Jennifer Hazen Interview




The interview focuses on Hazen’s introduction to music, and how she rediscovered music once she became clean and sober. The interview discusses the Music Heals project that Hazen set up at Arbor Place, where she is a counselor.


Interviewers Nathan Getzin and Hannah Lahti


April 2, 2017



NG: Alright, so we are interviewing Jennifer Hazen. My name is Nathan

HL: And my name is Hannah Lahti.

NG: Today is April 2nd, 2017. It is approximately noon. We are in the Davies Center, in the Lounge 201B and we are about to begin our interview. So the sheet that you signed is just basically saying the interview could take anywhere from thirty minutes to two hours, could be less, could be more. This process is voluntary, whatever questions we ask, you are free to decline them. You understand that this will be recorded, and that the transcript will be created for you and for us. If there is anything you need to clarify with the interview questions or responses that you want left out after the fact, you can contact our professor, Dr. Ott. You understand that you can choose to donate the interview, so after the fact if you say no, that’s fine, it doesn’t affect us, it doesn’t affect our grade, it’s all voluntary. Any other comments or concerns after the fact, you can
contact our lecturer Professor Ott.


JH: I understand.

NG: Alright, sounds great. So, we can get right into it. So how, or when were you introduced to music, and what was your first experience with music?


JH: I’ve been, like most people I think, been listening to music all my life. I remember I had the only, when I was little, I had the only turntable in the house and sometimes my father would come home drunk and come into my room and use the turntable to play, it was like Etta James, Ruth Etting, women from the Thirties and Forties. So that was when I was quite small, so that was the only kind of music he liked, though.


NG: So who, or what, inspired you to become interested in music, or music in

JH: Yeah, I had always liked singing, and I’m fifty-six years old, so when I was fifty-two, I called myself a professional audience member. I discovered the Eau Claire music scene and I went out all the time. Got to know a lot of musicians just because my face was familiar in the audience, and I was sitting at a Sue Orfield show, and I was kind of singing along with her saxophone and a guy next to me who I kinda knew said, “You’ve got a great voice, you should hit some open mics,” and I said, “Well, you play the guitar, I’ll try it.” And so, I it some open mics, and then a guy named John Lebrun, who’s in Transistor radio and plays with Sue Orfield, and Catya [von Karolyi], and Larry Past, he’s just a drummer for a ton of different bands, he came up to me and said, “I’ve got this great idea
for a new kind of band, it’s called Live Band Karaoke, and we would like you to front the band," and I was like, “My voice must be so much better than I thought it was!” They named it Jenny and the Jets, and so all of a sudden it had my name, so I had some ownership in the band and about six months later, John said, “Jen, we wanted you for your mad social skills, we didn’t think you’d be singing.” And now I’m in, like, four bands. So I didn’t start singing in public like until I was fifty-two.


HL: So what is a Karaoke Band?

JH: Live Band Karaoke, so we have a song list, we have a setlist, people find the song that they would like to sing, and sign up on the set list, and they get to come up and sing with the band. I have all the lyrics on my iPad, and I’m kind of like the bouncing ball, so I help people with timing, I help people come in, sometimes I sing harmonies, if a person has never sung with a band before, I just kind of guide them through that whole process. The lyrics don’t move like karaoke, there isn’t a bouncing ball on the lyrics, so I’m kind of it. So we have a five-piece band, we play at The Plus every Monday night, well we used to be every Monday night for almost three years, and now it’s just the first Monday of the month.


NG: You kind of got into how you became a part of it, you were kind of a spectator and audience member before you got into it. Have you had any official training, formally or informally?

JH: Since I’ve started singing I’ve had three courses, I’ve had three different voice teachers. Each time I’ve learned a little bit more. Just a couple of good pieces of, just layering. It has been good.


NG: So, you said you are from Alaska.

JH: Yes, I was born in Alaska.

NG: How as your path in life, your career path, how has that gotten you to Eau Claire? It’s not a very big city, so how did you get here?

JH: My mom and dad met at the University of Alaska- Fairbanks. My maternal
grandmother and maternal grandfather homesteaded in Alaska in the Matanuska, it’s called that Mat Su Valley now, but then it was called the Matanuska Valley. My grandfather died when my mom was quite young, and the kids, there was four kids in the family, and they left, the youngest kid Charlie Schaefer ended up coming to the University of Wisconsin-Madison to get his law degree and then got a job as an unemployment judge here in Eau Claire. My family of origin moved quite a bit around the country and then about eighteen years ago I moved to Eau Claire. To be closer to my uncle, my favorite uncle.


