June 04 - 2007 I don't think there is a need for a big introduction, everyone here knows Jayson Sherlock, (ex)drummer for bands like Mortification, Paramaecium etc... I got in contact with him some months ago, and now I decided to do an interview with him, not about a band in particular but about his experience in/out the the scene.
JesusMetal: Could you give a short introduction to yourself and the bands you play/played in
Jayson: Well, I've played in played in Mortification from 90 to 93' (death metal), Paramaecium from 93 to 96' (death/doom), Horde in 94'(unblack), Where Shadows Lie from 02 to 04'(melodic death), Soundscape from 00' to present (prog), Inexordium from 06'to the present (death) and Altera Enigma 2007 (prog). Thats it so far!
JesusMetal: When and how did you get the idea to start drumming ?
Jayson: Around 1978 - 79, I first got Kiss Alive! And was blown away, my life changed forever right there. I think so many bands and metal musicians had the same experience. Shagrath (Dimmu Borgir), Abbath (Immortal), Chris Barnes (Cannibal Corpse) and had a similar thing happen to them. Although maybe they were not playing to Peters drum solo as I was! (Very crappy version of it mind you!) But yeah, that album changed my life at that point. I loved it, and thats why I started playing the drums, and got really into music.
JesusMetal: Who are your musical influences ?
Jayson: I have a lot of influences, I'll just name the artists in no particular order: KISS, Chuck from Death (RIP), Gene Hoglan, Iron Maiden, Kreator, Early Sodom, most of the early death bands, I really love the first Grave album - Into the Grave, also Sean Reinart and Cynic have been a huge influence on me, then later on I started getting into early Dream Theater and then Jazz / Fusion like Dave Weckl, Virgil Donati, Simon Phillips, Dennis Chambers. I also really love The Corrs, Jamiroquai, Christina Aguilera, David Gray, Robbie Williams, I could go on, but I might get bashed!
JesusMetal: How did you get in contact with Steve Rowe, and how was it to play with him ? Why did you leave ?
Jayson: In 1989, I met Cameron Hall, (first guitarist for Lightforce) at a Stryper show in Melbourne, who was playing with Steve at the time and this was just after Lightforce had finished. They were looking for a drummer to take the band in a heavier direction, and I'd been playing for almost ten years at that stage, so Cameron and I got talking, and he invited me to his place to jam, then he got Steve on the phone and handed him over to me, I was pretty excited. Yeah so that's really how it all got started. Two weeks later the three of us got together and started jamming, and it felt really great. The rest is pretty self explanatory. There were two reasons for me leaving the band, although the timing was HORRIBLE as two weeks after leaving, Mort went to the US for the first time, and I missed out! During my time in Mort I was not working at all, just Mort rehearsals, tours/gigs and recording. I knew I wanted some kind of artistic career, so I enrolled in full time university Art and Design studies. The commitment to this did not allow for Mort as well. So I chose the study. Also, we had just returned from a short stint in New Zealand and Steve and I could no longer see eye to eye on musical direction, so we decided to part ways. But it was all very amicable and mutual, and to this day Steve and I still have a great friendship, although we don't see each other as much as we would like to.
JesusMetal: Paramaecium, another big band, how did you experience this ? Why the change to InExordium ?
Jayson: Joining Paramaecium and playing with them was a great expierience, firstly because it was much more a part time thing. Gigs only on weekends, no extended touring, so it suited my study commitments really well. Plus I'd already got to know Andrew Tompkins very well from all the playing and touring Mort did with Para. Plus I really loved the music, it was so heavy and and I loved incorporating the other instuments like the violins, flutes etc... About the change, I guess after so long, we needed to embark on another musical journery together. Its great to be back together again, and the magic is still there after all these years, so we really want to make this last. So moving in a slightly different direction is a good idea as things stay fresh this way. I think gothic/doom/death as a style is ageing now for us anyway as I don't think we can do it justice any longer, and we want to explore other musical ideas, but still staying extremely heavy.
