Janet Weiss grew up in Hollywood, California listening to AM radio and the classic rock heroes of her 2 big sisters. Her musical abilities probably were passed down from her father, a harmonica player from Chicago with great pitch. As a teenager, bands such as The Clash and REM redefined her understanding of the world. Music increasingly became the lens through which she saw everything.Janet escaped Los Angeles at 17, attending college at San Francisco University. She became very interested in local bands like Donner Party, Camper Van Beethoven, Blue Movie, The Catheads. She connected with their irreverent, DIY, rebellious attitude, and the intimacy of the small clubs in which they regularly played. At the ripe old age of 22, after one drum lesson on a practice pad, Janet joined the sloppy rock trio The Furies. Without any training, Janet learned the drums by watching drummers at a million shows, and by studying John Bonham, Mick Avery, Mitch Mitchell, Topper Headon, Melanie Clarin, Elvin Jones, and countless others.
In 1989 she moved to Portland, Oregon where she’s resided ever since. She’s played mostly in two bands for more than a decade, Quasi and Sleater-Kinney. Each made 7 records, and toured the world, allowing her to support herself with her music. Her drumming, which became more outspoken and personal, was honed against the Indie Rock backdrop of the 1990’s. Janet loves long tom fills, and a snare drum with a giant crack. She first heard the Craviotto snare drum she calls her “snare mate” while engineering a local band. They borrowed it from a shop in town. She tracked it down and offered her first child for it. But it’s lucky owner said it was only available on a borrow basis. She played it, a refurbished Radio King, whenever she could, until she found a maple Craviotto of her own.