NG: You traveled a lot from Alaska to here, [but] specifically for music, how far do you go? Do you leave Wisconsin? Do you go to the cities, because it is not that far?

JH: Yeah, I’ve been to the cities, some, and whenever I leave the state, I try and catch live music. I gotta tell you, I really live Eau Claire’s music scene, and I would much rather go to a small venue and catch some of the local acts than I would travel to the cities to catch some big act at a big place. Part of what I like about the Eau Claire music scene is that it’s intimate, and it is open and welcoming. Even when I was just an audience member, it was easy to feel a part of the music scene, so there was that intimacy, the welcoming of the musicians to the audience members, so I prefer going to these smaller venues and seeing new musicians or friends, than I would to travel specifically outside the area for music.


NG: Makes sense, you like the kind of closeness, you don’t get lost in the shuffle.

JH: Right, and we have enormous talent here. Enormous.

NG: You were an audience member and then you got asked, “Hey, come do this,” so that in general, music collaboration, whether it got your start into the music scene here, how has that helped?

JH: The musical collaboration in this area is spectacular. Musicians are constantly collaborating, inviting each other to their gigs, we talk about a musical community, it’s a real community here. I remember we were talking about taking Jenny and the Jets specifically outside the area kind of towards the Dells, and there is a Live Band Karaoke band in out of the Madison/Milwaukee area and someone had said something like, “Oh, that’s their territory,” and I remember going, “Really?!” Yeah, it was a totally alien idea to me that music would be so competitive, or broken up into territories, not after being involved in the music scene here. There’s not territory here, and everyone reaches a hand and is helpful towards everyone else.


NG: So for this Live Band Karaoke, how do you guys go about creating your set
list or song list? Do you guys get together and learn a song? How does that

JH: No, Jenny and the Jets never practices, other bands I’m in [practice]. I think we got together maybe three or four times and we started out with a really talented young musician named Luke Fisher. He was our lead guitar and essentially we started out with a list of I think maybe seventy songs that he knew. Then about three months later, we got Billy Angell who is a keyboard player in, and that was very helpful because Billy was able to pick up the melody line. Our song list is now at over two hundred and fifty, and if the musicians were in a good mood and someone said “Hey, can you play this?”, they would go, “Well okay, let’s try it!”, and then I would write it down. We’ve done it, let’s put it on the song list.


NG: So kind of impromptu at some times.

JH: Yes, much of it is just off the cuff on stage.

NG: We have talked already about the different types of sounds here, so how could you describe the music, I don’t want to say sound because I know that seems a little too broad, in your opinion, what kind of music is here?

JH: Yeah, you know I was thinking, because I know we’ve got this whole thing, I mean VolumeOne I think last year was all about the Eau Claire sound, and what is the Eau Claire sound, and I was thinking a lot about that, and I know that folk is really becoming more and more popular, but that’s not the Eau Claire sound. I mean, you’ve got the cool, young artists, Hannah Hebel. These amazing cool young artists rising up so there’s that indie sound that has a lot of pathos in it. You’ve got the Jaggernauts, and they’re like kind of hard-driving, heavy metal kind of stuff. You got Irie Sol, which is kind of like reggae-hip-hop-ska. You know, if collaboration could be a sound, that would be the Eau Claire music sound. Would be the sound of collaboration.


NG: That’s really cool. For your sound, it’s almost, correct me if I’m wrong, it’s like you’re almost the living embodiment of this collaboration. I’m not saying you’re the forefront, but you just said collaboration, you just said you’re karaoke, you guys kind of mix in all these types of genres and whatnot. It seems like you are almost the living embodiment of this whole collaboration of Eau Claire.

JH: That sounds awfully grand. I wouldn’t say that, especially Jenny and the Jets, you know, Jenny and the Jets we’re a bunch of old people. A lot of the songs are from back in our day. Then I’m in a band called Weapons of Brass Destruction, that’s like eight horns, two drummers and me. That’s kind of like maybe Louisiana jazz kind of stuff, and then a band with David Jones that’s folky, and then a couple of duets that are kind of folky, but there’s so much more than that. Right, there’s so much more genres and maybe even recreating genres in some of the other bands in the area.


