Interview with AM Conspiracy lead singer Jason "Gong" Jones

- Oct 21, 2009 at 10:43AM
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A band you might not have yet heard of, but whose lead singer you are likely quite familiar with is AM Conspiracy. The band originates out of Orlando, Florida and features former Drowning Pool vocalist Jason “Gong” Jones. The project has been in the works for a few years now, but it is just now really starting to get off the ground as the group is just about finished its debut record. The record was just recently given a release date of January 12th, 2010 on Burnhill Records. If you’re interested in hearing what the band is like and you can’t wait until the new year then you can try checking out AM Conspiracy’s 2007, four song EP called Out of the Shallow End. Recently we spoke to the band’s lead singer and mastermind Jason Jones about AM Conspiracy, what the band sounds like and his feelings on his time in Drowning Pool.

AM Conspiracy has been together for a few years now. How did you all meet and form the band?
Jason: Actually I had some down time when I was in the other band, my previous band and I ended up in a club and I saw them play and I was like “you guys are great man, why don’t you get rid of the singer and I’ll start doing it!” And that’s pretty much what happened.

For those who haven’t yet heard the band, how would you describe AM Conspiracy’s sound?
Jason: Man I mean it’s pretty versatile, when you hear the new record, there’s not just one, long, continuous, sounding the same song, it’s like really versatile which can be taken in a number of different directions, it keeps your attention you know what I mean? But it’s got some heavy stuff, it’s got some lighter stuff, just rock music that’s pretty pissed off sounding I guess.

AM Conspiracy is a pretty cool name for a hard rock band. How or who came up with the name in the first place?
Jason: I did, I came up with it. When I lived in Venice in California, when I first started tattooing, I did nothing but black and gray tattoos for god, three or four years. It started to drive me crazy so I started to drive in to Anaheim which was forty-five minutes to an hour each way, I got tired of just listening to the CDs I had and of course the radio, that wasn’t working either... So for some odd reason I put it on the am station, started scrolling through, I think the first thing I hit was like Art Bell, have you ever listened to that dude?

No, I know the name though.
Jason: Yeah it’s like people talking about all kinds of conspiracy theories like you know, aliens in the backyard, this and that and all kind of crazy stuff so I got stuck on it for a minute and it just turned into the AM Conspiracy.

In early 2007, you signed with Corporate Punishment Records and then more recently in the spring you signed on with Burnhill Union Records. What attracted you to signing with Burnhill in the first place?
Jason: Well when we signed with Corporate they were going through a distribution change and Tom’s a good guy but I just wasn’t feeling the love. And then I met with the people who own Burnhill and they’re just like really supportive and they’re a new label but I think they can do a lot for us so we went with them.

Just last month it was announced that guitarist Rob DeHaven was rejoining the band. What brought about the return of Rob to the fold?
Jason: Well once Rob left we never sounded as tight as we used to again. So it was like, man that was just a bad decision, a bad business decision that prompted his departure and then it was like, that was a mistake, where is that guy? We all love Rob, it was a business decision, we missed the guy, he’s like a brother so it’s good to have him back.

You guys have been recording your debut album recently. What’s the writing and recording process been like?
Jason: It’s been really good. We went up and did the record with Chris Wisco from Belle City Sound up in Wisconsin and it just, you know the writing process is what it is, it takes us a while and basically you got five years of us writing songs, throwing them away, bringing them back, reworking them so I mean this is a five year greatest hits record basically... Not that we have any great hits, don’t say that. [laughs] Then we went in with Chris and we all listened to older stuff, none of us are into the newer sounding stuff. Working on Pro Tools instead of two inch... Chris is the only person who we’ve worked with period who has been able to get us the sound we want. So totally, it’s really good, I’m really proud of it.

You said there that the album is the result of a long process of writing, how many songs would you estimate you wrote in total?
Jason: Man there’s no telling. We narrowed it down to thirteen for the record and I mean we threw probably three, four times at least that amount away. But I mean it is our debut and people always forget when you know, the band goes and does their sophomore record, they go “oh it’s not as good as the first one.” That’s because those guys had, you know until they got signed to write that first one, the second one you got to have it done in a year. Who knows how many songs we threw away, I mean I’m sure we’ll get some of them back out and try and work on them again, but you know... who knows.

How do you guys write? Do you write together or individually and bring parts together? What’s the process like?
Jason: We do both man, some songs we write in the room, some of them, me and the guitar player, usually Drew now will come in and come up with a couple of ideas, he’ll come over to my house, we’ll sit there and hash them out, do them on Pro Tools then we’ll take them in and bring them to the band. They’ll be like “this part sucks,” “this part’s good,” “let’s do this,” then we’ll just chop it up and try to make sense out of it.

What are your touring plans like in the future? Where can we expect to see the band?
Jason: Right now I mean we’re just doing one offs right now because we’re waiting on the release date before we actually start touring. Hopefully as soon as we get it done you’ll see us everywhere, I mean that’s what we want to do.

Looking back, how do you feel about your time in Drowning Pool? Do you have any regrets?
Jason: Um, yeah of course, I regret that I did it sometimes; you know it was just a bad situation all the way around, they weren’t happy, I wasn’t happy. But it did get me to where I am right now so I guess it worked out for the best, I’m happy, they’re happy.

What’s next for AM Conspiracy? What can we expect to see from the band in the near future and in 2010?
Jason: Besides complete world domination? Hopefully you’ll see us out playing every town around the world, that would be the greatest thing, I mean we just want to get out there and play. Hopefully we’ll sell a couple of records, have some fun, come to everybody’s hometown, get drunk with them, act crazy and tear up stuff.

What are your long term goals for the band? Is this just a one off thing or do you see it going on for years and years?
Jason: No I mean I’ll do this band until someone makes me stop. This is my band, this is our band together and this is what we want to do, no one is unhappy. We’ll be doing it until I have to use my walker to get to the stage.  [ END ]
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