"On The Edge Of The Edge". ..

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Jason G

JASON GONZALEZ: On The Edge Of...A Breakthrough?

1. You mention Rick Springfield and Steve Perry of Journey as your main influences in your bio. Any others you would like to mention?

I actually have a lot of influences, I didn't realize how much. Def Leppard, Sister Hazel, Collective Soul, Third Eye Blind, and Yes to name a few.

2. Now that I mentioned Journey, what's your opinion about his replacement Steve Augeri? Do you like the album "Arrival"?

Personally, I think Journey should have quit with their Raised on Radio Album. Their last few albums have been too slow and there's nothing different. No evolution save for the reduction of 80's keyboard sounds, and the harmony arrangements (as the band members got older and their voices dropped). As for the new guy, I don't think he has the same presence that Steve Perry had. If I had been given the shot at the slot, I would have tried to have Journey go in a completely different direction rather than try to have someone replace (or in this case sound exactly alike) someone who's voice is it's own signature sound. Try to get a younger more active audience. To me it seems as if they just said we want people to think its almost the same guy. They didn't take too much of a risk, which at this stage in their careers they could have afforded to.

3. How aware are you of the underground melodic rock scene? Especially in Europe there's a vibrant AOR/Hard Rock scene, with labels like Frontiers and Z Records and events like Nemelrock, Gods Festival and Z-Rock taking place.

I am very aware and working very hard to try to break into the European scene, to me it seems as if I've finally found a family. I haven't had much luck getting responses from Frontiers, and Z records to work with me.

Jason G 4. Your CD seems to have a decent distribution in the US. Have you approached labels here in Europe in order to make it available here?

Sure have, so far I have not gotten much of a response. Hopefully, Frontiers, and Z will take a look at the new "On The Edge Of The Edge" CD.

5. Your last CD (recorded under the artist name Just Jay) sold over 10.000 copies. That is highly respectable in today's market for melodic rock. What are you expectations for the new album, do you think you'll fare even better?

I'm hoping to sell between 25,000-50,000 of this one. I think it should fare better. The first album was really a demo which I recorded myself on my computer. This CD was done in a professional studio, with a producer, and we worked really hard to try make my vocal style more unique.

6. You describe yourself as strictly a solo artist. Do you find it easier to be "behind the steering wheel" yourself or would you be comfortable in a band situation too, if you could find the right persons to work with?

Actually, as we speak, I am now collaborating with a guitarist and bassist as we gear up our live show and our styles have blended to give a different flair to my style. I prefer to work with a group setting, as I can focus on the vocals, harmonies and acoustic guitars, and the other guys can focus on their instruments. The songs can only sound better. Plus I like the camaraderie and friendships which develop.

7. Do you see yourself more as a perfomer or a songwriter? Meaning, would you be interested in writing for others or performing other writers' material?

Definitely, I'm a performer first and foremost. I hate being the studio and much prefer being on stage interacting with the crowd. I'm not adverse to writing for other musicians but my first love always will be performing.

8. Following up the last question...does your live set include covers?

Yes, we do covers. For now about 40% of our set is covers as we gain more acceptance of our originals we will replace covers with additional originals gradually one by one. This give us the unique advantage of being able to offer a full 4 hour show, and not have to be just one more band in a five slot 40 minute night.

9. Your hometown Seattle is famous for its' grunge bands. Has the nineties' grunge wave affected your music in any way?

Yes. The guitar sounds have started to become more prevalent in the music, and the layered guitars have replaced alot of the keyboards. Also the edgy vocal styles are (for example Creed) have begun to work their way very slightly into my vocals. All these things are giving me more of some guts to my acoustic guitar, and are helping to give me my own style as well as push me further from the "he sounds like Steve Perry" syndrome.

10. If there's something you'd like to say to our readers, here's your chance!

I'd like to thank everyone who is into my career, and music, and that I owe alot....in fact almost everything to them, and also to the European magazines and radio stations who have helped to support me. I really hope to see you in the next 6 months when I do a small tour over there. Please pass that on to all my supporters....I know you all know and work with each other. Thanks.

Interview by kimmo@rockunited.com

Original images borrowed from www.jasongonzalezmusic.com