16 - Jason Corley
13/06/08 || Kampfar
Hello and very much welcome – if you haven’t smiled for a couple of years, that is – to this interview with 16. JC, or Jason Corley if you like, anyway the fucking drummer of this here excellent band, is the unfortunate bastard who’s about to answer my retarded questions. Wish him luck.
Global Domination: Hello, JC, do you hate people who are PC? I do, make me wanna puke. Fucking welcome, and thanks for doing this.
Jason Corley: I never really gave it too much thought. PC to me is a Personal Computer. Just listen to what our lyrics are and songs titles are. We really have no interest in trying to convince anyone about shit we know nothing about. Our music is about rocking out and having a good time and venting whatever emotions pop up that day. We have been through so much shit in our lives, good and bad and that is what we know and what we deal with daily. Thanks for having me.
For a starter, I would like to know how you guys ended up with 16 as yer moniker, any specific reason, or could you just as well have landed on 24?
Well, basically we thought about calling it 15. A few of us in the band when we started 16 were dating 15 year old girls. There was an old skateboarding thing called “Team Fifteen”, and we liked that. A group of skaters on a particular team I won’t mention here would always try and hook up with 15 year old girls when doing demos and touring around the country. We ended up with 15 and made a few demo tapes that actually had 15 on it. We found out there was some shitty band called 15 and we just did the simple thing and raised it one. It was the logical thing to do. Especially since one of the girls had a birthday… It looks cool as well. It is just a name, nothing with a deep meaning. Just what we call the band. Has worked well for us.
How is your latest progressing, and did it take long for 16 to operate as a unit again after this many years apart? Hell, it’s been 12 years since you did something under this moniker, at least 5 since any other did. What made you reform? I would like to add that “Throw in the towel” is ace, so I’m really looking forward to your coming piece of negativity.
It is coming along better than we expected. We know what we are capable of and we are always progressing and sticking to what we do. We make what we want to and it has always been this way. At least when I am doing drums. There are 6 songs recorded so far and 6 more to go. I think our fans will be into what we are doing. It’s classic 16 all the way.
We got right back on the horse. First practice was really interesting. As you mentioned we have not played as a unit for many years with this line-up. Bobby and I had another project in 2000-2003 called “Maxmillion” and the same chemistry that exists in 16 between Bobby and I will always be there. We learned to play together and I seem to know where he is going before he changes. Writing and jamming with Bobby is like a religious experience for me. I get to release any emotions or feelings simply by playing drums. It is what I do and what I love. We all fell right back into the groove in a matter of hours. We played a lot of songs off “Drop Out” and worked on a new 1 or 2 and they just flowed.
I have Billy Anderson remixing everything I played on. I had every intention of re-releasing everything I played on as a box set or 3 or 4 CD set. Once we got back together that seemed pointless. All the older CD’s are being re-released and “Drop Out” will be remixed and re-mastered. Those versions will be the BA mixes. When the remixes were done I just contacted Bobby and said we should get back together and do a few shows commemorating our 16 year anniversary as a band and play “Drop Out”. He talked to Cris, and talked to Tony and it just happened. A few emails and then a couple calls and we set up a practice. It was really that simple. It was just time to get back together. We all really needed this again. We are not the most stable individuals when we are not playing music. We need the release. Seriously, I was ready to go off the fucking deep end if I didn’t start playing again. Glad you like that one. There will be more.
I have this feeling Cris writes all the lyrics, am I right? Please tell him he never sounded better/more fucked.
Yeah. Cris writes it all. At least all the new stuff. I know back in the day Bobby threw in some stuff but now it’s been all Cris. Thanks, I’ll tell him. He has really stepped up to the plate. Quit smoking and he seems to have more of a pissed solid way of getting things across these days. Just wait til’ you hear all the new stuff. He is on point.
I noticed Relapse is set to release your new, yet to be titled (?), album. So now is the chance to tell the world, or about 0,0000000001% of its population, how you ended up on that quite ace label. I do honestly hate most labels releasing shit things, but I can respect them.
Yeah, Relapse contacted us about releasing “Drop Out” and when they heard the new stuff they were on it so we did the logical thing and climbed on board. It is a good place for us and they know how to release stuff and treat a band like us. I am still a big supporter of bands releasing their own stuff rather than smaller unknown labels doing it. If Relapse comes knocking then go for it. But honestly there is no reason a band can’t release 1,000 or 2,000 of their own cd’s. It gives a band complete control and insight into how this whole deal works. It is easier than you think, very rewarding, and will drive you insane.
Any chance Relapse will do a re-release of your older material?
