Prior to tomorrow night’s Hotel Cafe appearance with his new project, The Tin Drums, Jason Diaz spent some time answering the questions of one of his biggest fans – yours truly. Get acquainted with Jason in part one of my four part interview.
How long have you been making music?
I’ve been singing in front of people since I was eight but I didn’t start writing until high school. I grew up around the emo-scene in North County (San Diego) and back then everybody was in a band. You were an oddball if you didn’t play an instrument or do something musical.
Who are your influences?
Yikes! That could take forever but I’ll keep it short. I listen to pretty much everything Ray LaMontagne does. Love Jeff Buckley. Love Ryan Adams. Love Robert Johnson. I also like Mark Twain a lot and have read Huck Finn cover-to-cover way too many times.
When did you know that making music was something you:
A)wanted to do?
Gosh, for as long as I can remember. I’ve always loved to perform and singing came naturally to me. It’s always been hard to imagine a life apart from music.
B)needed to do?
I think after my first real job in high school. I worked at a bookstore and it was awful. Early shifts and long hours. Eventually, I was like “This sucks I quit! I’m gonna go home and play guitar!” (Laughs)
What inspires you in the day to day?
Definitely my wife. She’s like super woman. Also my band. They are an amazing bunch of musicians and they surprise me every time we play together. I also have an amazing manager who continues to believe in me even when I can’t, so that helps! I also have some really sweet fans and people who enjoy what I write. It’s very reassuring to know there are people out there who are listening.
What has been the most rewarding moment so far in your musical career as a singer songwriter?
Hearing my songs on TV has definitely been a surreal experience. I’ve only heard snippets of stuff in the background but it’s always for a big show. I’ve had stuff play on Community and Happy Endings and I love those shows. So funny…
I’m working on a new project with my writing partner/lap steel guitarist Anna Beth Carson and long-time drummer/friend Gavin Salmon. We’re calling it the Tin Drums.