SHADOWS FALL drummer Jason Bittner is featured in the January 2005 issue of Modern Drummer magazine. The issue hits the newsstands on December 2 but you can get a sneak preview of the article at this location. An excerpt from the interview follows:
MD: Do you feel comfortable with the technique you've developed to this point, or are there things you'd still like to learn?
Jason: "I feel confident with the technique I've developed so far. I'm happy with my foot technique, but there are other areas I'd like to improve. I would like to be able to play like Virgil Donati — but I don't have the patience or the time to practice eight hours a day. [laughs]
"One thing that I've heard from other drummers who have heard me play over the years is that I'm consistent. Once I create a part, I don't change or deviate. One of my heroes, who I've learned that concept from, is Neil Peart. He's one of the most consistent drummers I've ever seen in my life. Every time I see him play, he's flawless, and he knows exactly what he's going to play. I'm not the fastest double bass drummer, and I'm not the most intricate double bass drummer. But I try to develop parts that fit the music and that will create excitement.
MD: What other drummers inspire you?
Jason: "A lot of the guys I admire are my friends now, but I still look up to them and wish that I could do what they do. Charlie Benante and Dave Lombardo are major influences on me. The guys who I get all my tasty licks from are Neil Peart, Stewart Copeland, and Mark Zonder of FATES WARNING.
MD: Describe your double bass technique and how you have developed such a strong, smooth approach.
Jason: "I play heel up, with the balls of my feet. I started playing double bass when I was fifteen years old. The first song I tried to learn with two bass drums was 'Red Hot' by MÖTLEY CRÜE. That was the ultimate challenge for me, so Tommy Lee was the first drummer to influence my double bass chops. From there, I played along with early METALLICA records. That helped my foot speed."