Jason McMaster - Broken Teeth, Dangerous Toys, Watchtower - Back
Interviewer: Cameron Edney - http://insideout666.mysite.freeserve.com

One of the most underrated bands in Rock n’ Roll would have to be eighties sleaze rockers Dangerous Toys. Hailing from Austin, Texas, Dangerous Toys always had to overcome mile high obstacles to play the music they loved most. The band formed in 1987 and was one band that outlasted many of their peers, touring with the likes of Motorhead, Judas Priest and Alice Cooper Dangerous Toys proved they could cut it with the best. Celebrating there 18th anniversary in May 2005 Dangerous Toys took to the stage once again with a live performance that left many fans asking when would the next tour be? Front man Jason McMaster fronted the group Watchtower for seven years prior to his gig with Dangerous Toys and built up quite a reputation for his outrageous stage antics and powerful vocals. In Recent years Jason has been working with his band Broken Teeth who last year released their third album ‘Blood On The Radio’ which is the bands first live album and certainly won’t be the last. I recently caught up with Jason to talk about the good old days with Dangerous Toys, his rockin AC/DC style band Broken Teeth, working with Shadows Fall on a Dangerous Toys classic and much more. Enjoy it rock fans!

Metal Fanatix: First of all thank you for putting some time aside to answer the following questions for all of our readers. I would like to talk to you first about your rockin band Broken Teeth. Can you tell us how the band got together?

Jason McMaster: Broken Teeth got together much like all bands do, but it was first an idea to sort of rip off Ac/dc and Motorhead to bring more fire to rock n roll. To stamp out the sad state of what major labels and radio were bringing to the masses, and get back to the "teeth" that rock once had. We got it going in 1999 with Perris records, and it just snowballed from there.

Metal Fanatix: Last year saw Broken Teeth release there first live album 'Blood on the Radio', are you guys currently working on new material?

Jason McMaster: Yes, we have about 10 new songs, we are working them into the set mainly so we can see which ones are gonna work out better than others and just stick to the ones that go over well in a live set. The ‘Blood on the Radio’ cd has one new song on it, "Bonfire", which will be on the new studio cd for sure. We definitely are overdue a new studio cd, but we are working on it. We are very happy with the response of the live cd, ‘Blood on the Radio’.

Metal Fanatix: A lot of bands don't like doing live albums because they feel that they don't capture the sound of their live performance. What is your take on this and do you feel 'Blood on the Radio' defines a live Broken Teeth experience?

Jason McMaster: On the contrary, our live cd is exactly that, all live and real, not over dubbed "fake live". It is a true representation of what we do live and we are proud to say that it actually sounds better than our studio cd’s. That’s hard to believe since most live recordings do not give you the truth of the band or the song, we got lucky in this case.

Metal Fanatix: Every artist has their own way of creating music, when it comes time to prepare for a new album, what comes first the lyrics or the music?

Jason McMaster: Good question, most of the time it starts as a riff, but sometimes the hook of a lyric will be written on a bar napkin, or a small scratch of paper before it turns into a real song. The verse sometimes come first before the music or the chorus hook but, sometimes I feel inspired while driving, or while doing something unrelated to the music, so it just depends on the flow of creativity. There is no one way to write rock n roll. Sometimes the song you don’t like will end up being your favorite by the time the record is finished.

Metal Fanatix: Broken Teeth are currently playing some dates, how are the shows going & can we expect an Australian tour anytime soon?

Jason McMaster: It would be a dream come true to play in Australia!! I love Rose Tattoo and The Angels (Angel City). My old band ‘Dangerous Toys’ have done well there back in the day with sales, but we were never invited to play there. I believe Broken Teeth would do great there with the right line up on a bill. We would love to play shows there, so if any promoters need a good Texas rock n roll band influenced by Rose Tattoo, we are ready to go!!

Metal Fanatix: I know that Dangerous Toys get together from time to time to do a few shows, with the recent onslaught of eighties hard rock/metal bands getting back together for tours, can we expect a full blown Dangerous Toys tour anytime soon?

Jason McMaster: Dangerous Toys do not have a plan to tour at this time. Some of us are very busy with other projects, but I would do a tour with the ‘Toys’ if the time and offers were right. Our fans never forgot us and that’s an amazing thing these days with so much music out there.

Metal Fanatix: Shadows Fall recently released a cover version of the Dangerous Toys track 'Teasn Pleasn', I know you laid down the vocals for the new version, can you tell me how that all came about?

Jason McMaster: Wow, yes, the Shadows Fall guys contacted me asking if they could do a cover of the toys song, of course we were honored to even be asked by such a great band. They sent the tapes to me in Texas; I cut the vocals and sent the tapes back. Originally Brian Fair, Shadows Fall singer, was to lay down his vocals over mine and mix them to sound huge and heavy, but when they heard mine, they loved it so much as is so they left it. I sure was looking forward to having Brian on the track with me, but, it just didn’t happen. I’m just glad they were happy with my work. I recently visited with the guys on the Ozzfest tour in Texas, they are doing so great, and it has been great to get to know them. They have my full respect.

