Nexus Meets… Jason Keisling
Hailing from Washington, DC (that’s in the USA to be specific), musician Jason Keisling shares his unique sound with the masses. We speak with the talented artist about his debut album In Finite, working with other musicians and much more!
What can you tell us about your debut album In Finite?
It’s a concept album (to the extent that an instrumental album can be) about my personal growth, self-discovery, and journey into adulthood. The first half deals with how my worldview changed regarding religion, death, knowledge and life and how these changes shaped me. While the first half of the album is about having my outlook on the world changed, the second half is about reconstruction and learning to see the world in new ways and navigating through life without old assumptions and learning to appreciate the life we have.
Did you face any challenges when recording or writing the album?
When I began writing the album, it had been over a decade since I had made music and I was dealing with severe writer’s block. I was struggling to come up with anything at all. I couldn’t even write a bad song – I was coming up with literally nothing. The biggest challenge was just finding my process again and figuring out my sound. That took years.
Another challenge was creating the time to write. Shortly after getting back into writing music, I became a father and had to find a routine that didn’t take time away from family. By that time, I found my direction in writing music but now had to figure out how to be productive with limited time.
You perform as part of a collaborative project called Post-Everything Collective. Do you feel working with other artists beneficial?
Absolutely! I could write so much on how influential and beneficial the Post-Everything Collective has been to me and my music. I’ve been so used to being a solo artist, writing all the parts, and making all the decisions that it’s been a lot of fun having other voices in the project and seeing what other people do with a section. Then there’s the support and friendship of the group and it’s just great to be able to share production techniques or bounce songs off each other for feedback. I joined the group about a year ago and I feel like I’ve learned so much in this past year.
Are there any challenges when working with other musicians?
Back before I was doing solo stuff the biggest challenge was finding all the pieces needed to make songs. Bands I was in would always be seeking a drummer or a singer or something else and often we’d have different visions for what the band should be. There’s been surprisingly few, if any issues when collaborating with Post-Everything musicians though. I think we’ve been very fortunate in how smoothly all our collaborations have developed, especially considering we all live in different parts of the world. I suppose challenges such as who plays which parts and the creative direction of the song exist, but we’ve so far been able to handle them with ease.
Who or what inspires you to make music?
It’s become my medium for expressing myself at a deeper level. In a lot of ways, life inspires it in the same way someone else might be inspired by life events to write in a diary or chat with a friend about their week. I also get inspiration from other musicians and just the joy of creating music. It’s something I truly have fun doing.
Do you have a favourite track on In Finite?
It varies, but lately ‘Dark Matter’ has been my favourite track. It, in my opinion, represents the whole album well and is one of the more unique tracks on the album. And fun fact, I began writing that one before I figured out what my sound was, so it originally had vocals (that synth lead was a vocal melody)!
What about a least favourite track?
I think the correct answer to this is “whichever one I’ve spent too much time on and heard too much lately”. I spent years writing and re-writing ‘And the Rest is Rust and Stardust’ and the mixing process also took a while on that one, so I’m not sure it’s my least favourite track, but it’s one I don’t really care to hear for a while. I’ve felt that way with other tracks too and I later came back around to enjoying after a long break from listening so I assume ‘Stardust’ will as well. It has some of my favourite guitar riffs from the entire album and is probably one of the more ambitious tracks…I’ve just worked on it for too long.
What are your future plans as a musician?
I have a new EP in the works and already have drafts of a few of the songs. I finished all the tracks for In Finite in the fall, so while it was being mixed and mastered or waiting for release day, I was working on new material. By the time it was released in late February, I already had months of working on drafts of new songs. So, I’m optimistic that there will be some new material released this year. I’ve also been involved with more collaborative songs with The Post-Everything Collective and some projects with other musicians, so there will be some new collabs out this year as well!