Jason Hammel, one half of Mates of State hops into the Hot Seat this week where he will teach you to control your emotions, how a glam band eased him into the music scene, why family is important, – oh, and how to avoid semi-fenders crashing through the windshield at 75 mph. Medical school wasn’t right for him this time around, but that doesn’t mean he took the easy road. Instead he just took the road, literally, and found himself in some crazy situations. Check out Jason in the Hot Seat and get the sneak peak of his movie-like touring life!
Q: Tell us about your craziest touring experience.
Mates of State: There are quite a lot of them: Burning semi’s on the side of the road, or semi-fenders coming through our front wind shield at 75 mph and almost landing in our tour manager’s lap. If you can imagine it, it has or will happen. I can’t give away too much or it will ruin the movie.
Q: What type of college class would you’d most want to take and why?
Mates of State: A medical school anatomy lab. Had I followed my other career path, I would have taken it already; I always thought it would be mind blowing. I’ll take it during Act II.
Q: What city in America is the most fun to visit and why?
Mates of State: San Francisco, because it’s an old home. It has everything I would ever need. We’re moving back there someday soon.
Q: What’s some of the best advice you were ever given?
Mates of State: “You can choose your emotion.” Whether it’s true or not, it helps you control them better.
Q: What’s in heavy rotation in your MP3/CD player right now?
Mates of State: Vetiver. Jeff Buckley. Santogold. Rufus Wainright. Posicore.
Q: The last good book you read or TV show you’re addicted to.
Mates of State: Book – Neil Diamond Solitary Star. TV – I’m addicted to Rome.
Q: What’s the first concert you ever saw – how was it?
Mates of State: Hericane Alice in an Armory. A glam metal band when I was 12, maybe. I scored the bass player’s pick. Some older neighbor kids took me.
Q: What are three items you can’t live without on tour?
Mates of State: Kori, Magnolia and June. Everything else is expendable.
Q: Who are your major musical influences?
Mates of State: Ian MacKaye, Nick Cave, Leonard Cohen, and Lars Ulrich.
Q: Any random messages or tips you’d like to give to mtvU watchers?
Mates of State: Learn anything that you can–books and skills alike.