Jessica Pimentel: Unveiling the Metal Persona Behind the Curtain

by Barbara

While Jessica Pimentel may have burst into the limelight with her portrayal of Maria Ruiz in the acclaimed series ‘Orange Is the New Black,’ her artistic journey delves much deeper, spanning both the screen and the stage. Beyond her acting prowess, Pimentel’s enthralling presence extends into the realm of music, a passion she has fervently pursued for years.

Stepping onto the musical stage, Pimentel’s origins trace back to classical melodies, where the enchanting strains of the violin wove a sonic tapestry in her early life. Yet, as time’s tapestry unfurled, her musical inclinations underwent a transformation, embracing the intricate world of heavier genres. Her evolution from classical to metal symphonies has been a testament to her versatility.

In an introspective interview with Thrillist in 2016, Pimentel illuminated the turning point in her musical preferences:

“Initially, bands like Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, and Mötley Crüe resonated with me through the radio waves. However, the musical pundits around me would deem them ‘sellout stuff,’ pushing me toward a more intense direction. A pivotal moment came when my friend’s older brother handed me King Diamond’s ‘Conspiracy.’ That album held a power so immense, so enthralling, that it conjured a sense of dread within my 12-year-old self, akin to fears of lurking demons in my closet. Thus began my deep dive into metal. When Slayer’s music entered my world, it felt as though I had ventured into the abyss, a journey towards a realm of darkness.”

Paving her way through the metal landscape, Pimentel’s presence resonated with numerous bands over the years. A notable chapter saw her wielding the bass as part of the heavy metal ensemble Desolate, a role she masterfully embraced from 2010 to 2014.

Around the same juncture, she embarked on her current endeavor as the lead vocalist for Alekhine’s Gun, a band that holds a profound personal significance. Reflecting on her engagement with the band, Pimentel divulged:

“Alekhine’s Gun encapsulates my musical heart in ways words can scarcely convey. Our journey began in 2009, and it marks my maiden voyage in shaping my own musical narrative. The band’s name, an ode to my affinity for chess, holds an emblematic resonance. The very essence of our music possesses an intimate connection with our audience, bridging the gap through raw emotion.”

Beyond the charismatic persona on stage, Pimentel’s dedication and reverence towards her craft shine through in the lyrical themes she channels. She draws inspiration from her devotion to Buddhism, a spiritual practice that infuses her lyrics with sacred significance. Delving into her creative process, she elaborated:

“My words bear the weight of a profound purpose. Before the ink touches the page, I embark on visualizations and meditative introspection, invoking the Seven Wisdoms, a meditation that beckons my words to illuminate the path of enlightenment for others. This essence, this responsibility, resonates within my music, shaping the verses that transcend mere entertainment.”

Navigating the balance between her acting commitments and her musical pursuits, Pimentel faces the challenge of live performances with her band, Alekhine’s Gun. However, the band continues to forge forward, ceaselessly weaving sonic tales within the walls of the recording studio. The band’s latest offering, ‘Year of the Lazarus,’ unfurled its emotive essence in 2020, a testament to their enduring dedication.

Jessica Pimentel’s artistic journey mirrors a chameleon’s dance, gracefully shifting between the realms of acting and music. Beneath the bright lights and accolades, lies a profound creative spirit who paints her life’s canvas with the vivid strokes of melody and performance.

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