Jess Townsend saw her first drum set outside a television at 8 years old and was instantly drawn. The owner of the kit gave her the only lesson she would ever have by jamming out to CCR with her on his knee. From that moment on, whenever a set of drums was present wherever she went, she would watch and listen and even try to sneak a sloppy beat. When she got a drum set of her own at age 11 she would teach herself to play by watching Dave Weckl and Nicko McBrain videos, switching everything around to account for her leftiness, and by jamming along to her parents' classic rock and oldies records. Playing by ear, she took on the quads in the high school marching band which would start a lifelong love of metronomed rudiment drills and all things drum line. The combination of marching and classic rock roots along with playing with whoever would provide a challenge would help in developing her own style with an affinity for the opportunity to hit hard and play fast in mediums like punk and rock as well as other genres including swing, klezmer and surf.
Jess is now the Boston-based drummer of NYC's world-touring 10-piece outfit,The World/Inferno Friendship Society, whom with she performs under the artistic alias, Mora Precarious. Formerly of local "brainy-rockers" Ketman, she was recruited into Inferno in 2010 when the band opened a show for Inferno's accordion player. She has been twice featured in Tom Tom Magazine and according to Performer, "rarely will you find a drummer who goes at her instrument with more passion or vigor."
When not writing, recording, or touring with World/Inferno, she works in Boston and beyond doing fill-ins, session work, short tours and private instruction.
Recent work has included backing support for Alice Bag of The Bags during a New England tour as well as support for June Millington of Fanny and teaching at The Institute for the Musical Arts.