The news has been circulating for about an hour now and with the bands official statement having been released, I must share the sad news that Huntress singer Jill Janus has passed away of an apparent suicide. The bands words on this loss follow the image below.
The Band Statement:
“It is with crushed hearts that we announce that Jill Janus—frontwoman for the California heavy metal band Huntress—passed away on Tuesday, August 14. A long-time sufferer of mental illness, she took her own life outside of Portland, Oregon. Janus spoke publicly about these challenges in hopes of guiding others to address and overcome their mental illness.
Janus was a truly special creative involved with numerous musical projects including her role as vocalist for female metal/hard rock cover bands TheStarbreakers and Chelsea Girls. In addition, Janus was co-composer and creator of an upcoming rock opera with Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s Angus Clark and had a decade-long career as NYC DJ Penelope Tuesdae. Her musical career began in childhood.
Beyond her accomplishments in the music world and her advocacy for mental health issues, she was a beautiful person passionate about her family, animal rescue and the world of natural medicine. She will be missed more than she could have ever known.
If you or someone you know might be at risk of suicide, Call 1-800-273-8255 to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. It provides free and confidential support 24 hours a day, seven days a week for people in suicidal crisis or distress.”
PiercingMetal Thoughts: What a shame this is. I admit that I don’t have much more to add other than the sadness that I feel for Jill’s family, friends and worldwide followers of her immeasurable talents. In the brief fifteen years of doing this stuff, I’ve been fortunate to meet scores of amazing people and yes in these circles there are those who are fighting quiet battles and putting on the braver face. We as folks who are viewed as “healthy” by comparison must always push for a larger understanding and treatment of this stuff so we don’t lose more friends and family to suicide. I met Jill a few times over the years but it was mainly just hello and goodbye sort of things. “Hey Jill, fantastic job” and while I’ve seen her perform at least a dozen times I didn’t know her personally. I only knew about her struggles from her own writings and shares across the world wide web. I hope that most of the Metalheads reading this memorial reflection got to see her in action because I tell you she was something else up on the stage. She was commanding and fierce and depending on what song she was doing had a gaze that would freeze you into place. I always enjoyed seeing her perform and am sad that she has left us when there were so many songs left to rally behind. The photos I’ve placed in this reflection come from what I believe was one of the last times that I caught Huntress in concert. These are from the no longer standing Roseland Ballroom and the light was horrendous during the first three songs when it wasn’t red or darkness. Jill prowled the right confines of the stage like a panther and gazed down on her audience like prey. I will miss that intensity for sure. Jill’s surname of Janus in Roman mythology is of the God Janus who is the god of beginnings, gates, transitions, time, duality, doorways, passages, and endings. He is usually depicted as having two faces, since he looks to the future and to the past. I am quoting this mythology from Wikipedia because I found it interesting and am just trying to make sense in my own head about another superb talent leaving us in such a way. May you find the peace in Valhalla that you could not find here Miss Janus. You’ve left us far too soon and with too many questions. Rest in Peace.
Official Band Wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jill_Janus