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Episode 67:

Jess Viscius of BNNY 

Transcript + Show Notes

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Show Notes

In this week's music interview podcast, I talked with Jess Viscius of Chicago band BNNY!

 

Here's Jess Viscius' bio:

Jess Viscius is an artist and musician based in Chicago, IL. She is the creative force behind BNNY, who recently released their debut album "Everything" on Fire Talk records.

I was really excited to talk with Jess - she's a wonderful graphic designer who somewhat recently shifted to focusing on music, and so I was interested to learn how her artistic sensibility would translate to music.  I loved the sound of the singles she released from her new album "Everything".  During our conversation, Jess was super open and vulnerable about the grieving process she went through after losing her partner Trey Gruber, which is the major theme of the album.  She also had some interesting thoughts about how she went about recording the album and achieving the album's sound.  Overall, I left the conversation really happy to have gotten to connect with her more and it made the album all the more meaningful. 

Here's a few links to some things we talked about.  Listen to our full conversation here or read the transcript below!

 

Subscribe to the podcast!

 

Transcript

Conversation has been lightly edited for clarity

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Jessica Risker:

Can you tell us what a typical day or typical week looks like for you?

Jessica Viscius:

Yeah. Okay. So a typical week for me currently I've been working on our, our debut album and getting everything rolled out for that. So I've been making a lot of music videos that I've been editing myself, like learning new software and that's taking up a lot of my time and just doing, you know, various interviews and stuff like that. And just also like small things that you don't think about when you're making music in your bedroom, like, have you seen the Spotify canvases and stuff like that. So if so Spotify has this new feature where there's like a, there's like a visual with it, like a three. Yeah. And so I've been like last week I was doing that, making a lot of like canvases just like a lot of art stuff and yeah, but, but a typical day for me is sort of going through my to-do list and trying to get things done.

Jessica Risker:

Okay. so you, let me see, let me kind of go into this without referring too much. You had been working for part of your life. My understanding you'd been working like kind of a more traditional nine to five job, right?

Jessica Viscius:

Yeah. And that changed what happened there. So yeah, I was working a nine to five. I've worked in a nine to five for most of my life.

Jessica Risker:

And what were you doing for your nine to five?

Jessica Viscius:

I was working as a graphic designer. Art director. So I had a, I had this creative career and at first it was fulfilling and I was really excited about the work I was doing, but I think I slowly got jaded. Just like in the design community and specifically, like, I don't know, just where I was working and the more corporate environment I always sort of felt out of place. And for a long time I had considered leaving the job. But eventually I was laid off at a certain point. So it serendipitously happened where I was wanting this thing for a really long time. And then it was just like forced upon me. And it ended up being great because it allowed me to devote more time to working on music, which is what I had wanted to do for years.

Jessica Risker:

So now your days are more unstructured, as far as having a nine to five, and those deadlines that you had to report to.

Jessica Viscius:

Right.

Jessica Risker:

What are your main points of focus now for work? You've got music -

Jessica Viscius:

Yeah. Yes. I've got music. My sister and I are running a little vintage shop that we do through social media. Mostly we have a website as well, but we sell all of the pieces through Instagram. And so for that, we go out and source stuff. Like we go to estate sales - we have some connections with the state liquidators and we source stuff that way. And then we will come back and go - my sister is a photo photographer. So we use her studio to shoot the pieces. And then we'll post it on social media and that's how we do business. So a lot of my time is devoted to that. As well as working on music, we have a release show coming up, so we've been practicing quite a bit.

Jessica Risker:

Yeah. And then you're also doing some freelance graphic design.

Jessica Viscius:

Yeah. I do some freelance design, but I am phasing that out. I think that, like for a long time, I was really invested in my identity as a graphic designer. But that doesn't really resonate with me anymore. I don't really feel creatively fulfilled with the design and the way that I used to when I was like a college student and I found it really exciting. And I think the way my brain works is I just sort of cycle through hobbies and I just sort of do what I'm most interested in at the moment. And so that's why I feel like I'm kind of jumping around a lot and.

Jessica Risker:

yeah, I mean, it's no small thing to identify with this creative pursuit and want to make it a career. And you were able to do that. Do you think that it's shifting? That in some form was part of what allowed you to maybe let it go, and shift towards something new?

