Interview with Jessi Zazu of Those Darlins

Cindy Howes of the Morning Mix was recently joined by Jessi Zazu, frontwoman of Those Darlins, a rock band from Nashville, Tennessee. Those Darlins just released their third studio album, Blur the Line an album that differs a bit from their previous work.

The original three band members of Those Darlins met at the Southern Girls Rock and Roll camp in Tennessee about seven and a half years ago. This was the place that Zazu performed for the first time and felt a real sense of belonging. Jessi grew up as somewhat of an outcast for enjoying rock music while everyone else’s interests resided solely in country music. The people at the Girls Rock and Roll camp encouraged Jessi to do whatever she wanted to do, going for whatever she felt was right and has since kept these values with her throughout her music career.

The band members of Those Darlins felt a lot more vulnerable with the newest album Blur the Lines. Many of the themes in the record reminisce back to some of the subjects of Jessi’s childhood and how she grew up. The record’s tone also shadows their experience on the road over the last eight years. These themes have been explored in previous albums by Those Darlins but have never appeared this dark.

To portray the bands’ vulnerability and strength with Blur the Lines the album cover is a tasteful, naked photograph of the bottom half of the member’s bodies. “The album cover is just to represent laying it there. Being naked is your most vulnerable state but also there’s something really powerful about it.”

This album cover got quite a bit of national attention after a blown up promotional poster was hung up in Nashville. Many people were upset and claimed it was pornographic, risque, and something that should not be hung for everyone and their children to see. Jessi claims that although this time was relatively stressful, it got the point across that they were aiming for.

“The whole purpose of it was to create some curiosity about what the image is. It served its purpose just by creating a conversation about it and the question, what is the difference between pornography and art? But it was definitely blown out of proportion in some ways.”

Those Darlins played at the Brillobox in Pittsburgh the next night. For more information on Those Darlins and their newest album Blur the Line check out their website.