fbpx
PreCog

RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW NASHVILLE BAND PRECOG

Hiya Folks thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.

Jason: Don’t mind if I already did haha and today I’m drinking(seriously I am) a nice Black Lager from Moonlight Brewing called Death and Taxes. Thanks for having us!

Gerald: Old Fashion or Paper plane for me please. 

Bret:  I’ll take the closest beer to me.

What made you decide that music is a thing for you?

Jason: For me it was video games. Listening to all these incredible composers who were able to evoke emotion out of me with simple swells and sometimes even dead silence. From a young age most of my music was a great outlet and escape. I started to realize how much I not only enjoyed doing it, but sharing and connecting with others too.

Gerald: I was a troubled teen and didn’t really feel comfortable in my own skin. I got tickets to go see Depeche Mode on the Some Great Reward tour. That show changed my life and I knew right then what I wanted to do.

Bret: My mom made me take piano lessons when I was about six.  Once I learned how to form chords I was off and running.  Taught myself guitar along the way as well as drums.  It’s funny, when you’re a kid, It seems like either you play sports or play music.

Introduce us all to the members and your musical history?

Jason: Hi! I’m Jason and I write/compose/ and do lead/backing/harmony/possibly too many vocals for PRECOG. Most of my musical history consists of me stuck in my room, alone in the middle of nowhere Indiana, writing. I started off by learning guitar and quickly realized if I wanted to write full songs I needed to learn how to play everything. So I did. I played in a lot of metal bands back in the day but outside of that PRECOG has really been the shining star. I love this project and these two goofs.

Gerald: My name is Gerald Josef, I am a producer, sound designer, midi programmer, husband of 31 years and father of 3 grown amazing kids. I have been involved in the electronic music scene since the early days of the Detroit Techno and house movement, which happened to be where I spent most of my youth.

Bret: I started putting bands together from the age of 12 on.  In the 80’s I toured all over the United States and Canada playing in both cover bands and original. Had a couple record deals with small labels.  By the mid 90’s I threw in the towel and turned my back on the whole scene.  I met Gerald in 2009.  We were both in the same boat.  At some point we decided to start creating music purely for the joy of it.  He met Jason online, and well, here we are.

What was life like for you before music?

Jason: Most of my childhood before music was spent getting into trouble with my brother. We lived in a really really really small town called Oden and spent all our time playing video games, riding our bikes all over town, and getting into fights. It was a great time. When he turned 14 he moved to South Korea with my dad and I stayed with my Mom and on our first christmas she bought me an old Fender from a pawn shop that I loved DEARLY. If not for her grabbing me one i don’t know if i’d ever fully gotten into music. 

Gerald: I tried things. Sports things, and got hurt easily because I only weighed 110 lbs soaking wet and honestly I really did not care about sports. Just did it to have some friends. 

Bret: I can barely remember life before music.  During that 20 year hiatus I just focused on my career and raising kids.

What was the first song you heard that steered you into a music path?

Jason: Leech by Eve 6. I had that album on cassette. Wore out the tape haha

Gerald: I would say People are People, then Stories of Old both Depeche Classics but also any song by Echo and the Bunnymen really did it for me.

Bret:  I was a music junkie as far as I can remember.  I gravitated towards bands that were using a lot of synths in the 70’s.  Car’s by Gary Numan was a huge turning point for me.  I knew that was the direction I wanted to move towards.

Where do you feel you currently sit within the music industry?

Jason: Alt-Electronica? We tend to hang with the Darkwave and Synthpop peeps, but even there we stick out like a sore thumb. It’s tough because we love the synths and the driving bass, but also beautiful dark melodic orchestral scores. I don’t really know and to be honest I’m not too concerned about it. I heard someone say once, don’t write music for everybody, just focus on making music you like and it will attract the bodies.

Gerald: I believe that although we are electronic in nature we are songwriters and producers. I love to create with mechanical drums and arpeggiations but also LOVE orchestral strings, pianos, and choirs as well as guitars. I think we really consider PreCog to be an Alt Electronic Band.

Bret: I used to always compare what I was doing against what was happening at the time, trying desperately to stay ahead of the curve. These days I just follow my gut. I still try to stay current with what’s out there from a listening point. I suppose some things creep in by osmosis, but I don’t overthink it like I used to.

What’s the biggest thing you have learned from someone else in the industry? 

Jason: I got this from playing so many shows with bands who were, “not nice”. Always. ALWAYS. be thankful for the bands that show up for you. AND STOP ACTING LIKE CRABS IN A BARREL! I see so many in the music industry pull others down. I’ve even been told by other bands “you all aim too high.” Be excellent to each other, the reward (whatever it ends up being) will be worth it. Also there’s enough people and ears to go around. 