Jessica Viscius:

Wait, what do you mean exactly? I'm sorry

Jessica Risker:

You know, someone may want to, let's say, be a musician, but maybe they never really get label representation or something like that. So they may never quite feel that they fulfilled what they wanted to do, but it sounds like you want it to be a designer and then you were a designer. And do you feel like that helped you to say, okay, I sort of satisfied that?

Jessica Viscius:

Yeah. Yeah. I think that it did feel like that. Like I felt like I had reached the limit of what I wanted to accomplish as a graphic designer and I had this really amazing resume and really great clients that I worked for, but I had this itch that it wasn't enough. And that's sort of like the theme of my life, even when I'm doing well, I'm sort of always chasing the next thing. I really like to be challenged. And I just felt like I had met that mark with design and I was ready for the next thing. And that's sort of when I got into playing guitar because it just sort of happened accidentally where I just started playing guitar and writing songs and I would send the songs to my sister. And her boyfriend at the time was in a band.

Jessica Viscius:

And he was like, we should all start a band. And then we did, and it very quickly became real and we were booking shows and it was like, whoa, we are in a band. It was just this really cool, exciting time. And I feel like that's kind of my whole identity is being a musician, but it's shifted from, I was once like, I'm a graphic designer and I'm like, I'm a musician, but I still don't really feel comfortable saying that because... I don't know. I think I have imposter syndrome.

Jessica Risker:

Did you feel that with graphic design?

Jessica Viscius:

Yeah! Even though, even though in my head, I was like, I'm a great graphic designer, I think there's always a part of me that's like, well, you could be better. You know,? I'm sort of like...I don't know.

Jessica Risker:

Here's sort of a raw question for you, I guess. Do you think that part of the drive is about "I accomplished this"? So now onto the next accomplishment? Or is it about the creative pursuit for the act of creativity, or maybe a blend?

Jessica Viscius:

I think it's a blend. I definitely like to be challenged and I get bored very easily,

Jessica Risker:

Yeah.

 

Jessica Viscius:

And I think like, I think like, you know, a deep part of me likes the validation of doing this stuff and like, just like in my head, I'm like accomplishing these goals that I have set for myself. So I think that's part of it. But you know, I wish I could just like, sit, take a step back and be like, you know, my life is really great. Like I don't have to like, be so hard on myself all the time. You feel like you're hard on? Yeah. I feel like I'm very hard on myself. Like I, yeah. I don't know. Even when things are going really well, I'm still like, well, it could be better, you know? And I, in like, I really envy people who are just like, everything's awesome and everything is, you know, or like, they just feel really satisfied like in their life and like their careers. Cause I don't think I've ever really felt that way. Maybe it, maybe it comes in like glimpses where I'm like, oh, today I feel really good, but it's like a general, the general theme is I could be doing more or I could be doing better or something. 

Jessica Risker:

Yeah.  What are your goals for your music?

Jessica Viscius:

For music? Well, I think on a bigger scale, for me, it was just putting out an album, like I've been working on our debut album "Everything" for a really long time. And at some points I was like, this album is never going to get released. It was written during a very difficult time in my life where I sort of lost all joy in making music and just generally existing. And so that was really challenging. But once I overcame that hurdle of just being in the depths of depression, I was like, I want to see this album through, I've been working on it for a really long time. And so just the act of getting this album together and releasing it is....I just feel really proud of myself. Honestly.

Jessica Risker:

You should! Can you give us a brief timeline of the album's creation? So you said you've been working on it for a while. What would you place as the starting point for the album?

Jessica Viscius:

So in 2015 is when I really started playing guitar and formed our band. And so some of those songs, there's like two songs on there that are from 2015. So it's been a really long time.

Jessica Risker:

Which songs are those?

Jessica Viscius:

"Promises" and "Take That Back" from 2015. I think that sort of reflects in the sound where it's this more garage rock feel. And that's what I was listening to in 2015, I feel like that was cool on the scene in 2015, you know? And so, yeah, as I became a little more comfortable with the guitar, I think my musical tastes sort of evolved. And those are the songs that are the latter half of the album. Yeah.

Jessica Risker:

Okay. So it started at 2015. Let me go on a little bit more. So in 2015 you wrote these songs. Did you record them or...?

