Singer / songwriter / multi-intrumentalist Jan (a.k.a. Jeaneen Gauthier) got her musical start at the age of six, when she received a guitar, and the next year an electric organ, for Christmas. Her first-ever song an acappella composition entitled “Gay Rights” caused quite a controversy at home and was immediately banned. Early influences include Charo, Fred Rogers, The Carpenters, and The Lawrence Welk Show. Jan was often grounded to her room during her teen years, which gave her plenty of time to work on her song-poems, figure out how to play “House of the Rising Sun” on guitar, practice the violin, and listen to The Jam’s “Sound Affects” over and over again.
After a brief stint leading the all-girl garage band Debi-7 in the late 90s, she formed the indie-rock trio JAN, whose debut record “The Early Year” (2000) captured the attention of the college music scene nationwide with a beguiling mix of driving rock rhythms, soft-spoken melodies, and soul-searching lyrics. Their 2002 EP “Smoke + Mirrors” delivers smart / sensitive girlie-rock replete with hooks (and a few barbs, too) while paying tribute to The Magnetic Fields and to Canada, the singer’s imaginary homeland. In “Everything Must Go” (forthcoming September, 2007) JAN channels Blondie, Fleetwood Mac, and Cocteau Twins influences into a swirling mix of bright, melodic pop colored here and there with dark shadows.
JAN the band consists of Gauthier on vocals and guitar, accompanied by the high-energy rhythms of drummer Nick Hook and the McCartney-esque basslines of Jacques Wait, who also lends his recording and production skills to the mix.
In recent years Jan has also ventured out as a solo artist, playing simply arranged semi-acoustic tunes that showcase her intimate and silky-smooth vocal style. Currently she is at work recording a new full-length collection. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and is self-employed as an illustrator and graphic artist.