Jason Bittner is one of the premiere heavy metal drummers. His resume includes the bands, Shadows Fall, Flotsam and Jetsam, Burning Human, Stigmata, Anthrax, and currently he is a member of the legendary east coast band, Overkill. Not a bad way to welcome our first, straight-up, metal drummer to the Groovecast. He sat down with us from his home in upstate New York.
I was introduced to Jason through our mutual friend, and previous show guest, Ted Mackenzie. A few days before Thanksgiving we found a time to chat. Aside from being a tremendous player Jason is a fantastic storyteller. He starts the interview with details about a clinic he recently conducted near his hometown. That story leads to other accounts from past tours including an unforgettable night in the UK where his clinic was held in a pub.
We spend a good amount of time discussing his education (early teachers and methods) and how it led to him reading Modern Drummer, noticing ads, and ultimately attending the Berklee College of Music. He talks about his time in Boston and his teachers, Ed Uribe, Arvin Scott and Skip Hadden. We then discuss the early metal bands he was in and the perseverance it took until the formation and success of Shadows Fall. We then talk about his current gig with the band, Overkill. Jason takes us through a typical day of being on the road including his pre-show routines. We finish up talking about his daily practice schedule before he runs through the gauntlet that is the DWG Rorschach test.
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