Jessica Viscius:

I think we maybe recorded them in 2016 for the first time. There were some songs that we recorded. And with the intention of, I don't know, just having demos to send to labels or something with the hopes of getting signed.

Jessica Risker:

Or do you remember, was it more than those two songs?

Jessica Viscius:

I think it was probably like six songs.

Jessica Risker:

Okay. Are all six of those songs on the album?

Jessica Viscius:

No. Yeah, we dropped a lot of them over the years. Some of them are just plain bad, you look back five years and you're like, this song was awful. But I think that for me, it was important to include these early songs just as like, well, I'm like such a nostalgic person and every song has such a visceral memory tied to it. And so despite the songs being older, they're still really important to me. And I think important to the general story of the album.

Jessica Risker:

Yeah. So you had made this demo assortment of six songs, not all of them made this album. And then when were the other songs written along the way?

Jessica Viscius:

So those were written oh, I don't know, maybe 2019, 2018. And then I kind of sat on them for a while and then decided, okay, I want to do this and re record everything and put out an album.

Jessica Risker:

Okay. So, you know, the theme, a huge theme of this album is about the sudden loss of your partner, Trey. And I want to talk more about the music, but just to kind of follow with this arc, when did you lose Trey ?

Jessica Viscius:

Trey passed away in 2017? And then I basically, like, my music came to a halt at that point and I was trying to take care of myself and like exist. And then eventually I was, you know, I think during that period too, I was like, I'm done playing music, partly because Trey and I were so closely connected through music and just playing music without him just felt like - I don't know. It just, it just didn't feel right.

Jessica Risker:

Can you name the feeling? Did it feel like a betrayal?

Jessica Viscius:

Yeah, maybe in some ways I think that.  You know, with death there's guilt associated with it. And I just, I remember when anything positive would happen for Bnny, I would immediately, my first feeling was guilt of you know, Trey isn't around and I'm, you know, still playing music and I'm still here. Trey's not here. And so, yeah, there were definitely a lot of those feelings. And that was part of the reason I was just like, I'm not even going to play music anymore. This is not something I want to do. But I think after, you know, a lot of self-reflection in therapy, I was like, okay, you know, those aren't really necessarily real feelings. And I should continue to do what I love doing. And so, yeah.

Jessica Risker:

And I'm sure what Trey would want you to continue doing.

Jessica Viscius:

Yes, I agree. I know that Trey would have wanted me to keep playing music, like in my heart. I know that he would want me to keep playing music and I'm still close with his family members and they're all like Trey would be really proud of you right now. And that feels great because it almost feels like it's part of Trey being like, we're proud of you, you know? So that's really special.

Jessica Risker:

So I'm trying to, I think I have a broad idea of what I want to ask you about, but maybe I'll ask it really broadly. And then you can kind of fill in with what comes to you, which is - you're talking about how part of the grieving process made you just want to step away and not do music and not kind of touch these songs. How did your grieving process impact the writing of some of the material - recording, performing how I assume it sort of infiltrates the album.

Jessica Viscius:

Yea, Like for me, writing and finishing the album was just generally therapeutic in that music is an emotional outlet. And so just the act of sitting in my room and writing these songs was healing, getting those emotions out. I think I also generally am sort of a guarded person. So just songwriting in general, I feel like is an excellent outlet for me because it's allows me to get in touch with a side of myself that I don't normally access, or that I feel like I have like a lot of repressed emotions and that either comes out through anger or when I'm playing guitar, it comes out through sadness. And so, yeah, I think that, does that answer the question?

Jessica Risker:

It sounds like you're saying when you play music, it's a way for you to actually experience those emotions and release them.

Jessica Viscius:

Yes. Yeah. Yeah.

Jessica Risker:

When you play the songs now, do you feel the same emotions? Have they lessened? Does it bring you back?

Jessica Viscius:

I have to say like this whole album rollout has been almost triggering just because I, and I didn't anticipate that. I feel like I'm in a much better place than I was even a year ago. But it has been difficult, especially just general interviews where I'm answering questions, not like this, but, no, even like this, like just having to face that again and think about it and take a critical look at why I make art and things like that. 

Jessica Risker:

Yeah, that's an interesting question, taking a critical look at why you make art. Do you have any, have you come to any thoughts on that?

