The Jason Gisser Band
The Jason Gisser Band is a killer soul rock band that formed in the late summer of 2015. The band consists of Jason Gisser (Acoustic Guitar & Vocals), Andrew Fennell (Bass), Big Thurrsty (Drums), and Tom "The Suit" Forst (Lead Guitar). After the release of their first album titled, ‘In The Garden of Crows,’ the group went on to perform at multiple large venues including The Chance Theater, The Paramount Theater, Mexicali Live, Daryl's House, The Falcon, The Town Crier and many more. Their top-notch sound has landed them opening gigs for bands like Hoobastank, Grand Funk Railroad, and Three Dog Night. Now, the group is getting ready to release their second album for fall of this year.
Was there something (an experience) or someone in your life that was the "catalyst" for you to start writing music? Tell us about it.
I have suffered from depression for as long as I could remember. When I was a kid it wasn't talked about much so there was no such thing as chemically medicating yourself for it. Or at least not as much as there is today. Sometimes my mind would get very heavy and dark and evil thought's would roll through my brain. I needed an outlet. I used to listen to allot of Pink Floyd and Zeppelin and that would help take me away, so I figured if I could write my own music, I could lead the direction I needed to go. So I learned how to play a bunch of instruments and how record using analog overdubbing. Every time I would get in that dark place i would write and record something to bring me back into the light. It helped me allot. Not just writing it but listening to it later helped also. It was like a reminder that I made it through.
Let's get this out of the way. What is the CRAZIEST thing that has ever happened to you in your music career?
Man I remember my first gig. I think I was like 16 or something and I was playing in a band called Fine Wine. Hahaha I had an old 1955 Ampeg tube Amp and a 1978 solid body Ovation Deacon. It had just rained and the place we were playing in was called the Continental Village Club House. The electricity in there wasn't grounded very well and when they turned of the lights, I leaned up to the mic and touched the strings of my guitar and a blue spark shot from the mic to my lip and shot me off my feet. Then there was a loud buzz and when I opened my eyes the lights were on and everyone was asking me if I was ok. Hahaha Man it still freaks me out to this day when I lean up to a mic. There are other stories that may be worse but none I would put into writing. Hahaha music is a crazy game.
What has been the high point of your music path?
When I was in High School my parents would go out on their boat for the weekend. My sisters would go out and I would have friends over. We would sneak into their liquor cabinet and mix all the different booze and pour it into a flask. Then we would stand around the pool table and put on Three Dog Night's "Joy to the World". We would have to get the flask all the way around the table with everyone drinking from it before the first verse was over or we would have to start over. We did this almost every weekend for about a year. It would never make it through on the first time. So years later, we get a call from The Paramount and they want us to open up for Three Dog Night. We loaded in and went up to the dressing room and got changed then went down to the back stage area. There they were, Three Dog Night. As the stage crew was taking care of last minute things on stage, I sat and talked with Three Dog Night and I was able to tell them the story of how we got drunk as teenagers every weekend to "Joy to the Word". They laughed and said they were glad they could contribute to our teenage alcoholism.We played that show with everything we had and when we were done we got a standing ovation. We packed up our gear and went to the lobby and we were rushed by new fans coming out for CD's autographs, merch and pictures with us. They did this while Three Dog Night was on stage. Man that was awesome!!!
So, how do you approach songwriting or what is your creative process like?
It's all off of a feel. If I'm going through something and I have to get it out, I write. I pick up my guitar strum some chords that sound like how I feel and I let the lyrics just flow. Sometimes the lyrics come so fast I forget them before I can write them down. When the music is matching the way I feel, it feels more like the song is writing me and I just need to keep up.
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing Indie Artists today? Or, if you could ask the music industry to change one thing, what would it be?
Clubs and labels are the biggest challenge. When I was a kid, original bands were everywhere. They would pack bars and venues and people would sing their originals and labels would send A&R out to go find them. It was awesome!!!! But club owners stopped listening to the bands they were booking and booked anyone who said they have a band. Next thing you know there was just horrible bands playing very loud and people stopped going to venues. So cover bands became the next big thing. Club owners would only book cover bands and tribute bands. They wouldn't even take a listen to original bands. Great musicians stopped writing their own music and started playing covers instead. Original music became a thing of the past. Now when you tell people you play in an original band they look at you like "oh that's too bad." hahaha But then they hear you and say, "how are you not signed?" It's the new industry. Major Labels are even signing cover bands and tribute bands. It's crazy. If I could change one thing I would make labels send out A&R agents back to the clubs to find something original. To put money in it and give it a chance. Then go out and find something different than that act they just signed.
If you could share the stage with one other artist or band, who would it be and why?
Oh man that's a tough one. See I would have said Chris Cornell, because he also suffered from depression and put so much of it into his music and vocals. Power, range, feel he had it all. But he is no longer with us. I guess for bands still playing, I would say The Rolling Stones. It would be a huge stage, plus the stories they must have would just be amazing to hear.
What are your rehearsals generally like? Or, how do you prepare for a live show?
I hate to say it our rehearsals become more like jam sessions. We have all the intentions of rehearsing, but once we start playing we just start jamming and then we kick ourselves for not recording it. Were constantly trying to reel it in so we can practice our songs. But we honestly don't rehears much. We all know we have a job to do and if we all do our parts we will burn stages up. Too much rehearsal makes the songs a bit stale to us then we play them that way.
Pick one song that was your greatest challenge to write. Tell us about it!
I wouldn't say any were very tough to write. As I said before, I write when I need to get something out. I have hundreds of songs. So they just kind of flow out. If it's tough to write maybe, I shouldn't be writing it at that time. Although there is a song called "The Circles" that had a bit of a musical challenge trying to keep the suspended feel going throughout the song while keeping the lyrics soulful was interesting. It still flowed out but there were allot of cross outs on the finished sheet. Hahaha
What's coming up in the future?
We have our EP "The RIver" coming out and shortly after that we will have our LP "Monster" coming out. Then we will put together a small tour to promote it.
Where can fans can access your music?