Funny not Slutty interview by Gabriella Giarrano.
She’s an accomplished writer with two successful music albums, a wildly successful world tour, a comedic style heralded as “witty”, “smart and edgy”, and “brilliant”, a plethora of awards to her name, and a unique, refreshing sense of fashion. She is Artist, Musician, Comedian, Writer and Fashionista. In fact it’s Jessica’s fashion sense that has her recently named one of Time Out NY’s “50 Most Stylish New Yorkers“. And let’s not forget this is the Jessica Delfino who beat out Flight of the Conchords for “Best Musical Act” at the 2005 ECNY Awards. Her work is subversive, socially aware and hysterical. And that is why she’s becoming famous.
A lot of your material has to do with sex, female menstruation and genitalia, STD’s, etc. it seems as if you write what you know.
Maybe some of my material does have to do with sex & female genitalia, but I have dozens of songs that are about other things. I used to feel like I’d done something wrong when people would say “all your songs are about vaginas!” but if that’s what so many people cling to in all of my repertoire, it just reiterates my belief that vaginas are some of the most magical and undeniably attractive and powerful things in the entire known universe, and it makes me wonder why more people don’t sing about them, and why more TV and radio stations don’t air songs about vaginas?
There was some controversy around your video “Jessica Delfino is Magic”, what was your initial reaction when YouTube removed the video?
A basic rejection response. At first my little old feelings were hurt that Youtube wouldn’t let my magical vagina play in their reindeer games. But I tend to get over things quickly and I rarely hold grudges.
On the subject of controversy, The Catholic League president criticized you several years ago for your “Merry Shitmas” tour, claiming that ”it only provides ammunition to the enemy (Muslims)” because of its Christmas themed debauchery, how did do you respond to such an outrageous claim?
I responded by having a really successful tour, getting a record deal and booking dates, including a sold out show at the Soho Theatre, in the UK. I followed up by issuing both my own written press release as well as a press release in the form of a song. I then iced the cake by mailing post cards to the US Catholic League from every city I toured to, saying, “Thanks for all your help!”
My actual statement:
“I was brought up Catholic, and I was also brought up to believe that it isn’t anti-Catholic to celebrate the life-giving and life-nurturing parts of a woman’s body,” said Delfino. “I don’t know why William Donohue hates women’s bodies. I don’t know why he is afraid of refocusing attention on humanity’s true source of creation, the mysterious and magical womb. But I do know that William Donohue is a hypocrite and a bigot, who has publicly made outrageous and highly-offensive anti-Semitic, and now anti-Muslim statements. And that certainly doesn’t make him a better Catholic than I am,” she continued. “William Donohue does not speak for all Catholics. He doesn’t speak for me.”
Your background is rooted in music, did you initially want to be a rock star?
As a 5 year old, I wanted to be literally be one half Michael Jackson and one half Madonna. We had a grand piano and drum set permanently set up in the living room which my family members and I would play often. Our household was very musical. I used to watch Kids Incorporated and think, “Why aren’t my parents exploiting me like that?”
What was it like for you to grow up in Maine? Does Maine culture differ from the rest of the country?
Growing up in Maine was like growing up on the back of a Led Zeppelin album cover. It instilled a bit of hippy in me which I’ve mostly shaken off but it still slightly lingers. Thanks to the information super highway, and no thanks to the actual highway, Maine culture is more interesting now than it was when I was growing up there. Maine would get new movies a year after the rest of the country. Maine’s kinda too far away from stuff to be too cool.
Your “Words with Jessica Delfino” video talks about legalizing drugs, if you think that would save our economy, why not get into politics and make it happen?
I’ve actually just applied to join my community board and have experience managing an NYC fringe mayoral campaign in which we broke records and attracted a lot of media attention. I am involved in politics and I see myself being more involved in the future. I see drugs becoming more and more legal every day, and as far as many of my friends and many, many strangers I’ve never met are concerned, drugs already are legal.
You worked with Morgan Spurlock on “What would Jesus buy?”, For TNT’s Saving Grace blog and are obviously diverse in talents, what comes next for you in the grand scheme of things?
I’m working on a new album, my own feature film, and a book. Also, a very large creative company is hiring me to do my dream job: I will be paid a generous salary to think of ideas for them.
You incorporate a lot of art into your life besides singing, writing and performing with crafting, graphic design and fashion. You also collaborate with other artists such as animators. Do you see art as a way of life?
I am an artist every day, all day, even in my sleep. I wish someone would invent a dream recorder. But I use the term artist differently than some people. I wish there were a better word to describe it. An everything-ist sucks. Maybe an all-tist? That sounds too much like autist. Let me think about it. I don’t simply paint or simply draw, neither of which is simple at all, nor am I just a musician, which is hardly anything to refer to as just what it is. I use every artistic skill and advantage I have to make a living out of art and ideas, and yes, it is absolutely my complete and entire way of life!
Gabriella Giarrano is a freelance writer and stand-up enthusiast with an addiction to used books that borders on clinical.
She is currently working within the Atlanta comedy community to promote and support local talent and events. Follow her on twitter at http://twitter.com/pantsoff.