An Interview with Jason Stallworth

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After having the pleasure of reviewing Jason Stallworth’s latest album, ,I was also able to interview him.

Here’s how it all went down:

 

1) What inspired you to write your latest album?
Writing metal music is definitely my greatest passion in life. I remember picking the guitar up for the first time when I was 15. It felt natural and I knew what I wanted to do with my life. Around that same time (and this is a good 25+ years ago) I had started lifting weights. I was a skinny kid growing up and got picked on a lot, so at that time it was a means to an end. However, it became an essential part of my life. I love metal, and I love the weights, so one day it hit me: ‘Why not combine the two in an album?’

2) How do you write your music?

I literally just sit down in my studio and start playing riffs. Most of the time I’ll throw on a drum loop and play around with the BPM. I find it’s much easier to write along with an actual drum loop. I pretty much know within the first few minutes if it’s going to be just a practice session, which those are just as important no matter what level you’re at, or if I’m actually going to be writing something new. Sometimes I’ll write a rhythm track for an entire song and then I’ll immediately lay a second track (I typically record two rhythm tracks and hard pan each one). Other times I’ll write bits and pieces and see it for later. Once the rhythm tracks are completed, I’ll come back later and write the guitar solos. Those are a bit more time consuming. In the past, the drums and bass tracks were done last but I’m starting to lay down the bass tracks as I get the rhythm guitars recorded.

3) What influences do you credit for your writing style/performance style? Favourite artist/band/etc.
The first time I heard the ‘Master of Puppets’ album, I was hooked, and this is what initially inspired me to pick up the guitar in the first place. Of course I’m a huge Satriani fan as well. Over the past several years I’ve been really deep into bands like Nightwish, Sonata Arctica, Primal Fear, Sabaton, Delain, Amon Amarth, Evergrey, so I have to attribute a lot of my style to them as well. I’d like to say I have a classic metal foundation with some modern components to my music. 

4) What was it like recording and producing your most recent album?

Heavy Metal Workout was actually written and recorded seamlessly, and somewhat quickly. I wasn’t necessarily in a hurry, but I had been hanging on to the idea for over a year on whether or not to release an actual ‘metal workout music’ album vs just a metal instrumental album. Once I made the decision, I was in my studio most every night of the week for about six weeks. It seemed the rhythms were coming out of no where and the whole recording and production process was just so smooth. The only hangup I had was when it came to the album cover art work. I was so focused on the musical aspect I had neglected planning for everything else. As with everything in life, we live and learn!

5) Tell us more about your musical background, and/or your previous releases/projects leading up to this release.

I’m a true heavy metal musician. I love it; it’s part of who I am. Although I will admit that the first few bands I was in during my early years (mid-late 90s) were more rock-driven, and we played a lot of 80s covers back then. So although I listened to practically nothing but hard rock and heavy metal back even back in those days, I wasn’t necessarily playing the style I was most passionate about.

In 2009, it hit me. I was diving into the software world of recording and had decided it was time to come out of my shell (prior to that, I had been on somewhat of a musical hiatus for several years). I started writing bits and pieces and in 2013, I released my first album, Apocalyptic Dreams, which is a metal instrumental album. I’ve written a ton of material since then and probably have enough for a few albums at this point, but I’m focusing on one release at a time. It’s easy to get overwhelmed.

6) Where do you see yourself headed with your new music? Touring/Collaborations with other musicians/etc?

I’m currently working on a sequel to Heavy Metal Workout called Extreme Metal Workout. Where as Heavy Metal Workout is more of a classic metal style, this next one is going to be faster and more aggressive. I’ve also been working on another exciting project over the past year and I will get back to that once this sequel is complete.

I don’t play live and I’m not with any band at the moment, but I would love to hit the stage again at some point. And I’m very open to collaborating with other musicians so I really hope to get into that soon.

7) What else do you do with music, aside from writing and recording it?

I recently started a website called Jason’s Metal (). It’s geared towards guitar players and metal musicians, and I provide guitar exercises (I prefer to call them exercises over lessons), recording tips, tones, and a few more goodies. It’s linked to my YouTube channel, which I basically embed my videos in a blog format and write content elaborating on each video.

There’s also a unique twist as I throw in beer tasting and reviews with some of my videos, so I’ll write about that as well. I know beer somewhat contradicts my metal workout music concept, but hey, everything in moderation. I’m quite a beer snob as well, so I only drink and review the good stuff.

I also offer a free Lead Guitar Workout eBook on that site if you sign up for my newsletter. It basically contains 5 lessons. I may expand on that in the future.

8) What’s one piece of advice that you’d like to give prospective metal heads that are interested in working out, but are having problems getting motivated? 

I say to all of my metal friends, embrace the weights! Let metal and weights drive you to become a greater version of yourself daily. Turn the rest of the world off for that hour; it’s you against you, and you’re always going to come out on top because you will grow in all aspects, not just physically but mentally, and I’ll go as far to say even spiritually.

I’d also like to point out something else about working out and weight training. There’s no better way to build self confidence. And let’s be real – most of us were initially drawn to metal music because we were deemed as outcasts and didn’t fit in with the mainstream crowd. Where most things in the world didn’t make sense to us, metal did. I’m not saying this applies to everyone who listens to metal, but it’s indeed a common thread, or at least it was in my generation’s younger years. The weights will help you rise above those feelings associated with lacking confidence.

“Thank you for setting up this interview, I appreciate what you guys are doing!

Keep it Metal,
Jason Stallworth”

 

And that’s the end of our interview.

for more info on his new album and all of the other things that he’s up to at the moment, and have a great day! \m/