Exclusive interview with Jason French (M.O.D.)
March 2018 | Interview by Sjouke Bakker for www.milanomosh.com & www.sod-mod.com    

M.O.D. is complete again! Recently guitarist Jason French (War Ensemble, Protest) joined Method Of Destruction. Who is Jason French? How did he get involved with M.O.D.? What are the plans, now M.O.D.'s line-up is ready to rock again? Are they gonna tour with this line-up? Was M.O.D.'s 2017 album 'Busted, Broke & American' the final release? All these questions - and more - will be answered by the new axeman himself.

Hello Jason. Welcome to M.O.D.! Please introduce yourself...
JASON: Thanks I知 very glad to be here! I知 43 and live in Dallas, TX with my wife Kathryn. I知 in two other bands and they are Protest and War Ensemble. Protest is an original band I formed 15 years ago and is best described as an aggressive thrash/hardcore/death metal band. We have a new album we recently released that I知 very proud of entitled 'Abuse of Power'. War Ensemble is a Slayer tribute band I formed 10 years ago and I play the Kerry King role in that band. It痴 a ton of fun and we only play material from 全how No Mercy to 全easons in the Abyss. We believe those albums represent the true classic era of Slayer. We play the 然eign in Blood album in its entirety on occasion and it痴 always a blast to see audience reaction when we do it.

So, you池e the new guitarist of M.O.D.! How did that happen?
JASON: Michael Arellano is the drummer in M.O.D., Protest and War Ensemble. He痴 a busy guy! He痴 the best drummer I致e ever worked with and we池e great friends. In fact, he痴 the only drummer I will work with anymore. He recommended me to Billy for guitar player slot for M.O.D. Billy brought me in to audition and it was a done deal. It felt like a natural fit and that痴 exactly what you want when you池e collaborating with other musicians. All of us have a chemistry that痴 pretty awesome and it translates to the performances as well.

Who痴 in M.O.D. right now, besides yourself?
JASON:
Obviously the main man Billy, Michael on drums whom we致e discussed and Tim 典ank Casterline on bass. He痴 a monster bass player who痴 very solid, detail oriented and professional. I知 lucky and grateful to be playing with solid musicians who know what they池e doing and do whatever it takes to get things accomplished. Being in a band takes dedication, teamwork, communication and sacrifice to even function in the music business. It's not for everyone and tests you in every way possible, so being with likeminded professionals in M.O.D. is very exciting for me. Billy is a driven guy that knows what he wants and he demands the best. I fully respect that and can relate to my own expectations when dealing with musicians. That痴 the best environment for me to feel like results are happening and progress is being made.

Did you already rehearse with the other guys? If so, which songs have you learned already?
JASON:
Yes, we have a couple of rehearsals under our belt. We致e been working on a set that we値l be doing when we start playing live. There are lots of good songs for everybody to enjoy old to new including some S.O.D. classics. Some of my favorites include 羨ren稚 You Hungry?, 賎et A Real Job, 践ate Tank and 銭ill Yourself. I don稚 want to give away all the goodies just yet but people will be happy with the song selections at the shows.

How did you become a guitar player? What is the reason that you wanted to learn to play guitar?
JASON:
I致e been playing guitar for 33 years. I知 the youngest of four and all of my other siblings are musicians but neither of my parents ever picked up an instrument. There was always some kind of music being played around the house. From Elvis to country from my folks to classic rock and metal from Rush, Kiss, Van Halen and Sabbath coming from my brothers bedrooms. It was constant. My second oldest brother is a guitar player and when I was 10 years old I started getting the bug to play because he did. I begged him to teach me some stuff. However, he said he couldn稚 teach me anything because he痴 都elf taught. This was crushing to me at the time because I wanted my big brother to show me stuff because he痴 my big brother. I took it hard for a while then I used it as a catalyst to drive myself to do things my own way. I learned at a young age you can稚 rely on others for your own success. So, I dug in and started trying to learn. It was grueling for a couple of years. I was getting nowhere and getting very frustrated. I used to hang out this guitar shop when I was in the 8th grade in the town we lived in at the time. I used to go in there and dream about playing but really couldn稚 play at all because I had no real direction. One day there was this guy from L.A. playing guitar and he was playing stuff I recognized and tearing it up. I was totally awestruck by what I was seeing and hearing. I was a little shy but he saw I was watching him like a hawk and he asked if I wanted him to show me a couple of riffs and I of course said yes. He showed me the intro riff of Ratt痴 塑ou池e in Love and I couldn稚 believe how easy it was. It was so cool to play a riff I was already familiar with and I was making the sound and playing it MYSELF. All it took was somebody literally taking 5 minutes and just showing me and giving me that little push. I immediately got on my bike and sped home as fast as I could before I forgot the riff. I ran into my room and grabbed my guitar and started playing it over and over again and was in shock I could still do it. I remember my mom and brother coming into my room in disbelief that I was actually playing something for real instead of making a bunch of cacophonous noise. I told my brother at the moment I was going to kick his ass on guitar someday. Needless to say, the rest is history.

