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10 Quick Ones with JASON HARTLESS – August 2018

| 29 August 2018 | Reply

According to a recent press release: “Hard work, dedication and clean living is no stranger to Ted Nugent’s current drummer, Jason Hartless, a young 23-year-old in age, but with an old soul. JASON HARTLESS has been professionally performing since the age of 5 years old, where soon after, his talents were discovered by Richie Scarlet (Ace Frehely Band) and drumming legend Corky Laing (Mountain/West, Bruce and Laing).  After recording his debut record with Laing in the producers’ seat, Hartless’ career and life path was set.  However, it was not handed to him on a silver drum, it took years of hard work, dedication and smart life choices for Hartless to propel himself into becoming the nationally recognized and respected drummer that he has become. Over the past couple years, he has earned the drummer’s seat for rock icons such as Joe Lynn Turner (Deep Purple/Rainbow)and currently guitar legend Ted Nugent.”  We get Jason to discuss new music, influences, and much more in our 10 Quick Ones…

1. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

I started messing around on my dad’s drums when I was about 6 months old; once I was about 3 years old, I really began to play the full kit and jamming with musician friends of my dad’s. By the time I was 5 years old, I began to play professionally around Detroit doing cover gigs and really found a love for the instrument. I really began touring North America around the age of 12, its funny because I have been playing music my whole life, so I never really even thought about it as a job; I really didn’t even realize that this was my career until I had been doing it professionally for a long time hahahaha.

2. Who would be your main five musical influences?

I have so many different musicians that I have been influenced by such as: Corky Laing, Jeff Porcaro, Buddy Rich, Todd Sucherman, Keith Moon, Zak Starkey, Bernie Dresel, Anton Fig, Eric Singer, Stewart Copeland, Mick Tucker, Steve Smith, and Vinnie Colaiuta. I have always had the outlook that you should be influenced by a ton of people, because you end up building a melting pot of styles to pull from in different situations. I have been lucky to have been able to been personally mentored by Corky Laing, Eric Singer, Tommy Clufetos, Anton Fig and Todd Sucherman.

3. If you could call in any one collaborator to record new material with, who would it be, and why?

That’s a tough one, but I would have to say Pete Townshend from The Who would be a dream to work with. I have been a huge fan of The Who and his solo for many years, so it would be an absolute treat to be able to work with him.

4. How would you describe your style to someone who’d never seen or heard you play before?  Who do you feel you most resemble in sound and style?

I take a very different approach to my style. I try to be a drummer that can conform into a any style and sound depending on the artist or session I am doing. However, my style would be a blend of all of my favorite drummers plus a large sprinkle of others to form a melting pot of sounds I can pull from. So, I can’t really point on what one person I sound like; however, I am very honored to have been compared to over the years to guys like Jeff Porcaro, Anton Fig and Todd Sucherman.

5. What’s the best thing about being a musician?

I always say I have the great job in the world as a touring musician, because I look at it as I get paid to travel the world and then play drums for 2 hours a night.

6. If you weren’t a musician, what would be your dream job?

I have been lucky to have my dream job in being a touring/session musician. However, I have always been a huge fan of Disney Parks, so it would be cool to be a Disney Imagineer working on new projects for the Theme Parks.

7. You have had some good touring gigs – what is next for you? What do you wish to achieve in the music business?

I am one that loves to work 24/7/365, so I am always looking for that next tour or session. While I am not on the road, I am a very active studio musician in Detroit tracking songs for various artists, publishing material and even commercial jingles. I am also very excited for the new Ted Nugent record titled The Music Made Me Do It that will be coming very soon; we tracked it beginning of the year and I am very excited about this record. I have been told that the new record will also include a live DVD from our 2017 tour. Also for the past 2 years, I have been working towards my Master’s degree in Music Business at Berklee College of Music. I also was named a managing partner for Prudential Music Group about a year and a half ago. It has been such a great opportunity for my career as an industry executive because I have been given a lot of creative and business responsibility for the company. Being able to run a company, while I am studying the field, works out great for being able to use my current business situations in my class work. When I was named a partner, the company was only Prudential Records, since then we have built the company into Prudential Music Group and founded a Vinyl focused label called, Rouge Records and also created Prudential Publishing to house the Prudential and Rouge publishing catalog.

8. What musician / singer / band is a guilty pleasure that most people wouldn’t know you listen to?

I listen to so much music and I try to make it very public as to what I like to help expose people to more music; but I think Toto might be one of them. Behind The Who, Toto is my favorite band of all time, and I feel like in 2018, Toto is really only known for being the meme that is “Africa”. Their large catalog is filled with so much unbelievable material, that I feel is a little underappreciated and I try to express my opinion on how great they actually are as much as I can.

9. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over”, even if it didn’t change your current situation?

Honestly, I don’t think so. I have been very lucky to have been is the right place at the right time and have had guidance to make the right decisions up till now. Hopefully, I can continue that trend hahaha.

10. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

Probably recording of The Who Quadrophenia or Who’s Next or Toto IV. Each of those records are the gold standard of masterpiece albums, so it would be a treat to have sat in on those legendary sessions.





Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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