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Jesse Jo Stark is everyone’s dive bar fantasy. She’s the kind of musician you want to find playing on one of those nights you find yourself in your favorite dive drinking 5$ bourbon sipping your sorrows away. You want to find her pushing through the glittered metallic curtain, under broken disco balls, reflecting off dim colored lights. A Lynchian dream. You want her to make you cry and she will. You want to hear her pain and hope it makes yours a litter lesser. You want her to rock your world and ruin your life. You wish it were 50 or 60 years earlier so you could live in the Chelsea hotel with rock stars and she might find you way cooler than you are right now drinking 5$ bourbon in a dive bar.

You probably already know Jesse Jo Stark from opening concerts for legends like The Vaccines. Stark is a genre-bending rock star with touches of horror, country, and sex. She brings all the allure of Hollywood with the grunge of loud bloody rock.

Her new single “Die Young” is out now and it shows us her insides. Slow soulful melodies, long string music breaks, throbbing lyrics. For her, it was therapy through a song. We got to talk to the LA based singer-songwriter about writing the song, the movies and tv shows she’d have loved to be the soundtrack of, and when she likes to put on her witchy crown.

What was it like growing up in LA? Was it all the glitz and glam we imagine Hollywood is like? What is the allure that keeps you here?

anyplace is whatever you make it. i loved growing up here. even tho it feels like a strange wonderland to some people, this is where my family is. this is home.

What’s your song process like? Is it like writing poetry or does the music come first? Do you play instruments?

it’s never the same. guitar

What inspired you to write “Die Young?”

we were by the beach the day we wrote this. thomas n i. the words were already there. this song felt like home to me. painful to sing. but at the same time like I had finally found the words to explain how I had always felt. every time I step away from a finished song for a little while, the thoughts come back to me and I realize how important it is to me to have poetry as my therapy.

What’s your favorite part about being a musician? What’s the hardest part?

my favorite part is writing songs.

the hardest part is writing songs.

Tell us about your most memorable concert? Where was it? What was the audience like? Was it more recent or from the beginning of your career?

we opened up for the vaccines at the roundhouse in london. i grew up hearing stories about the stones, the clash, bowie, and otis redding playing legendary shows there. so i was feeling very possessed by the ghosts of my heroes. it was also the last show of the tour. both bands had family and friends everywhere. i feel like the second the mics went live and we walked on stage, i went somewhere else. and my band and the whole crowd came with me. I miss it so much.

What is the best advice the goddess of pop and your god mother Cher gave you about becoming a musician?

be you. there’s only one.

Dream collaboration?

I wouldn’t mind jack white soloing on one of my tunes.

What have you been doing to keep yourself sane during quarantine? Any new hobbies?

spending time alone. collecting disco balls. growing my own veggies. writing. driving. practicing living more deliciously from the inside out. it makes being stuck seem way less sticky.

Stealing from BBC’s Desert Island Discs here: You’re Stranded on a dessert island you can only bring five songs- go. Why these songs?


pancho and lefty merle and willie version – this song always makes me feel like home. I always listen to it on the road when I’m homesick. it kinda needs to come with me everywhere I go.

the hunter slaves – wild when i hear this. i’d wrap some leaves around my hips, tits out, make some witchy crown, turn this tune all the way up, and go catch some dinner with my bare hands.

paul – big thief – this song is gut wrenching. the lyrics are magic.  also her solo in this is the shortest sweetest thing i’ve ever heard. it always makes me shut my eyes and throw my head back.

father john misty – real love baby. my skin feels happy when i hear this. one of my favorites

The way we use to beg – Joel alme. reminds me of my boys, my band the Jimmys being on tour free as a bird. those memories are tied around me forever. I need them

If you could have your song as a soundtrack to a movie or tv show – which would it be?


tim Burton

twin peaks

bride of frankenstein


american horror story



photos / yungblud

story / Vogue Giambri

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