Gerald: I concur – That is exactly what I was going to say. We need to respect each other and be kind, band to band and fan to fan. We are in this together and we should be happy to be together. 

Bret:  When I was touring in the 80’s it was part of an entertainment company.  They put a massive emphasis on performing.  Before I would just stand in one spot and stare at my guitar as I played.  I learned about communicating with an audience through eye contact and energy.  It’s second nature now.

Tell us Two truths and a lie about you?

Jason: 

I got hit by a car going so fast it launched my shoes into the stratosphere and I never found them. 

I still have a childhood crush on Allison Scagliotti. 

I cannot play basketball to save my life. 

Gerald: 

I worked with George Clinton on some songs for Graffiti Bridge the Prince Movie. 

I have the chance to open up for Dead or Alive, Erasure, Information Society and God lives underwater. 

Also was runner up for sexiest man alive in 2011.  Bet you can’t guess which one is a lie!

Bret: 

I once laid my head in Naomi Judd’s lap. 

I can speak French and Portuguese fluently.  

I have a third nipple.

If you could wish for one thing to aid your career what would it be?

Jason: I know game companies don’t do this, but being hired to write a soundtrack to a video game. I would love the challenge and change of thinking that is necessary to score something like that. 

Gerald:  I would love for all 3 of us to live close to each other instead of different states so we can just work on music quicker and easier. It would also be cool to hang out with my besties more often.

Bret: I’d love for one of our songs to be in a movie or series soundtrack.

Do you ever worry about people taking things the wrong way or cancel culture? Discuss….

Jason: Not really. I feel like we are pretty tame. We try as hard as we can to keep things positive and uplifting amongst ourselves and our fans. In the end, if I upset someone that much, I would go out of my way to apologize for whatever it was. I’m trying to leave this place in a better state than when I found it haha.

Gerald: No opinion for me!

Bret:  A lot has changed in my lifetime. It can feel like you’re navigating a minefield.  There was mutual joking I could do with my female and gay friends back in the day that I wouldn’t dare touch now. I’d say that’s mostly a good thing. I definitely think before I speak now. 

Do you subscribe to any conspiracy theories? If not, why not?

Jason: I love UFOs. Mostly because it’s fun and makes the world seem less like an endless slog of paperwork for 80 years then death. Just like the saying goes “I want to believe”. I just find it exciting to think there is still the unknown out there waiting to be discovered. Also, if Henry Zebrowski wants to have me on Last Podcast On The Left to yell about aliens I will. 

Gerald: I am 100% with Jason, I am a huge UFO nut – to think we are alone in the universe is as ridiculous as believing the earth is flat. I believe in astral projection, and often lucid dreams. There is so much more going on then our science and society accepts. My favorite podcast Mysterious Universe is all about that. Right now I listen to more podcasts about conspiracy than music.

Bret: As much as I love movies about ghosts and aliens, I just haven’t seen any compelling evidence.  Now with AI and deep fakes it’ll make proving that even harder. As far as aliens go, I think we’ve become misguided that they would be similar to us in how they move about and create bizarre space crafts.  If they exist, they may be more insect-like and/or microscopic, and possibly have no concept of space travel.  

What was the worst experience on stage?

Jason: I remember opening our set during a festival in St. Louis and I couldn’t hear myself on the monitors. I pointed to the monitors and gestured to turn my mic up a bit and nothing happened. I did it a few more times then realized the sound guy walked out for a smoke as soon as our set started. So it was pure guessing and going off of the vibration in my throat for a couple songs before he came back.

Gerald: I am with Jason on that and remember that gig. Being mostly an electronic act, I think many of the sound people we have had did not know what to do with us. We also received some criticism from another band for having too much stuff even though we are a 3 piece with a couple keyboards, vocal mic and guitar amp. We don’t have any flash pods or backup singers/dancers. 

Bret:  When I was in the 10th grade I sang “School’s Out” by Alice Cooper.  On the first verse I came in with the lyrics to the second.  I couldn’t get back on course so I vocally fumbled about.  It was a well known song. I was devastated. 

Tell us something about you / each member that you think people would be surprised about? 

Jason: It’s hard to tell or explain here but I’m a large human. Or so I’m told. The amount of times I’ve heard “how does that voice come out of you?” is crazy. Especially because my voice is more of a baritone, but I grew up with vocal heroes like Dan Black and Jay Marsh. 

Gerald: Nothing special here! I have been married very happily to the same women for 31 years and have 3 amazing kids. But other then that, I can’t think of anything too exciting.

