Jason Falkner: Free At Last!
by Pat Lewis
(First appeared in BAM magazine, Nov. 15, 1996)
It took singer/songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Jason Falkner nine
years and three miserable experiences as a member of the Three
o'Clock, Jellyfish, and the Grays before he finally realized that being in a
band - and particularly one not centered around his material and
vocals - just wasn't where he wanted to be.
"It was like being at a shotgun wedding to three people of the same sex,
and that's just not my idea of the way life's supposed to be," quips
Jason Falkner, who, despite the different spelling, claims to be a distant
relative of the famous novelist William Faulkner. ("I've always been told
that he's a cousin of my great-grandfather's," states Falkner.)
After the break-up of his last band, the Grays, in 1994, Falkner finally
decided to pursue a solo career. And interestingly, even though he'd
been signed - and dropped - by three different major labels, he still
found it relatively easy to find a label, namely Elektra, that would give
him another shot.
Without a doubt, Falkner's record deal clearly demonstrates his
persuasive abilities. Not only did Elektra give him complete creative
control, but they even included a provision that allows him to release
7-inch singles on the Seattle-based indie Sub Pop. "What it means is
that I don't have to put all of my energy and stock into the one record
and then work it for so long and not have any other output," explains
In the winter of '95, Falkner entered the Chick Corea-owned Mad
Hatter Studios in LA to record his debut album, Jason Falkner Presents
Author Unknown. But he didn't hire a band or even a producer.
Instead, he did what he'd always dreamt of doing - recording a heavily
pop-oriented album entirely by himself. Other than a guest appearance
by guitarist Alain Johannes and a string section arranged by Charley
Barnett, Falkner is solely responsible for everything heard on the new
Because he played all of the instruments himself, it was a painstakingly
slow process in the studio, tracking one instrument at a time. And it
took him well over two months to complete. While his new album may
have a "lo-fi" quality, it nevertheless will keep the fans of his
Beatlesque-sounding material content. "I've just always really loved the
process of no intervention - nobody throwing in anything - and just
completely trying to reproduce and put on two-inch tape what I have
inside my head," concludes Falkner. "And that's the most satisfying
thing that I could do in the world, really."
© 1996 Pat Lewis