Sevenstring.org Interview - Jasun Tipton of Zero Hour

Discussion in 'Artist Reviews & Interviews' started by eaeolian, Dec 5, 2006.

  1. eaeolian

    eaeolian Pictures of guitars I don't even own anymore! Super Moderator

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    <div align="right"><img src="http://www.sevenstring.org/newsimages/zh/zh_xlogo2.gif" alt="Zero Hour" />
    <b>Interview: Jasun Tipton of Zero Hour</b>
    <font size="1"><i>By: Mike Blevins</i></font>
    </div>
    <img style="padding:20px;" align="left" src="http://www.sevenstring.org/newsimages/zh/1.jpg" alt="Jasun Tipton" />
    <span class="ivorange">Sevenstring.org</span>: First up, let's plug the current projects and releases: So what are you up to, and what can people buy from you?

    <span class="ivred">Jasun Tipton </span>: The new Zero Hour 'Specs of Pictures Burnt Beyond' came out October 10, 2006 and I'm very pleased with the final result. I did an instructional DVD for Chops from Hell called Progressive Shredoholic and it just came out a couple of months ago. I go into formats of sweeping techniques; modal, exotic, & wide interval string skipping ideas; two and three note per string wide-stretch segments; groupings of fives; progressive riffing ideas that add chromatics, exotics and arpeggios, ZERO HOUR solo sequences and much more. I put out a solo CD called Seduction that's all instrumental you can check out some clips on my MySpace.

    <span class="ivorange">Mike</span>: Any plans for a follow-up to the Chops Form Hell video?

    <span class="ivred">Jasun</span>: I would like to do another one down the road and have already put some ideas aside. My brother and I enjoyed doing instructional's for Chops from Hell.

    <span class="ivorange">Mike</span>: I know you have a little different musical background than most, having your twin brother as a band mate. How did that effect your development as a player? How did you end up playing guitar, and Troy bass?

    <span class="ivred">Jasun</span>: Well it's a great benefit to have someone let alone your best friend learning music together. It does keep you focused watching each other progress and we'd talk to each with excitement like check this out. It's awesome. Troy and I actually took a Summer work shop when we were 7 years old. Troy tried the drums and I gave guitar a shot. Since I couldn't be Randy Rhoads over night I decided to stop and I know it's hard to believe but Troy quit too. I played saxophone and baritone for the Middle school band in 6th, 7th and 8th grade. In High school I took piano classes Freshman, junior and senior year and private lessons doing a lot of reading. Troy started Bass lessons in 8th grade because a couple of our friends were starting a band and they needed a bass player. Just after High school is when I finally picked up a guitar and played 6 to 8 hours a day for the next 3 years. Even though I started late the training I had from playing baritone, sax and piano helped a ton.

    <span class="ivorange">Mike</span>: Is your entire family musical, or just you two?

    <span class="ivred">Jasun</span>: My grandma was a lounge jazz singer who also sang with Sinatra believe it or not. My grandfather was a bass player for a big band. My dad sang briefly for a band and both my sisters are amazing singers. One is trying to make it as a country singer in TN at the moment.

    <span class="ivorange">Mike</span>: Are there any unusual techniques that you and Troy have appropriated from each other's styles in the same way as, say, Reggie and Victor Wooten have?

    <span class="ivred">Jasun</span>: Troy and I have developed a few different techniques together that have helped develop our sound. One interesting thing we use to do all the time is watch movies and anything from horror, Drama we'd mute the sound and play to the images we saw on screen. It helped us look at our music as a film-score, creating dynamics with the images.

    <div align="center"><img style="padding:0px;" align="middle" src="http://www.sevenstring.org/newsimages/zh/2.jpg" alt="Zero Hour" /></div>

    <span class="ivorange">Mike</span>: Who are your biggest influences? Was there a particular teacher or band mate somewhere along the line that really effected your direction?

