Jesca’s life has been anything but typical. As a teenager, she defied her parents by leaving home. She did not want to oblige to living a strict Mormon life as her parents intended for her. ”I became disenchanted by the self righteous element of the church. I couldn’t accept that it was my job to “save” everyone else. Not to mention that church was just BORING.”

Jesca then spent many years as a homesteader. About this experience she told Y&P, “I lived off the grid for a handful of years. I learned how little you actually need to live and live well.” And following this, she worked at a hardcore wilderness program for troubled teens placed in by the State or their parents. “Most of them DO NOT want to be there. They are dropped off in the high mountain desert and left there for two months. They are there with a group of other teens and a guide. There is no lodge or camp…just raw wilderness that they are then to walk every day. They are given the most bare basics. A knife, a rope, a sleeping bag, a canteen, a pencil and pad of paper. In order for them to progress through the program they have to learn how to make fire by friction.”

So then what happened? Tom Waits happened. Jesca was hired to take care of Tom Waits’ children and it was Waits who encouraged her to make music her full-time career. When we asked Jesca to describe him in three words she answered, “Larger than life.”

Read our interview with Jesca Hoop below and if you are in the UK be sure to catch her on tour this fall.

[Y&P]How old were you when you lived in a chicken coop and what were you doing during this time in your life?

[Jesca Hoop] I was 21-25. At the time I was an apprentice under a female carpenter. We were remodeling houses, ripping out foundations and putting in new ones…we did a lot of heavy lifting. It was inspiring to work under such a skilled and strong woman. I was also training in Capoeira under a master Capoeirista named Cafuringa. I was also riding my bike for transportation.

What advice would you give to your “younger” self?

The future is no place to put your better days.

Who lives in the house that jack built?

I don’t know… I have crept over the fence a couple times to pick a persimmon off of my persimmon tree and to see how the cherries, grapes and almonds are growing.

If you are what you eat then you are…

I would love to be Macaroni and Cheese but I am too smart for that. I am taking a break from meat right now so I am a dynamic farm filled with all sorts of hardy greens, grains, beans, fruits, tubers…etc…and gorgeous dairy. I am also a forest full of mushrooms and wild foods with a river running through it. And I’m an apple pie. I am wholesome and homemade.

Where are you most excited to tour this fall?

I am very excited about my tour around the UK and parts of Europe in September. And then is October I am very excited to tour the east coast and some Midwest towns.

Current state of mind?

I am very focused.

How will you spend the last few days of summer?

Writing and touring… and renovating my new home… its a fixer upper !