Tancred: True Grit And Loud Music


Tancred’s Jessica Abbott isn’t afraid to express herself

In the last year, Jessica Abbott—singer, songwriter and lead guitarist of Tancred—has come to the realization that there should be no expectations based on gender.

Out Of The Garden is a reflection of my belief that being a woman doesn’t mean what society says it means, especially in regard to how you’re expected to express your sexuality,” says Abbott. “I want to rip up those guidelines and throw them away.”

The songs on Out Of The Garden blend Abbott’s aggressive, almost metallic guitar with her intimate vocals and the powerful rhythms of drummer Kevin Medina and bassist Terrence Vitali. She’s abandoned the folky, pop approach of the first two Tancred albums for full throttle rock ‘n’ roll. “I made the first Tancred album when I was 19,” says Abbott. “It was more acoustic, and looking back, it was a bit underdeveloped. This one is crunchier and louder, with more layers of guitars. I was in screaming, metal-core bands when I was younger. That comes out when I crank up my amp. Writing this album, I began finding more strength in myself and in my music. The songs reflect those experiences.”

Although Abbott began Tancred as a studio-only project, she’s now ready to get out on the road and play her songs live. “My plan is to tour until I drop,” she says. “These songs have a political and social subtext. I don’t want to overwhelm people with it, but it’s irresponsible to not talk about issues that need to be discussed. It may sound naive to say I make music to help people, but it’s soul crushing to think that I’m not doing anything to move things forward. I have kids who come to shows and tell me something I wrote helped them through the day. Nothing feels as important as that.”

—j. poet