NG: You’ve been around the scene for a while now, how long did you say? Eighteen years? You’ve been around a while, so how do you think in those twenty years, how has music affected the economy and tourism for Eau Claire? I’m sure you could see it from going to shows twenty years ago to now, how has that changed and evolved?

JH: When I first came to Eau Claire, I remember walking down Barstow Street at like eight o’clock on a Saturday night and there was no one on the streets. Like music, like the Carpenters, would be piping out of the speakers to a totally empty street and every now and then like a zombie would drag his leg out and I remember thinking how bizarre, how spooky this empty, empty town was. In the past eight to ten years it has just exploded, just amazing explosion and I have to believe that a lot of it, I mean I know that the city of Eau Claire and then you had Water Street, which is all of the young college students partying and coming outside and vomiting on the street and going back into the bars, but I know Eau Claire worked really hard to kind of revitalize downtown. There’s no question in my mind that the venues opening up to music has been part of the revitalization process.


NG: You said Eau Claire revitalizing it, how else has the city of Eau Claire and the rest of the non-music community, how have they supported the music community? How has that interaction between Eau Claire and the revitalization, what other kind of things have they done to support you and other bands?

JH: Right, well VolumeOne did a great job of kind of kicking that stuff off with having lists of bands and kind of centralizing, kind of this is a go-to now, or this is our go-to if you like live music VolumeOne. So VolumeOne did a great job with that. The venues of course opening up and trying. One of the things, and I think this is really typical of any kind of music town and music community is that as it stands, a person who wants to be a musician could not really make a living just doing music. So, most of the musicians, like myself, I work as a therapist, have day-jobs. I think Sue Orfield is one of those that that’s all she does and augments it with teaching, right, so plays music and teaches. There is a great guy, a great kind of alt-country western kind of guy named Jeff White out of Chippewa, but those are really the only real musicians I know that are actually in our little scene. I mean you got obviously Justin Vernon, but in our little scene who are actually able to make a living work really really hard, they are hard working.


NG: How do you promote your music? You said you kind of have a bunch of different [bands], Jenny and the Jets, some other things going on. How do you go about promoting yourself with these different groups?

JH: VolumeOne, Facebook. I think actually Facebook is becoming a bigger, kind of, go-to now. I think that we are more and more relying on Facebook, and then I’m just out and about a lot. I’m just out a lot, and I go…

NG: Supporting other people.

JH: Yeah, absolutely, absolutely. I think that’s really important, I think that’s an important thing to do. If you want to do music, going to music, being seen, I may not be the best singer, but people know who I am and I think that is kind of important.


NG: The specific culture in Eau Claire , why people come here and why they stick around, would you say that is the tight-knit community that you mentioned before? “That’s their territory”, that doesn’t really seem like that’s a thing here, so do you think that really attracts musicians to come, and therefore, stay here?

JH: Yeah, I think it does. Although, again, if you want to be a professional musician, you’re going to have to work really hard if that’s going to be your gig. I think if that’s going to be one of your passions, playing or singing music, and you come to a place like Eau Claire, I remember asking about five years ago, “Is my perspective off? Are somehow other cities like Eau Claire and I just somehow wasn’t aware of it, when it comes to music?” I’ve heard again and again and again, “No, Eau Claire’s music scene is amazing.”


NG: That’s fantastic. Over the course of your career, technology has been changing, whether it’s social media, the instruments itself, all of that kind of stuff. How has that shaped the way you engage music from whenever you started until now?

JH: Well I know that an iPad is a necessity for me. We got two hundred- fifty something songs with Jenny and the Jets so we need all the lyrics on the iPad. Music is so much more accessible, a couple of times with the Jets we’ve had a special request I’ll just plug my device into the sound system and we listen to the song as we’re setting up and then play it. Accessing music is super easy now, I have my own PA system, my own speakers, I set up and sometimes I’ll run sound for other bands too. I’m a fifty-six year old woman, I can now haul my own equipment because the technology is such so that equipment is getting smaller and lighter so I can do all that stuff on my own, whereas twenty years ago, we’re talking about a hundred pound speaker and stuff.


NG: We have done some research to try and get some background info on you, could you tell us about the Music Heals project? You kind of started and organized?