Well, yes. Everything is being re-released. Relapse is releasing everything except “Zoloft Smile” which is coming out on “At A Loss” with 3 extra songs. Everything will be available soon. We are very happy for that. I get so many emails from people hunting for our shit and having no luck. Sucks when you have to get a cd off eBay and pay $30 or more for it. Every song is coming out except the first 4 song demo no one has heard. All the singles, Japanese bonus tracks from cd’s, all of it, will be on cd.
Is there activity on the live-front? Any tours or festivals planned? What would be 16’s perfect touring mate(s)? Please do tell if you or any in the band ever fought some from the audience.
We have played a handful of smaller shows in Los Angeles and one in San Diego. Little advertising, just a way to get our feet wet again. The shows were great. We had a blast. Right now we are concentrating only on writing the new record. That is it. Of course if the right show comes up we will do it but as of yet we are just writing new stuff.
As for a perfect tour for us it varies. I know we will tour soon, both the US and Internationally. We want to play as much as we can. Once the record is out we will know more. I am a huge fan of shows like there were back in the early 90’s. You could see 4 bands that sound nothing like each other but they all kicked ass and brought a wide variety of music to a live audience and you left with a feeling that you really experienced something special. I would love that. 16 has played with so many genres of bands… I would like to see us play with bands that have energy and rock the fuck out. I’d like to play with Unsane, Lamb of God, Mastodon, High On Fire, Rwake, Soilent Green, Hatebreed, shit like that. Metal bands, hardcore bands, whatever. Certain fans of other bands may grasp what we are doing. I just want to play to whoever we can. Bands and shows where people might understand what we do. We won’t be playing with Master-P or 50 Cent anytime soon. We always deliver and give 100% when we play no matter what the fuck is going on. That will never change.
I myself have never fought anyone from our audience. I have felt like it but I really don’t want to put my hands on someone I don’t like. People don’t come to see us that want to start shit with us. Not really a good idea. We have some people who are down for our shit and things always get taken care of without us getting involved. As for the other guys, I think Cris may have “accidentally” hit some people with the mic or his head while playing. When people get close it happens.
What is your favorite 16 album to date? I shift between “Blaze of incompetence” and “Zoloft smile”, none of which features you, stepping down after “Drop out” as you did. A fine album, might I add, sure better than “Curves that kick”, much so. Your thoughts?
I myself like “Drop Out”. I love “Blaze” and “Zoloft” even though I’m not playing on them. “Drop Out” was just a milestone for 16. I know some people who think “Curves” is the best. That is the best thing about making music, someone always gets it and has a reaction. I can just hear the progression in every song. Bobby writes great riffs. There are solid songs on “Curves”. I think “Chum”, “Amish”, “Loafer” all kick ass. Hell, Randy from Lamb of God the first time I met them in 2001, started humming the riff to “Nova” off that record and he remembers buying the 10” back in the day. Out of all the songs he remembers “Nova”. That happens all the time with other musicians. We really did influence a lot of people even if they don’t mention it. I hear 16 in a lot of bands.
What made you want to become a drummer in the first place? And, did you know drummers very often are the ones committing suicide in angry bands such as yours? If you feel for it, please do tell us about your kit and approach to drumming. What do you think about triggers, v-drums and whatnot?
Ha, the first time anyone ever asked this in an interview. My Dad played drums and taught me at a very young age how to play. It was how he supported the family back in the 70’s and 80’s. I just knew how to play and could always do it. All I did for many years was ride a skateboard and I blew out my knee when I was 17 and that killed it for me. I just kinda sifted through life working and going to shows never really thinking of playing. One day Bobby and I just said we should start playing. The first time Bobby and I jammed together it was in my Mom’s house on a drumset that was in the garage for 25 years. It had 1 rack tom and no floor tom. Just bass drum, snare, rack and hi-hat. No cymbals. Classic. We played the same riff for hours and we just learned how to jam. I will never forget that day. It was the day drums became fun. I like to keep it simple. I am not about playing 30 rack toms and 500 cymbals. My favorite drummers kept it simple. It seems like the standard answer to say “John Bonham”, “Bill Ward” are influences but it is true. I learned a lot from Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin records.