Bret:  I have six kids.  Yep, I’m a breeder!

What makes you stand out as a band/artist?

Jason: I think for us it’s the soundtrack’ish aspect to our tracks and we kinda just let eachother run with ideas. Usually ends up with some fun sounding tracks. 

Gerald: ​​I think our songs are well thought out and put together, and it seems like we each offer different skills which makes us a stronger team. Jason is an amazing songwriter, Bret guitars skills are just perfect and I think my producing, remixing and mixing skills have gotten better over time.

Bret: The fact that we’re a satanic band and yet are devoted lovers of Broadway musicals.  Come on, where have you seen that before, huh????  ( someone please tell my wife that was a joke)

I hear you have new music, what can you tell us about it?

Jason: Only that I’m SUPER STOKED for everyone to hear it. It’s very different from our older stuff and much more upbeat. So get ready for heavy bass, screaming guitars, driving beats, and too many harmonies to count. Get ready to dance. 

Gerald: We actually took a break for a few years and I think we were all wondering if we still had what it took to get some tracks done. It took us about 5 months to pull together close to 20 new tracks. There are a couple tracks from our old library that never got finished or released so not everything is brand new. 2 tracks are actually from 2016-17. 

Bret:  We came into this album with the attitude of doing this for the love of it.  That really freed us up to explore.  For me, this album is one of the best I’ve ever been involved with.

What was the recording process like?

Jason: We do all our parts in chunks. I get a nice foundation down and a general vibe to the song with all the vocals. Then I sent it to gerald. Sometimes I get a similar track back. Sometimes the only thing left from the original track I sent is my vocals. I think it’s so cool because being a long distance band we don’t get to have those “Jam sessions” where we get each other’s ideas for the track. Sometimes I ask Gerald to tweak something or bring something forward. The man is a hammer though, always hits the nail on the head. In reality most of our conversations about recording are. 

J: Hey man, you got that track I sent?

G:Nope, did you send it via wetransfer?

J:Yep! It said it sent, let me resend it.

G:Ope just found it. 

B:I sent the guitar tracks

G:Cool ill knock it out tonight in the studio

Gerald: Agreed 100% with Jason’s statement on how we do stuff. But…I usually do “get” the tracks, just like messing with Jason to see if he will send stuff again. It makes me laugh.

Jason: I KNEW IT! 

Bret:  I’m the procrastonator of the band.  Due to my hectic work hours it might take me a few days (or a week) to get to my parts. I sometimes hear Jason and Gerald’s feet tapping in my head.

What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tunes?

Jason: New tech. So many new beeps and boops to play with. Twistin knobs (depending on where you’re from that could mean a few things) and synths to explore. The ability to write quality music is easier than ever.

Gerald: I work at a recording college so I am always around industry pro’s which reminds me I mix how I mix and it may not always be industry standard. I am constantly upgrading, re-mixing/ mastering stuff and think I am finally on to a process that I can repeat over and over, but it has been a huge learning curve. I will always try to learn more and grow. I believe when you become and expert and something, you are longer capable of learning something new.  

Bret:  On our previous album I recorded all my parts at Geralds home studio.  Since then I moved down to Florida.  So I’ve been learning how to use and navigate recording software.  I’m the least techie of the band so it’s been a bit of a challenge.

Would you change anything now that it’s finished?

Jason: I would’ve rather recorded live with all three of us together and a full backing orchestra led by Kevin Pekin and perhaps some collaboration tracks with Snare Cover. But I’m also pretty stoked about what we got. 

Gerald: ​​No, I don’t think so, you can distinctly hear each one of us in every song and it’s the pieces we each put in that makes us PreCog. Just proud of the fellas and LOVE that we are still making music together. PreCog has always been my passion project. If I would have met Jason and Bret in the 80’s I think we would have had amazing volumes or work and tours together. But that would have also been a problem because Jason is only in his 30s so he did not really even exist at that time.

Bret:  I do love the whole DIY aspect to what we’re doing.  I would love to work with a  producer who gets our vision. A good producer can bring out qualities within yourself that you may not know existed.

Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?

Jason: My gratitude. I had to make a quick exit from the music scene around 2017. Not only did my band members respect my abrupt selfish choice, but so did my label saying “the music will always be here”. I love you all, thank you for giving me the time to heal and being the beautiful souls you are. Lastly, to the fans that stuck around. Mark (he knows who he is), you completely changed how I view my music. I appreciate myself more because of you. Cheers mate. 

Bret:  If you love doing music then do it for the love of it, don’t get your identity all wrapped up in it.

FOLLOW ON FACEBOOK //  X  // INSTAGRAM

MORE RGM INTERVIEWS HERE