During this years Cornerstone Festival in Bushnell Illinois I had the opportunity to sit down with the brand new vocalist of the Florida based band Further Seems Forever. Like many festivalgoers I was excited to see Furthers Seems Forever, primarily to see how this new guy would hold up. He had some pretty big shoes to fill. After all, the previous singer of this band is now the frontman for what is currently one of the top acts in all of indie rock – Dashboard Confessional. Well I, like many folks who were able to catch one of Furthers two sets at Cornerstone was blow away by how well this new member of the band was able to hold his own. Jason Gleason is his name. Read on and find out how, (and this is in his own words) "the biggest fan of Further Seems Forever, there is no one bigger", becomes the frontman of his favorite band.
Tom: So tell us a little bit about yourself. Who is this new face in Further Seems Forever?
Jason: My name is Jason Gleason, I'm 19 years of age and I'm from Minneapolis Minnesota. I now live in Davey Florida, which is right outside of Fort Lauderdale. I moved there because I now sing for Further Seems Forever.
Tom: How did you hook up with Further Seems Forever?
Jason: I was playing in a metal band in Minneapolis called Affinity. The record label that we were on was called Dead Droid Records out of Detroit and they are also doing the vinyl version of "The Moon is Down", the Further Seems Forever LP. So when Affinity went our separate ways, Hardy, the owner of Dead Droid called me up and said Further is looking for a singer. At first I was like yeah right, but then figured I might as well it never hurts to try. So I sent them my portfolio which consisted of pictures, a biography, things I've done, pretty much anything that had to do with music for me. Then I went into the recording studio and I recorded a couple songs and just sent them down as a demo so they could hear my voice. Chad was the first person I talked to and he was very interested in me coming down for an audition. So my mom actually bought me a plane ticket the next day so I could fly down. The audition was one of the most amazing experiences in my life. I really felt like God was on my side. I went down and first we had an acoustic practice and then I went into the studio and recorded "Snowbirds and Townies" just so they could hear how my voice sounded recorded. Then we went into their practice space. I'm not sure if you have ever been in a band or not but usually an audition goes next, next, next kind of like real informal. Nobody really gets into it or anything. But we played and you could really feel there was a presence there. It was so wonderful. We totally rocked out and I felt like God was right there. I hit every note and every word and we got done and we were just like, wooh. So I went home and Chad actually called me the next day and asked me if I wanted to roadie for them for the summer. Then he said that he was just kidding, and that I had the gig. So I moved down to Florida a week later. Pretty much packed up my whole life and moved down there.
I love it though. Getting kicked out of my last band I was a bit down. But it's sort of like what Danny Papa was talking about from the Decapolis Stage yesterday about trials in your life. Or like falling into the well. But it was the greatest blessing God could have ever given me because, I now sing for Further Seems Forever. It's amazing.
Tom: Did you have a lot to leave behind.
Jason: Well I'm really homesick. My best friend calls me everyday and says, "dude I miss you". Plus I have my mom and a lot of friends back home. A lot of music people, but weighing out the options for what I was getting in return it was just too good to let pass by. Plus the guys in Further are like my new brothers. They are the most amazing people I have ever met in my life. I love them to death.
Tom: How long have you actually been playing with the band. When was the audition and when did you actually leave for tour with them.
Jason: The audition was the 2nd to the last weekend in May and then when I came down to start with them full-time it was the 1st weekend in June. So I have only been with them for about a month and a half. Not very long at all but already it's been amazing. I have gotten a really good response and it's just really cool.
Tom: So the band went from Chris Carraba, then did they have someone else and then you?
Jason: They did have an interim singer so that they could still play out while they looked for someone permanently. They kind of need a temporary replacement. His name was Gene. He was a good singer. Good guy, I have met him.
Tom: We had another one of our writers do an interview with Chad a few months back and he had said that the band was working with someone. I guess he was the one they were saying was the "professionally" trained vocalist.
Jason: Yeah. I have been professionally trained as well. I have worked with vocal coaches in rock, opera and classical. I have been in a lot of choirs and throughout my life I have had a lot of music training. So that was a big plus for me when I went to audition. Since I could read music, which in this scene is pretty rare for there to be a high level of musicianship. Which I see a lot in Further, I really enjoy that they are excellent musicians. But that was one of their big strong points with me. They really liked that I could read music.
Attaboyskip and Jason
Tom: How has the response been. You kind of have some big shoes to fill.
Jason: The response has been absolutely amazing. I can't even tell you. I basically expected to come in and for people to be like, who's this chump. This isn't Chris Carraba. Because Chris is awesome. He's a good guy. We have been talking on the phone, and for all you kids going to Krazy Fest you are in for a treat. But yeah he is a hard act to follow, but at the same time I never expected the response that I'm getting. So many kids come up to me. It just feels really good when someone comes up to you and tells you that you fill the spot really well. It really means a lot to me when kids come up and thank me. Like thank you for putting on a good show. That's like the greatest compliment. Especially when people in other bands compliment me because that really means a lot coming from other musicians. It's a really nice thing. But so far I could never ask for anything more, ever. I just feel so blessed. To be in this band, getting the response I'm getting. This is just amazing.
