The Ironic Divide with Jason Blake
Art: Micka Klauck
I would describe the music that I write as progressive instrumental metal. I tend to write in odd time signatures and use a darker pallet as a basis for most of the songs. I enjoy the challenge the music brings and the excitement of playing it with my band, Aziola Cry.
Our latest album was an exciting challenge to bring to life. It took us a while, but it was worth it. The album topped many “best of 2021” lists, including Sonic Perspectives “Top Instrumental Progressive Metal Album of the Year.” The creative process begins with my compositions before Tom and Mike work out their parts. Then we all make adjustments.
A lot of my inspiration comes from playing the Warr guitar. I strive to push myself on the instrument with new techniques and approaches. The sonic possibilities of a twelve-string instrument open up a lot of creativity. I think this is why I also write music as a solo artist. That way, I can continue to be inspired by the instrument without being forced to always sound like the band.
I tend to separate my life from my art. I am happy and have lived a blessed life. I gravitate toward darker music and subject matter regarding my artistic side. It fascinates me more, probably because I can’t relate to it on a personal level.
My journey into heavy metal was a gradual one. I think I sought something even more severe with every album I bought. I used to live at the record store essentially and bought music with every dime I made. Then, I got a job at a popular record store where I lived, making it even more accessible. Between the exposure to the music and the opportunity to get tickets to many shows, I lived and breathed this music.
Music has been my life. I moved around a lot throughout my formative years, so my family and music were always the only constants. The community atmosphere of heavy metal has always been strong, and I think that is what attracts people to it. Years later, I still find myself hanging out from time to time at a local metal record store for the exact feeling of unity that I used to get years ago.