Ibanez: Your debut album on Koch records was just released. What was the recording process like for that album?
Jason: It was pretty laid back. We were in a studio in Millbrook, NY, and it was kind of in the middle of nowhere. I mean it's a really nice town, but there's not much to do around there. Plus, they have apartments next door. So we were all kind of confined to our rooms with no television. We pretty much lived and breathed and everything that album for about a month and a half. I had a really good time, though.
Ibanez: Were there any different goals for this album compared to the other albums and EPs you guys have released?
Jason: The other albums and EPs were really just all of us coming together and writing music. That's pretty much how it came out. We didn't have anyone from outside the band looking at it and making suggestions. This album, with the producer we had, kind of gave us a little bit of direction. It helped us make an album that could reach a wider range of an audience. I think it ended up being a much more well-rounded album than what we've done in the past.
Ibanez: Who were some of your early influences that inspired you to start playing bass?
Jason: Actually, I didn't have any [laughs]. I started playing bass, because my older brother played guitar. All my friends played guitar, too. I've always been the one to try something different if everyone is doing something, so I picked up bass. I played it like a guitar at first, playing chords and learning scales and arpeggios. I didn't hook up with a real bass player until later on. That really opened up a whole new world, with slapping and popping and all the different percussive techniques you can use on the bass. I had fun with that for a while, and then I started blending the two styles together. So my style is kind of a mix of all the different guitar and bass techniques I learned.
Ibanez: Were you always a six string player? What made you decide to switch?
Jason: I've actually played 6-string bass about 4 years. I played 4-string for almost a year, and I got really bored with it. So I switched to 5-string. That bass got stolen after a show my old band played in Atlanta. So I got on eBay the next day and found the 6-string bass that I have now. I just figured it was time to move up [laughs].
Ibanez: When did you start playing Ibanez basses?
Jason: My first bass was a beginner 4-string. I don't even remember what brand it was. It was one of those basses parents buy for their kids, not knowing if they're going to stick with it or not. The next one I got, the 5-string, was an Ibanez. So I've been playing Ibanez for about 9 years now.
Ibanez: Was there anything in particular that drew you to the SR series?
Jason: I guess it's kind of like driving a car. If you drive a certain car for a long time, when you sit in another one you're just in a totally different world. I've played around with other basses and noticed good things here and there, but overall I'm just so familiar with the Ibanez neck and the way it's set up. I'm accustomed to the sound I get out of it. I've learned to adjust amp heads based on the sound I get from Ibanez basses.
Ibanez: How would you describe your perfect bass tone?
Jason: I don't like standing out as a player. I also don't like it, when you can't tell what the bass player is doing. I like low end, but I also like enough mids and highs where it all blends together nicely. You can do some really cool melodic stuff with bass over guitar. It's gotta be low enough that you can keep the riff driving.
Ibanez: What were some of the challenges for you guys, being a metal band out of Knoxville, TN and how did you overcome them?
Jason: We talked with other bands, and we've heard from other people that we would have to move out of Knoxville to make it. None of us wanted to do that. The band is originally from there, and I actually moved to Knoxville to play with the band. I think being from that area has created more of a drive to tour. If you're living in a place with lots of venues, there's not as much incentive to tour. The only way we knew to get anywhere was to get out on the road and tour as much as possible. That's one reason our management picked us up, because they noticed how heavily we toured on our own.
Ibanez: What do you guys have coming up in the way of touring?
Jason: After the Bleed the Sky tour we're on right now, we're doing a week with 36 Crazyfists. I think we're off for about three weeks, then we're going out with Devildriver and Snot. We were totally honored to be on that tour. We love those guys.
Ibanez: What are you listening to right now?
Jason: I like to try and listen to a lot of different stuff. I've been listening to Gojira, Dredg, and At The Gates. "Slaughter of the Soul", I never get tired of that CD. We listen to a lot of 80s music , too. When we're out on the road, we hear a lot of metal. We love it, but sometimes it's nice to pop in something different to break it up a little bit.
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