Jason Sees Band
For sure, Jason puts it out there, for better or worse. His songs are very catchy, very real creations that represent the no filter lens he views life through. All his albums, from the painful “Single Frame Passing Through the Light” to the new and playfully lo-fi EP “Monochrome”. Jason relentlessly drags his listeners around, through his life. One look around The Crocodile on the evening of July 11 proved to me Jason’s pervasive talent was enveloping the place. The crowd stood entranced as his band took the sold out crowd on a unique rollercoaster ride of genre’s, tempos, and timing. His raspy vocals piercing up the middle of each song, purveying a relentless honesty that is often lost in a genre that Jason unconfidently calls “ethereal pop”.
I caught up with Jason back stage after their set. He slumped down in the dismal dirty green room of The Crocodile. The smell of decades of Seattle rock god elites emanating from the graffiti staind walls. I asked him about his new EP Monochrome. He explains, “we are doing a series of three EP’s, five songs each. Monochrome is the 1st, it will be released in October as we head out on the fall tour. It was odd coming off an album like Single Frame, dedicated to my wife. I didn’t want to continue to bludgeon the listeners with heavy concepts but I also don’t want to be dishonest about the themes and concepts that represent where I’m at. I came up with this idea of monochrome, as in when life just seems to be lacking color.”
Jason Sees along with his band, Alex Willson (guitar), Roman Phan (guitar/keys), Shaun O’neill (bass), and David Campbell (drums), are all obviously seasoned, professional musicians, no amps that go to 11 in this band. But it is very apparent that each tone is dutifully crafted, each band members input is as intentional as it is necessary. “Yeah, you have to be ok with not playing sometimes in this band. One of our primary rules is that you cannot just play for the sake of playing, if its not absolutely necessary to the song as a whole, if its not adding something significant, its not there.” This was very apparent as I listened to Jason and crew weave through their set list that evening. It was refreshing listening to a band that wasn’t at full clip for an hour straight. This concept allows Jason’s vocals to shine through, each lyrical emotion is provided the opportunity to project onto the crowd, and sink in.
“We don’t really fit into the popular music scene in Seattle right now. Maybe its just my paranoia, but I feel like we are much more well received out of town.” This fact was accented by Jason’s smile as the full blown classic rock band on next began to shake the ceiling tiles above us with their first song. “We play on a lot of cards where we don’t always fit in, but I like not being able to be pinned down into a certain genre. It frees me to explore all areas of music.” I could see what Jason was talking about as their set on that night seem to carry reflections on everything from songwriter acoustics to swirly space pop, synth driven dance beats to power punk. Of particular note is the fist single off of Monochrome called “Half of Mine”. Jason co-wrote this tune with guitar player Alex Willson and then took it to noted Seattle producer Joe Reineke of Orbit Audio. “All three of us really had a huge impact on the final product of that track. Its by far my favorite right now. I was really excited by the collaboration that took place.” Jason has a long standing relationship with Joe Reineke and Orbit Audio studio. If the power of “Half of Mine” is any indication, it is a relationship that is paying off as this tune was the obvious apex of their time on stage.
Jason Sees Band is on the rise. They are solidifying a foundation beneath their music that will allow them to finally launch free of Seattle, WA. Honest lyrics, catchy lead lines, and a diverse catalog of songs that covers more territory in one set than any band currently playing the Seattle circuit. Amazing music is happening between this group of artists, and it will only be a matter of time before the right people figure that out.