JH: I would love to. I work as a mental health counselor and a substance abuse counselor at what is known as predominantly a substance abuse treatment center called Arbor Place in Menomonie, Wisconsin. There is a small outpatient behavioral health component that I’m involved in. I know that when I started going out and seeing live music, so I’m in recovery from addiction and I’ve been clean and sober for twenty-seven years. I really feel like the world and life opened up to me tremendously by first seeing live music and then, you know, taking the other step and participating in live music. We built a building, a bigger building, and I don’t even know how I got the idea, but I thought wouldn’t it be great, because in the musical community there is a lot of people struggling with substance use and abuse, and so I would see people and think if they went to
treatment, wouldn’t it be great if they could access that passion that they have while [undergoing] treatment, and start using it. There was a period in my life when I didn’t listen to music at all because I thought it would trigger me to want to use drugs, and then I realized it wasn’t all music it was just music of the Grateful Dead, right? My son helped me with that one. You know wouldn’t it be nice if people whose passion is music could be reintroduced to music clean and sober and have that be a part of their recovery. I don’t even know how I got the idea, but I started a GoFundMe campaign, and the musical community, I got so many amazing donations. I got guitars, and I got amps, and I got basses, and I got ukuleles, and I got pianos, and keyboards, and PAs, and speakers, I mean it’s amazing. So, we have now in both neighborhoods we one keyboard, neighborhoods mean the men and the women are in separate units, we got keyboard, we got piano, all that stuff and it’s just out there. Anyone that plays a musical instrument can just pick it up and start using it, and people who don’t play. Last summer we had a group of guys that were getting together, a guy had never played a guitar before and he started playing and we were able actually record the music, an Ask video came out with that in the background, the music that they actually used in the background. I heard the other day that the way one of the neighborhoods were getting up other people was sitting in the living room and playing music to wake them up. My idea was to kind of infuse, and it’s a
weird thing because before this started happening everyone was like, “Oh, music, no”, it was like the weirdest thing, everyone should have access to music. Now I’m really working hard to make sure that music is just a part of when people come in the door, or when people call in, “Do you play an instrument? Do you have an instrument to play, if you don’t we’ll try and find one for you. Do you have an MP3 player you can bring in?”. So one of the things I’ve been thinking about is what would happen, because I’m pretty much the one getting the guitars fixed, getting the guitars strings, I’m the only one doing it, so what would happen if I got hit by a bus? I’m afraid that the musical instruments would shrivel and die, and so I’m trying to figure out how to make it kind of lasting, and the only way I can think of is somehow if we had a fund, specifically if we had a fund of
money, specifically to maintain Music Heals. The only way I can think of to do that, which is kind of exciting for me is now going into Pine Hollow Studio, [owned by] Evan Middlesworth, the first and the third week in May and I’m recording a CD. I’m covering songs by other local musicians, it’s a cover band, but it’s a local cover band, and they’re donating their time, they’re donating their songs, coming into the studio with me. All the proceeds of the sales of the CD can go to the Music Heals project. We will have the CD for sale at The Agency, I’ll take it to VolumeOne, I’ll take it to gigs, I hope to just plaster the area with the CD and get a fund for the Music Heals project.

HL: So then you had the idea to bring it to Arbor Place,

JH: Yeah.

HL: Maintaining it, so if people have their own instruments, can they bring those?

JH: Absolutely.


NG: So with the Music Heals project do you, like how do you promote that? Do you go around during your sets and say hey this is, do you give a little background, how do you go about that and mention your GoFundMe page or your Facebook page or something like that.

JH: I could be doing a little bit better but I do, when I sit in with other bands especially the bands that have peoples who songs that I am covering. I will talk about that and actually have the CD, the tangible thing, I will take it to every gig. I will have a box in my car. Scott said that he would love to give a first play on Blugold radio. I’ll take it to wise radio which has been a great a venue to hear local music too. It is just inside Eau Claire and you can’t get it anywhere outside of here which is just to bad.

HL: Yeah.

JH: So I will be taking it everywhere and I’ll be pushing it.


NG: Awesome. So VolumeOne, which we have talked about a little bit now, has named this region the music capital of the north. Whether its our diverse music scene, we have the university here, whose phenomenal.

JH: Yes!

NG: So would you like agree…

JH: Oh yes.

NG: with their claim.

