Jason Moss | 2008 | Interview |
Jason Moss is a talented young singer/songwriter who’s looking to break out with heartfelt lyrics and a grasp of rhythm and melody. Jason was kind enough to chat to us and share some of his writing processes and how age is just a number.
TT- Thanks for taking the time to talk to us, Jason. When I heard your music, especially Lost for some reason I thought ‘here’s someone who writes lyrics separately from his music’…. is that how you approach your songwriting?
JM- Actually, I tend to write most of my lyrics while creating the music. It’s tough to come up with lyrics when I don’t have a basic musical structure to follow – like trying to build a house without a blueprint. Once I come up with an idea of how I want the music to sound, writing lyrics is essentially just “filling in the blanks” – finding words that fit within the structure I’ve created, and communicate what I want to say.
“Lost” was written way back in eighth grade – before I even had an approach to songwriting! I was simply following my instincts; I remember sitting down, writing, and recording the first draft of that song all in one night. Some of my best songs have come from that method of writing – just pouring out whatever it is I’m feeling onto paper.
TT- Well, there goes my theory! I know when I try to write, it’s much easier to play and write because things tend to fit together better, so with you there’s a basic melody before the words make themselves known?
JM- Pretty much, yes. Sometimes I’ll write lyrics without any musical backing or melody in mind. These lyrics usually end up getting reused, sometimes months later, when I sit down with with a guitar or piano and write. Anything that isn’t put into a song right away eventually gets recycled, and pieced together with new material to create a finished song.
TT- How about your guitar playing? Do you see it as accompaniment for your lyrics?
JM- At this point, yes. Things didn’t start like that – I was a guitarist before I ever wrote my first set of lyrics. However, I’ve always tried to establish my vocals, and furthermore what I’m trying to say as the “lead” – like a guitar solo in a rock ballad. Everything else in the song surrounds and supports the lead, but never takes the listener’s main focus.
TT- So when you play out, what setup do you prefer? An onboard pickup or mics?
JM- Definitely an onboard pickup – I use a Fishman Rare Earth humbucker that I installed in my Taylor 210. I like to move around on stage – and the pickup gives me more freedom with less feedback.
TT- Jason, I’ve heard some comments that you’re a little young especially for the genre of music you’re creating. How would you respond to that?
JM- Age is only a number, and in fact – I’ve been able to use it to my advantage in the way that I market myself. People find it incredible that a sixteen year-old kid can create acoustic music with feeling and depth, rather than scream into a microphone, or turn up the distortion on an electric guitar (which is cool too!). I don’t think I’m too young to be creating this genre of music, as a lot of what I’m writing about is based on personal experience. If kids my age can find comfort and support in hearing about someone who’s going through similar experiences, then I must be doing something right.
Jason Moss http://www.jasonmossmusic.com/images/myspace/website.png
©2008 Terence Tan.
Pictures & MP3s courtesy of Jason Moss- ©2008. Used with permission.