Artist Interview: 1-on-1 with Jason Firebaugh

Artist Interview: 1-on-1 with Jason FirebaughThe guy that I am sitting with today has a story to tell. He actually has quite a few stories to tell. Good thing he is a singer and a songwriter. He tells his stories on stage with a guitar in his hand. Outside of the fact he is about as laid back as they come, he is also an incredibly nice individual. His skills on the acoustic matched with him trained vocals talents makes him a great excuse to see a live show. His songs have unique titles and you can tell, just off of the lyrics alone, that he has been through more than an average person should ever have to go through. I first met this cat at Birdy’s Bar and Grill and have become good friends since. Sit with me today as it is my absolute pleasure to introduce you to Jason Firebaugh.

So how do you actually pronounce that last name of yours?

It’s just like saying Fireball…except you don’t prounce the two ll’s on the end of it.

Is it true you just moved to the Indianapolis area?

It is true that I just moved back to Indianapolis.  I was away for about seven years, lived in Florida and Texas in that time.  Glad to be back though!

Describe your genre in one word.


Do you write all of your own lyrics?

For the most part, yes.  There’s only one song that I can’t take complete lyrical credit for.

Have you ever co-written with anyone?

Yes, I used to be in a punk band in Florida called Skylab Hoax.  We collectively wrote a song called “Best Disguise” that I still play on my own.  I also have two songs in which friends of mine gave me titles and I wrote lyrics based on those titles.  Those were really fun.

Tell me about the Acoustic Live Challenge that you just experienced.

The Acoustic Live Challenge was a great experience!  I entered it mostly to get more into the music scene here in Indy.  I haven’t been playing my solo/acoustic stuff for very long so I knew I would have a tough time winning, and I was up against some absolutely amazing musicians.  I learned a great deal just watching everyone else play and I also met some great people that I will continue to play with in the future.

Who are some of your biggest inspirations?

Musically speaking, I have a ton…and honestly, most of them fall in the “Punk Rock” genre.  Face to Face, Screeching Weasel, Blink 182, Green Day; just to name a few.  In life, my friends and family inspire me everyday.  Every song I’ve written has at least one person (if not more) as my inspiration.

If you could be any cartoon character whom would you be and why?

Louis/Cornelius from Meet The Robinsons.  This is my favorite Disney movie.  I like the message and theme of the movie.  Basically saying, you live and you learn and you move on from it.

What are you drinking on stage?

Beer, typically Miller High Life, Coors Light, or Bud Light.

Do you have a job outside of music?

Yes, I currently have a job in a warehouse that pays the bills…but just barely.

What would you be doing if you were not playing music?

I enjoy the lyric writing process so I would hope that I would still be writing in some fashion.  Maybe poetry or short stories.

If you cold live anywhere else in the world where would you go?

Any place that is warm year round, is near water, and has nice beaches.  If it meets those three criteria, I’m down.

What was the last movie you saw?

Inglourious Basterds.

Did you like it?

I did like it.  I enjoy most Tarantino movies. I would watch this one again.

If you could only play one song for the rest of your career what song would you choose?

I have a song called “Love Found Never Lost” that I wrote about my sister and her husband.  Basically about their love story; how they ended up together, etc.  That would be the one, it’s one of my favorites.

How long have you been performing?

On my own as a solo act, I first played out in October; so about four months.  But prior to this I played for a few years in a punk band.

Do you play anything besides the guitar?

Not really…although I could still play a C scale on trumpet if you ever need that.

Let’s say you are about to headline a show at Verizon Wireless Music Center. Who is your opening act?

Locally, either Brad Odom or Eddie Brummett.  If I could be selfish and pick a nationally known opening act that I really wanted to see and hang out with, I would pick Blink 182.

Are you a Colts fan?

Now you’re talking my language.  I love the Colts!  Huge, huge fan!  Besides music, following the Colts is my biggest passion!

How did you react to the news about Michael Jackson?

This may sound morbid or strange, but it seemed normal to me.  It just seemed like with the ups and downs, all the strange things that happened in his life, it just didn’t surprise me that much.  Although I will say, with all he contributed to music, it was a pretty big loss.

I hear you are not on Twitter yet.

I am not.  You are correct…although I am hoping to get started “tweeting” at some point soon…is that right?  Tweeting?

What are your thoughts on MySpace?

I think MySpace is great.  I think it was the first place where musicians could really get their name out there and network around the world without having to physically travel to places.

Who has more talent between Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers?

You know how the Colts questions was Awesome?  This is the complete and total opposite of awesome…but if I must answer, I will say the Jonas Brothers.  I loathe Miley Cyrus.

Coke or Pepsi?


Can you name SpongeBob SquarePants best friend?

Patrick?  Is that right?  I have five nieces and nephews, that is the only reason I even have a guess.

You are a songwriter. That means you must know how to tell a good story. Tell me a story.

So I was in Broad Ripple about nine or ten years ago.  My friends and I decided to head into Rock Lobster, and yes, I am that old.  It was a Friday or Saturday night, so it was packed.  After having a few drinks, I needed to use the restroom.  For those of you that are either female or haven’t been to the Rock Lobster, they have (or had, not sure if they still do) a trough style urinal.  One big urinal where guys just line up next to one another to go to the bathroom.  Anyway, I end up at the far right of the trough and there are three guys to my left.  I hear the door open and a guy yells out to the three guys, “Scoot down, make room.”  So they do.  This guy stands right beside me and proceeds to drop his pants completely; so he is standing there in his boxers only.  I laughed to myself and he looks and says, “Don’t tell me you’re not seeing this?”  I had no response due to the fact of who this person was…none other than future Hall of Famer and Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning.

Do you ever play outside of the city of Indianapolis?

I played a show in Illinois in December, but nothing else yet.  I really hope to be able to play at various places in the Midwest as I get more established.

If you could meet anyone, alive or dead, who would it be and why?

One person who is kind of a personal hero, but one that I didn’t mention as an inspiration earlier…Warren Zevon.  He was an amazing lyricist, with a very unique voice.  And the fact that he decided to write a final album in the time he had left on earth, speaks volumes of what he was as a person and as a musician.  I would love to be able to meet him and talk with him about his entire life.

If you were offered a large sum of money to do a rap album with someone else’s lyrics would you do it?

Absolutely not!  I am not a fan of rap and I wouldn’t want to be successful off of something I didn’t do myself.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I see myself still playing music.  Although I would like to be able to make a career of it, the odds are very slim.  No matter what happens, I am a lifelong singer/songwriter/musician.

What do you want to be remembered for when this is all said and done?

I want to be remembered as a person who truly, honestly cared.  Someone that cared about other people and their feelings.  Someone that cared about society.  Someone that cared about making music that was from the heart and took the time to ensure that it always was.  If I give that impression off to people, then I will be happy with my life.

I always let the artist get the last word. Go.

Rock On!  Go Colts!