Metal Fanatix: After all these years in the business what goals have you set for yourself these days?

Jason McMaster: The only goal I have is to stay true to my art and that is just rocking as hard as I can for as long as I can. So far, so good.

Metal Fanatix: What comes to mind when you look back on those early experiences with Dangerous toys?

Jason McMaster: We had such a great experience, from touring with our idols, Motorhead, Judas Priest, Alice Cooper, The Cult, etc.., recording with producer Max Norman (Ozzy Blizzard of Oz, Diary of a Madman, Megadeth, etc..) we came to love the road and truly enjoyed the spirit of rock n roll, it was a dream come true, I wouldn’t change a thing.

Metal Fanatix: Can you tell us a little more about this and your first encounter with the guys?

Jason McMaster: I had met the guys in the ‘Toys’ when they were called Onnyx and had a girl singer. They were one of the better rock bands in Austin, Texas where for the past 7 years I was fronting the progressive thrash band, Watchtower. They had lost their singer and asked me to fill in for the shows they still had booked. I agreed and thought it would be a part time gig for fun. Well, that was an understatement, I had a great time, and as soon as I saw things happening for the band under my nose, it was hard to juggle both ‘Watchtower and the Toys at the same time, the rest is history.

Metal Fanatix: You were heavily influenced by a lot of the same bands I grew up listening to. Do you feel you have played a large role in influencing a lot of the newer metal bands?

Jason McMaster: It was interesting to hear from people such as the Shadows Fall guys who were fans of the Toys as well as Watchtower. I don’t know if I would call it influence or not, but, people have given respect to both bands, I am proud to hear when people were into my recordings with both, over the years.

Metal Fanatix: In a few words can you tell us the first thing that comes to mind when I mention the following Dangerous Toys/Broken Teeth tracks?

Jason McMaster:

Scared: The last song we wrote for the debut record.

Gunfighter: Finished in the studio days before we recorded it.

Outlaw: Probably the first song we wrote together, lyrics were written by Tim Trembly.

Hangin By the Skin: My favorite song from Broken Teeth’s Guilty Pleasure.

Pull The Plug: This song is actually about posers.

Metal Fanatix: I would like to talk to you a little about touring! Is life on the road still as crazy now as it was during the eighties?

Jason McMaster: No, it’s all about resting and making sure you don’t leave any gear behind. Touring is expensive when you’re using your own money instead of tour support, so you’re always making sure you don’t lose your ass out there. You have a small crew and its very hands on. We sell our own shirts; book our own shows, etc. The fun part is meeting the fans and just being out there as a tribe of Indians and looking out for each other. We play at bars mostly, so there is always some sort of party.

Metal Fanatix: What is the most ridiculous thing you have ever asked for on a tour rider?

Jason McMaster: Probably condoms, socks and black towels, which none are very wild to ask for I guess.

Metal Fanatix: Over the years you have shared the stage with so many great bands. Who have you enjoyed touring with the most & could you share a funny road story from the tour?

Jason McMaster: I loved seeing Judas Priest, Motorhead and Alice cooper every night. I went to Disneyworld with Ian from The Cult that was a trip, people recognized me and not him, and he was laughing at me signing autographs! I remember he tried to bring a bottle of water into Disneyworld and they wouldn’t let him. Ian said to them "god made water, not Disneyworld". Also, Lemmy from Motorhead was such a classic English gentleman. I respect him so much. He is hardcore, but he is intelligent, it’s impressive. I had to laugh though, when I saw him tanning in a red Speedo in a lawn chair outside his tour bus with the marquee reading "slow death". Ahh, some great memories!!

Metal Fanatix: Do you remember the first show you ever played; can you tell us a bit about it?

Jason McMaster: The first show I played would’ve been in a backyard party when I was 15 years old in Corpus Christi Texas with my band ‘Rampage’. Those were crazy times for a young lad. We played Judas Priest and Ac/dc.

Metal Fanatix: Do you do anything specific to warm up & prepare for a show?

Jason McMaster: I have a ‘psych myself out’ routine that varies, but, I give a few good shouts and screams outside the venue, or scream and yell for a few of the opening bands to get my voice warmed up. It’s a way to show support as well as warm up my voice. Some stretching helps as well. I use a netipot as well, warm sea salt water up the nose and gargle, it’s all a routine.

Metal Fanatix: What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? I hear you have a love of computer games.

Jason McMaster: I have a few Playstation games I like, mainly role playing, but, I don’t consider myself a gamer. I work at a guitar shop, and a cd shop, so I’m busy, writing songs, working and touring, that’s about it, and I love it.

Metal Fanatix: In your honest opinion what do you think about the direction that Hard Rock & Heavy Metal music has taken over the last few years?

