Get To Know Your Enemy | No Doubt: Blink for The New Kids
January 16, 2020 | By Jenna Enemy
Jenna Enemy is the lead singer in the successful Minneapolis-based ALT Rock Group The Von Tramps. This STORY is the first in a series That chronicles her VOYAGE THROUGH THE WATERS OF THE MUSIC WORLD.
Every morning I wake up facing a nicked-up wall adorned with equally beat up hanging guitars and a shrine dedicated to the musicians that have inspired me. Gwen Stefani helps me greet the morning with a pouty furrowed brow and her signature red lips. She looks so fierce in the 8X10 frame that can barely contain her. Also on the wall of fame is Joan Jett, she hangs in midair with her life partner: A white Gibson Melody Maker. Her expression is so laissez faire; does she even know how cool she is?
(Gwen Stefani with No Doubt)
I also love The Replacements, they always look like they just woke up too with their messy bedhead hairdos and Tommy Stinson’s childish smirk — no doubt re-imagining some dirty joke that was told at The CC Club the night before.
(From Minneapolis | The Replacements)
My favorite one: a black and white photo of Tom DeLonge in his underpants helps me remember that I am an immortal teenager and that growing up doesn’t necessarily mean growing old.
(Jenna has been described as the female Tom DeLonge, less the nudity)
Music has had such a profound existence in my life and I simply cannot remember a time without it. My childhood consisted of singing lessons to The Beach Boys and 60’s Dowop bands in the car; learning how to drum on steering wheels and dashboards; performing Madonna and NKOTB hits for my older sister’s friends; roller skating to disco and new wave as a pre-teen in the middle school date spot: Cheap Skate Roller Rink; and letting bands like No Doubt and Blink- 182 change the entire course of my life.
(Dammit by Blink 182 from the album titled, Dude Ranch)
All of these incredible artists have had amazing stories to tell and in finding them, I found myself. I’m Jenna Enemy from Minneapolis, MN. I live with my 130 lb. Bloodhound, Hans, in a tiny 600 square foot cabin on a lake with no city water and no heat. The entire place is heated by one fire place, which in a climate colder than Antarctica for a few months a year is roughing it. Although this place may sound less than ideal; it holds a special place in my heart.
In this very corner where I’m writing to you right now, the song “New Years Day” was written as I laid upside down on the couch watching the snow fall onto the windows. At the kitchen table just a few steps away, “14B” was born after finding a crumbled-up boarding pass on my floor. The lyrics to “Beg Your Parton’ began with a broken heart, sitting cross legged on a bare mattress in an empty bedroom.
(14B lyric notes provided by Jenna Enemy)
I’m telling you this because at one point in his career Tom DeLonge was just a skater kid from Poway, California having fun playing music with his best friend Mark in his parents’ garage. A young Gwen Stefani would fix her stage costumes with a hot glue gun in the bathroom of an Orange County dive bar; getting ready to play to a room of 30 people. Paul Westerberg was a janitor walking home from work when he heard a local band jamming in an uptown basement.
(14B by The Von Tramps)
My point is great music and great stories come from humble beginnings. If you’re an aspiring songwriter reading this; start today. Don’t let circumstances halt your creativity because art can be made anywhere, as long as your heart is there. It doesn’t have to come from a giant recording studio or some epic tale; you can create where you are and exactly how you are.
Dear readers, or F.O.E.s. (Friends of Enemy); please join me on this journey as I deep dive into some of the artists, experiences, and lessons that lead me to grow as an artist. Do You Know Your Enemy will host interviews of your favorites as well as introduce you to new bands, curate custom playlists, and give you an inside look of what it’s like to be The Tom DeLonge from Poway, The Gwen Stefani from Orange County, or The Jenna Enemy from Minneapolis.
Eventually, I got to meet Donny Wahlburg of NKOTB and he helped pay for my overdue Utility bills when I was broke as a joke producing the first Von Tramps album. This is a story for another day; but “Hi Donny, and Thank you!”
(You Got It (The Right Stuff) from the album titled, Hangin’ Tough)
I hope this collection of stories inspire you as much as you all have inspired me. What a ride; I can’t wait to share it with you.