Jessica Viscius:

Well, I feel like, I think just for the reason I sort of said earlier where it's like just an emotional outlet for me, it's just like, it's my favorite form of self-expression. I dabble in visual art as well, and it just can't compare to music. You know, music is so powerful and mysterious and, you know, just hearing one chord can make me cry, you know? Like it's like it, music is so magical and yeah, I, I, so I feel like everybody should play music. Everybody should get in touch with that side of themselves and explore that avenue. If they're able to.

Jessica Risker:

Do you feel like other emotions could come out of you, anger or excitement, through music, or do you think it's particularly poignant with the sadder side of your emotions?

Jessica Viscius:

Yeah, I think that sadness is, that is my go-to. But I definitely have also expressed anger in songwriting and resentment. And I'm still chasing that happy song that I would really love to write one day where it's just like this blissful, you know, like happy, great song. I haven't gotten there yet, but I think that maybe, maybe this year I'll write like a nice, happy song. Cause you know, like this album is obviously so sensitive and just carries a lot of weight, especially for me and playing the songs live and things like that. And it would be really nice to just get up on stage and play songs that are more lighthearted and that aren't so deeply personal and vulnerable. So, but that's just the songs I naturally write. So I don't know. It's like, should I just like, not live my truth and try to write stuff? I don't know.

Jessica Risker:

I mean, I guess you could try to write those and see if they feel as good to you.

Jessica Viscius:

Yeah, I just tried writing like, you know, sort of like fiction songs. Like when I first started writing music, I remember I wrote a song about like a train, or something, this is so contrived and corny, but I think that's something that's really cool about music is like the journey of self-discovery and okay. Sorry. Can you hear all these things going on?

Jessica Risker:

Yeah, I was wondering if it was me that's okay.

Jessica Viscius:

Okay. I'm sorry. I'm going to try to quit that. And so it won't be so loud, but yeah, the journey of self discovery within music and finding your sound. Like I remember when I first started playing music, I was like I said, like into garage rock and sort of like more like post punk music. And I was listening to a lot of Parquet Courts. I remember I tried writing the song that sounded like Parquet Courts and it was like, it was called Nine to Five and it was about going to work and like, just like the drudge of going to work and anxiety. And I was like, the song is so contrived and it's just not me, but it took me a little while to evolve and find my own sound. And once I did, I was like, oh, this is it. Like, this is like, these are the types of songs I should be writing.

Jessica Risker:

Okay. Have you ever listened to Ultimate Painting?

Jessica Viscius:

No.

Jessica Risker:

Yeah, check out Ultimate Painting. So, okay. So a lot of, you know, I think a lot of I'm sure a lot of what you're talking to people about as you put the album out is the emotional content of the album. But I mean, I think it's really important to focus on the sound. What I really love about the album, in addition to what it's about, is the sound. And I'm really interested in how you, you know, worked toward that sound? You went back and redid some songs. I'm what, you know, how you approached that creatively and how do you know when you're like, oh, I like this, or I want to do this over again?

Jessica Viscius:

I don't know. That's such a hard question, I feel like. So going into the recording process, I didn't really have a set reference of songs. Like at one point I like Jason Balla who recorded the album was like, oh, can you send me some songs? And that you're inspired by, or that you want, like, you know, that you will want to have influenced the album sound, things like that just have reference references. And I sent him a bunch of songs and he's like, all of these songs are so vastly different. He's like, can you pinpoint like what, what, like a more specific, you know, mood board. But I didn't know that that is really challenging for me. I think I partly, because like, I see music in such a visual way where I'm like, like I remember just sort of feeling like I want it to sound like dark and like the colored blue and yeah. And it just sort of had more of a feeling like I had in mind and it was hard to articulate exactly like what that was. So I feel like that is like, one thing I really struggle with in the studio is articulating exactly what I want, because I am sort of like a novice and it's still figuring it out. You know?

Jessica Risker:

I mean, describing sound is really difficult.