JH: Yeah, uh well actually before they said that there were people in the music scene that were saying that this is the Nashville of the North and I got to say the University, all of this, is because of the University. Like I mean no one would ever say that, well you now what the University is the quiet driving force of all of this and made this all possible. I mean you have professors, David Jones, Duffy who used to be the Dean of Students of the Liberal Arts College here, Joel Patchaye, you just have professors who are out there playing music and I’d like to think that they were the driving force, these professors getting together and saying lets get all this music scene together, and it is just so well known and open wide and all this is just the zeitgeist. Right? And none of that would have been possible without the University music program quite frankly.


NG: Awesome.

HL: Yeah.

NG: So we have talked a little bit about how the Chippewa Valley has transformed in the musical region has that been, how has that transformed from when you got here, to the University and everyone kind of working together. Like from when you first got here you said there weren’t a lot of people on the roads, like how has that all come together and the sounds, or however you want to call it, how has that transformed in the area.


HL: Well I think that you have a couple of things colliding. I think in any city and towns you have basic cover bands that cover classic rock and things like that then you have the kind of more independent bands that are experiencing with different sounds and feels and stuff. They have kind of come together in many ways. Many bands will kind of sneer at basic cover bands but let me tell ya, one of the reasons that you can kind of come into Eau Claire and see music every night is because of those cover bands. Because if you didn’t have those cover bands then you wouldn’t have that kind of bolstering and typically audiences like to hear music that they are familiar with. So some of that has come together and some are covering more popular music and then mix in some original music. So I don’t know if that answers your question.

NG: Yeah, no.

HL: It is kind of the step between maybe to get the community interested and then funnel into other bands.

JH: Yeah, no I would never, the lyrics, I’ve always been a lyrics person and they always drove me to a song and I would never have ever thought that I would like the saxophone and then I saw Sue Orfield who was playing with a gal who would eventually become my friend, Catya, who is a University professor here. Catya von Karolyi. I started falling in love with Sue’s saxophone and Sue, and everything that she was doing and seeing her gigs and non I’m in love with her original, non-lyric and it opened up the way you know because you first start liking the musician then you like what they’re doing when they do original songs.

HL: Yeah


NG: Where do you see the future of the music in this area?

JH: Yeah, well you know there are a lot of elements that you want to continue to push Eau Claire more into the national scene and I am of two minds for that. I worry, you see there is this paradox where musicians should be paid well for what they are doing and that they should absolutely be and because of that it become less accessible. So as an audience member I can walk into any place and hear free music, its free. As a musician, I have a hard time you know, not getting paid well. There is this weird balance and I do not know what will happen with that. I would really like to see the powers that be, the powers that are trying to push us into the national scene, and when I say us I mean the Eau Claire music scene, not us as musicians. I really want to see them utilizing Eau Claire musicians. I would love to see a local stage or as many Eau Claire musician at Eaux Claires music fest. What a wonderful thing would that be to have local artists opening up or playing with these national and international artists that are coming in. I worry that getting that push to us on the national scene will devalue and the whole the grass is greener on the other side. Just like this is so familiar and you get desensitized to how truly wonderful it is and start thinking this band is really and isn’t it exciting if we get them {someone else} in but these other bands are amazing. We have amazing artists here and they should be sharing the stage and be using the festivals as more of a pull up for the local musicians here,

HL: Mhm, yeah.

NG: So, we have all these festivals going on Eaux Claires, Country Fest,

JH: Blue Ox,

NG: Yupp, with Jon Iver, Justin Vernon and now recently confirmed Chance The Rapper is coming too and we have all these Grammy artists coming to Eau Claire.

JH: I know!

NG: Like as exciting as it is, I’ve only been here for a year and a half and like I liked Chance the Rapper and Bon Iver before I got here and like I listened to them before I was here but I didn’t know that they were like from here. So getting those people to come here, because they were from around here but someone like Chance The Rapper who just won three Grammy awards. With the future, how do you think they will impact the music festivals in the future.


JH: You know they are bringing in a bunch of people and stuff and that’s it. Lets get Werewolves with Chance the Rapper on stage. Ok so we got Chance the Rapper, who else do we have in the scene you know that has the same influences that can spotlight who will be coming to see him. That’s what I would like to see. Like product placement.

NG: Exactly, and propping our own local people and pairing them with these bigger people.

