Artist Interview: Jason Hartless
(Motely Crue, God Smack, Seether, Rev Theory)
By the age of 14, Jason had already toured or performed with the likes of Motely Crue, God Smack, Seether and Rev Theory, just to name a few. To say that Jason was a child prodigy is an understatement. He recently wrapped up a series of videos for Pearl demonstrating the new Wood Fiberglass Series.
Question: What was your first drum set?
I learned how to play on my dad’s late 80s Pearl World Series kit, but the first kit I could call my own was a Pearl Export Series in Piano Black that I received for Christmas in 2000.
Question: Did you ever take private lessons?
I began playing drums at about 1 years old and was primarily self taught; but from the time I was 5 to about 10, I studied with various drummers like Corky Laing (Mountian) and Tommy Clufetos (Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osborne) but never weekly private lessons until I was about 13 when I needed to start learning how to read music.
Question: Who is your favorite drummer and why?
I feel that as a drummer, you should never have one favorite drummer because we should always pull inspiration and techniques from multiple drummers/musicians.
Some drummers that inspired my style the most would be: Corky Laing (Mountain), Buddy Rich, Zak Starkey (The Who), Jeff Porcaro, Stewart Copeland (The Police), Todd Sucherman (Styx) and Mick Tucker (The Sweet)
Question: What makes the Pearl brand special?
The greatest achievement in my life and career has been being able to be a part of the rich history of legendary Pearl gear and artists through the years.
Pearl is more than a brand, it’s a family, its being able to play amazing drums that allows drummers to sound the best and feel the best.
Pearl drums always gives me the sound that a drummer deserves.
Question: What are your thoughts on the electronic elements so common in percussion these days?
There is always a time and a place for using electronic elements in music these days. I am a old school type drummer by using only a 4 piece set up, but if a gig called for a hybrid kit of a E-Pro Live kit mixed with a Masters, a drummer should be able to adapt to the change.
Question: How did you make the transition from recreational drummer to professional drummer?
I was very lucky to start playing very young and start playing professionally at the age of 5. But the best advice I could give inspiring up and coming musicians is to build your personal catalog of knowledge of drumming and music, be able to play every style if possible.
Question: What inspires you to continue drumming?
Watching other drummers and musicians has always inspired me to be the best I can be. When I’m not on the road, being able to teach young kids how to play drums and music and inspire the future of music.
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