Mar 3, 2009

Snake River Conspiracy (Jason) - Interview

By Bob Suehs

Jason Slater, mastermind behind the band Snake River Conspiracy, & several other bands...he's produced including Earshot, & he's a really nice guy to chat with. I'm not gonna over hype this guy, I think the interview will speak for itself, but I do wanna add a little sidenote that he told you know why the band Earshot sounds so much like Tool & A Perfect Circle? Because Troy & Josh from A Perfect Circle played on that record! I omitted the Stephen Jenkins stuff from this interview, because it just was.....well, the truth hurts, Stephen is a jerk, end of story!

Rock N Roll Experience: Tell me about the new Snake River Conspiracy material

Jason: It's not done yet, I've been working on it now for close to a year & it's time to finish this thing up & move....I've gotten rid of the old band & the old management & everything else, so there isn't alot of business going on, but it's coming along pretty well, I think I have alot of the music done & I wrote some songs with Charlie Clouser from NIN & a couple with Troy Van Moon from A Perfect Circle & it's all kind of coming together, it's just all of the normal songwriting stuff, when it's good enough, it's good enough, so I'll probably go through that for another 3 or 4 months & then we'll be done

Rock N Roll Experience: Wasn't the first SRC CD mostly you with carious musicians?

Jason: The first record was me, Eric Valentine was on some of it, & Denny Porter was on some of it, but there was no band ever, like everything on that record was either played by me or Eric & then I hired a band to go on the road, so this time it has been a little bit different

Rock N Roll Experience: How many new songs do you have done so far?

Jason: I've got like 13 songs written, 5 of which I think are great & the rest suck, so I figure if I write another 13 I'll get another good 5

Rock N Roll Experience: Will you throw those extra songs away or use them as B-sides?

Jason: There's like piles & piles of unused bad SRC songs & I debate on whether to dispose of them, or destroy them or not, I don't wanna die & have someone find the lost SRC songs & put out some sh*t record so I don't think they'll ever show up as B-sides or anything, I think the B-sides are just as important as anything else, like everything you put out has to be good, so I think that I would just throw them out eventually

Rock N Roll Experience: Is SRC on a label now?

Jason: We're in between right now, interests are from a bunch of people, but kind of the main thing right now for me is getting the band in order, getting the right management & waiting until next year, kind of the deal with record labels is the end of the year they are all running out of budgets & the deals suck so I just figured we'd wait till next year, we've got time to get song writing done & I don't want anybody signing the band & going "Let's get this out in 2 months!", & all of a sudden there is a big crush to write songs

Rock N Roll Experience: Were you satisfied with how Reprise Records promoted the band?

Jason: I think Reprise, on the radio side, was as bad as it could possibly be, we had the best tours you could ask for & played for everybody & they couldn't get that thing on radio, they couldn't get it on MTV & I have to take responsibility, because maybe I wrote a bunch of stuff that people didn't wanna hear, but then again if you listen to the radio & there's so much shit on there, it's like, this is Garbage, how come my garbage isn't making it on? I thought it was a good record in some aspects & in some aspects I think that it failed, I didn't quite get the point across in some spots, like I think the production overshadowed the music in some spots

Rock N Roll Experience: But when everyone heard "Vulcan" there was a unanimous, "Wow", it was new, strange & like nothing else out there.

Jason: yeah, I mean I went out of my way to make the most crushing, aggressive thing with a girl, ever & nobody got it! It's like people who are truly fans of music like alot of lifestyle music & culture I think really appreciated the record & people who are like Limp Bizkit buyers, wearing the backwards hat & that whole shit just didn't get it & that's who buys records (laughs)

Rock N Roll Experience: How was the Perfect Circle tour?

Jason: It was amazing, just as an opportunity for the band to get out there & play for people it was good & we got great crowd response & APC guys were really good to us & I met Troy through that & we kind of hung out for a year & wrote songs & did that kind of stuff together so overall it was a great experience as much as I hate touring

Rock N Roll Experience: Who was the drummer you had on the Perfect Circle tour? He was amazing

Jason: Neil Taylor, he's a f**kin bad ass, he actually filled in for Josh Freese on part of the tour because Josh's wife had a baby on part of the tour so I think Neil played like 4 shows with APC so he ended up playing 2 gigs a night...he is basically my favorite drummer, he's not in the band right now for....I'm not really sure why, it was just a very strange dynamics that happens when you hire a band & then you go into the 2nd one & everything isn't so much of a band thing & everybody wants their piece of it, it's like we should all get together & write & it's like I don't write music that way, I don't wanna be in a rehearsal space with drums banging me in the head, the guitar player trying to wank himself off, I gotta be in a room & kind of figure my stuff out

Rock N Roll Experience: Do you write all of the lyrics, or does Tobey do it?

Jason: On the first record Tobey didn't write any lyrics at all, Denny Porter & I wrote the majority of the lyrics, Eric Valentine wrote a couple things, but for the most part I wrote the majority of the lyrics on that record....that may change on this one, I think Tobey is gonna take more of an active role, fingers crossed (laughs)

Rock N Roll Experience: What does Bobby from Orgy bring to the band now?

Jason: Bobby's like, for song long, the band was totally, I had to do everything, I drove the ship, if there was a problem in the band, if somebody has an issue I dealt with everything, I dealt with management, dealt with the attorney's, dealt with the labels, wrote the f**kin thing, produced it, it was like the whole gig & Bobby just kind of came in & was like let me take 1/2 of the weight off of your shoulders, not only is he a great drummer, he's totally overlooked as a drummer because in orgy he played electronic drums & you get the guy behind the kit he's a bad ass, & so he got overlooked as a drummer & he's amazing, so he's brought alot to the band as a drummer & alot to the business side the way things get done & how much stuff I have to do, like Bobby's brother Fab is playing guitar & those 2 guys are dealing with all the web sh*t, photography, just all the crap I don't wanna do & they are really good at it & they are probably the hardest working f**kers I've met, they just come in & kick ass & don't ask for much, they are doing it because their hearts are in it which is entirely different than every other version of SRC where everyone did it for the bread

Rock N Roll Experience: When will SRC tour again?

Jason: We're rehearsing right now, kind of the problem is I'm producing alot of records & so I'm not very available, so we've been rehearsing whenever I have free moment & are trying to figure out how much of the old stuff VS the new songs we wanna play, but we're trying to get a club tour together for possibly March...I wanna go out & try the new songs out in front of an audience before I actually finish them & just see what the reaction is like, I think I could put together a better record that way...I don't know how many people are out there waiting to see SRC & how well a club tour is gonna do for us right now, but we'll see...our hometown doesn't even know about us (laughs), but then you go somewhere live Vegas & I'm getting recognized & stuff, it' really weird

Rock N Roll Experience: Is there anything else you'd like to tell the fans?

Jason: Just to be patient, something good will come out soon