    <span class="ivred">Jasun</span>: The guitar players that really inspired me and helped me craft my style is Jason Becker, Paul Gilbert, Marty Friedman, Pat Metheny, Buckethead and Shawn Lane. These are the guy's I really ripped a page out of their book and still love listening to these cats. There's a ton of players I love such as Michael Hedges, John Doan, George Benson, Greg Howe, Wes and so, so many more player but like I said the guy's I really grabbed from were Jason Becker, Paul Gilbert, Marty Friedman, Pat Metheny, Buckethead and Shawn Lane. My brother is my biggest influence. Seeing the amazing things he would do on the bass would inspire me to practice like crazy. A guy who helped me with lots of techniques and is an amazing guitarist is Sean Sinykin. He had amazing technique and everything he played was so clean and separated. When I was first doing arpeggio's I was doing a ton of bar-sweeping arpeggios. He said don't play bar sweeps because it will ruin your technique. I agree with him because a lot of players don't have the patience or timing to play every note slow and evenly. I noticed when some people play bar sweeps you hear the first and last note of the arpeggio because everything else is a blur. Another guy I enjoyed playing guitar with was Sean Kruitoff. An amazing player who has a different vibe to his playing and fantastic technique. We played together when Zero Hour was a two guitar band and it was fun interacting our playing together.

    <span class="ivorange">Mike</span>: You teach guitar as well as playing and recording - do you find that being exposed to different players, at different skill levels, has helped expand your own playing and/or writing?

    <span class="ivred">Jasun</span>: Yeah it totally has and you see first hand how everyone has their own style and feel. The young generation is good man and I mean good. What's crazy is you could have 5 or 6 students who are really wanting to get into technique and building their chops. You'll share the same methods with these students but they'll all have a different approach and feel with the material you give. You see them grow into having really their own voice with the techniques you've shown them and it's just crazy how every ones approach and feel is different. Many of my students have opened my eyes and inspired me.

    <span class="ivorange">Mike</span>: What's your own practice regimen like? Your warm-up routine?

    <span class="ivred">Jasun</span>: I have few different ways warming up. I can get into a real sweep frenzy and it really does warm me up before picking two note per string exotic example to string skipping examples that are three notes per string. When you feel really nice and warm you start going for the wide interval goods. The other warm-up routine I have is just playing a bunch of Jazz chords for like ten minutes. My practice regimen is really just coming up with riffs and interacting patterns. Putting little tricks with the riffs and patterns keeps the mind moving and builds more movement to what I might hear in the studio when jamming with Troy and Mikey.

    <span class="ivorange">Mike</span>: I noticed it's- hard not to - in watching you play that your physical technique is very compact and efficient, especially your right hand. Is that something you consciously developed, or did it just evolve? (There's quite a few guys on the board who'd like to know if you have any tips in that area...)

    <img style="padding:20px;" align="right" src="http://www.sevenstring.org/newsimages/zh/3.jpg" alt="Mike Guy" /><span class="ivred">Jasun</span>: That's something that was pounded into my brain by Sean Sinykin who I mentioned earlier. For me double and triple muting exercises really helped me with getting my speed dialed and at the same time hearing the notes come out clean and separated. All your alternate picking has to be very close together and try to limit the bounce off the strings to stay precise.

    <span class="ivorange">Mike</span>: You don't seem to approach playing the seven string as a "6+1 string" instrument like a lot of players. How long have you been playing 7s, and was there anything specific you did to help integrate it into your style?

    <span class="ivred">Jasun</span>: I started playing 7 string in 2002 so that's makes it a little over 4 years. What's funny is I hated playing 7 string for the first 8 months I had it. I think it was because it wasn't exactly my voice coming out of the 7 string guitar just yet. Now I cant play anything else but a 7 string I love it. The best thing going into a 7 string is thinking of the ideas you apply on a 6 string and really voicing them out on a 7. The best advice to give with a 7 is just give it time and work the patterns into chord patterns with that low B. It's trial and error with low B and soon you'll find the love in a 7.

    <span class="ivorange">Mike</span>: How important are ear training and sight reading to you?

    <span class="ivred">Jasun</span>: Music was playing constantly all my life. My Dad would put on Elvis, James Brown and a lot of 50's material. My mom playing Earth Wind and Fire, Pat Metheny, George Benson, Hendrix. So I would sing to everything, chant melodies over the instrumental songs. I feel that's how I gained a good ear and knew what was in key. Playing Sax and piano my teacher's would only teach me how to read. It was a good balance because I would have reading material to take home and practice on my own. I would listen to records, tapes and try to figure it out the material by ear. Bands like ELP, Rainbow would have some great keyboard and guitar lines and I would try figuring out what was being played and did so by ear. So when I started taking up guitar I knew exactly the style I wanted to play and achieve.