What痴 your personal favorite band? And what kind of music do you mainly listen to yourself?
JASON:
That痴 a real tough one. I can name my two favorite bands because they池e equally important to me and how I developed as a player. Slayer and Metallica are hands down my favorites. In fact, I like to think of two bands as one big band because I was so enveloped in everything they were doing in the 80s that my style is a combination of both bands. They were both hugely influential to me in those formative years and the countless hours I spent listening to both of them and learning their songs was pretty much on a high level of obsessive insanity. The Big 4 in general was where it was for me when I was younger and learning to play guitar.
However, I enjoy listening to a vast array of genres even though I知 a metalhead at heart and always will be. Lately, I致e been listening to Phantogram and The Cult and some industrial. My wife likes a lot of stoner rock and dirty bluesy bands and I致e been getting into that more. I just like good songs regardless of the genre. If something catches my ear, I find myself humming it in my head and when that happens I know I致e discovered something cool.

What is the lastest album that you purchased and when was that?
JASON:
I believe the last record I purchased was Fear Factory痴 賎enexus which is an amazing record. I thought they did a great job with coming up with something fresh but getting back to a feeling of the 船emanufacture era. I love that band. Do people buy albums anymore? Haha! We池e in an interesting time with music and technology that the lines are blurring everywhere it seems. I知 guilty of streaming almost everything I listen to these days because of the convenience factor. I致e converted all of the CDs I致e ever owned and have them on a hard drive that I put in my truck. It's definitely a new era for enjoying music for sure.

Okay, back to M.O.D Were you familiar with the albums that M.O.D. released between 1987 and 2017? If so, what was the first M.O.D. album that you heard and which one is your favorite?
JASON:
Yes, I致e always been familiar with M.O.D. The first time I ever heard of M.O.D. was when I saw the video for True Colors on Headbanger痴 Ball on MTV in the 80s. I remember thinking it was funny as hell and I thought the song was cool and has always been my favorite M.O.D. song. In fact, I知 hoping we値l add that to the live set.

What do you think of the 2017 M.O.D. album 腺usted, Broke & American? Do you expect that M.O.D. will also perform songs from that album live?
JASON:
As of now, we値l be performing two songs: 塑ou池e a Fucking Dick and 詮ight from the new album. It's an awesome album; great songs and great production. There痴 a lot of power and attitude on it and I love it. It痴 loud and in your face and the way it should be.

Speaking about performing You already mentioned that at some point you will start playing live. Are there any plans to go on tour with M.O.D. in the near future as far as you know? Can you tell us a little about that?
JASON:
As of now we池e getting rehearsed and prepared for performances that could start happening early this Summer. We are planning to do a few shows in Texas in June to get warmed up for the road. I think we may be doing a short run on the East Coast in late Summer and hopefully touring Europe in late Fall. At least, that痴 what we池e planning and hoping for at this point.

That's awesome Jason! What can people expect if they come to an M.O.D. show in 2018?
JASON:
I think people will be very happy when they see present day M.O.D. There will be a LOT of energy and attitude coming from the stage. I guarantee it. It will be tight, powerful and fun all at the same time. Its going to be awesome!

Are you looking forward already to go on stage with Billy, Tank and Michael and play all those M.O.D. classics?
JASON:
I can honestly say I知 ecstatic about joining the guys on stage. This is exactly the type of opportunity I致e been seeking to achieve my personal and musical goals and its not taken lightly. This is a big deal to me in every way.

Do you think that M.O.D. will record another album, or was 'Busted, Broke & American' definitely the last M.O.D. album?
JASON:
I believe there will be another album. In talking to Billy, he has some things in the works he wants to accomplish and I want to be part of those things as well. If things work out the way we would like them to, I think people are going to be blown away about what痴 in store for the future.

Thanks for your time Jason! I hope you have a great time in M.O.D. and I look forward seeing you on stage with M.O.D.!!!
JASON:
Thank you very much! I知 very excited to be with M.O.D. and I think a lot of good things are in store for the band and the fans coming very soon. Stay tuned!

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ゥ Sjouke Bakker, March 2018
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