Jessica Viscius:

It is! I remember the first time I ever recorded with Dave Vettraino and I said I want it to sound like, "high". And he's like, what do you mean "high"? And I was like, I don't know. Like, I don't know. I don't have any other words to describe it. Like, you know, so it's just like finding the vocab to be like, okay, this is what I want. And I think that as you sort of go through the process of recording you, you become more comfortable with that. And as you're listening to music, you're more, you are more aware of like, oh, I like the way that drum sounds or, you know, when I was younger and listening to music, I absolutely never thought about music in that way. And that's kind of like ruined some of the joy in it for me is like, I'm not just kind like carelessly listening to music. I'm more like in tune to like, you know, oh, I wonder if this person's playing, you know, this or, you know, I dunno.

Jessica Risker:

Yeah. so you started off with kind of a mood board of sorts, some reference tracks that kicked it off, it sounds like?

Jessica Viscius:

yeah.

Jessica Risker:

Can you name a couple of tracks?

Jessica Viscius:

I, I know we had the Velvet Underground on there. We had a Mazzy Star song on there just because I really liked the reverb on the tambourine. And it's funny now that like anything that's written about our band is it sounds like Mazzy Star. And I'm like, oh my God, is like the reference that apparent? But yeah, those are, those are the two that I can really remember. And then all of them are just sort of like random songs that I had like saved over the years of like, oh, I really like this, this music. And yeah.

Jessica Risker:

So How did you, I guess, you know, I'm trying to think of how to ask this because this is like a hard, how do you, is it kind of, once you get something in the studio it's like, that's it, that sounds good. I like where this is going or how do you shape it? How do you approach that?

Jessica Viscius:

Yeah. I think I do have a pretty good idea of what, in a live setting where I'm like, oh, that sounded good. Or that didn't. But sometimes when I take some time away from the song, like if we're in the studio and I listened to the song, like the next day, I'm sort of second guessing myself. And I think ultimately I'm, I'm all I am, I'm sort of perfectionist. So I think that, I don't think anything's ever perfect. But it's sort of just learning to let go and be like, this is the song that we have, you know, and like, it is good. Like I just need to release it and that's sort of, what's held me back, like in the past is just feeling like nothing's ever good enough. And yeah, but I, you know, I think nothing's ever perfect. You just have to like, come to terms to that.

Jessica Risker:

So how do you feel about the album, how it turned out?

Jessica Viscius:

I think the album is really beautiful. I'm really proud of the work we all did together and the sound, I think it's really cohesive despite, you know, some songs being much older than some. And yeah, I think I'm just really proud of myself, honestly, and my band and all the hard work that we've put into this.

Jessica Risker:

So it was recorded somewhere differently than it was mixed. Is that right?

Jessica Viscius:

Yeah, it was recorded at Jamdek Studio. And it was mixed by this guy, Colin Dupuis, I don't, I'm not even sure where he lives, but he mixed it remotely. And we just sort of communicated through email. And that was, that was challenging. Cause it's really hard to talk about sound through email, you know, I think that was a learning experience and I think next time I'm like, I would love to be there at least for a few days in person during the mixing session. So I can like you know, just have a, have a closer look at it.

Jessica Risker:

I think that would be tough.

Jessica Viscius:

Really?

Jessica Risker:

Somebody who's mixing it, who didn't record it. Yeah, I mean, it sounds great. So whatever you did worked, but I think it would be really challenging. How did you find Collin?

Jessica Viscius:

He Had mixed like - okay. So I was going through like people whose music I like, and I'm like, who makes this album? Who makes this album? And he was somebody who I found who I was like, this is like the longest shot ever. This guy's not gonna mix my album. He's mixed, like Lana Del Rey's album, you know? And I emailed him and I sent him one song and he was like, okay, like, I'll take this project on. And I was like, whoa, like you were my first choice. And you said yes. And I'm absolutely floored. So that was cool.

Jessica Risker:

What albums that he had he done that stood out to you that made you so drawn to him?

Jessica Viscius:

Do you know Otis?

 

Jessica Risker:

Yes.

 

Jessica Viscius:

He mixed an Otis record that I really liked and Lana Del Ray who I don't especially like, but I think that the album that he mixed is really cool. He did an Angel Olsen, an older Angel Olsen record. 

Jessica Risker:

You sent all the tracks to him and then he put it together?