    <span class="ivorange">Mike</span>: Do you play exclusively on 7 strings?

    <span class="ivred">Jasun</span>: With Zero Hour 7 string is all I play. I take the Jazz axe out when I'm teaching my students.

    <span class="ivorange">Mike</span>: Your solo disc is very different from Zero Hour, much to the surprise of some. Do you play anything else that's different, style-wise, from Zero Hour and your solo disc?

    <span class="ivred">Jasun</span>: When putting together "Seduction" I wanted the material to have a late night, smooth sound. So I wanted to have hints of Rock, Jazz, New Age, fusion and Progressive styles into the material. I early on discovered Michael Hedges "Ariel Boundaries", Philippe Saisse "Valerian" and John Doan "Departures". I started getting into that style writing material on the piano and guitar. I really enjoy New Age music and later down the line I'll write some more material of that style. Those players are just amazing and really have their own sound that's so unique and beautiful. I really got into Jazz and was playing a lot of that for over 2 years. I was getting books of Coltrane, Miles Davis and about 2 or 3 years ago I got this awesome book "The Pat Metheny Song Book". I have so much respect for Jazz players and I was killing myself learning material from horn players. I learned a ton in that period. Fusion is another style that I love and again dove into some of that style and will continue to study more of all these styles. All these styles have help developed my own sound and made me the player I am today. I'm in no way A Jazz, New Age or Fusion player. I'm a huge Metal fan and with all these styles my calling as a guitar player is no doubt to be a Progressive-Metal player. I'm proud to be a Progressive-Metal player and I'm happiest playing this style.

    <span class="ivorange">Mike</span>: It certainly doesn't sound like your music just comes out of jamming in the rehearsal space - what's the Zero Hour creative process like?

    <span class="ivred">Jasun</span>: You know it's crazy but Mikey, Troy and I actually just come into the studio with maybe one part or nothing and build a song from just that. I use to kill myself writing part after part at home and nothing would come together. The song Metamorphosis, all the material on "The Towers of Avarice", the song "A Fragile Mind" and all the material except "Embrace" and "I Am Here" on "Specs of Pictures Burnt beyond"
    is material that came together from Troy, Mike and I jamming. It's throwing the kitchen sink at the listener and the most organic way we put material together.

    <span class="ivorange">Mike</span>: What's it like having a vocalist that isn't local to you, from a rehearsal and creative perspective?

    <span class="ivred">Jasun</span>: It's easy for us because it's always been like this. Erik maybe came into the studio and rehearsed with the band maybe 10 times in the 8 years we were together. I know it's crazy how that sounds but Erik would only come in maybe for one rehearsal before we'd play a show or tour. Troy, Mikey and I would put together all the music and put it on a tape for Erik and speak to him on the phone in regards to fixing melody lines, timing and so on. Believe it or not Chris has rehearsed with us more than Erik ever has and everything is working out great for Zero Hour. It's the best this band has felt in a long time.

    <img style="padding:20px;" align="left" src="http://www.sevenstring.org/newsimages/zh/4.jpg" alt="Chris Salinas" />
    <span class="ivorange">Mike</span>: How did you hook up with Manne guitars? How are they to work with as a company? What did you play before you got the Manne deal?

    <span class="ivred">Jasun</span>: I'm very, very picky because if I'm getting a high end guitar I want it to be exactly what I like. I've had a couple companies that sent me guitars for an endorsement and I just ended up sending them back. My buddy who I mentioned earlier Sean Kruitoff who happened to just start representing for Manne guitars said you need to check out these guitars. I said to Sean you think he would build a Killer 7 string and he said Andrea can build anything. I checked out a Semiacustica and it played like nothing I had ever played before. The feel was out of this world and I knew that something great could come out of this. Andrea and Richard said go a head and create your own Manne Zero Hour model . They were so helpful in answering any questions I had which was a ton. What was great is they were excited to do something for Troy and I and wanted us to be happy. There necks are just the best. It's a custom Maple neck he puts together and it just flies. The body is Korina and the great thing about Korina is the sound only gets better over time. I had 7 string piezo installed in the guitar and added active pickups in the bridge and neck and man the guitar just speaks. It's called the Zero Hour lethal Weapon model and I would encourage anyone to check out Manne Guitars manne guitars . They've been amazing to my brother and I and they make a beautiful instrument.

