RS: When you are working with producers, do you usually start
with the vocals or song or do you start with the track? What's your
Jes: Well, it's always different. I play guitar and piano by ear and that's how I always write. A lot of times, I also program. I have a lot of old instruments at home, so I put ideas down, with the track in a simple form and write the song usually. Then I bring it to the people I work with or who I think will be good to work on the song with me and then we finish it together. That's usually how it works. When I wrote Like a Stranger, they had a track and it was so funny because that song was originally more rock. When I heard the track, I just sang it over and it fit so well that I said well, I guess that's the music it belongs to. Sometimes people will send me tracks and I just hear something through them. So I do it in many different ways and I'm constantly writing lyrics, constantly jotting down things so I have many different processes.
RS: Talking about the rock thing, I noticed the Like a Waterfall
that's on the CD is a little more rock than I remember. What was the
reason to go in that direction with that song?
Jes: The hardest thing was to find the coherence in the album to all the music, bring it together so that everything kind of relates to each other and nothing's too far off. I did include a song or two that people might say doesn't belong on the record, but I still wanted it on. One of them was "Stronger."
RS: That's the more old school sort of Sneaker Pimps track?
Jes: Yes, I've had that song for a while and it needed to live, it needed to be heard, and so I didn't want to save it for my next album. I wanted it to be out there and I wanted people to see different sides of me. I really wanted to be a lot of different things on the CD.
RS: Like the downtempo tracks "See You Soon" and "Want My Love"?
Jes: I love Want My Love, yes. Yes, I hope you like them too.
RS: I like that it's not just the same sound all the way through
the album, was that a conscious decision?
Jes: No, it was hard to try to figure out. It also took years to finish it because a lot of people like me sitting down with a guitar and singing, and they wanted me to make that kind of record. I sort of dabbled in making a record like that, so it took me a little in a different direction. But then I really wanted to make a dance album or at least something that had a dance flavor, and I didn't want to alienate the amazing fans that have supported me all this time. So I got back to my original idea and that's when I started to try to combine a little bit of the songs that I write with a little bit more of an electronic feel. A lot of the songs got a little bit more edgy in the mixes and that's probably why when we did the mix of Waterfall, we brought a little bit more guitars forward and probably edged up the beat a little bit. Also with Ghost, we did a different version of it and that's what was on the radio in Europe.
RS: The press release gives you a title Queen of Rocktronica,
but I've got a different title for you.
Jes: You do? Uh-oh.
RS: I call you the Diva of the Raver Kids.
Jes: I love that. I think I need a shirt that says Diva of the Raver Kids, I'm going make one with that.
RS: Most of the raver or party kids only respond to DJs or they
guys who play drum machines/keyboards while DJing. When I saw you on
stage at the Billboard Dance Music Summit in Vegas, you're probably
the one live vocalist who can connect to that generation.
Jes: That's so nice. To me, it's more about connecting to people in general. One of the great things is you meet so many people. After the shows with Tiesto, I would do a signing at the stand where the shirts were and it was just amazing how I would be there for two hours just talking, taking pictures, and connecting with people. It's a wonderful thing when you're on stage and they're singing with you, looking at you, reaching for you and you're reaching for them. It's such a loving place to be. So I love my fans so much. I get amazing letters from people and it's a hard business and I always tell them, that if I didn't get those letters sometimes, I wonder if I'd still be here.
RS: I've got to ask you on the artwork, there seems to be this
white stripe coming down your face in your hair and lips, does that
Jes: We were experimenting with some things. I have a tattoo that's very tribal, so we were playing with the warrior feeling of it and the title. It was funny because we were actually playing around with it and those are the ones that everybody wanted, that really felt were good for the album. So it was a surprise, but we were thinking that as we were doing it.