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
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
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.
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?
Scared: The last song we wrote for the debut
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
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
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
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!!
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
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.
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
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
- Official website
- Official website
- Official website
- 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
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.