole", was released on John's label. Its cover featured an illustration entitled "Wound 39" by artist Mark Ryden. In April 2004, Scarling released their first album, the seven-song, thirty-three-minute Sweet Heart Dealer, which again utilized the team of Ryden and Vrenna.
In the autumn of 2004, Scarling. was invited to join the lineup of the Robert Smith-curated Curiosa Festival, performing on select West Coast dates alongside Jessicka's long-time favorite, The Cure. Three weeks before joining the Curiosa tour, drummer Samantha Maloney filled in and was soon replaced by current drummer Beth Gordon. Smith described the band's music as "dark, desperate, chaotic, gorgeous pop music, the sound of the end of the world" and nominated "Sweet Heart Dealer" for the 2004 Shortlist Music Prize.
After a series of 7" singles on Sympathy, Scarling. announced in early 2005 that their second album, So Long, Scarecrow, would appear later that year; it was preceded by the single "We Are The Music Makers" and was released on August 23, 2005. So Long, Scarecrow was co-produced by Rob Campanella and received much critical praise. Alternative Press gave the album a 5 out of 5 rating  and described Jessicka as "the cuddliest sociopath ever to hold a microphone", while The Independent described Jessicka's vocal style as being "between Kate Bush sweetness and Siouxsie Sioux stridency".
In December 2005, Scarling. embarked on its first UK tour, creating a buzz for themselves and selling out most venues. While in Europe, Jessicka attended long-time friend Manson's wedding to burlesque performer Dita Von Teese on December 3, 2005, in a secular ceremony in County Tipperary, Ireland. In 2006 Jessicka continued to tour in the US and Europe with Scarling, touring with such bands as UK shoegaze outfit Amusement Parks on Fire and opening for The Wedding Present and Depeche Mode. On February 14, 2006, while on a break from touring, she and guitarist Christian Hejnal were engaged. Scarling. are expected to begin working on their third full length album in 2007.
Personal life[edit | edit source]
Jessicka has been romantically linked to several men in music such as Jeordie White, guitarist Clint Walsh (Tweaker, Gnarls Barkley), Carlos Dengler from Interpol and Scarling. guitarist Christian Hejnal.
Discography[edit | edit source]
Albums/CDs[edit | edit source]
- Jack Off Jill, Children 5 and Up, (1993)— writer, vocals
- Jack Off Jill, The Boygrinder Sessions, (1994)— writer, vocals
- Jack Off Jill, Cannibal Song Book, (1995)— writer, vocals
- Jack Off Jill, Cockroach Waltz, (1996)— writer, vocals
- Jack Off Jill, Sexless Demons And Scars (1997) — writer, vocals
- Jack Off Jill, Clear Hearts Grey Flowers (2000)— writer, vocals
- Soundtrack, American McGee's Alice (2001) — vocals
- Scarling., Sweet Heart Dealer, album (2004) — writer, vocals
- Scarling., So Long, Scarecrow, album (2005) — writer, vocals
Singles and EPs[edit | edit source]
- Jack Off Jill, " My Cat/Swollen" ( 7" Rectum Records first pressing black and white 1993) — writer, vocals
- Jack Off Jill, " My Cat/Swollen" ( 7" Rectum Records second pressing color 1994) — writer, vocals
- Jack Off Jill, "Girlscout/ American Made" ( 7" Risk Records 1996) — writer, vocals
- Jack Off Jill, Covetous Creature (1998) — writer, vocals
- Honey To Ash, " Last Day In June" (Unquiet Grave Vol. 4 - Cleopatra Records 2000) — writer, vocals
- Messy, "Make You Believe" (Messy Music 2001) — writer, vocals
- Scarling., Band Aid Covers the Bullet Hole (7", Sympathy for the Record Industry 2003) — writer, vocals
- Scarling., Band Aid Covers the Bullet Hole (CD, Sympathy for the Record Industry, 2003) — writer, vocals
- Scarling., Crispin Glover (7", Sympathy for the Record Industry, 2004) — writer, vocals
- Scarling., Crispin Glover (7", Sympathy for the Record Industry, 2004) — writer, vocals
- Scarling. / The Willowz (split 7", Sympathy for the Record Industry, 2005) — writer, vocals
- Scarling., "Staring To The Sun" (CD, Sympathy for the Record Industry, 2006)— writer, vocals
Filmography[edit | edit source]
- Ellie Parker (2005)
See also[edit | edit source]
Sources[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Pelletier, George."Paying The Rant" Miami New Times feature, November 27, 1997.
-  Jessicka Phone Interview November 24, 1997
- Baker, Greg. "Program Notes 38" Miami New Times, January 05, 1995.
- Gargano, Paul. Metal Edge Magazine 1997.
- MTV news December 13, 1999
- MTV news February 19, 1999
- MTV news June 8, 1999
- MTV news March 04, 2000
- MTV news July 7, 2004
- MTV news August 28, 2004
- Pettigrew, Jason."Less screamy, more dreamy." Alternative Press Magazine Jan. 31, 2006
- Pettigrew, Jason.Alternative Press Magazine, Sept. 2005
- Price, Simon. The Independent Sept. 4th 2005
- Artrocker "Caught Live" December 8, 2005
- Rice, Boyd. "Seconds Magazine Interview with Jessicka" 1998
[edit | edit source]
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