Jason McMaster: There are too many bands taken in by the major corporate rock world that sound exactly the same. It’s all a wash but, the public are like cattle, they like whatever you feed them. It’s very sad that people have no desire to discover new rock; they just take whatever is pushed into the air waves and on the TV. On another hand, the Indie labels have done a great job with metal. From Shadows Fall to Strapping Young Lad, Century Media has done well. Those are two of the bands that I completely respect.

Metal Fanatix: Are you currently listening to any of the newer bands, if so who?

Jason McMaster: I don’t listen to much new stuff. Mainly old Priest, Maiden, Motorhead, Elton John, Rhinobucket, actually the new Alice cooper is pretty fucking good. I got into the Kings of Leon's first record; I still like that a lot.

Metal Fanatix: To become a star these days it seems the only way to make it would be to go on a reality music show like Idol or Pop stars (if you wanna call it that) like Rock Star Inxs etc. What do you think about the mass wave of reality shows looking for so called "Talent" and do you watch any of them?

Jason McMaster: I stay away from all of that, it is a train wreck and people like to watch that. I don’t think people are watching it because they think its good, unless they just don’t know any better, and unfortunately, that may be the case. It’s my experience and belief, that to get a gig, you send a sample of your music, you set up an audition, and you get the gig, or not. Setting up a huge ordeal on a reality TV show to find someone for your band is retarded, unless you want to sell back catalogues of your music, which is what Inxs did. Once again, it’s not the way to find a singer, it makes you look desperate and in it for the wrong reasons.

Metal Fanatix: What advice would you give to up and coming rock/metal bands?

Jason McMaster: Play and write music for yourself. The money you make playing music, spend on your music, your touring and merchandise (shirts etc, things you sell to promote your music). Keep it all grassroots if you can, make your own records if you can. The less money you have to pay someone to work for you, the better. Promote yourself as much as you can afford to without hiring a publicist. When you’ve worn that option out, you can move to another level when it is time. Make music for the right reasons, don’t make music just to get girls, or money, make music because you love it before all.

Metal Fanatix: Which Album or Song would define Jason McMaster to a complete stranger?

Jason McMaster: Dangerous Toys - The Rtist 4merly known as Dangerous Toys.

Metal Fanatix: Over the years you have worked with many different musicians, who have you learnt the most from?

Jason McMaster: You’re always learning, you learn things like it’s not always important to know how to sing high or play fast before you learn basic playing or singing styles. Things like timing and singing in correct pitch or key is the most important to learn. Also, learning songs by training your ear is a stronger more long lasting lesson than learning to read music. Training your ear to know what note is being played just by hearing it, is more important to me.

Metal Fanatix: What would you say have been your greatest achievements to date?

Jason McMaster: Being asked to play reunion shows 24 years after you first started your band means something. That confirms success to me, to be a part of something that will never die.

Metal Fanatix: What can we expect over the next year or so from Broken Teeth?

Jason McMaster: A new studio cd and more touring.

Metal Fanatix: If you could put a band together consisting of musicians passed and/or present who would they be and what would you call the band?

Jason McMaster: Wow, hard to say, Lemmy, Bon Scott, James Hetfield, Vinnie Paul, John Bush, Scott Ian, Geddy Lee, Rob Halford, Jason Newsted and Gene Hoglan. I just made this up off the top of my head. The band would be called HUMANGOD.

Metal Fanatix: Any last words you want to share with our readers?

Jason McMaster: THANKS for everything, thanks for this interview, and please bring us to Aussie land!!!

For all the latest news on Jason McMaster you can visit the following websites:

http://www.brokenteeth.com - Official website
http://www.dangeroustoys.net - Official website
http://www.marathoncd.com/watchtower - Official website
http://insideout666.mysite.freeserve.com - Dedicated to 40 years of pure hard rock & metal music

Broken Teeth are currently on tour. You can catch them at the following venues:

09/28/05 Cabo Wabo San Lucas, Mexico - www.Cabowabo.Com - For More Info
10/07/05 Backroom -2015 E. Riverside -Austin, TX - Broken Teeth And Dixie Witch
10/08/05 Voo Doo Customs Party @ Trophys On S. Congress - Broken Teeth
10/08/05 Voo Doo Customs Party Tba
10/15/05 Acadia Inn - Houston, TX
10/21/05 Hanovers - North Austin, TX
10/25/05 Mikes Tavern - Kansas City, MO
10/26/05 Vnuk's Lounge - Cudahy,WI. - Broken Teeth
10/27/05 Penny Rd. Pub - Barrigton, IL- Chicago Suburbs
10/28/05 Clarksbar - OH
10/29/05 Lee Dogs Locker Room - Marysville ,OH
10/30/05 Melody Inn - Indianapolis, IN
11/05/05 Headhunters - Austin, TX
11/12/05 Sunken Gardens Inn - San Antonio, TX

© Cameron Edney October 2005 Not to be re-printed in any form without written permission.