HL: Like its more then just Eau Claire as a location but have it more like the location is where the festival is at but make sure that it isn’t just Chance the Rapper coming but also showing him with some of the musicians that Eau Claire has to offer.

NG: You bring a couple of these locals who and these people came to see Chance the Rapper and get to see the local artists as well. Like who’s that guy? Whose that guy with Chance the Rapper?

JH: Exactly, like let’s use is as a launch pad. Not a destination but a launch pad.

HL: Like I’m not from here but I know that I have friends from where I am from who will be coming to these festivals for Justin Vernon and then it gives them a chance to see local artists.

JH: Yeah, Exactly.

NG: I am the exact same way, I come from Milwaukee and people go Chance the Rapper, from Chicago and that’s big for people, it’s the same distance between here and the cities from Milwaukee to Chicago and a lot of my friends are like ‘wow Chance the Rapper’ and I’m like yeah, I’ll be in the midst of all that and they’re coming here and a bunch of, two of them went to school specifically for music and what not at the University of Milwaukee and they don’t really know but I tried to tell them, like guys, the first thing I realized when I got to Eau Claire is that music is our thing, music is our attraction. You have people who go to the Dells for the waterparks but like for Eau Claire people come here for the music and I told them that they were going to love it here. So then to hear that Justin Vernon and Chance the Rapper are going to be here in Eau Claire and they’re like wait what? They just thought of it as this little town but, no, it is so much more then that.


JH: If there is some way that and I actually went to a building, a music community seminar that VolumeOne put on this summer and this guy was a PhD in music community and one of these things that the guy was asking was do you have anything going on in the streets of Eau Claire. Like what these big fests like RockFest is here, and then there is all the rest of Eau Claire, same with Blue Ox, it is here and so how do we bring all those people out of the fairgrounds and into the city. How do we, like it is all out there and people bring tents. It is not like people are coming into Eau Claire and shopping. So you know, pulling and having special events downtown, in conjunction with that. For example, they’re talking about the Tuesday Night Blues and they’re talking about having an afterhours kind of thing like Sounds of Summer. Sounds of Summer after the event all go and hang out at the fire house, right? This gets a bunch a people
walking around and hanging out in the city and we are trying to do that with Tuesday Night Blues and having the band maybe go to The Plus, and plays again. Like trying to figure that out with the larger music fests.


NG: So we have covered or you have answered a question that we didn’t even have to ask, was there anything that you’d like to add that we didn’t ask about that you might want to share about…

HL: And if you wanted, before, we could take a break so you could think about it or…

NG: Yeah, you could walk around, grab a drink or anything.


JH: Let me look at the questions. I know you sent them to me but…I think I just want to go a little bit into the question how important do you think music is to therapy and rehabilitation and that’s part of a bunch of research and studies now how music can have a positive impact on the brain and the ability to help us manage and focus our emotional states and that is an important part of the Music Heals project and not just listening to music but playing music and how that is a significant health benefit. Like drum circles have been shown in brain wave activity from people in recovery that their brain waves are just spiking, there is research to indicate that it mellows the brain waves and I have been starting or developing a music intervention group that I do every week for the residential clients and they come in and I have coloring stuff for them because we are basically asking them to come in and sit and be still for a while and we talk about
how all guidelines are welcome and we aren’t here to critique anyone’s music and to not talk during the music to respect it. You have to talk emotions afterword’s that are appropriate and things like that and then they write down a song they want to share and then they have to share the emotional impact of that song whether past or present and then use that as a tool. Is it a safe song? Is there an emotional state when this song wouldn’t be good to listen to. I got to tell you, you have people who have been unable to express emotions, have been able to talk about some of the tragedy and challenges in their lives and be able to sit still and it is just amazing to see the impact on some of these people. It’s just music right It’s the music. Like that is what is doing that and it is a way to open up to their peers and can you imagine opening up yourself and your music to people you have never really met before, or people you don’t know because is so
personal. Like what happens if they don’t like this song or people think this song is stupid. IF I like, you know one of those bands everyone is making fun of now. But it is a way to take healthy risks and I just think that it is vitally important as a species and we have been making music for all of human history and there has got to be a reason for that. I just think music is a big part of that.


HL: Was music a big part of your rehabilitation process?