JesusMetal: You are thé Anonymous of Horde, how was it to stay anonymous, and how did it get leaked it was you
Jayson: Yes, I think for those who saw Horde at Nordic fest last year, it was quite clear that it was me! I preferred to stay Anonymous over the years as this was in keeping with the black metal tradition of going by an alias. Although for an Australian some normal Norwegian names are really great. Think just over time people started to put two and two together. I don't recall there being one defining moment someone said 'It's Jayson!' I think if you really listen to 'Scrolls of the Megilloth' you can hear Anonymous's vocals in there, for example the first verse of 'Terminate Damnation' people think thats an effect on Steves vocals but it's Anonymous singing with him, and also in 'Necromanicide'. And I think much of the drumming does sound like me. I used many similiar drum licks that I used on the Mort and Para albums. It does not take a rocket scientist to work it out!
JesusMetal: What was the purpose of the Horde album ?
Jayson: As I've said in other interviews, simply to give a hopeful alternative to a dark grim scene. To shine a light in the darkness. The intention was never to have a laugh, just to offer another way of thinking.
JesusMetal: Suddenly you were gone from the scene, and now, last year, you were back, InExordium, Soundscape, Altera Enigma, did you feel you had to come out again to play music?
Jayson: This is weird because I've ALWAYS kept on playing music! It's just no one took any notice! Look, to be fair, I think when I hooked up to the internet and actually told people what was going on, thats when people were like, oh, he's back! Actually I never went anywhere, I was still in bands, and playing, although very quietly. Two bands took most of my time after I left Paramaecium, namely Where Shadows Lie, and Soundscape. The latter rehearsed twice a week for almost two years, and only played one gig. (Some of these pics are on the soundscape site: (www.sound-scape.net) So yes things were quiet, but we were in a period of planning and TRYING to perfect what we were doing back then. So it feels very rewarding to finally have something to show for all the rehearsals.
JesusMetal: You have been in the christian scene for a long time, what is (for you) the biggest difference with the old days? What do you think of the scene today ?
Jayson: To be honest with you, I don't consider myself to be an any 'Scene', Christian or otherwise. But from what I've seen from the outside looking in, the bands are defintely improving. I mean look at bands like Drottnar and Crimson Moonlight, they are AWESOME, and can easily compete with the likes of Emperor, Zyklon and Dimmu Borgir. Not so 10 or 15 years ago.
JesusMetal: You are considered as the best christian drummer by many, also seen as their big influence, how does that feel?
Jayson: This to me is really weird because I don't and never have considered myself to be much of a drummer at all. I've had a only a few lessons, and really consider myself a mostly self taught hack. But I love playing and if that can inspire someone else then I welcome it. I just do what I love to do, I love music and love playing music, end of story.
JesusMetal: What can we expect of InExordium, is there an album coming along ?
Jayson: Yes the album is still coming, although it is sort of on hold for a short time, as we are concentrating on putting together the Horde DVD and the live Paramaecium release. But we are planning on having something late 2007 or early 2008, and we can't wait! We are very happy with the songs so far, very brutal.
JesusMetal: Was it you that wanted to join Altera Enigma, or did you get asked ? Soundscape and Altera Enigma are experimental, even Fusion (S.S. that is) did your love for this kind of music grow through the years or was it always there ?
Jayson: Jason DeRon and myself have worked together forever so it was very a natural thing to become the Altera Enigma drummer. The position was open and I jumped at the chance! So I guess it was kind of 'Will you?, Can I?'. As I mentioned earlier, the love for progressive metal, jazz and fusion came a bit later, so I guess as time marched on I started listening to more challenging music, and really loved it. I guess as a musician one has to keep developing and improving, and listening to these styles really helps to push the bar.
JesusMetal: You also drew logos and art (Mortification, Deracination), are you also still doing that kind of stuff ?
Jayson: Yes, very much so. I've done all of the Soundscape website, and all the new Soundscape artwork. The InExordium logo and subsequent artwork to follow, and currently working on the new website design. I am a full time Grapic Artist/Designer so yes I'm very much active in this area. JesusMetal: Any final comments?
Jayson: Only that if you have a dream in your heart, actively pursue it and never let it go. Make it happen, and thank God daily for putting there in the first place. And cheers for the interview Matty!