I listen to a lot of underground rap music and older rap records. I like to timing and precision. I bring that to 16. I am no show off doing crazy ass fills and stuffing shit into every crack or hole. Simplicity is the art of true beauty. I play on “Bonham” kit. I use 1 14” rack tom, a 26” bass drum, a 16” and 18” floor tom and switch snares a lot looking for a distinct sound. You can do a lot with heads and tuning a snare. I can make a piece of shit snare sound like a cannon. I use 2 crash cymbals, a ride and hi-hat. Nice and simple. I have not and will never use double bass. I will never use 2 rack toms. One is enough for what I want to express. 16 has a sound and that is about all of us coming together. I hit hard and I rock the fuck out. I have to hit hard, we are a loud band. Not obnoxiously loud with something to prove but we are just loud. I have to cut through. I played an electronic set at the NAMM show a long time ago… like a test kit at the Roland booth when they first came out. I hit the thing like I hit and I hit the bass drum so hard the fucker broke and shorted out. That was enough. I laugh about that all the time. I am not a fan of triggers and 808’s and shit. They work for certain bands and drummers, not me. I like a natural drum sound. 16 with electronic drums, hahahaha, what a joke. I break heads, sticks, bass pedals, and cymbals all the time. It is just something I accept.
As for drummers killing themselves, yeah I know all about that. I’m not going anywhere yet. If it was going to happen it would have happened a while ago. I mean, I don’t know if this is the right place to make my dirty laundry public but let’s just say I’ve been there and escaped it, a few times really closely.
Name the 5 most important albums of your life.
Huh. Only 5? Fuck… Okay, here goes…
1. Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath
2. Beastie Boys – License To Ill
3. Sleep – Holy Mountain
4. Helmet – Strap It On
5. Eyehategod – Take As Needed For Pain
I really think I should have been allowed 10… Grief, Slayer, Cocteau Twins, Nasum, Souls Of Mischief, and so much more.
Any specific albums you are looking forward to this year? Has 2008 brought you some surprises, or are you tired looking for diamonds in shit?
Not really. I just wait and see what comes across my plate. I listen to everything I can get. I get emails and mail every week with new shit from all kinds of bands. I listen to everything. Some things I really hope and wait for. When they come out I am either disappointed or blown away. 2008 brought me some surprises. Mostly in older shit and new bands. The new Soilent Green record is good. Unsane’s “Visqueen” the best thing they have done. It rules. I like the new Fistula stuff a lot. The live Nasum CD “Doombringer” just kills it. Underground rap shit like Andre Legacy and Dirt Nasty get me going. Iron Lung live in Seattle was impressive. I found smaller bands like “Cough” and “Golden Gorilla” this year. I mean, I am all over the place and remembering everything now is just a bitch. The Lamb of God record and DVD rule. The last Blessing The Hogs record was amazing. I am always looking for diamonds in shit. Always been that way. At least now I don’t have to spend money on a 7” to get introduced to a band, I can just find something on the internet and then get the CD.
Do you remember the first time you gave death a long, good think? I do, was about 10 years old. How often do you give getting old and useless a thought? You know, like pissing and shitting yourself kind of old. Or how about getting cancer in your balls? Life is awesome.
Damn, getting kinda personal here… I can’t remember the first time but I have given it a lot of thought at many points in my life. The first time I was ever scared of dying was when the “Nightstalker” was killing people in Orange County. I was about 14. My Grandpa gave me a gun and said shoot anything that tries to get in the house. The USA always threw the Red Scare and Global Thermonuclear War around in the 80’s. That shit sucked. They like us afraid. Fuck em’. I was surprised I lived past 25. Between mental illness and drug overdoses I have been close several times. I’ve been to the Psych Ward. I have been in Rehabs. Just my story. I made it through all that shit. That just does not come up these days. I have had some struggles over my 37 years on this planet. I mean whatever. I live each day the best I can. Having a reason to live is a big part of it. Taking your meds is a huge part of it. Ball Cancer would suck. There are all kinds of fucked up ways to go. I’ll never let myself get that far. I will medicate and find a way out before it gets that bad.
Are any on the band on anti-depressants, as prescribed by an ever caring doctor, or do you all believe in self-medication? What is the best high/low you ever had?
I know 3 of us are on anti-depressants. I take shit for bi-polar disorder. We all take something. I am no one to tell anyone what to do regarding what they need to make it through a day. I have done every drug on the planet and drank myself outta house and home numerous times. Those were all rough times. I didn’t die. I made it through with more knowledge and information about myself than I ever wanted to know. I’m still here. I don’t do “street drugs” anymore, hahahaha. “Street drugs”. I take my meds. I have had 2 knee surgeries and that shit kills me. I have shattered ankles, dislocated shoulders and all kinds of shit. Pain is part of my life and coping with it is a chore.
