Holy Cow - the clock jumped forward a whole hour today for no reason whatsoever, so I've only got a 1/2 hour to post to the blog and upload the podcast before scrambling to get to work. I hear it's due to something called "Daylight Savings Time." Very odd.
This week's featured Q&A is with Jason Forrest or, as I like to call him, "The Artist Formerly Known As Donna Summer." Seems he tired of the pseudonym and, throwing caution to the wind, switched names mid-career. Well, I'm sure he's got many records yet to produce, so perhaps "mid" is a bit premature. An awful lot of the reviews I read of his latest record would have you believe that he's only just arrived though, so perhaps the name change came at a perfect time.
"Shamelessly Exciting" (his latest full length, 2005) IS probably my favorite record by Jason Forrest, but I'm also a big fan of "The Unrelenting Songs of the 1979 Post Disco Crash" (2004), which he released using his old moniker. "This Needs to be Your Style" (2003), was the first Donna Summer/Jason Forrest CD to be featured on Some Assembly Required.
Forrest runs a breakcore collective called Cock Rock Disco. Through that collective, I've become familiar with artists such as Audiogarde, Doormouse, Duran Duran Duran, Food For Animals, Stunt Rock, Vorpal and many more. One cool feature about the Cock Rock Disco website is that you can buy the records online, downloading the entire album and its artwork right there, rather than having to wait for a package to arrive in the mail.
Forrest is also known for his radio program, "Advanced D&D," a specialty show which aired on WFMU for a time. We talked a bit about it's blend of "Breakcore, folk-rock, death metal, dirty 70's disco" and... "raw satanism" in an interview I did with him recently (to be podcast eventually - something to look forward to!) and the shocking truth is... Forrest is not a satanist. In fact, he's one of the nicest guys I've ever interviewed. An excellent artist and all around good guy - what more could you ask for?
By the way, the Some Assembly Required interview with Jason Forrest, since I mentioned it above, will be podcast at a later date. Its a more recent episode and at least for the time being, we're still fulfilling our goal of archiving old episodes here at the podcast. The reason we're running the Q&A with Jason Forrest with this episode (episode 92) is because the theme of this week's podcast is Men And Women, and since Jason Forrest used to go by Donna Summer, it made some sense to run a Q&A with a man who once used a woman's name. Make sense?
Without further ado, here's the SAR Q&A with Jason Forrest...
*Name: Jason Forrest
*Are there any additional names used to describe this project: I used to be known as Donna Summer
*Do you use a pseudonym? Not anymore - wasn't really worth it.
*Tape manipulations, digital deconstructions or turntable creations: Humm… I would say rock music with lots of appropriations. But most just call it Breakcore, and don't worry about the details. Some say its "cock rock disco,” but I think they should be separated a bit from the label.
*Original Location: South Carolina
*What is your creative/artistic background: I worked as a visual artist for 10+ years prior to doing the music thing. I graduated with a degree in photography, but worked also in sculpture and video. I was an art critic as well as a curator in those days too, basically everything contemporary art related. But I always was really into music, and most artists have horrible taste in music (real quote: "that new Lenny Kravitz record is awesome!") so, I was always dabbling in music. At the time, it was basically unfocused and semi-lazy noise stuff. I liked it, but hardly anyone else would.
*History: Basically, I began to do music as a more serious hobby when I moved to NYC and was both broke and also unsatisfied with the art world. So I had time to mature as a musician, and then my first 7" was played by John Peel. That was a real shock, and I realized that I had done more with music than I ever had with my visual artwork, so I pretty much concentrated on the music since then. Of course, I still do some artwork, and a lot of the art involved with CRD is my work.
*Born: Buffalo, NY.
*Motivations: I think this is way way too simplistic, but basically, to make people happy in a fun, but decadent way.
*Philosophy: God, I don't think I have time to get into that. Maybe I can send this answer later. Later: More and more I have been thinking of the "there's always a bigger fish" theory.
Mainly considering the whole idea of "fame" or even just notoriety. There's always someone faster, more cut up, more outrageous, more arty, more quiet, more etc.
*How would you like to be remembered: As a person that did all they could for music, and the people related to it.
*Web address: www. cockrockdisco.com
Thanks to The Artist Formerly Known As Donna Summer - JASON FORREST - for being the subject of our Q&A this week. Be sure to visit his Cock Rock Disco website, and tune in to this week's Podcast (episode 92), where he's just one of 16 sound collage artists featured during our theme of MEN and WOMEN.
Gotta run - only 10 minutes to get to work, and I still have to post the episode! yikes...
thanks for listening,