Jason Ross is back with a brand new album, 1000 Faces, the first album on Seven Lions’ Ophelia Records. Ross shows off his ever-growing production skills and prowess as he fully embraces melodic dubstep, bringing some incredible vocalists along for the ride. Jason also just recently embarked on an expansive North American tour in support of 1000 Faces. Jason has also created a special Facebook page for his most hardcore fans to potentially score a meet and greet with him while he’s out on the road.
We got the chance to chat with Jason about 1000 Faces, what it’s like releasing on different labels, his creative growth as an artist, and the tour. Check out our exclusive interview!
Hi Jason, thanks for chatting with us real quick. You recently put out 1000 Faces, your first album and first extensive piece of work since Rooms last year. Tell us what the inspiration for the album was, how have you evolved and changed not just as a producer but as a person over the past year?
“Yeah, I just felt like it was the right time to do an album. I felt like when I kind of broke out of that one genre thing, I kind of exploded creatively. Just trying new things and not really caring what people think about trying new things, so my output kind of just exploded. And, I was like, I think I can do an album right now.
So that’s kind of where it took off and then obviously releasing on Ophelia kind of gave me that platform to kind of experiment outside of trance. But, yeah, the past year’s been amazing for me creatively. It just really seems like people are resonating a lot more with the melodic dubstep stuff that I’m making, on top of the trance that people know me for. But, it just seems like there’s this fusion coming, this mixture of genres.”
The album is also the first album out on Seven Lions’ label Ophelia. We know that you guys played the Gorge together and now you have a couple of collabs as well. What was it like putting together an album for his label? How did you change things up on your end when it’s not a release for Anjunabeats?
“I feel like I had a little more freedom in terms of the kind of vocals that I choose. I think, Anjunabeats they’re looking for a certain type of vocal type, so for that I felt there was a little more freedom for me creatively to kind of experiment with, I don’t want to say pop-driven stuff, but more pop-leaning, the vocalists I chose. Dia Frampton, working with Illenium, and being more in the pop world. All the other artists, you won’t necessarily see them on trance stuff, but they’re very widely known within the melodic dubstep kind of world.
The other thing is I changed things up in terms of I didn’t feel like I had to fit a mold. So, with Ophelia, ‘Shelter’ came out before the album, so we kind of bounced off of that inspiration for that song. That was a really big shootoff for me with ‘Shelter.’ That was like the first song in melodic dubstep that I made where I was like, oh, I feel like I’m finding my sound in this realm. So, a lot of the songs that came after that, were I guess inspired in a sense, in terms of I love the melody, the lead, the sounds you hear in ‘Shelter.’ I just felt creatively free to explore and try new things. I think that’s how it changed a little bit, I don’t have to fit a mold.”
One of the things I noticed about the album is how many vocal spots there are. Tell us what inspires your choices in vocalists and how do you make something special with all those unique talents? What adjustments do you make?
“I mean it’s just track by track. For a couple of the tracks, I got a demo from someone. Like ‘1000 Faces,’ one was given to me by Dia, and I kind of wrote the track around that. But, for the most part, everything was kind of written on my end. And, figuring out first of all, could this use a female vocalist or a male vocalist? And, then just who’s available and who do we know within our network. Let’s say Dabin worked with someone, and I really like the vocalist he worked with then I could ask him, it’s a whole networking thing.
But, it’s really about listening to other people’s music and saying like RUNN is amazing on that William Black track. Of course I would send a demo out, and see if they resonate with it, we’d get it back, and yeah, everyone just killed it in their own way. But, it really is track by track. Just saying this needs female vocals, okay, who do we got, who would sound right on this?
For example, for ‘Chains,’ that’s more of like a trancier song on the album. And because RØRY, Roxanne Emery, that’s her name, she was big in trance and I felt like she could really get this trancier vibe out with the track, versus sending it to Dia, who has a more fun voice, a little playful. I felt like I needed an edgier kind of vocal, and RØRY just killed it on that one. So yeah, just track by track, and figuring out what can compliment the track well.”
You’re currently on the 1000 Faces Tour, how’s it going? What makes this tour special?
“It’s been amazing, I just played Montreal and Toronto, so it just started. But, I felt like this special energy happening here, it feels like we’re building something special. I’ve never really felt like that this much since this tour. The turnout has been incredible, we sold out Montreal, it was packed in Toronto, and it just feels like really something special. That’s really all I can say so far, just the first two shows have been incredible and I’m really looking forward to the rest of the tour.”
What’s one highlight or memory that really stands out from last year and what are you looking forward to in 2020?
“I played some really cool shows with Ophelia. It’s really cool to see Jeff turning the label into this massive label that does these showcases. So, definitely playing shows with the Ophelia guys, we’re like a family. That’s been really fun, before that I was only playing Anjunabeats shows and kind of in the trance realm. So, it’s really refreshing to change it up a little bit and play different shows and be on bills with these guys, it’s really fun. Most of them are from the States, versus Anjunabeats, everyone being from out of the country. I feel like I have a good connection with these guys, it’s a really cool, fun crew, and very talented crew as well. And, of course, playing The Gorge with Anjunabeats, as well as the Alchemy Tour with Seven Lions. The Gorge, those shows are amazing.
I love Anjunabeats, I love Ophelia, I feel like I’m in two really good families. And I feel really lucky to be in both of those families, I definitely plan to continue on with Anjunabeats as well as Ophelia. I have the ability to release on both labels so I don’t plan on stopping on one and going to the other. It’s more like I’m kind of just having fun exploring and experimenting and releasing on both labels. I’m looking forward to the rest of this tour, it’s just begun, but really excited about festival season coming up. We’ve got Beyond Wonderland in a few weeks, so that’s very exciting.”
Listen to Jason Ross’s debut album 1000 Faces out now on Ophelia. Get your tickets here to catch Jason on the 1000 Faces tour, dates below. Jason will also be making appearances at Beyond Wonderland Southern California and EDC Las Vegas.