Jane Jensen first burst onto the scene in the 1997 Troma Studios cult classic “Tromeo and Juliet” as the nubile young heroine of the twisted indie flick. Jensen describes working on the notorious film as “A circus! I made some lifelong friends on that shoot. The bass player of the Dolls (Jensen’s band) was on that crew and had a small part in the film — and the writer, James Gunn, is still one of my best friends.”
Jensen notes they were camping things up from the word go. “We really tried to play up the spoof versus serious content of the film,” she says. “And that set the manic tone of the whole experience.”
But, prior to that, she’d used a rather unusual strategy to land the lead in the film. “I wrote a monologue called ‘Everything I Ever Needed to Know I Learned in Tromaville’. I think that won them over.”
One of the best moments in the film (for guys) is Jensen’s makeout scene with indie film goddess Debbie Rochon. “She was adorned with all of these fake piercings and tattoos,” says Jensen. “The piercings kept falling off when we kissed.” But despite these mishaps the two got along famously. “We giggled alot. Debbie is a sweetheart.”
Since then, Jensen has continued to act, as well as fronting a bad-assed all-girl punk band called the Dolls. “The Dolls rock,” she enthuses. “We bring the ruckus.” As a kid, Jensen listened to “all kinds (of music) from bluegrass to goth, but mainly, She says. “I connected to rebellious/reactionary stuff. I’ve never been an ‘easy listener’.”
Indeed. Her band, The Dolls, has released a CD called “Burner” with a hard punk edge. Jensen’s not shy in her estimation of the album. “Genius. Can I say that about myself? (tee-hee) ‘Burner’ is a mix of pop-rock and drum loopage. It’s a sweetly dark CD.”
The New York City based band draws much of it’s inspiration from the punk legends who preceded them in the roaring din of the Big Apple. “That’s one of the reasons I love New York. It feels good to walk the same streets as Joey Ramone and Richard Hell.” And another hard rocking all-female band from back in the ’70s–that featured Joan Jett, Lita Ford and Cherie Currie–has also fueled their fire. “I love the Runaways,” Jensen says. “And I have every Joan Jett CD. Making reference to the Runaway’s best-known teen rebellion anthem, she says “Cherie Currie is the Cherry Bomb!”
Jensen admits that, up until recently, the songwriting duties in the all-female band have largely fallen upon her. “Mainly, it has been me,” she says. “But now we are doing some collaborations for our new recordings.”
Asked about her opinion of the current climate in music, Jensen is blunt. “Well, if you are talking about pop music and/or TRL, stupidity seems to be the name of the game. When I want to feel really good about music I go to a club and see one of my friends’ bands play.”
She’s also not impressed by that recent big screen girl group, Josie & the Pussycats. She doesn’t hesitate when asked who’d win in a fight between them and her band. “Dolls win hands down!”
To get more info, visit the Jane Jensen & The Dolls official web site.
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