Sunday, November 27, 2016

Volume 55 - Justin Mason

Justin Mason


Hello my drum brothers and sisters,
This latest edition of TC is taking us to the south and we're gonna rock out for a bit, kool? 
I met this kat on FB and I saw that he is a pretty busy young man. Playing in multiple bands and he is a family man. He's doing his hustle. So, I'm glad I get to expose a small portion of his Drum Life. Like a lot of us, Justin is working on a new recording projects with his bands, soon to be released. We were also able to touch on a subject that we don't really get into as musicians, it seems taboo to speak on publicly. So, let's see what Justin is Talkin' Chop about!

Name or Stage Name: 

Justin Mason

Where are you from? 
Originally Somerville, AL; currently Moulton AL

How long have you been playing? 
Almost 14 years

What is or are your main genre of playing? 
Rock, all types

How did you get where you are now? 
Well not to sound cliché, but hard work and dedication ha ha.

What are your goals, short & long term? 
Short term to get both of my bands EPs out nationally, long term, to have people around the world hear our music, both through CD and Live.

List some of your accomplishments: 
I have been a successful session drummer, a drum line teacher and mentor (probably what I am proudest of musically)

Did you grow up playing in marching band?
I did not. I actually took vocational class in school instead. I just happened across becoming a mentor.

Mentoring can be fun but it has a responsibility, How do you make sure you give them the tools they need yet, keeping them inspired?
Really it's about connecting with them personally, and appealing to their interests, while not selling them short of things they need to know, regardless of how 'boring' it seems to them.

So, you're in a couple of bands, correct? Never mind The Damage and Burning Bridges? 
Yes, Machine Gun Villains is becoming Burning Bridges at the moment

How do you work the two band thing? 
It is tough sometimes, but I've honestly been doing the two (sometimes it was 3) band thing a while now, so I juggle it well, I feel.

Are the styles of the bands different? 
Yes, NMTD is more on the metal end, Rage Against the Machine meets Breaking Benjamin, where Burning Bridges is more modern rock, with a heavier side at times, like a Hinder, Thousand Foot Krutch or Pop Evil style

As Indie bands, you have to hustle to make things happen... do you perform any other roles in the bands, other than drummer? 
I do. I book quite a few of our shows, and in Burning Bridges, I am the 'practice coordinator' so to speak ha. I also write a majority of the lyrics for BB.

Playing harder edge, music genres: How did you get into those styles? 
Well when I really started getting into playing drums, I was introduced to the band UnderOath, and that heavier style of music they played, really appealed to me. That's one reason, I guess, Aaron Gillespie is one of my main influences drum wise.

How is the music scene in your hometown? 
It is mostly metal to be honest. Sometimes it feels like if you aren't metal, or close to it, you may not succeed.

Never Mind The Damage - Preview of EP

What is the "one" thing you would change about the music culture in your city? 
I'd love to see rock start making more of a comeback. We have some friends in a band called 53 Judges who are an AMAZING rock band, raw and powerful, and I'd love to see more bands like them come out of the wood works.

Are you involved in the local music scene in your hometown, other than just playing in your band? 
Not really. I'd love to be more involved behind the scenes, but playing with two bands, and filling in with others from time to time, its hard to be.

Describe your current set up & gear - heads and sticks...ect:

I'm using a 6 piece PDP Concept series kit, birch. Sabian cymbals. I use Evans G2 clears on the toms when recording and EC2 Frosted live. Heavyweight snare head and EMAD 2 bass head. Coopergroove sticks and Sweet Spots Dampeners. I am an endorser for both of those products.

Is there one piece of gear you absolutely have to have? 
I guess a true 'go-to' is a good double bass pedal. The bass pedal itself I feel could always be a make or break component, it's so vital to the time keeping part of playing.

Do you have a “Dream Kit”? 
Not really. I do have a kit I would love to have to use for Burning Bridges though, a Bonham style kit with all concert style toms.

Why the drums? 
I always loved to beat on things ha ha. Before I got a drum set, my sister, cousin and I would perform Elvis songs on a hearth (which was our stage) at my Mamaw's house, and I would use whatever I could find to play drums on. There are still VHS tapes of our 'performances' some where, I'm sure ha.

