An Interview with Jason Corcoran of Gaston Light

Gaston Light’s new album, “Peel,” is now available online and in stores. The craftsmanship of the songs’ lyrics is the result of storyteller, singer and songwriter Jason Corcoran’s outlook on life. I recently caught up with Corcoran to talk about Gaston Light, the new album and which song he likes playing live the most.

Q – Thank you, Jason, for talking to me.

A – Likewise. We’ll see if I can hold your attention. I think I’m better at writing songs than talking about them. Ha ha.

Q – Your name is Jason Corcoran but you go by Gaston Light. Where exactly did the name Gaston Light come from?

A – Gaston Light for me, personally, meant two things. I did not want to pigeonhole myself into being pegged a “singer songwriter.” I have seen it happen over and over again. Ryan Adams is a great example of that. As soon as he explored outside of the “alt-country” realm people turned on him. On the other hand Jeff Tweedy’s exploration was accepted a little more easily due to the moniker of Wilco. I could be wrong but a band seems to have a little more freedom. I wanted that. The name itself came from a street that I lived on in East Dallas, Gaston Avenue. It also happened to be the place where I dealt with my addiction and faced reality for the first time in years. It was a dark time in those years that I lived in LA and something about being in my hometown with a clear head felt like a second chance with everything and everyone, including myself and music.

Q – How would you describe your sound for those not hip to Gaston Light?

A – Ohhhh, genres. I find it difficult to hone in my music to a specific genre when people ask me, only because I know the sound of Gaston Light is ever changing. I would hope the listeners can grow with me into a different sound as my music progresses. But specifically for “Peel” if I had to roughly sum it up, it would be a spreadsheet of acoustically written songs dressed up with the sounds of both my country upbringing, my love for rock n roll and whatever that grey area is that lies in between that. And I tend to dwell in that “grey” area. I don’t foresee Gaston Light making that “black and white album” but then again that could change too and THAT is what I love about writing. I have read about my music being branded in opposing extremes such as “garage-rock” to strictly “country.” And personally, truth be told, I love both of those genres, and deem them both accurate descriptions knowing the album is seasoned with so many influences. At the end of the day my vision is to keep Gaston Light’s sound as good ol’ American Rock n Roll and have a fucking fun time doing it!

Q – I’ve heard a little of your new, debut album, “Peel.” Your music does a nice job of telling stories. What is your song writing process like? Is it based on an experience, someone you’ve met, etc.?

A – Thank you very much. My songwriting process really has no formula behind it. My songs can begin with a simple melody I hum to myself or an entire story/lyrics that I write months before I even pick up an instrument. Whichever way it may happen, my process requires time and effort. I find it necessary to work hard on every detail written in my songs; it’s not a hobby, it’s my job that I am humbled to have and therefore take very seriously. Like any craft, I want to only get better at it. As for the lyrics, I do tend to keep them rather autobiographical whether I intend to or not. Some are overtly personal like “Xanax Blues” or “Half Awake” where others I use characters, childhood flashbacks, or anything really. It’s funny, ya’ know, the first song on “Peel” is a song called “Athens, TX,” a murder ballad written from the point of view of the killer. I myself did not commit such a crime (or did I?), ha ha, but I do relate to that character’s sick desperation to extinguish this familiar object in fearing it would cause someone else the pain he had been dealt. It is an extreme exaggeration of the lengths someone will go to get rid of any reminders of what caused them that pain, even to the point of severe consequences. In saying this, even this script-like songwriting is not for sheer shock or attention, but is a personal experience exemplified in a fictional fashion and perhaps somewhat insane way. It still remains personal to me.

Q – “Peel” was recorded in only two weeks. Looking back at the album, are there things you wished you did differently and if so, what are they?

A – I wouldn’t change anything as of now; you can drive yourself crazy even thinking about that and I have caught myself almost going there, don’t get me wrong! I did a lot of prep work before recording these songs and was pretty intent capturing the sounds in my head. However, in the future, I predict I may utilize the studio to be a more influential voice in the songs. We’ll see next album, if you don’t hear from me for a while it may have been a bad idea. Follow the trail of ink-filled paper napkins with scribbled words to the nearest studio and you might find me.

Q – Are there songs on the album that mean more to you than others? Which song(s) should fans get excited about and why?

A – The songs’ relation to me (saying this having no experience in this area) is that each one on the album is a child to me. You don’t want to pick favorites or at least you don’t tell anyone if you do. I really enjoy playing “Crown” and ” Radio King” in a live setting. “Kiss the Hive” is fun also. That being said, to any of my listeners, I do not pick favorites but I do throw those out there quite often.

Q – For the next two months you’re out playing dates across the country. Is there a town you like playing the most? A venue you’re looking forward to playing?

A – Chicago is always a good time! I look forward most to the dates in Kansas though, simply because I get to see a lot of my family outside of Dallas within a few days.

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