Dropping a h/int

When I got an e-mail from Jason describing his “Electronic based – hiphop, dance, and funk –  some of it just plain weird” project h/int, I was fully prepared to hate it. But once I started playing his incredibly earnest, strangely infectious tracks, I knew I had to know more. After my interview with Fuller, I’m still not quite sure what to think, but I do know that he is out there, producing music he loves, and trying to spread the word. What more can you ask of someone?

The Porch: What inspires a h/int song? 

Jason: Everything: the absurdity of day to day life, my ridiculously hopeless highschool years, growing up, my love/hate relationship with mainstream music, my girlfriend, your girlfriend, my mom’s girlfriend.

The Porch: Some of your songs seem really spur-of-the-moment, what sort of process do you go through when you write a song?

Jason: Maannnnn, let me tell ya, talk about complicated. The ideas that start the creation of a song are definitely spur of the moment,  but creating that end result that you hear as a listener,  it’s intense. Writing all the parts, arranging the song, recording all of the parts, shaping the sounds that create the instrumentation, doing the final mixdown, mastering the tracks, it’s a full time job. Discipline and patience are important and you gotta figure out a process that works for you as an artist.

The Porch: Do you play everything on the new album yourself? What kind of set-up are you using? 

Jason: It depends on the song. I definitely collaborate with people on the album. I usually put together a solid rhythm track that works with the basic vocal idea I have and then bring in different people to do additional instrumentation. For example, the Spaceman song, my buddy Dan Peterson played all of the great synth parts on that song. When it comes to the set-up I’m using, that’s a bit of a trade secret. I pretty much learned everything by doing it myself. Maybe I should share the knowledge, but that’s not gonna happen. If people are using the same techniques, music starts to sound generic. I think it’s better if artists have to figure out certain things on their own. It’s the magic of discovery,  ya know,  like discovering just how nerdy I can sound when talking about music.  

The Porch: Were you influenced by any particular artists or styles of music when you recorded the album? 

Jason: Not so much. I am definitely inspired by individual songs that I hear, but it doesn’t really matter what genre or style. If I was to hear every song by every artist that ever recorded a song I would probably hear at least one song from each that I would like something about – does that make sense?

The Porch: If you could collaborate with any person or band, who would you choose? 

Jason: That’s a tough one. Ween is a possibility, we may be on completely different pages though. M.I.A. like 5 years ago would be cool. Big Tymers. Quincy Jones would probably be the ultimate, though.

The Porch: Who are your favorite bands?

Jason: I more have favorite songs than favorite bands. But, if I were to choose one based on the melody that seems to have stuck with me the longest, it would be “Hanging Tough” by New Kids on the Block –  you can sing almost anything to that melody and it works, “Oh Oh Oh what the fuck.”

The Porch: Do you play live often? Is it hard to recreate the instrumentation of your recorded stuff?

Jason: This is a brand new project, so we’re still putting the live set together. It is proving to be a challenge, but its cool. I’m working with some really talented players and we’re focusing on using live instrumentation with some sort of electronic set up. It’s still in the starting stages, but it’s looking good.

The Porch: What do you have coming up? A tour? New recordings?

Jason: Getting the live set together is the first step, then playing out  and releasing the CD. Getting the music on the radio, that’s really the focus right now.

The Porch: Bonus Question: Where did the name h/int come from?

Jason: I think I wanna keep that one under wraps for the moment. The different parts of the name do have meaning. It’s an opportunity for rumors and guessing and fan interpretation. Don’t forget to check the free ringtones on my myspace page, www.myspace.com/officialhintmusicpage and/or download the music at www.garageband.com/artist/officialhintmusicpage.

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