If you weren’t playing drums, what would you be doing? 
Oh man, I don't know. Probably would be in an insane asylum haha. Drumming is a release for me creatively.

How has drumming impacted or changed your life? 
It's given me a reason to do something. And when teaching, it's helped me impact and change other's lives, which in turn, changes mine. It makes me happy to see a difference made by something I've done musically.

Are you playing music full-time?
Not currently, but hopefully, I will be again, soon.

Name 5 of your drumming influences? why? 
Aaron Gillespie, just the raw power and passion he has behind the drums. John Bonham, just the fluidity and poise with which he seemed to play. Jimmy Sullivan, the passion he had for every process of the music, not just the drums. Jim Riley, he's such a great teacher as well as performer. And as much as some people 'hate' him, Mike Portnoy, just the way he juggles 800 bands a year, and the different things he does from prog to metal to rock.

Ok, an interesting subject you brought up. Why do you think drummers don't like certain drummers? There seems to be a handful of guys or ladies, who people just don't like. your thoughts....
There are numerous reasons I'm sure. A lot of it I think is jealousy. The 'They hate me cause they ain't me' idea. We are so connected in today's age, we can voice our opinions with no true repercussions, regardless of the subject. So people will bash whomever they see fit for whatever reason. I also think some of it may stem from musical preference as well.

Name an inspiring concert that made you want to go home and
start shedding?
I saw the Newsboys at WinterJam one year after Michael Tate had just joined, and that was an amazing concert. Duncan Phillips jumped on a cocktail kit right in front of me in the middle of the concert and handed me his sticks afterwards, it was pretty cool.

How much time do you practice? 
Depends on the week ha ha. I'd like to say on average, whether its behind the kit or on a practice pad, an hour a day. Sometimes that 'hour a day' is truly 3 hours at once with a band but hey, whatever works, right?

What types of things do you work on, in those sessions? 
I am a self taught drummer, so when I was learning drums, I never actually was introduced to rudiments and the technical stuff of drumming, so I like to focus on rudiments and stuff when I get the time too. And playing to a click.

Do you record drum videos of yourself? if so, how has it helped you? 
Not really. I'm the 'don't like to hear my own voice' type. So I don't like watching myself on video ha ha. Though my goals for 2017 are to get back into doing cover videos and doing some play throughs, so I may have to change my mentality ha ha.

Do you have a preference between studio and live? 
Live, for sure. You get an immediate reaction to your music live.

Never Mind The Damage - One Step Closer (clip)

Do you have a crazy or interesting gig you can share with us? When I was with an old band, Sands of Life, we were playing a show, and in the middle of the set, I took a drink of water, and it went down the wrong pipe. So throughout the song, I'm coughing, and coughing, and coughing. I eventually coughed up the water all over my lap and drum kit. And the best part, no one knew about it til after the set when I was cleaning it all up. I can honestly say, grossest thing ever.

What are your words of wisdom for your fellow drummers out there? 
Practice, practice, practice. And always encourage each other. The drum community is a family, we aren't in competition with each other. Be supportive.

Last Words, Links, Hashtags and Thank You’s? is my artist page if you want to follow/connect with me. Thank you to Carlo Cooper with Coopergroove Drumsticks for the continued and amazing support. Thanks also to Scott Watts with Sweet Spots Dampeners.

Never Mind the Damage & Machine Gun Villains 

I want to thank Justin for sharing his drum life with us all.
Thx Kat!!
I see a lot of the same things in him, as I see in myself when I was coming up in the neighborhood. playing in different projects at the same time and pushing to make music happen.
Respect to all of us on the grind.

You guys make sure you stop by Justin's page and say 'hello' and offer your words of encouragement and support. And look for his bands new ep!


Would you like to be featured on Talkin' Chop?
Here's what you need to do..
1. Be a drummer, yeah that's pretty much it
Hit me up and let's make it happen

DeHaven -

#DrummersSupportDrummers  #TalkinChop  #DrumLife


DeHaven is sponsored by:

DRUMMER apparel & accessories

No comments:

Post a Comment