Since picking up a guitar at the age of nine, south Wales solo artist Jason Staddon has never looked back. With his newest single Without The Fire out now, Staddon’s talent is there for all to hear.
That seminal moment when his Christmas wish for a guitar was granted became a lifetime passion for Jason. “They bought me a classical guitar and I had lessons from the age of nine to 17. My guitar teacher was a real old-school classical guy, so I went through all my classical grades, and I taught myself electric on the side.”
Since then, he has performed to packed audiences in prestigious venues like Wolverhampton Civic Hall, a gig Jason says he’ll never forget. “It was amazing to see such a large hall filled to the rafters with everyone vibing off the music.” He’s also composed music for a short film – being in the cinema and hearing his soundtrack there and then is something the Barry-based musician calls “overwhelming” – and his compositions have seen him work with the likes of Scottish Opera, Everyman Theatre and Pagan Films, landing him awards including the Craig Armstrong Award and the Thomas Wilson prize. A mighty impressive CV indeed.
Evoking an almost Moody Blues vibe while Jason’s laidback, husky tones momentarily relieve you of your troubles, Without The Fire is a song that does well to encompass all that talent without overcrowding the track – something which comes from Staddon’s passion for some of the finest to ever have done it. “As a guitar player I’ve loved Hendrix for as long as I can remember. I’m also a massive jazz fan so I’m always listening to the greats like Miles Davis, Charlie Parker and John Coltrane – but also modern players like the guitarist Julian Lage who blends contemporary and jazz styles so well. His playing is incredible.”
But where does Jason come from, from a lyrical standpoint? “I often try to create characters to base my songs on. Without The Fire depicts the fine balance of dark, negative thoughts and feelings in this character’s mind which can so easily tip one way and lead to total collapse. Throughout the song it feels like the character almost loses control but manages to rein it back in. Until the last verse where it all falls apart! So, I guess it’s a song about dealing with inner demons and unwanted thoughts which can be so destructive to people’s lives.”
Of course, you’ll also be wanting to hear this track live so what say you Mr Staddon? “I’m just putting together a group of musicians right now. I nearly have everyone in place, I just need a keys player – anyone interested get in touch! – and then we can start booking in some gigs.”
words CHRIS ANDREWS
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