Jessica Lea Mayfield is an alt-country dream. He album Sorry Is Gone is out right now, it’s 11 tracks of quality music produced by John Agnello (he’s worked with Kurt Vile and Sonic Youth) and Mayfield says the whole record is , “About me taking my life back, without really realizing it.” We had a catch with the Ohio resident and asked her all the essential questions like what’s for dinner.
What’s your worst habit?
Answering questions with a question, I’ve had people yell at me for that. And for adding question marks to my answers?
Tell us about a recent dream you’ve had…
I was trying to rescue this dog, he kept getting away from his owners, I kept finding him and bringing him back, over and over again.
Do you believe in magic?
I put a little hope into witchcraft sometimes, but I feel like it’s weird middle ground between willing things into existence and meditation.
Who is the most famous person you know/Who is the most famous person in your phonebook/dm’s?
I would really prefer not to answer this, as people are just people to me!
Is Britney happy now?
Haha, gosh I hope so, I don’t know her so how can I truly answer that? I hope she isn’t getting harassed and treated as badly as she was in the early 2000’s. I do adore her and feel awful for the way the press has treated her.
I put a little hope into witchcraft.
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I recently worked as a housekeeper at a one star hotel.
What are you scared of?
Strangers committing violent acts against me, acquaintances doing the same. You never know who is going to hurt you, rip you off, harassment is a daily occurrence. A constant reminder of the bad people who exist. I wish I didn’t have to always look over my shoulder. But I’ve had enough bad things happen to me that I do.
Is punk dead?
Yes and no. I mean I feel like our youth wants to dance around to musicals and looks sideways at old rockers…
If you could go back in time, when and where would you go?
I would go back in time and save all of my toys and teen possessions. Which would now be valuable 90’s memorabilia.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Don’t let people walk all over you. Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself and you don’t have to be nice all the time.
What’s your greatest regret?
Letting people screw with my head and lead to me to believe I’m worthless, wasting my love and time and effort on people who only took advantage of me.
What’s your biggest fail?
My marriage! [Laughs]
How was high school?
I didn’t go to high school at all, a lot of times I feel sad and like a missed out. There are a lot of “normal things” that people learn in high school that I just don’t know.
Is sex important to you?
Yes. In the right scenario. If it’s enjoyable and creates a bond with someone you care about. I’m a little old to think about the notion of a one night stand. I’m just not that type of person (anymore).
What’s the worst thing anyone has ever said to you?
Oh shit, I’ve been in a lot of abusive relationships. I’ve been called worthless, a fat pig. I’ve been held down while “you are retarded” was screamed directly into my ears until they burned. People are awful.
What is the closest you’ve ever come to death?
Drugs in my teens and early 20’s. I don’t fuck around with hard shit anymore. I had 2 incidents with pills where I basically od’ed. We all learn from our mistakes, I learned the hard way.
Have you ever broken the law?
Yes. I have not been arrested, I have done community service though.
When and why did you last cry?
Everyday. I have PTSD and the slightest trigger can set me off into whimpering and talking like an injured mouse, I’m half warrior half child all the time.
Is the glass half full or half empty?
Half full of red wine, half empty if it’s piss?
What’s your go-to karaoke song?
‘Break Stuff’ by Limp Bizkit
What’s the biggest problem facing humans as a species?
Human trafficking, kidnapping, rape, assault. Abuse. Half of the population is literally murdering the other half, and no one seems to care enough.
People are awful.
Is celebrity culture going to destroy us all?
Not me. I don’t even own a computer or TV. But sure, the children of this generation are screwed.
Who or what is the biggest threat to the music industry?
DJs and the internet.
What’s your writing process?
I write frantically in bits and pieces and then put it together later sort of like a puzzle.
What do your family think of your music?
That’s unclear, they are very musically different from me. I’m a songwriter and while my family are all musicians, they come from more of a show offy showmanship side, how fast you can play etc. I think it confuses them that I treat it like an art and less like a sport.
How would you describe your sound?
That’s a tough one. Dolly meets Elliott meets Nirvana?
What would your biography be titled?
“Why me?” [Laughs] I don’t know. I’ve never thought about that.
What’s for dinner?
I just ate half of a rotisserie chicken, my tummy hurts and I’m realising how much of a “Girl Interrupted” dinner that was.