    <span class="ivorange">Mike</span>: What's your guitar setup like? What sort of action do you prefer, and what strings and picks do you use?

    <span class="ivred">Jasun</span>: I would say I'm more on the low side of action oppose to the high side. It's low but it's not so low where it's buzzing just above the frets. My action has changed so much over the years but this is where it is at the moment. I play Kerly Music strings and I love them to death. Kerly Music - Guitar Strings - Kerly Strings I play both the kerly-kues and the sinister stings and these things last forever. I still have the same set of strings on my guitar from what I had on tour. They have so much life and their durable as hell. Picks I've been using Jazz 3's for over 10 years.

    <span class="ivorange">Mike</span>: What's your live signal chain like?

    <span class="ivred">Jasun</span>: MESA BOOGIE!!!! The best company in the world and I will never play anything else. I have 2 Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier heads and a Blue Angel head. Tim and Tien have been amazing to my brother and I'm serious as you would know my shred-brother Mike, MESA RULES!!!

    <span class="ivorange">Mike</span>: Do you use anything different or additional when recording?

    <span class="ivred">Jasun</span>: No I just do the Boogie thing and when everything is finished I have Dino (Zero Hour's engineer) add effects and whatever to it when mixing. I do multi track the rhythm tracks quite a bit to get a thicker sound.

    <span class="ivorange">Mike</span>: Do you experiment in the studio, or do you go in knowing what gear you'll be using and what tone you're looking for?

    <span class="ivred">Jasun</span>: I go in knowing what gear I'll be using and just have Dino experiment with everything sonically. Dino has great imagination and knows what's best for Zero Hour sonically.

    <img style="padding:20px;" align="right" src="http://www.sevenstring.org/newsimages/zh/5.jpg" alt="Troy Tipton" />
    <span class="ivorange">Mike</span>: You've worked with Dino Alden for all of the Zero Hour releases. What's that relationship like?

    <span class="ivred">Jasun</span>: Dino is a great friend of Troy and I, and he's just a great guy. I love everything he's done for Zero Hour and to me he's the 5th member of Zero Hour. All of us have gone through a lot over the years and have been great support to each other. Dino has a great family with his wife Paula and his boy Cameron. Dino is one smartest guy's I've ever met and Troy and I value his friendship.

    <span class="ivorange">Mike</span>: You guys have been around a while now, and have certainly had your ups and downs. Where do you see Zero Hour going in the future?

    <span class="ivred">Jasun</span>: The future of Zero Hour is stronger than it's ever been. Writing, recording and performing live with Zero Hour is what I love to do. We've been through the lowest of times and when things looked pretty dim we stuck it out. Music is something all the members in Zero Hour hold dear in their heart. We're all looking forward to the future with Zero Hour.

    <span class="ivorange">Mike</span>: What about your own growth as a player? Any plans for another solo disc?

    <span class="ivred">Jasun</span>: At this moment Zero Hour is very focused on taking our opportunities playing live and writing material for our 2008 release. All of us grow whenever we're writing material together. I could see doing another instrumental CD down the line but as long Zero Hour wants to keep creating that will be my focus.

    <span class="ivorange">Mike</span>: What would you say to people that have never heard Zero Hour before, but were curious about your music?

    <span class="ivred">Jasun</span>: Zero Hour has a lot going on in it's music that I think listener can appreciate the music we create. The material we write is straight from the heart and we take great pride in pushing best performances out of each other when doing a disc. The music is heavy, dark and intricate. Yet it has many lush beautiful clean tone passages to keep the listener interested to hearing what's coming next. Our music is very dynamic as if it sets a mood for a story or music sound track.

    <span class="ivorange">Mike</span>: Any personal thoughts on playing, the business, etc?