Jessica Viscius:

Yeah. Yup.He mixed it all. And then and then Greg Obis mastered it. I feel like Greg Obis masters, like so many peoples he's like the Chicago master

Jessica Risker:

And Carl Saff.  I feel like that would be a challenging way to go about it, but again, I think it works. So you sorry, I'm looking at notes or next I made a few notes. Did you feel a crunch of time on mixing and mixing can be expensive?

Jessica Viscius:

We had an agreed amount before we started. So there wasn't, I didn't feel that crunch of like, oh, you know, it's just going too long. So it was just like a set amount. Yeah, but the whole recording process is expensive and that's part of the reason why it feels like such a leap is cause you're like, okay, I'm, I'm sort of like investing in my music career by going into the studio and spending however much money. Yeah.

Jessica Risker:

Just one question I have for you is I was thinking that I was wondering if, because you've had this like professional graphic design experience where a certain standard was set and expected by you, but I'm sure also by your employers-

Jessica Viscius:

Right.

Jessica Risker:

And so working to achieve that level of perfection or close whatever needs to be, right. I'm wondering if that sort of work ethic, maybe ethic isn't the right word, but I really need to push everything to be just right. Where somebody who maybe is starting out with an artistic endeavor may let things go. That might be a little.... down the line they might think it was a little sloppy. Or I could have worked this a little harder. I'm wondering, do you feel that that influenced when you would call something done, or we need to work on this a little more?

Jessica Viscius:

Yeah, that's interesting. I never really thought about that, but I'm sure some of that like trickles into my music, because that's just how I existed for so long. So yeah, I think that maybe, you know, I think that I am like just general have like a marketing sense too, where, to me the visuals and the music are really closely related and I'm like, I think good at just sort of tying that stuff together where I think some artists struggle with like the more marketing side, but that's just sort of my that's my background. And so that comes really naturally to me whereas like, sometimes like the music stuff is almost more challenging. Like I was talking to a friend the other day and they were like, I hate designing the album artwork. And I'm like, wow. That's like one of my favorite things to do because it's just like, that's something I've, I think I'm good at. And, and where sometimes I'm like more critical of like how good of a guitar player I am and things like that. But I'm hoping that it does shift more to where I'm like, I'm getting much better at guitar and, you know, things like that.

Jessica Risker:

One thing you mentioned something we could talk about just for just a little bit more here and then we'll, this has been a great conversation. I really appreciate it. You mentioned something about working, working as a team within the band. What were you referring to there?

Jessica Viscius:

Yeah, I think that I am sort of, I've realized through music that I'm kind of a control freak which is funny because like I typically associate as somebody who's very type B in my daily life, but when it, for some reason when it comes to music, I'm like very like, specific about what I want, very perfectionist. And I think that sometimes that gets in the way of the collaboration in the band where I can have a really specific vision. And I think I've had to learn to just allow people the space to sort of meander and figure out stuff on their own. And like, I think, you know, that that is just like make space for a much better collaboration, like within the band, you know, instead of being so like, it has to be this way and it has to be that way. Yeah. So that's, that's been a learning experience, you know,

Jessica Risker:

And I think one thing that I find too is just the frustration with the time. Sometimes it feels like you could do things on your own and like let's get moving.

Jessica Viscius:

Yeah.

 

Jessica Risker:

Yeah. It can feel like once a week we get together and I want to get moving, I don't know if you feel that sometimes

Jessica Viscius:

No yeah, absolutely. And sometimes I'm like, well, you know, like our guitarist is like playing a lead line. I'm like, no, that's not quite right. And he's like, well, can you, can you tell me, like, what's something you think might be better? And I'm like, well, I'm not as good of a guitar player as you. So you know, I don't know. But so it's, it's funny cause like, yeah, I have this specific vision in mind, but sometimes I like, I can't  play it, which has been a struggle. And that's why I'm like, I need to really become a better guitar player.

Jessica Risker:

Are you writing any material right now? Are you taking a break?

Jessica Viscius:

No. I've actually been writing a lot of songs lately and that's been really exciting because I feel like it comes in waves for me, where I have like really productive months in music. And then I don't write anything just either because I I'm not motivated or I feel like nothing's good, but the last week I've been writing some cool stuff. Cool stuff.

Jessica Risker:

Let me touch on - you had mentioned the value of therapy. What do you see as the value of therapy?

