Saturday 6 February 2016

Interview with Jason Simon from DEAD MEADOW (Borderland Fuzz Fiesta Spotlight)

Today's guest is part of one of Stoner Rock's best bands currently out there today. They've released a ton of great records that have been acclaimed by fans of critics alike. They've been creating awesome music for the past 18 years now. And they show no signs of slowing down.

They have a formidable live reputation and people who are going to Borderland Fuzz Fiesta later in Feb 2016 will see for themselves. They have a rich diverse sound that expands Stoner Rock, Heavy Psych, Hard Rock and even Heavy Metal at times. 

As part of our ongoing series interviewing bands appearing at Borderland Fuzz Fiesta, here's another installment with Jason Simon (Guitar/Vocals) from DEAD MEADOW.


Hi Jason. How are things with you today? Thanks for doing this interview.. You’re scheduled to play Borderland Fuzz Fiesta in February 2016. How did you get involved in that festival?

Jason: I don’t know. We’ve always dug Tucson. We’re stoked to be a part of the fest.

What can people expect from your set at Borderland Fuzz Fiesta?

Un sabor de lo bizarro…

Which bands are you looking forward in seeing at the festival?

Really I’m just looking forward to hanging in Tucson and having a good time. We’re buds with Blaak Heat and Elder…always good to see them cats.

Will you be performing any warm-up gigs before the festival?

We’re performing about 8 or 9 shows in early February up the West Coast so we should be warmed up…

How hard is it being a band in today's world? What are the most difficult aspects in being in a band?

Well, making a living… The internet has been great and connects people and has helped our music travel all over this world but like most things, it’s as bad as it is good. People simply don’t pay for music anymore. It reminds me of the 1920’s… where your record has to be viewed more as a promotional tool to get people out to shows. The creative part of writing songs is always enjoyable.

What inspired you to become a musician? Any particular album, band or life-changing event that told you – Yeah, that's what I want to do....

I actually started playing guitar after seeing a Motley Crue Concert ( the Dr. Feelgood tour I think) when I was 13. and yeah.. I said “that’s what I want to do.” Soon thereafter I got into bands like Iron Maiden and Led Zeppelin.

What is the song-writing dynamic in the band? Is it a group collective or down to one individual?

It has varied from song to song over the years but these days it starts with a song or song idea I bring in. We then play it together… jam on it, let it sink in..etc. Everyone develops their own parts and ideas. Eventually, it becomes a Dead Meadow tune.

Dead Meadow's music has been described as Stoner Rock, Heavy Psych. How do you class your music or do you not put a label on your music.

Yeah we never have had any genre or label in mind. We certainly didn't when we started the band. We really wanted to start with the classics like Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, and to do our own take on them. Something heavy and psychedelic without being Metal is what we were aiming for. I think at the time Stoner Rock was the closest thing to what we were doing though we never really fit with most of those bands. We would play shows with Stoner bands like Spirit Caravan and we would play with DC punk bands like Fugazi but we really didn’t fit with either. We were somewhere in the middle. If label it we must, I can dig Psych as a label more than Stoner…
You've been going as a band for almost 18 years now. Did you ever imagine that it would last this long.

Well I know that I decided early on that I wanted to spend my life creating music. I know Steve felt the same. Dead Meadow is pretty open and allows for growth so why not keep it going…

If you weren't involved in Dead Meadow. What would you be doing right now.


You're quite a prolific band releasing some stunning records. Do you have a favourite track to perform live from you extensive back catalogue.

We like to change it up. We have played Sleepy Silver Door at almost every show over the years as it’s so open and we can really take it different places from night to night.

Do you have plans to release a new album in the future. Or is that top secret.

We are planning on releasing a new record. We have a few songs written… some we will play at this fest. Hopefully in the Fall we can get this album out but Dead Meadow tends to move slow so we will see.

OK… if you had the chance to put on a festival, which bands would you put on. It can be any bands from any era of music.

Well I guess it would be all the bands I want to see:) J Simon Fest. it’s an eclectic one..

Neil Young
Leonard Cohen
Iron Maiden
J.J. Cale
Pharaoh Sanders
Burning Spear
Dead Meadow:)

Before you go, do you have anything to say to your fans?

Thank you for the support over all these years. We love making music. I’m glad some people out there like what we’ve made.

Words by Steve Howe and Jason Simon

Thanks to Wayne Rudell for arranging the interview. Thanks to Jason for taking the time out to do this interview.

Borderland Fuzz Festival Links



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