    <span class="ivred">Jasun</span>: Always be true to what you want to express with your music. If you write and perform material you believe in and expresses you, people will believe and listen to what your music has to say. You can make the mistake in guessing what people like to hear oppose to what you want to hear. Believe in yourself and your expression will pour out into the music. As for the business, go with your gut feeling and never look back.

    <div align="center">
    <a href="http://www.zerohourweb.com/" target="_BLANK"><span class="ivred">Zero Hour - Official Website</span></a>
    </div>
     
    technomancer likes this.
  2. Chris

    Chris metalguitarist.org Forum MVP

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    Great band, amazing player. :yesway:
     
  3. eaeolian

    eaeolian Pictures of guitars I don't even own anymore! Super Moderator

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    Great layout, Chris. This interview was a blast to do - Jasun's a great guy, on top of being a great player...
     
    noodles and distressed_romeo like this.
  4. technomancer

    technomancer Gearus Pimptasticus Super Moderator

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    2008? Damn, now I REALLY wish I could have caught the VA show :lol:

    For anybody on here that hasn't checked Zero Hour out, I highly recommend them, and Jasun's solo stuff is really cool too :yesway:
     
  5. distressed_romeo

    distressed_romeo F'king ............ Forum MVP

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    E-rep for Mike! Great interview dude! Good to see a couple of my questions made the cut!:)
     
  6. jacksonplayer

    jacksonplayer The Fusion Guy! Contributor

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    Great interview! I met Jasun at the Jaxx show, and it's almost disconcerting how nice a guy he is--you expect someone that talented to be a bit of a diva, and he's nothing like that at all.

    The other disconcerting thing about him is that he plays the most complicated shit imaginable and doesn't make it look like he's working hard to do it. The interview makes it clear, though, that hours and hours of disciplined practice went into making it look "easy."
     
  7. noodles

    noodles Contributor

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    This one came out really good. :yesway:

    Jasun and Troy were a blast to hang out with at Jaxx. The club kicked us out at the end of the night, because we wouldn't stop talking. :lol:
     
  8. JETZH

    JETZH SS.org Regular

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    Right on guy's and STOKED to be on the forum.

    Want to thank Mike for the awesome interview and it's great to have an awesome player in Mike to ask me to do an interview. Chris you did a great job on the layout and I just dig it. Really appreciate you guy's taking the time and help spread the word about Zero Hour and myself.

    Want to thank noodles, jacksonplayer, distressed romeo, technomancer and Chris for the kind words and appreciate all your support.

    What's awesome is I notice Sevenstring.org has interview a ton of amazing players on here who I'm a fan of. Just very cool to even get in the mix at all and I look forward to checking out the forum on regular basis.

    I SEND YOU KATS THE METAL SIGN \m/\m/!!!

    Jasun
     
  9. eaeolian

    eaeolian Pictures of guitars I don't even own anymore! Super Moderator

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    Welcome to the forum, my friend. :wavey:
     
  10. Jerich

    Jerich Contributor

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    Good work ..Mike and Guys...Jasun rules: great guy for sure...welcome aboard the ZH train.......
     
  11. technomancer

    technomancer Gearus Pimptasticus Super Moderator

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    Welcome aboard Jasun, great to have you here :wavey:
     
  12. huber

    huber Makes my soul burn! Contributor

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    Cool read. I've never heard Zero Hour. I suppose I'll change that tonight...
     
  13. XEN

    XEN BEYOND 6UITAR & B4SS Contributor

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    Zero Hour RULES! Their latest CD is tight.
    Side note - I did the intro animation for their website. That was fun to do.
     
  14. kmanick

    kmanick Contributor

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    I had never heard of these either. I checked out some of the clips on the website and I like!
    is the new CD out yet?
     
  15. Jazzy

    Jazzy Buckethead

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    i might take lessons from jasun soon :hbang: pleasanton, california ftw
     
  16. JETZH

    JETZH SS.org Regular

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    Right on guy's and appreciate you taking the time to check out what Zero Hour's all about.

    I had a great time doing this interview and i've been enjoying reading the otherinterviews on sevenstring.org

    METAL!!

    Jasun/ZH
     

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