Interview: Jason Keyser of Origin

For whatever dumb reason it never occurred to me that at some point in time while running this site that I would be offered the opportunity to interview someone. Then it happened and I ended up interviewing two of the frontmen that are in the midst of touring with 1349 on the Chaos Raids U.S.A. Tour. In my very first interview for the site, I was privileged to speak with vocalist Jason Keyser of Origin. Here’s what we chatted about.

MetalNerd: You’re actually the newest member of the band, you joined in 2011 and Omnipresent is your first record with the band. How’s that experience been so far?

Jason Keyser: It’s been great, I mean, thankfully Origin’s been a band that ever since I first joined, like day 1, It’s never been like a “new guy” thing. It’s never been like you’re the, you know, we’re breaking you in. Out of day 1 everybody’s equal members, everything’s cool, everybody’s opinions are respected. So, it doesn’t even feel like a strange transition to me. It doesn’t feel like it is like the first time, ‘cause I’ve been doing it for about almost 5 years now so… But it’s been great, and the reception’s been pretty good, so I don’t have any complaints.

MN: Awesome, did you have a lot of input into the new record?

JK: I mean, we all have our own respective roles. Paul (Ryan, guitars) usually starts it all off with, you know, he writes the guitar the guitar riffs and he sets it up and him and John (Longstreth, drums) work on the whole skeleton of the songs. I, you know, wrote all the lyrics and did all the vocals, so, I mean, yea, so I guess I (laughs) equally did whatever part I needed, 25%.

MN: The band is going to be turning 20 years in 2017, are there talks about any plans to celebrate that?

JK: We’re always down for a good gimmick, so we… it’s possible. I don’t know, you’d have to talk to Paul on that one, he’s the old man of the group. So he’s the one you’d have to discuss it with. But, I mean that whole like, you know, “we turn 15 years, 20 years, we have to play that whole album front to back” is a little cliché but… There’s a fine line between cliché and gimmick I guess, so (laughs) I dunno, I guess, maybe we’ll do something special.

MN: Cool, so where do you draw inspiration from for lyrics and everything.

JK: Um, just, I think everybody that’s into metal in general must have some underlying similar trade of mentality. What they’re into, what they’re against in the world, what they’re for in the world, like that kind of thing and it all stems from the same thing. Honestly for the latest CD it’s probably been whatever comic book or sci-fi movie I was watching at the time, you know? So, probably more like that.

MN: There’s a big sci-fi, comic influence, I saw the Galactus shirt.

JK: It’s been, I mean, way before I joined the band. It’s, you know, underlying, goofball references that only like a couple people in the back of the audience will just be like, “Aha, I get it.” So, but yea, more or less, that yea (laughs).

MN: How do you feel about the current state of the music industry, with album streaming kind of taking over record sales and all things like that?

JK: I mean it’s rough, I get the “old man syndrome,” the old like, “Ahh, I remember when we had to mail away for things.” So, uh, it is a double-edged sword obviously, I’m sure everybody would say the same where it’s great for exposure but it also floods the market and it also takes any kind of mystique and anything that made this kind of music so like, dangerous when we were all young, you know? So new and scary, you know, I mean that’s all gone. The second I learned that Brujeria weren’t actually Mexican drug dealers was the minute like I gave up on caring about the internet and that was like 2000 so I don’t even know if I’ve listened to anything new since then.

MN: Definitely. Any advice for young bands that are just getting started in this climate?

JK: Uh, I mean, don’t go into it expecting money for one. I mean, if the money comes that’s great for you but don’t go into it expecting it ‘cause that’s the biggest disappointment in the world. And two, do everything that you do for the first time, enjoy, like cherish whatever you do for the first time. Your first U.S. tour, your first European tour, your first time doing anything ‘cause it never really gets better than that, than that fear and everything is just new and exciting because it becomes works quicker than you’d think (laughs). My best stories, I’ve been doing this for like 15 years, my favorite stories have been from my like shittiest tours and four guys in like a fuckin’ four person car traveling through the Czech Republic for a month are like my best stories of tours ever in my life. So, cherish the suffering, the suffering brings you the best stories. When you’re in a van or you’re in a bus or some shit and you’ve got comfort it *snaps fingers* breezes by before you even notice. So, enjoy the suffering, that’s my advice (laughs).