Shit, the best high… Making music is probably one of the best. I just got back from 3 weeks in Greece and I had some amazing times there. I have had millions of extreme highs and lows in my life. Again, really personal shit but fuck it. I am Bi-Polar. I have rapid cycling bi-polar mania. When unmedicated I experience insane highs and lows quickly. When trying to battle that with drugs and alcohol shit gets nasty. A couple of the overdoses were pretty bad. Living in a homeless shelter with 12 cents in my pocket is a low. Having a SWAT team pull you out of a bar is pretty low… there have been many. Once I got my shit diagnosed and followed directions it all started flowing. There has been some serious wreckage in my past but that was then. My life kicks ass today. I still hate fuckers and deal with lames and bullshit every day. It just doesn’t affect me like it did. Fuck em’ all, twice.
If familiar with suicidal black metal, do you agree every such band is only worth its salt if the members, though they are often fleshed out by a loner only, commit what their music promise after one release only? If so, I guess you haven’t heard Shining. The genre is shit, though, so it applies to the lot.
Not my scene.
Apart from music, and answering my meaningless questions, what do you do? Any hobbies, like playing GTA IV, or actually murdering people? Pretty much the same thing, according to some draining-the-will-to-live sized idiots.
I play drums. I spend time with my girlfriend, actually my fiancée. I sleep. I go to shows. Hang with friends. I travel. Right now I don’t work. I love video games, mostly skateboarding shit. I watch a lot of movies and DVD’s. Shit like The Wire, OZ, Arrested Development, Deadwood, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and some sickening reality shows where I want to kill everyone. I handle 16 shit. Nah, I don’t murder people, not that I know of…
Has the thought of human life ever made you nauseous, fucking sick to the guts?
All the time. Some people disgust me. What people do and how they carry themselves makes me sick. Fuckers with no respect and fucked intentions piss me off. They really don’t get a second thought as they are not worth the space in my head. Again, fuck em’. The news can send me into a fury. Someone’s picture or the mention of their name turns my stomach. Pieces of shit, drop dead now.
What is the worst shithole you have ever been to? If you feel for being positive, do mention the best also.
Court is a shithole. The DMV is a shithole. I would rather be at the worst bar seeing the worst band rather than go to court. I just got back from Greece and that was killer. Japan was awesome, Maui always rules. Having a home or your own place is always the best. Las Vegas sucks, the whole place is a shithole.
On the top of your head, what is the most awesome weapon you can think of? When did you realize pretty much everything can be used as a weapon?
I think any HK submachine-gun rules. The 50 cal rifle is pissed. The Garrote is nice. I like knives a lot. Pencils are great weapons. I see a weapon in everything, since I was a kid. I was walking back from getting coffee this morning and there were 3 guys behind me in a parking lot. I am always aware of my environment and staying very alert. I left the knife at home today so I was looking at small tree branches on the ground as I was walking seeing which ones I could use to slay these 3 guys. Sucks but that is just me.
I’ve noticed that the almighty dollar is worth shit at the moment, you guys going down? Do you agree Canada sounds like a better place to be than where you guys are located?
Tell me about it. In Greece I had to convert my US dollars to Euros. What a joke American money is. $1,000 turns into less than $500 Euros. I became very aware of it there. I can’t go to Canada. I have a DUI and they won’t let you into the country with a DUI on your record. I was born and raised in California and I have just about had enough. The legal system here is fucked. Once they got you they got you. Whatever, I have to live somewhere and this beats other places I’ve been. The band is here so I’m not going anywhere.
I have watched this “Survivorman” show lately, and I think it is ace. Are you familiar with the Canuck in question? McGayver can go fuck himself, now that’s for sure. Do you think yourself able to live in the wilderness if given the proper tools and education?
I have watched that a few times. Yeah, MacGyver is a pussy compared to that guy. MacGyver would make a rocket launcher from a toilet paper tube and an old Atari video game system… yeah right. I could pull off surviving in the wilderness. I saw Red Dawn when I was little so I have skills. I could do it, sure. Would I want to, fuck no. I hate camping. I hate being cold. I prefer a warm bed and a TV with every cable channel.
Have you ever consider leaving society for this wilderness I’m talking about? Anyway, I wish you the best of luck in your continued voyage towards death, the final words are yours.
Yeah, I thought a few times that cowboys did it, why can’t I? I think about dropping out all the time. Thanks, same to you. The only guarantee we have is death. As for final words, here goes… What goes around comes around. People don’t forget and few forgive. We have a small little world, word and news travel fast. One day you may run across the wrong person to fuck with. Your spoken words are master over you and you are the master of your unspoken words. We take care of our own and we have a tight family. Next time you feel like talking shit maybe you should keep your mouth shut. Peace, love and all that good stuff. We’re all Fucked For Life. It gets easier when you accept it and move forward. Turn Up, Tune Down, Give Up.
I, as in Arve, am downright honored by the answers provided. Take fucking notice, Flo.