Artist Interview: Jason Wilkes

For my first artist interview, I interviewed Jason Wilkes. He is an amazing musician and it has been incredible to work with him! We conducted the interview over email today. Here we go!

Intro:
My name is Jason Wilkes. I’ve been playing music my entire life and “pursuing it” as a profession for around 16 years. I was the lead singer and guitarist of the band High Flight Society, the bassist for Disciple for 3 years, and released a solo record under the name WILKES last year. Most recently however, I have jumped genre ships a little. I am now a song writer at DHM Publishing (danhodgesmusic.com) and spend my time writing songs in the pop/country genre.

When you record your One Man Band videos, what do you record first?

I typically start with the rhythm acoustic. Whichever part that carries the load of the song. Then I add things one at a time as I hear them. The videos are missing some things that are in the original versions of the songs and have some others added elements that aren’t usually in the song. I just put whatever in there as I go along.
Can we expect a new album any time soon? (I love Shells by the way.)
Thanks! Glad you like it. I’m not totally sure about another one soon. At some point, yes. It’s just not my focus right now. The next album I do though (whenever that is) will be the new stuff I’ve been doing. Likely just under my full name.
I’m not sure if you can tell us, but did you do any writing on Disciple’s Long Live The Rebels?

Honestly I’m not sure haha. I wrote a number of songs after Attack but it was early in the writing process for Rebels. I haven’t seen the track listing for the new record yet. There’s a possibility some of my songs made it on there but if I had to guess I would say probably not. Since typically the songs that are written first get phased out by newer, better songs. I honestly haven’t even thought to what songs they went with.

 I was watching your interview with JesusWired last night and you had mentioned that you are a worship leader at your church, are you interested in releasing a worship album?
Yea I work part time at my church (antiochchurch.life) as the “creative director” which includes leading worship.  I doubt I will ever release a worship record. You never know but if I had to guess right now I’d say the few songs that are semi-worship on the  WILKES EP is probably the closest I’ll ever get.
Of all your songs (High Flight Society, Disciple, WILKES), what song is closest/most meaningful to you?

High Flight Society. We put everything we had in that band. It built the foundation that I still stand on as a musician. I wouldn’t trade what us four had for anything. Outside of the relationships in my life, High Flight holds the space closest to my heart. Which specific song though, I’m not sure. Today is the 4 year mark of when High Flight’s drummer passed. So in this moment the most special song I’ve written is “What Are We To Do” off of WILKES, Shells EP. I wrote that song about losing Scotty. Probably the most special song I’ve ever written isn’t on any project. It’s called “Real Love” and it’s the song I wrote to propose to my wife. The last lyric is “will you marry me.”

If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

Israel. I’ve been once and am going back again in July. I will likely go once a year from now on as long as I can make it happen. It’s hard to put into words. It’s just an amazing place.

If you were stuck on a desert island and could only have one album to listen to, what album would it be and why?
It depends on what day you ask me. I have a ton of favorite albums but not one that reigns over all of them. It would likely be by The Killers though.

What is one fact about yourself that most people don’t know?

Everyone considers me a rock guy because of my music career to date. However, I didn’t even listen to rock music at all until I joined High Flight. Before that I only listened to pop, southern gospel, and country music. Foo Fighters is pretty much the only rock band I listen to consistently. I’m a pop guy. Pop, Pop/rock, pop/country, etc. Performing rock music is one of my favorite things… I just don’t super enjoy listening to it for the most part.

If you could play a show anywhere in the world with any band or musician (living or dead), who would it be and where would you play?

The Super Bowl with Brandon Flowers.

Finally, I really miss the “Mouth Of the South” segments on Bus Banter, could you give us a Southern word and it’s definition?

I don’t remember what all words I did on that ha. My go to though is “rurnt” since that is one of the main ones that have had people asking me what the heck I’m talking about on the road. Rurnt generally means “ruined” or “spoiled.” A bad banana can be Rurnt. A spoiled kid could also be “rurnt.” Just incase I did that one on Bus Banter and forgot I’ll give you one other quick thing. In general when speaking southern you have to drop the g’s off of the end of most words. Runnin’, lookin’, hollerin’, sangin’, writin’, etc. If you hear a person who claims to be southern say they are “listening to music” for instance… they are not a real southerner (or have had their amazing accent negatively influenced by an outsider). If they were truly southern they would say they were “listenin’ to music.”

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As I said before, it was amazing to work with Mr. Wilkes! I have always loved and been inspired by all of his music. It was so remarkable to see my dream of interviewing artists actually lift off with the responses I’ve been getting! Expect more interviews soon!
If you enjoyed the interview, please comment, like, and share!
Buy the WILKES Shells EP Here.
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4 Comments

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