Posted On 05 Sep 2018
Get to know the southern rock/country artist JASON CHARLES MILLER!
Jason’s new album “In The Wasteland” was released last month via RED Music/SONY, which he celebrated with a record release show at the infamous Whisky-A-Go-Go and the debut of his live video for the title track, featuring live footage from his headlining performance at Wasteland Weekend.
Watch it now: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-Xtmeci8_4
Mixed and produced by Grammy Award-winner Matt Hyde (Jonny Lang, No Doubt, Deftones) and featuring drummer Kenny Aronoff (John Mellenamp, John Fogerty), “In The Wasteland” showcases 11 tracks that blur the lines between Southern rock, classic country and the outlaw attitude that has earmarked MILLER‘s career as a singer, songwriter, producer and performer for more than two decades and over a dozen releases.
“In The Wasteland” also includes guest performances from the likes of Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Rickey Medlocke and keyboardist Peter Keys, legendary Soul vocalist Brenda Lee Eager (Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles and Diana Ross), Blackberry Smoke vocalist Charlie Starr, King’s X frontman Dug Pinnick, guitarist Duane Betts (son of founding Allman Brothers guitarist Dickey Betts), guitarist Adam Shoenfeld (Tim McGraw, Jason Aldean) and ‘Cowboy’ Eddie Long (Jamey Johnson).
Having been formerly known as the front-man and founder of acclaimed rock band GODHEAD — who were signed to Marilyn Manson’s label, Posthuman Records, selling over 250,000 albums and touring internationally with heavyweights including Manson, Ozzy Osbourne, Linkin Park, Disturbed, Rammstein, and Jonathan Davis (KORN) — MILLER has co-written songs with a genre-crossing who’s who of artists including Billy Ray Cyrus, Ben Moody (Evanescense), Chuck Goff (Toby Keith Band), Driver Williams (Eric Church Band) and Paul Anka. He has achieved three Gold Record Awards for sales, and his music has been heard on popular TV shows, films and video games including HBO’s True Blood and Hung, WWE Smackdown Critical Response, The Guild, Queen of the Damned, The Punisher, Disney Channel’s Teen Beach Movie and Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.
Learn more about Jason Charles Miller in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time today! Where does this interview find you now? What’s on tap for the rest of your day?
Hey there! The rest of my day consists of reviewing footage we just shot for my video for “Hundred Pound Hammer” with the editor, and working on a theme song for a TV show. Not a bad day!
All Access Music is currently compiling a list of our artists favorite songs this summer so what is YOUR song of the summer?
My song of the summer is the same song every summer: “Working for the Weekend” by Loverboy! Haha. Just kidding. It’s gotta be “I’ll Keep Ramblin” by Blackberry Smoke.
Overall, how do you think 2018 has been treating you and your music career? What has been one goal that you have had this year and how close are you to reaching it?
Well so far it’s been treating me great! I was able to release my album ‘In The Wasteland’ that I had been working on for six years on Sony Red Music! Anything after that is gravy!
Growing up, was music always a big part of your life? Can you recall your first ever musical experience?
Absolutely! One of my first memories is when I sang “Yesterday” by the Beatles in front of an audience when I was 6 years old. I heard that roar of the crowd and I was hooked!
What has been the biggest surprise so far about making music your career? Has there been an unexpected or welcome challenge to it all?
I guess the biggest surprise is that there’s always new surprises, and there’s always a new challenge.
How do you think you and your music have been influenced by your hometown and where you live today? What is the music scene like there these days?
Well my hometown had many different music scenes overlapping, which looking back I’m extremely grateful for. I grew up in Virginia near Washington, D.C., and those were two separate rock and hardcore scenes, and Baltimore was only another hour’s drive away, and that had it’s own rock scene as well. Plus, there were so many different genres of music all mashing up at the same time, it was really great.
How would you say that you have grown as an artist since you first starting making music? What has remained the same?
Well, I think if you don’t grow, you die. I’m always trying new things to expand what I can do. What has remained the same is that good songs are good songs, no matter what the genre. Generally though, if a song can’t survive with just a voice and one instrument (for me that’s guitar), then it’s probably not a good song.
What did it feel like releasing your latest album, “In The Wasteland”? What did it feel like the first time you heard this collection for the first time? Did anything surprise you about the overall process of putting it together?
Well it felt fantastic! Nothing really surprised me about putting it together, other than how long it took! Ha. But I guess anything good takes time, right? What DID surprise me was everyone else’s creative performances.
How did you go about choosing the musicians to work with on this album?
