Artist Name: Jason Eady
Hometown: Stephenville, Texas
Latest album: To the Passage of Time
Which artist has influenced you the most … and how?
Merle Haggard. No question about it. I have learned from him in every way. His effortless style of singing, the simplicity in his writing style, the way he covered different genres, the way he managed his career, all of it. Everything I do is in some way influenced by Merle Haggard, whether I’m aware of it or not. I think he was the best all-around country artist who has ever lived.
What other art forms — literature, film, dance, painting, etc. — inform your music?
I’m very into photography lately. I got into it about four years ago as a way to have a hobby on the road and it really took. I didn’t realize when I started that it would affect my music the way it has. It has changed the way that I see the world, specifically in looking for more details. After a while with photography, like songwriting, you realize that you’ve exhausted everything that you can see on the surface and you have to start looking deeper for details. Seeing those details through photography has definitely expanded my imagery in my songwriting.
What rituals do you have, either in the studio or before a show?
Quiet. That’s the most important pre-performing ritual. I need time to focus and center. If I go straight from noise and commotion to the stage, it can take a while for me to relax into what I’m doing. I always try to set aside the 30 minutes prior to performing to just be quiet and get centered and ready.
Which elements of nature do you spend the most time with and how do those impact your work?
When I’m on the road I try to make an effort to stop every day and just walk, preferably in nature. This job can be very chaotic at times, and intentionally stopping to walk and look around is a great exercise. If I can walk somewhere quiet then that’s even better. I’m very aware when I come across places where there is no noise. It’s crazy that when you start looking for that you realize how hard it is to find. Just complete silence. But when I find it I try to stop and appreciate it, and what a rare moment it is.
How often do you hide behind a character in a song or use “you” when it’s actually “me”?
Almost always. Every character I write has some version of me in them. It’s not always 100 percent true, and usually isn’t, but there’s always some truth about me in there somewhere. I honestly don’t know if I’d be able to write a character that is completely separate from me.
Photo credit: Brandon Aguilar