There’s an immense amount of talent out in the world, especially along the coasts, waiting to manifest. Eighteen year old Palm Springs native, jasperisdead, is a drummer proving that he has what it takes to make a name for himself. Valiant, driven, and motivated – traits that best illustrates Jasper towards his craft. Upholding such a diverse and essential element of skill, he’ll surely become an esteemed champion of, but surely not limited to, drumming. Check out our brief interview with the musical expertise below.
“I have tunnel vision with this shit and I’m not going to let anything ruin what I’m trying to accomplish.”
First thing that caught my attention, besides your musical talent, was your interesting (stage) name. What’s the story behind “jasperisdead”, if there is one at all?
I think I’m probably subconsciously afraid to die. Or I guess I just tried to make something up that sounded cool.
“I’d probably want to collaborate with Frank Ocean, he’s a legend.”
Brief story on how you started drumming – were you exposed to it by a family member, or did you pick it up on your own?
My dad used to be a drummer back in high school. So we’ve always had congas and bongos and steel drums around the house. Then my freshman year I was put in a percussion and we had a good few months where we worked solely on a drum kit and it was crazy. We watched videos of Travis Barker during class. I was only in it for that year but then I bought a shitty drum set (which is the one is I still have hahaha) and a few years later here I am.
Name some of your musical influences. What artist(s) would you want to collaborate with?
Kanye West. He taught me not to go to college. Whether that’s a blessing or a curse I guess we’ll find out in the coming years. Chance the motherfucking rapper. He is the first artist whose tape/album (Acid Rap) I listened to front to back in order. He really just changed the way I listened to music. I’d probably want to collaborate with Frank Ocean, he’s a legend. Either him or Elton John. Or James Franco.
You mentioned Kanye West taught you not to go to college. Could you elaborate on that perspective? Usually teens are aiming for college or a higher education to get somewhere in life, but you seem pretty self-assured that your ambition will take you further. It’s admirable in a way – what do your parents think about your decision?
To me, college seems like a joke. Especially now. The College Dropout taught me that and made me realize it. All those skits in the middle of the album where the kid is saying he’s gonna be homeless but it’s fine cause his degrees will keep him warm, like that was crazy to me. Or even the line from school spirit “this dude graduated from the top of our class, I went to cheesecake he was my mothafucking waiter there”. I’ve literally tried to convince some of my friends to not go to college. If you’re not a lawyer or a doctor then giving up $40K to go to school is not important. As for my parents, they were very cool with it. They just wanted me to get a boring job. They never took me seriously when I said I wanted to make music for a living. Like they know I make the videos and shit but last month my dad saw this article that some other blog wrote about me and he goes “Jasper, how close are you to actually making this music thing work?” and that’s the last we’ve talked about it. I’m not going to tell them anything anymore until the day before I get on a tour.
Who would you perform a gig or go on tour with if they asked you to drum for them?
XXXTENTACION cause that would be one of the hypest shows ever or A$AP Rocky cause I play to his album all the time and I kill that shit every time. A$AP JA$P.
“Chance’s drummer is my immediate favorite drummer. I talked to him on the phone and I was like “what’s up man” and he was like “what’s up Jasper” and I thought that was tight cause my idol said my name and he don’t even know he’s my idol and that it meant a lot to me.”
Do you have a specific genre of music that you enjoy performing?
Hip hop for the same reason some people like playing pop music. There’s a lot of time for fills. But I also like playing Nirvana songs. They’re pretty easy but always good for warm-ups. I wish I could play jazz music though…
Any notable drummers you look up to? Why do you admire them?
The pretty standard answer, Travis Barker. He was the first drummer I was introduced to and I have his sticks. I always listen to Buddy Rich tracks cause he’s wild with the shits. Chance’s drummer is my immediate favorite drummer. I talked to him on the phone and I was like “what’s up man” and he was like “what’s up Jasper” and I thought that was tight cause my idol said my name and he don’t even know he’s my idol and that it meant a lot to me.
Life doesn’t always go as planned, but we all have dreams and aspirations that we see ourselves achieving. With drumming, or just music in general, where do you see yourself in the coming years?
Tour is my number 1 right now. Even though I think I have stage fright. I really wanted to throw a mini festival for the kids in my city. Pretty soon I’m going to look into getting verified so when I @ certain artists my videos I will know for a fact that they see it and over all just to get mutual respect and recognition from artists that I love. I don’t care about fame. I’m sure it’ll be cool for like 3 months then I’ll be over it. I have tunnel vision with this shit and I’m not going to let anything ruin what I’m trying to accomplish.
Best piece of advice dealing with your craft you’ve ever received?
“Quit going off the fucking beat”
Okay, here are some side questions. Describe your personal style. Do you have a signature look, favorite piece of clothing, etc?
I don’t really have a signature style at the moment cause I’m literally out of money haha. My favorite piece of clothing are my overalls. I don’t usually where them out but I just lounge around the house in them.
Favorite current album?
Favorite band of all time?
I’m not sure about all time but Kids These Days was so fucking slept on. It was like 2011 and they only have an EP and 1 album. It’s like a 8 piece band. Vic Mensa was in it, Donnie Trumpet was in it, Stix (Chano’s drummer). They could have been one of the biggest bands today if they stayed together. But of course then we wouldn’t have The Social Experiment or Vic as a solo artist soooooo…
Lil Drummer Boy.
For more jasperisdead :
Twitter – @jasperisdead