It was very organic, really. I was working on it for so long that I was able to use a combination of musicians who lived here in Los Angeles and people who lived all over who happened to be in town on tour. There were several times when I grabbed friends at various venues here in town early in the morning to throw them on a song or two, like Cowboy Eddie Long or Adam Shoenfeld. Then having some guys from my live band play on it as well made perfect sense, and of course having Kenny Aronoff on drums as the glue that holds everything together was a huge cornerstone.
While it’s difficult, can you pick out a couple of your favorite tracks off this collection? How do you typically go about writing your music?
My favorites change from day to day, but “The Line” is one that I’ve been fond of lately. Also, “Trunk Full of Bibles” and “No More Reasons.” Ask me again tomorrow and I’ll give you some different songs! As far as writing goes, every song is approached differently. I don’t have a set process. I may have a subject I want to write about and I let that drive the inspiration, or I may have a riff or chord progression and I let that inspire where I may go with the lyrics and melody.
What has been the biggest challenge for you transiting from being the front-man of the rock band GODHEAD to a solo artist?
I think people like to put artists in boxes, and when that artist then does something the audience isn’t used to, there’s a lot of initial rejection. Since my solo material has been pretty different than Godhead, I’ve had a lot of people voice their reaction to that to me in some not so nice ways, but I just roll with the punches! That which does not kill me, makes me stronger. I’m gonna do what I’m gonna do. Love it or leave it!
I would love to know more about what it has been like voicing characters for so many animated productions and video games? What has been a favorite to work on?
There’s been so many that it’s hard to pick! Some career highlights include working on “Batman: The Brave and the Bold” and of course being in the many different expansions of “World of Warcraft.” Singing two songs on “Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance” was also way cool. Of course, there are 3 BIG games coming out soon that I’m in…but I’m not allowed to talk about them until they come out!
How excited for you to be performing in Nashville at the Bluebird Café next month? How was that imposter account able to impersonate you and sell VIP tickets to it?
Well we just played the show and it was awesome! I got to sit in on someone else’s show at the Bluebird before, but had never been on the bill before, so it was a great milestone. As far as the imposter was concerned, luckily he was discovered pretty quickly, so I don’t think he was able to sell any fake tickets!
What do you think makes for an ideal show for you? What has been a favorite performance of yours so far?
My ideal show is when the audience is really responding and reacting to what I’m doing and it’s like we’re both in synch with each other.
We are currently living through a very trying and politically charged time right now so I am curious to know how your own music is reflecting this time period? Would you say that other musicians are making music that has been influenced by this climate? Do you find that at your shows you have to say something about the political climate?
Traveling all over this country, I meet so many people with so many different political views. Depending on where they live and what’s affecting them personally really shapes their view. I’m basically a centrist, and I have empathy for what people on both sides of the political fence are feeling. My song “The Line” deals with this somewhat, as it’s a song for the innocent bystander when the mob goes too far.
What has it been like keeping up with your social media accounts and all the different platforms? Is it hard to stay up to date on it all?
I find that different groups of people follow me on different formats, depending on their favorite, so I try to post almost daily on twitter, Instagram and Facebook, plus I’m still posting live videos from time to time on my YouTube channel.
Where can our readers connect with you?
Pretty much on any of the main social media sites. Drop me a line!
Who are some of your favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music? Who would you absolutely still love to work with in the future?
I’m all over the map! My two favorite bands are Fleetwood Mac and the Cure, if that gives you any idea. I love the classic sounds of Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Allman Brothers and ZZ Top. Bands who took that sound to another level later like the Black Crowes are fantastic. Paul Rogers of Free/Bad Company has the best voice in rock and roll. I’m also obsessed with the “Mark 3” version of Deep Purple (check out the albums Burn and Stormbringer). The songwriting of Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson still hit me to the core. Newer bands and artists I’m really into are Blackberry Smoke, Jonny Lang, Chris Stapleton (of course), Cody Jinx, Shooter Jennings, Amigo the Devil, Mark Lanegan, Ashley McBryde and the Steel Woods.
If you were going to be stranded on a deserted island forever, what musical item would you take with you and why?
A guitar that’s about 10 feet wide, 30 feet long, is shaped like a boat and has a sail and a motor.
If your music was going to be featured on any TV show that is currently on right now, which would you love it to be on? Or if you prefer, what is a movie that you love that you wish your music was featured in?
I’d love to have a song or two in the Sons of Anarchy prequels that are coming out, but one of my favorite shows right now is Preacher. If the music supervisor for Preacher is reading this, let’s talk!
At the end of the day, what do you hope your fans take away from your music?
I just hope it makes someone’s day better. Isn’t that all we really want to do? Make someone feel a little bit better?