Tom: As far as the songs go. Is it weird for you at all to be singing songs that you didn't write?
Jason: Yes and no. I have sat down and talked with all the guys in the band and talked with Chris about what the lyrics are actually about. What they mean and that whole deal. But for me, and I told Chad this the first time I ever talked to him when I told him I was going to be sending in an audition tape. I told him that I heard "New Years Project" a long time ago and that I loved that song like I had written it myself. Which for me if very rare because I'm kind of a Rock Nazi. Like when it comes to music. I'm not always saying I love this and I love that. I have a very eclectic taste. I listen to every thing from Jazz to Grind Metal. But I'm also picky when it comes to what I like. That song just really touched me. Then the song "New Desert Life", the last song on the record, I think that's the best song. I love playing it. I love Chris's lyrics. I think he is an amazing lyricist. His lyrics really touch a lot of people. I definitely have to give him props for that. But I really try to find my own thing that I'm thinking about when I sing these songs. I basically get lost when we play. I'm not really thinking about what the words are anymore. It's kind of an overwhelming feeling. Kind of like a dream state if you will. So I try to find my own things that I'm thinking about or try to take my emotion from whether it may be. I just really try to draw my own emotion from previous events. So yes because they are not my own lyrics I almost feel, not cheated, but that I want people to hear what I have to say. Which is coming. In the very near future.
Tom: What do you guys have planned as far as new material?
Jason: We are coming out with an EP. We are recording it in November. It will have two new songs and a cover song. We are covering Aerosmiths "Dream On". So that should be fun. That will be on Dead Droid Records because we owe them a favor. Then we are going to be recording another full length in March, which will be out on Tooth and Nail. Also, since I can kind of express this from an outside point of view. The band has a song and a half-written. The half song I have been starting to help out with. But the song that is completely written is absolutely amazing. I was blown away when I heard it. It's so good. I'm so excited for this new stuff to come out. Also as far as new songs go I have a lot of lyrics in my head. I have really been writing a lot. So it should be good.
Tom: You mentioned a little bit earlier about some of your musical tastes. But what kind of bands are you really impressed by?
Jason: Boy…what genre should I start in. To start out, my favorite band of all time is Sunny Day Real Estate. Of all time no one tops them. I think Jeremy Enigk is an amazing lyricist, songwriter, the whole deal. Everyone in the band is just amazingly talented. I love them to death. After that Further is right up there. A band I'm just newly starting to absolutely love is Element101. I think they are amazing. They are just great musicians and we have actually gotten to become really good friends with them since we have been out on tour together. They blow me away. I love seeing them every night on our tour. I love going to watch them. So if anyone sees that they are coming to your town. Go, they are so awesome. Then if you get into like Metal I really like the new Living Sacrifice. Bands like Meshugga from Sweden. There is a band from Allentown Minneapolis called Martyr AD, they are absolutely crazy. I'm a hardcore kid at heart. I come from a hardcore scene. But I pretty much listen to everything. When I go home at night I usually listen to some John Coaltrain or Miles Davis.
Further Seems Forever
Tom: You had mentioned that before you joined Further you were in other bands. But did you have any other jobs or hobbies that kept you busy?
Jason: Music is my passion. When I wake up in the morning I know that it's one of the two things that will always be with me. God being one and music the other. It's a gift. My love for it. Because it allows me to play music, which I love doing. God has really bless me in music. I thank him for that everyday. Even for the opportunity to sing with a band like Further Seems Forever. I never thought that would have been possible. But I just keep dreaming. Music is pretty much what I do. I like lots of stuff. But I'm a music dork at heart. I mean when we go home we play like video games and do that kind of stuff. Just normal stuff. I'm pretty young so I like playing sports and whatnot. I love living life. That's a hobby to me. Just going out and living life positively. Back in Minneapolis we would go to hardcore shows. Music was like everyday. Eat, sleep and breath. That's about it. I know, pretty boring, but that's me.
Tom: Is there any certain message that you would like to get out to kids through your music? Or even on a one on one basis. Anything that's on your heart that you would like to share with kids.
Jason: I would really like to let kids know that there is nothing in your life you can't achieve. I'm a really strong believer in that. If you have a dream, go for it, because with God you can do anything. Like Danny Papa said when he was speaking yesterday from the Decapolis Stage. I think that is a really valid point. I really believe that with Gods grace you can do anything you want. Two months ago I never thought I would be where I'm at today. I was in my room depressed because my band of four and a half years just broke up. Why me type attitude at the time. Then God gave me a blessing to go sing for this band and I really strongly believe that if you want something bad enough you can achieve it. You just have to keep working at it and never give up. When you do have trials in your life it becomes hard to keep your Faith alive. But just trust that God is there through thick and thin. He's really looking out for you because you're his child. That would be the one thing that I would want kids to know. If you have a dream follow it.
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