You might know Jason Caine as leadguitarist of Bloodline Riot. He also have another band, called Circle The Crown. DutchMetalManiac’s Alessandro spoke with Jason about Bloodline Riot, Circle The Crown, among other things.
Jason I’m very honoured to be granted this interview! Thanks for the Twitter follow also! So, tell us about your personal origins! When did you first pick up the axe, who got you/bought you one, who are your favourite players and what was the first song you strummed to?
I’m honored to have this opportunity! Thank you so much for the chance to talk with you guys! I originally started playing guitar right before my 14th birthday. A friend of mine had been playing for several months and we thought it would be cool to start a band. Originally I was going to play bass, but he talked me out of it with the Rock n Roll logic of, “Dude, lead guitarists get all of the chicks!”. (laughs) So, I got an imitation BC Rich Warlock for my birthday from my family and took it very seriously right from the beginning. I’ve always had a competitive edge to me, and right from the start I wanted to be the best that I could be. I started taking private guitar lessons and learning theory and how it applied to my favorite songs. I also took formal classical lessons for a while at the same time. I had grown up listening to classic rock and classical music, so I think it was inevitable that I would be interested in learning how to play both, and then some. My early inspirations were Randy Rhoads, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Paul Gilbert, Nuno Bettencourt, Brian May, Richie Kotzen, Blues Saraceno and many others. During High School I lived and breathed guitar, and it was pretty much all I focused on. The very first song I learned was Cinderella’s Nobody’s Fool actually.
I love Bloodline Riot’s songs Betrayed and Letting Go. What is the band’s status currently? What’s the story here?
Thank you so much! That truly means a lot to hear! Bloodline Riot is currently on hiatus. It’s a very long story, but I was the only original member left after the band being very active for 6 years. We’d had 5 different singers, 3 bassists, 7 drummers and I honestly felt like things had gotten to the point where finding new members to perform material that was so estranged from what the band started out as was beginning to lose authenticity. I truly appreciated every member that had stepped into the band, and I feel like every line-up had written some amazing music that unfortunately will never have a chance to be heard.. Many of the line-up changes centered around situations of members having to shift their goals and also understandable priorities and life changes that happen. I have no ill will towards any past members, and I wish them all the very best. Several are still playing music and pursuing it with different bands, and I fully support and appreciate their endeavors.
OK, so a new adventure with Circle The Crown! Cool name! What’s the inspiration for that? Can you tell us what your new band is planning?
Thank you! The name Circle The Crown is all about focusing and prioritizing your life to be the best and happiest that you can be. It’s about looking at the choices and options in your life and “circling” the best of the best that you can be, to be the royalty of your own life journey. As far as what Circle The Crown is planning, we’re finishing up our debut EP with producer Chuck Alkazian at Pearl Sound Studios in Canton, MI. Chuck has worked with some amazing artists such as Chris Cornell, Pop Evil, Asking Alexandria and many more. He brings to the table a wealth of knowledge, songwriting and so much more. The songs have really been coming to life working with Chuck at the producer’s helm and I cannot wait for these songs to be finished and ready to spread to the world. Once the EP is finished, I’m sure we’ll be working on music videos and we’ll be hitting the live performances hard to visit as many of our friends around the country that we can.
Is the world a better place with all this new technology for spreading the gift of music or was it better to copy LP’s to cassettes and spread it around?
I feel that technology today is a double-edged sword. I think that it’s great that you can now get music any time that you want. I think that comes with a price though. I think that people value things when they’re not necessarily so accessible. When you can have something at anytime that you want, it’s easy to be lazy about it. I also feel that there’s less enthusiasm about downloading music versus the old days when you went to the record store, saw the album art and pictures of your favorite band, could read the liner notes to see what members wrote which songs and learn about who produced the album and all of that info that was waiting for you once you bought a physical product. I know that you can get all of those things with downloads, but I think that most people just use MP3 players now, and that excitement is all lost in a way. When you bought a physical product, you were also forced to buy the entire album (unless you just bought the single). There’s classic songs that at first listen weren’t necessarily my favorites, but grew on me as I got to know them and became some of my favorite songs of all time. Nowadays, it’s easy to just buy what songs hit you right off the bat and ignore what may be sleeper hits that you would truly come to appreciate with more than listening to a 30 second sample. Sometimes I feel it’s better to not have instant gratification. That it creates an environment of placing less worth on something that should be special.
Your music is heavy with some great influences; tell us when and where your best times for inspiration are.
Honestly I get some of my best ideas after a few cups of coffee and while driving. Every sound in nature has a particular pitch.. When your fan is on, there are pitches that are being produced. When I’m driving, I found that the hum from the engine produces a pitch and a lot of times I’ll harmonize and bounce musical ideas off of the pitch of the engine humming. Many of my ideas are recorded to my cell phone and then I go and figure them out later and flesh them out further on my guitar. It took me some time to realize that this was what I was doing, but I started wondering why I always would have these musical ideas while driving, and one day I realized just what was happening, as unorthodox as that sounds! (laughs)
You have a very introspective, positive twitter feed; are you a natural writer or is it something you dislike doing but have to business-wise?
I absolutely love writing. I’ve always been a writer for as long as I can remember. I used to try to write books in elementary school. It was one of my earliest career goals. Once I discovered guitar, I realized that through songwriting you can truly integrate those two elements into something magical that transcends just one or the other, music or words. Together, those two things can move mountains with enough inspiration.. As far as my introspective twitter feed, I think in terms of affirmations.. A positive message to tell yourself for the day to focus on and explore. We all have challenges and life is hardly ever perfect. How we perceive things and the meanings we do or don’t put on them can truly enhance or degrade our lives. I’m always working on trying to help enhance the lives of myself and others if I can.
Onstage, 90% and live to fight another day or 110% and see what happens the next day?
I always give it 110% when I’m onstage. I’ve found that when you start playing a lot of shows, it helps to get into “show shape”. If you haven’t, the first few shows you’ll find yourself feeling pretty sore and beat up. (laughs)
Speaking of stages, you’re not on a tour schedule as of yet; are there dates lined up for this or next year?
As of right now, our main focus has been to really make this EP the best that it can possibly be. We’ve been playing a few shows in our hometown here and there while working on the recording, but we’re waiting until our ducks are in a row to really start hitting the shows heavy. We want to make sure that we can bring our fans the very best that they deserve on all levels.
I want to thank you so much for taking the time for us and as we go, give us “Jason’s Jive” for 2017/2018:
1. WW III or Peace on Earth?
Peace on Earth
2. Aliens Land – Aliens Keep On Going?
Aliens Land. We need to shake things up a bit! (laughs)
3. Music Industry Better – Music Industry Worse?
Music Industry different. More opportunities but tougher to stand out.
4. USA Beer Better – Canadian Beer Better?
I don’t drink beer so I’d be the last guy to ask (laughs).
5. Currently reading….which books?
If I had any spare time, it would be the Game of Thrones series.
6. Humans: Tougher then or now?
Thank you again for taking important time to talk to us. Do you have any last comments for DutchMetalManiac’s readers? All the best success!
Thank you so much for this opportunity. I can’t wait for everyone to hear the upcoming album. Also, to keep up to date with Circle The Crown, please follow us on Facebook, Twitter or my personal Twitter. Thank you for reading and I can’t wait to see you all soon. Cheers!