The love and passion for his craft shows in his strong and fluid techniques. He’s given people the chance to enjoy instrumental on a whole new level. It’s similar to listening to a great classic composer, you don’t need words to hear the story. Shredding of this kind should remain immortal. Kickassery on this level needs to be heard by all. He’s a great guy and a great friend. I present:
~What made you pick up a guitar?
It was Nirvana- I remember catching the video for “Smells Like Teen Spirit” on my way out with family and was totally hooked. I just wanted to play guitar, write songs and be Kurt Cobain. Immensely inspirational moment.
~How old were you?
Pretty sure I was around 13 or so…
~Why did you feel like taking an instrumental approach versus a lyrical?
It was honestly never intentional, just kind of happened on its own. Back when I started, players had to be very self-reliant as the internet didn’t have nearly as much information as it does now. So I would record my own backing tracks for me to practice technique over. Eventually those practice jams became songs and it just snow balled from there.
~What are a few of your musical aspirations and how have they shaped your creativity and thought process?
It’s hard to say since I mainly listen to old school jazz and other genres that wouldn’t necessarily inspire a “metal” song. I haven’t really listened to or purchased a metal album in some years now as it’s mostly all the same shit at this point. There are some game-changers out there, but nothing that really resonated on a deep level with me.
When I was growing up I was all about Eric Johnson & Yngwie. Those guys are monster players and really helped to push me to further my knowledge of the instrument. If I had to choose my most influential guitar player these days I would have to say Mattias Eklundh. Talk about being innovative.. DAMN!
~What’s a fun fact that not many people know? Special talents? Other than having the fingers of a god.
Hmm let’s see. I’m quite the interior designer. I once had a girl ask me to spit in her mouth after a show in NY. I can do all of the choreography from the Thriller music video to the T. I used to be a gymnast. I’m an organic yuppie. I can live off of toast and butter. I used to be a nude model. My favorite television show is The Golden Girls. I feel that any parades expressing pride in one’s national heritage/sexual orientation/religious beliefs is kind of senseless. When I was a kid I wanted to become a cartoonist.
~What goals do you hope to achieve within the next 5 years? Where do you see yourself? Or where would you like to be?
Well, in five years time I sincerely hope to still be with the company… possibly managing or supervising my own team. Part of my strengths as a qualified candidate is the ability to absorb then expand on ideas creatively in both an independent and collaborative setting which would allow me to further my skill set to effectively lead a department.
~What’s your favorite color?
Burgundy & Grey.
~Do you like pie and what kind of pie?
Raspberry Pie… fresh out of the oven…
~In the video A Martian Winter, were you really somewhere cold?
Indeed we were! We spent hours upon hours in a freezer. Chances are we wouldn’t have needed special effects makeup because it was absolutely brutal in there.
Funny story- So when you’re filming a music video, the crew puts gaff tape underneath the drummer’s cymbals to minimize how loud they are, (as they tend to drown out the playback). Unfortunately because of the temperature and humidity in the room, the gaff tape wouldn’t stick to the cymbals so we could barely hear the song playing in the background. The only way we could play along to the track was to have Jason play the rhythm guitar live along to the click track. The entire video depended on Jay pulling it off and by sheer will he got us through it. Take that Metallica.
~What’s the toughest challenge you’ve had to face or have yet to face?
The toughest challenge aside from filming the video for “A Martian Winter,” would have to be writing “Away With Words.” I hit a horrible period of writer’s block that was intensely difficult and frustrating to deal with. Mid-way through the record I kind of came to a startling realization that I wasn’t enjoying the time I spent with my guitar, so I put the album down for a month or two. When I came back to the record it was with a different perspective that allowed me to be less judgmental of my inability to write at certain times and just to make sure I was always enjoying my time with music. Once that happened the songs poured out!
~If you could give an encouraging message to your fans and aspiring artists in any category, what would you say to them?
Be honest with what you want out of life.
If you want a short career in music, follow trends. If you want longevity, then go against the grain and constantly reinvent yourself.
Don’t live your life for others, don’t write music for others.
Always carry cash with you when you go on dates. Make sure your bathroom is spotless cause you never know who will have to pee.
Be nice to people, you don’t know their struggles in life. Have immense compassion.
Keep an eye out for his new album Away With Words.
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