Since the age of 11, Jason has been enthralled with heavy music. Growing up with an older brother, he was exposed early on to many 80’s rock and metal bands like Motley Crue, Ratt, Van Halen, and Guns N Roses. Later on, he gravitated more toward 80’s thrash metal bands such as Anthrax, Metallica, and Overkill, and those bands paved the way for the wave of death metal bands that gained popularity in the late 80’s and into the early 90’s. As he began playing guitar at the age of 16, bands like Carcass, Obituary, and Cannibal Corpse began to take hold, and would have a major influence on his playing style going forward.
Jason joined his first band in 1995, a death meal band called Distobia, and has since played for several other bands including Torn Veil and Program the Masses. The range of styles covers the spectrum from heavy rock to extreme metal. However, Divine Martyr is his first foray into symphonic metal.
Some of Jason’s early musical influences, in addition to those mentioned above, include Dream Theater, Cynic, My Dying Bride, Plini, Suffocation, Arch Enemy, Death, Extol, Polyphia, Believer, The Gathering, Haken, Kamelot, Nightwish, Scale the Summit, Dragonforce, Therion, Within Temptation, Alter Bridge, Opeth, Testament, Pantera, Ne Obliviscaris, Yvette Young, Animals as Leaders, Killswitch Engage, as well as a number of non-rock artists like Glenn Miller and Yanni, and modern composers like Hans Zimmer, Howard Shore, and John Williams.
Jason has several guitarists that have made an impact on his playing over the years. As far as rhythm guitarists, James Hetfield (Metallica) and Scott Ian (Anthrax) are both powerhouses, and probably had the biggest direct impact on his rhythm playing. From a lead guitar perspective, James Murphy (Death/Disincarnate/Testament), Alex Skolnick (Testament/Alex Skolnick Trio), Paul Masvidal (Cynic/Portal/Aeon Spoke), and John Petrucci (Dream Theater) are his biggest inspirations. Other favorite guitarists include Yvette Young, Tosin Abasi, Chris Letchford, and Chuck Schuldiner.
Jason has played 7 string guitars since 1998 (various Jackson & Ibanez models). Currently he utilizes a .strandberg* Boden Original 7 string as his main instrument, and hopes to add another .strandberg* to his arsenal very soon.
Jason would like to thank his wife Rebecca, his four children Damian, Liam, Jamison, and Sabina, his daughter-in-law Lillie, and his other family and friends for their support and words of encouragement, as well as his Savior, Jesus Christ, for the ability to play and create music, and the opportunity to share hope with the world.