JH: You know, as I said, I didn’t listen to a lot, I had decided that, like in early recovery I had listened to some songs and listened to some favorites and made me remember of times I was shooting dope or made me think of tripping on mushrooms or peyote and I was just thinking that I can’t listen to this. Then I came home and my son, who was thirteen, I was in grad school, and I was working full time, full time single mom and I came home from work and my son I really had to listen to this music and all I could think about was how I didn’t want to listen to his teenage music. But I thought, be a good mom and take an interest and he played me System of a Down and Big n Rich and I was like oh my god, this is great stuff. I was a little bit pleased with my sons diversity and it was that
instance that made me start going out and seeing live music again because I used to love going to see live music and going out as a teen. It was so important to me for thirteen years and I had eliminated it from my life but that instance was like wow, I had been missing this whole part of me. I didn’t know anyone in the area, I didn’t really have friends’ I was so focused on how to be a citizen thing and myspace was big, so I got on myspace and I was a little suspicious of this and this guy friended me and I looked at his picture and it was this big black guy. I looked at his page and saw he was from Eau Claire and I thought I better friend this guy because I don’t want him going around saying, “oh there’s that bitch who wouldn’t accept my friend request on myspace.” So, I friended him and another one of my friends got in touch with me and goes oh who is your new friend? Have you read any of his stuff because back then I was a blogger. I said no and there
were these beautiful essays on students and there was one on guns and I was like oh wow, and started looking at his page even more and saw that he was a musician, that’s why he friended me. He was social networking, and that was around the same time that my son turned me onto System of a Down and Big n Rich and I thought I would go see his band and it ended up being your very own David Jones, and that was my entrance and I started going out alone and they would start coming up to me and I would start talking to them and we started to become friends and they would have other gigs with other people and then I would go see them and that’s how I got into the scene and being a professional audience.

HL: Oh wow,

NG: Awesome.

HL: That’s crazy.


JH: Yeah. Its funny because then it turns out, when I used to live in Iowa City and that was during my drug use career. David Jones and I were in Iowa City at the same time, and not only that but I had seen his first band and I had wondered in some fundraiser in the 80’s. And I saw his first band, The Earplugs, play and it turned out we were in the same place at the same time around music in the 80’s in Iowa City, isn’t that crazy?

HL: That is crazy how that happens.

NG: Yeah, wow, that is just crazy.

JH: It’s just bizarre, it’s just music. The power of music.


NG: Do you have any follow ups that you want to add?

HL: Uh no I don’t think so, Was there anything not on the list that you wanted to go over or go further into something?

JH: Yeah, I just wanted to mention Jenny and the Jets and that seems to be the band that I am most known for. There is Chippewa Valley Weapons of Brass Destruction with Tom Carlson here, who is an ESL professor here and is the lead of that band. I do a duet with another professor here, Jim Phillips, he’s a professor of Chemistry here and we call ourselves Milk and Whiskey. Then Dave and I do a duet together and I am in a band with David, Jim and John and we call ourselves Jenny and the Lost Boys when I book it but when Dave books it it is Davey J and Friends. So I just wanted to give a shout out to those other bands.

NG: Yeah I think that is it.

HL: Yeah, so now we just have a few wrapping up things to do.

JH: Ok.


HL: Ok so we can have you sign these two first…

NG: Is that the donate form?

JH: Yeah I’ll donate.

HL: Ok, great.

JH: I don’t think we are going to edit this we are going to transcribe this, but we
are going to be working with Scott…

NG: Yeah later on we are also working with Chippewa Valley Museum and going to be working on a sounds of Eau Claire podcast or something like that so if there is edits it will be for that and it will just be a quote here and there about something you might have said about the Chippewa Valley and the music scene and stuff like that.

HL: Did he say he might be contacting you to re-record some things if necessary?

NG: Yeah, like later on he might be contacting you for that.

JH: Who? Jeremy? or Scott?

NG: Yeah, Scott, there is this second half of our project that we are still trying to figure out and get together.


JH: Yeah because it is all about collaboration.

NG: Yeah, doing this interview and transcribing it is like two thirds of it and then the last third is like and work with the Chippewa Valley Museum to make something.

JH: Jeremey was kind of talking about that and doing something like that, kind of an exhibit or presentation.

NG: Yeah, exactly so if it were to get edited like that it would be in something like that for the museum. They might take something from this and put into there.

HL: It also will be kept here in the University Archives with Greg Kocken.

JH: Ok, awesome


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