JANET GARDNER Isn't Bothered By VIXEN Continuing With Only One Member From Classic Lineup: 'Have Fun'
June 13, 2023
In a new interview with The Rock Experience With Mike Brunn, Janet Gardner was asked how she feels about VIXEN carrying on with drummer Roxy Petrucci as the sole remaining member of the band's "classic" lineup. She said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "What's the alternative? That it doesn't exist anymore? It is what it is. Obviously, [founding guitarist] Jan [Kuehnemund] will never be a part of it anymore, and I left, and then Share [Ross, bass] left. And the alternative is for it not to exist anymore. So, no, it doesn't bother me. Roxy, she loves playing. So, God bless her. Have fun."
She continued: "There's a lot of bands out there playing with very few, if any, original members. And it's really upsetting to people. But nobody is holding a gun to your head. You don't wanna go see it? Don't go see it.
"I got some messages from some people, 'You need to stop them. They're ruining the VIXEN legacy. Why are you letting them do this?' It's, like, well… I don't understand. I don't understand why people are so upset. Don't go see it if you don't want to."
Speaking about her replacement in VIXEN, singer Lorraine Lewis of FEMME FATALE, Janet said: "Lorraine has always been really supportive and nice to me, always. So, yeah, it's cool."
Janet, who released her debut self-titled solo album in 2017, broke the news of her exit from VIXEN in a social media post in January 2019.
Elaborating on her reasons for leaving the band, Janet told SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk" back in November 2021: "The summer of 2018 was insane with life in general. 'Cause between [me and my husband Justin James], we have three kids [and regular] jobs… And [Justin and I] were doing our [project]. And VIXEN, we were doing tons of the great, the big festivals — we did Graspop, we did Sweden Rock, we did a whole bunch of… Barcelona, whatever… Lots of stuff was going on. And we were still trying to do shows. It was just insane. And I was so stressed out. I literally went to work — my job as a dental hygienist — didn't have time to change clothes. Went to [John F.] Kennedy airport [in New York], got on a plane, flew to Spain. Then we did a bunch of shows. We had a 2:30 in the morning lobby call, and we got to Germany and had to get in a van and drive and do a 90-minute show. I couldn't do that when I was 25. And then a few other times, [Justin and I] had a show and then I had to get on a plane and fly somewhere else and do a VIXEN show, like, in the afternoon. And literally one time I didn't even get a shower. I wore my makeup from the night before on stage the next day. It was that bad. No sleep, no nothing."
Janet went on to say that she is still on good terms with her former bandmates in VIXEN. "Absolutely. I love 'em to death," she said.
When Janet announced her departure from VIXEN, she said in a statement that it was time for her to step aside and let Petrucci and Ross "pursue their vision for the future of VIXEN."
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 Lewis as a fill-in singer. In January 2019, Lewis was announced as Gardner's official replacement.
Asked if she had anything to do with Lorraine replacing her in VIXEN, Janet told "Trunk Nation": "No. It was totally their call. I expected it. She filled in when I had brain surgery. And they were all comfortable together. Roxy had worked with Lorraine in a different project. Share had worked with Lorraine in a different project. So they all knew each other, and I wasn't surprised at all that that's how it all happened. And I love Lorraine — I think she's great. She's a great singer, a fantastic talent, great frontwoman and a nice person. So I'm happy for them — all of 'em."
Gardner, Petrucci and Ross are considered to be part of VIXEN's classic lineup, along with 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".
Last week, Janet's collaborative project with her husband, GARDNER/JAMES, released its latest album, "No Strings", via Pavement Entertainment.
"No Strings" is the second Gardner/James album to be released under the GARDNER/JAMES banner. The couple previously collaborated on 2020's "Synergy" and Janet's first two solo albums, 2018's "Janet Gardner" and 2019's "Your Place In The Sun".
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