Former VIXEN singer Janet Gardner has confirmed in a new interview with Fox News Digital that she still works part-time as a dental hygienist in Connecticut when she is not on the road with her husband.
"My grandfather was a dentist," Janet explained. "My uncles, a couple of them were dentists. Their kids are now dentists, a couple of hygienists — lots of dental people. And they all had really good lives. They were able to do their work and have the sort of work/life balance [that] was very good… I needed something that would allow me enough time for my family, for my music, other things in life. That work/life balance really appealed to me. If I had this kind of skill, I could work more when I needed more money, and I could work less when I needed more time for other things."
"It worked out great," she shared. "And I like learning. I like school. So going back to school for me was very satisfying. And I loved what I was learning. We had to take pharmacology… And I love science. It was invigorating. I loved it. I studied my butt off. I kicked ass… Not only did it give me something that I could do in my life… for money and security and for my family. [But], I also [get] to use a side of my brain that hadn't been used in a while."
Janet previously discussed her career as a dental hygienist during a 2020 interview with Rock Titan. At the time, she said: "One of the best things I ever did for my relationship with music is to take money out of it — to not have to make any decisions based on what's gonna make the most money. I like to be able to have the freedom to do what we feel like doing, and I know that me and my family and everybody's taken care of. I can work more when I want, I can work less hours when I want and do more music, or go to Australia or do whatever. It has a lot of flexibility, and I don't have to make musical decisions based on money, on finances, and it feels great."
Back in 2018, Janet told "The Five Count" radio show that she has never gotten pulled off the road for somebody's emergency root canal surgery or anything like that. "Luckily, nobody I know has ever needed emergency cleaning, so I can book people when I'm around," she explained. "But the poor dentist I work for has to deal with that all the time. But, luckily, he lives about 20 seconds away from the office, so he can go in and do those emergency root canals and I don't have to hear a thing about it. He's really a cool guy too, and he's so good with me having to take off to do music and stuff like that, 'cause he gets it. He's, like, 'Oh, yeah. You'd be crazy not to. So get out of here. I'll see you when you get back.'"
Janet's collaborative project with her husband, guitarist/producer Justin James, released a new album, "No Strings", on June 9 via Pavement Entertainment in North America and Frontiers Music Srl in the rest of the world.
"No Strings" is the follow-up to the 2020 record "Synergy".
"Synergy" was the first Gardner/James album to be released under the GARDNER*JAMES banner. The couple previously collaborated on Janet's first two solo albums, 2018's "Janet Gardner" and 2019's "Your Place In The Sun".
Janet announced her departure from VIXEN in January 2019, saying in a statement that it was time for her to step aside and let drummer Roxy Petrucci and bassist Share Ross "pursue their vision for the future of VIXEN."
Gardner, Petrucci and Ross are considered to be part of VIXEN's classic lineup, along with founding guitarist Jan Kuehnemund, who died of cancer in October 2013.
Gardner contributed lead vocals to VIXEN's most commercially successful studio albums — "Vixen" (1988),"Rev It Up" (1990) and "Tangerine" (1998) — as well as the group's latest release, 2018's live album "Live Fire".
In January 2018, Gardner underwent surgery to remove blood clots in her brain, a condition known as a subdural hematoma.
While Gardner was recovering from her surgery, VIXEN played a show in Durant, Oklahoma in March 2018 with a fill-in singer, Lorraine Lewis of FEMME FATALE. In January 2019, Lewis was announced as Gardner's official replacement.