Jason Charles Miller is an accomplished and multi-faceted performer, with more than two decades of professional experience as a musician, songwriter, actor and voice over personality. Originally from Clifton, VA, Jason now splits his time between Los Angeles, CA (where he owns a recording complex) and Nashville, TN. As a solo artist, Jason has opened for such country greats as Alan Jackson, Toby Keith, Gary Allan, Eric Church, Justin Moore, Big Kenny of Big and Rich, and Jerrod Niemann. He has also worked quite significantly in the rock genre, writing with some of the greats and fronting the band Godhead, where he’s picked up gold awards for sales. If that weren’t enough, as an actor Jason has appeared in over 50 animated productions, dozens of video games and 8 live action movies, as well as featuring in magazines like Rolling Stone and Billboard. Touted by many critics as one of rock and country’s best and most consistent live singers, Jason continues to wow live audiences all over the world. I interviewed Jason to wade through some of this varied success.
Among long illustrated histories in both country and rock music, movie and video game credits, you have quite the resume! Do you ever take a break?
Not really! Then again, I love what I do so I don’t really feel the need to take a break. I love the fact that I get to make a living entertaining people, be it with music or acting.
Out of all the things you’ve done, what has been your favorite? Music, film, etc?
Music. It’s always music first. I’ve been singing in front of live audiences since I was 5, and that will always be my number one priority. Singing and playing live is what I live for. Acting is fun, and I take it very seriously, but it’s a different kind of feedback compared to the instant feedback of a live show.
Was there a certain moment that you can single out as a life highlight?
In 2002, sitting on Ozzy Osbourne’s couch as he played me his new album and sang along to it.
Is there anything you haven’t done that you would like to?
I’ve headlined clubs, but I’ve opened for larger acts my entire career in theaters, arenas and even stadiums. I’d love to have the kind of popularity where I could be the headliner of a theater.
Let’s talk about country music. You’ve opened for a lot of people, who was your favorite?
It’s a toss up between Alan Jackson and Eric Church. Alan Jackson is one of the last true traditionalists and he has an amazing band of ‘old school’ players that are really fun to listen to. Eric Church is from the new school, but his band is just as amazing in a different, high energy way. Both put on unforgettable shows!
Who inspires you in country music?
Jamey Johnson. He gives a nod to the old school guys but puts his own twist on it, plus he doesn’t care what you think. He’ll do whatever the hell he wants and I totally respect that! Of course the classic guys were who inspired me originally: Willie, Merle, Johnny, Waylon and Kris. Also, Hank Jr. and Hank Sr. I covered ‘I Saw The Light’ on my current album as a nod to Hank Sr.
Musical influences growing up? I can imagine it was quite varied.
My first records were The Beatles, John Denver and Merle Haggard. When I was a teenager of course I discovered Led Zeppelin, Bad Company and Rush, but then I got into bands like Metallica, King’s X, Nine Inch Nails, The Black Crowes. There’s two kinds of music: good and bad. I drew inspiration from so many artists it’s hard to remember them all when I do interviews!
How, in your experience, has the music industry changed since you started?
The recording industry has changed a TON since I started, but I think the cream will always rise to the top. Strive to make the best album you can, put on the best show you can, practice like crazy. Make sure your worst show is better than everyone else’s best show and you can make people pay attention!
Tell me something interesting and quirky about you. Hobbies, secret talents, etc.
I’m a nerd. I love sci-fi and fantasy stuff. Game of Thrones, Dungeons and Dragons. I grew up an only child in a house way out in the woods. I had to make stuff up keep myself from getting bored.
Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently?
I don’t think so. We learn from all of our mistakes, so everything that I did “wrong” just made me stronger and taught me not to do it again.
What are your upcoming projects?
A tour this fall and recording new material for the next album! There are also quite a few projects I have in the works. I had a movie come out on July 19th on the Disney Channel called “Teen Beach Movie.” I co-wrote the song ‘Crusin’ for a Brusin’’ which is the main dance song for the movie. Whoever thought I’d write a 50’s style dance song?!