Savannah: You were even texture in it!
Jilian: Yeah exactly! This was also my first solo endeavor as this band, so it was really important for me to trust those feelings and those instincts especially with creating the vibe of the music video world too.
[Small interruptions to admire a beautiful husky dog that walked into the bar]
Jilian: In the first music video that came out for the song “Hiding,” there’s three of me in the same space playing the song together. I wanted to do that because I wanted to have those different personalities of myself playing around with each other since I’m really the only one now. I need to like fill that space in every way.
Savannah: That actually goes into one of my next questions as well. You said that you were challenging yourself in this album and you wanted to be more honest. Musically, what do you think was the hardest challenge? Guitar writing, singing, songwriting…?
Jilian: What was both a challenge and a sort of relief is that one of my prior bandmates was not the best at communicating how he thought I should play my instruments. So a lot of the time I was getting discouraged about my playing style. Whereas, to me, messing up is where I find the best parts. Not playing a part perfectly or hitting the wrong note is sometimes how a song comes about. So it was really challenging when I started to do my own thing, to not really have that presence at a certain point because you know it’s like we’re women, and it fucking sucks. It is engrained in us to be somewhat stepped all over (which it shouldn’t be). I didn’t have that misogynist approach anymore, I don’t have anybody to bring me down or I don’t have anybody to rearrange the way they think I should be playing. So I had to turn that into a positive and it is an amazing thing! Now I can play anything I want. Everything can sound good to me without having to run it by somebody else. It was also a challenge because I didn’t really have anybody else involved in the direct songwriting process, but it feels good to not have to rely on other people’s opinions. You just hear what you hear and have it be whatever you want it to be.
Savannah: And you like playing the songs live?
Jilian: Yeah! And now I have rotating members that go on tour with me and learn the parts. So each time it’s kind of different which is fun because everybody has a different playing style. That can be kind of difficult too but for the most part, it has been really rewarding to play with different people and learn from how they play. Not necessarily adapt but have something fresh every time you go on tour because you’re not stuck to one playing style.
Savannah: What is one pedal you can’t live without?
Jilian: [laughs] I would say my tuning pedal.
There is a pedal that I use called the Lo-Fi Junky that is made by this company called Z. Vex and is all over every Ian Sweet song. It imitates tape warble, so like if you’re listening to a cassette and it starts to sort of fuck up, that’s what the pedal is imitating with your guitar.
Savannah: Whatttt, that’s so sick!
Jilian: It’s super sick! It can also work as a compression pedal if you want to tone it down. But it’s like the best thing. It has its own mind.
Savannah: Did you use it on both albums?
Jilian: Yeah, I used it on both albums. It is really prevalent in a song from the first album called “#23” because the very beginning is really heavy and condensed with the Lo-Fi Junky.