After a long period without news about Hard Rock female band “Vixen”, the current lead singer – Jenna Sanz-Agero – gave an exclusive interview to ROCK EXPRESS, after a long period of anonymity, talking a little about “Vixen “and his current editorial project” Sugar, Sugar “.
Jenna joined to “Vixen” in 2001, shortly after the departure of Janet Gardner. She´s currently involved in a project, showing some of her culinary dowry, through a partnership with her school friend, Kimberly Reiner. The friendship of the two, as well as love for children and passion for sweets, made with the two united their creativity to create a desserts book of family recipes through generations. They also open a channel for readers to submit recipes for them from all over the world telling the story that is behind the recipes.
With the book finished and ready to be released in October 2011, ROCK EXPRESS spoke with Jenna to know more about the book and also about “Vixen”: difficulties after the album “Live & Learn”; new recordings, including a preview of the new ballad, and a possible tour to Brazil in next year.
For fans that have always followed “Vixen” and the hard rock from 80’s it´s big news after a long time without the girls show us her rock faces.
By Edu Lawless
ROCK EXPRESS – How did the idea of publishing a cookbook on sweets and treats?
Jenna Sanz-Agero – My law school friend, Kimberly “Momma” Reiner mentioned one day that she had always wanted to write a dessert cookbook. I told her the story of how I inherited my grandmother’s wonderful cookbook and we decided we should write the book together.
ROCK EXPRESS – Which the main idea of the book? I read that you can receive recipe from your readers. How is this idea?
Jenna – This was part of Kimberly’s original idea. She had started a successful fudge company (Momma Reiner’s Fudge) from an old family recipe. She thought that if she had a special sweet recipe like this, other people must have wonderful old family recipes too. When I explained that I did as well, that’s when she knew I “got it” and that this was a partnership. We wanted to share not just the recipes, but also the stories of the families they came from.
ROCK EXPRESS – In this project you (Jenna and Kimberly), call themselves ‘Sugar Mommas’, obviously because of the children and love for sugar (as you said). How to make time for children, recipe books and Rock Star life?
Jenna – It’s not easy! I do a lot of juggling. But I feel that if I am not fulfilled creatively, I cannot be the best mom. I hope that my son sees how these projects enrich my life AND his.
ROCK EXPRESS – I had no idea about his career in law. Maybe a few fans know as well. There are radical changes along the road. How did it happen?
Jenna – Not a lot of people know that I was a lawyer BEFORE I joined “Vixen”. I was playing in a local band in Los Angeles, and my drummer Tom (also a lawyer) had played with Jan Kuehnemund in another band. When Jan needed to replace the lead singer in the middle of their 2001 Voice of Metal Tour, Tom recommended me to her and the rest is rock history.
ROCK EXPRESS – Speaking a little bit about Rock and Vixen, there´s some time we have had no news about it. What can you tell me about “Vixen” news?
Jenna – Well, I can say that we’ve been a little tied up with business matters that had to be resolved and prevented us from starting our new album and booking shows. I am happy to report that those issues have been dealt with and we expect to be touring again next year. We’ve been actively writing songs this whole time so our next album will be better than ever!
ROCK EXPRESS – I follow the Vixen since their first album (not to mention the movie “Hardbodies”) and last album “Live and Learn” sounds more mature in many ways. The lyrics bring a lot of emotions involved and very strong. I do not have to hear “I try” only once. I need to repeat it several times. Unfortunately this album there was no sequence of this excellent work with more tour dates and new album in a short lead time. What happened?
Jenna – First of all, thank you so much. “I Try” carries a lot of personal meaning for me so I appreciate that acknowledgment from you. The label that released “Live & Learn” was based in the UK and so while we believe we received reasonable attention in the UK and Europe, and we love the support the label gave us there, they didn’t really have a presence in the U.S. or South America – or many other areas of the world. We’re considering the possibility of re-releasing this album, perhaps with additional cuts, as early as next year. We do believe it deserved to be heard by more people.
ROCK EXPRESS – “Vixen” basically stopped their work at the same time of her pregnancy. This was the main cause? How to carry the pregnancy and Vixen at the same time?
Jenna – Well, yes, it was definitely not practical to go on tour while pregnant. And though we did stop performing live, we did not stop making music. We’re hoping to be able to share the fruits of those labors next year.
ROCK EXPRESS – New works are already being produced? What can we expect from them?
Jenna – I think on the one hand, you can continue to expect the maturity you hinted at on “Live & Learn” but also we have known each other and been playing together for 10 years now and so with that comes a comfort level that manifests itself in our playing. We aren’t trying to prove anything to anyone anymore. We just want to enjoy our music and express our love of rock and roll as best we know how.
Jenna – We have recorded a couple of tracks but we’ve been reaching out to other songwriters as well and we want to be sure we’re selecting the absolute best songs we have to put on the new album. It has taken more time than we had hoped, but we think it will be worth the wait.
ROCK EXPRESS – You already have something recorded? Can you give a preview of what’s to come? (A name of music composed or something like that)
Jenna – We have a beautiful new ballad called “I Understand” that is very melancholic but uplifting. It’s about piercing through the masks we all wear every day and being there to support someone unconditionally. I call it our “super hero” song because it would be perfect in a big blockbuster movie!
ROCK EXPRESS – With the Vixen return as the project “Sugar Momma” will be? Can you handle both even while on the road?
Jenna – Yes, the cookbook is completed and will be released in October so the only thing I’ll be doing is promoting it – getting the word out about it. What better way to promote a book than to be out there meeting people and seeing fans?
ROCK EXPRESS – Back to book “Sugar, Sugar”, if the Brazilian public (fans) want to share with you a recipe, how can they do? I heard that each recipe needs a story to be published.
Jenna – All they need to do is go to our website at www.SugarSugarRecipes.com and click on the “Submit a Recipe” button. There are questions to guide them but all they really need is a good dessert recipe (something sweet, that uses sugar). If we like the recipe, we would follow up by email to ask questions about where the recipe came from or more about their families. The story is there for everyone – sometimes you just have to know where to look.
ROCK EXPRESS – Have you ever come to Brazil someday? As would be able to launch his book for the Brazilian public?
Jenna – Well we definitely want to come to Brazil, and last I heard I actually think our agent was trying to work out a date for us there next year so maybe sooner than you think! As for the book, I don’t know if our publisher will be releasing it in Brazil, but I hope so. We would love to do an international version of the book. Food is so universal. Everyone in the world has wonderful family recipes and stories!
ROCK EXPRESS – So, can we dream of seeing Vixen playing for South America (Brazil) in an upcoming tour?
Jenna – YES! SIM!
For more information on pre-order the book, “Sugar Sugar”: (http://www.sugarsugarthebook.com/site/)