Jessica Viscius:

I think that therapy is incredible. Like, you know, I've done, I've seen maybe a thousand therapists at this point, just kidding, not that many. But I think it's just great to have an objective opinion outside of your friend group or your family who can really help you look at your life and, you know, dig deeper. I think that I've made so many discoveries in therapy that I really had no idea. It was like hiding under the surface. 

Jessica Risker:

Yeah.  So you said before that sometimes it's difficult for you to access that emotional part of yourself. Do you feel like therapy is opening that at all?

Jessica Viscius:

Yeah, I think definitely. I think, yeah, definitely therapy has helped me like, just work through that. I remember when I first started going to therapy, I had a hard time even talking about my feelings and I feel like I've definitely opened up quite a bit. But yeah, I struggled with that at first and I still struggle with talking about my feelings. Like I think it's, it's hard to be vulnerable and expose that part of yourself to somebody like be a friend or with music, a stranger, you know, or a therapist. And I'm just learning how to go about that and be more open.

Jessica Risker:

I mean, that's a really interesting place to be if you feel like it's really uncomfortable to be vulnerable, but you've made like the most vulnerable album. So deeply personal and about really heavy stuff and hard stuff.

Jessica Viscius:

Yeah.

Jessica Risker:

That's an interesting place for you, I'm sure.

Jessica Viscius:

It really is. It is a struggle, a daily struggle, but I think, you know, make, yeah, like I said, like making art as a vulnerable act, like sharing a part of yourself with someone. And I think that because of that, artists are brave and they deserve respect and credit. It's really hard to get up on stage and sing a song about something really personal or, you know, so, so credit to all the brave artists out there.

Jessica Risker:

Let's see here. Let me just double check. Is there anything else that you want to make sure we talk about today?

Jessica Viscius:

I think this has been really nice.

Jessica Risker:

Yeah. I think so too. Oh, you did say something about stage fright. Do you have stage fright?

Jessica Viscius:

Yeah, stage fright, I've I've. Okay. So I used to have a phobia of public speaking and I like failed a course, in college and flunked a class in high school because like my inability to speak publicly and I would dread it like for weeks coming up to like, if I had to give a speech, like it would be like weeks of dread and it was like this really sort of irrational fear. And now that I'm playing shows, I still sort of equate those two things in my mind, like getting up on a stage where people are listening to you and you have a microphone in front of you. But that's been interesting just learning to, to like, come to terms with that and how to, how to move past those fears.

Jessica Risker:

Is it getting any easier?

Jessica Viscius:

It is, you know, it was, and then quarantine happened and now I haven't played a show in so long and I'm like, I'm really nervous for our release show because I'm just like, I haven't played so long. But I think like if you're, if you go on tour and you're like, we've only been on short tours, I think our longest was a week, but by the end of that, I was so comfortable and I was like, oh, this is so easy, but it's just sort of like when you have space from it and then you have to play again. I got a little, I still get a little nervous.

Jessica Risker:

Yeah, definitely. So your release show is September 2nd.

Jessica Viscius:

Yes. At the Empty Bottle, I think tickets are available.

Jessica Risker:

And I would love to have you guys a little bit down the line on a Group Therapy .

Jessica Viscius:

Yeah, that'd be awesome!

Jessica Risker:

They're really fun. Let's see here. So can you share with people where they can get the album or listen to the album?

Jessica Viscius:

Yeah, you can goto Google and search bnnyband.com and you can find the link there. You can also get it through Firetalk our label. I was Googling ourself the other day and I saw that we have an album, like the album was available at Barnes and Noble or best buy or something, something weird. And I was like, oh, this album, is it really out there?

Jessica Risker:

It's B-N-N-Y band.

Jessica Viscius:

Yes. We had to drop the U because for, well, for various reasons, but there were like so many bands named bunny and it was just, it was the right move. I missed the U, but, but now we're more appealing to gen Z.

Jessica Risker:

It's good to keep things tight anyway.

Jessica Viscius:

Yeah. Yeah. It looks really good on a poster cause it's massive. Just four letters.

Jessica Risker:

Yeah. There you go! Okay.  Well, thank you so much!

Jessica Viscius:

Thank you. And yeah, I really appreciate you having me on, so thank you!

Screenshot from our Instagram Live chat

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