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"The 'Party' album has been a career record for me to this point," he says of his last album My Kinda Party, which has spawned five hit singles and fueled his sold out concerts, "but I still feel like my career is relatively new and young, so it just gives me more incentive to try to go out and see if we can't beat it the next time."
However as he's worked on his upcoming album, he says he didn't put too much pressure on himself to repeat his My Kinda Party success. "I wasn't in there everyday going, 'Man, we've got to beat this record!'" he says. "My Kinda Party did what it did just by us going in and being ourselves and recording music the way we record it. To me, it's [about the] songs. It's cliché to say, but that's what it boils down to and I feel like as long as you have great songs, everything else is going to take care of itself.
"Do I hope the next record does better? Absolutely," he continues. "If it doesn't, will I consider it a failure? No. Wide Open didn't sell that many records either, but I didn't consider it a failure. We still sold a million and a half records, that's fine with me. I'll take that all day. So I don't worry about that stuff too much. It's going to do what it does and it will be fine."
When he and producer Michael Knox went in to begin work on his new album, Jason says he felt more comfortable than he did in the early days. "I'm obviously a lot more confident and a lot more sure of myself than I was on my first couple of records," he says. "[With] the first couple of records we really didn't even know what our direction was. It was like, 'Man, here's a bunch of songs we like. Nobody knows who we are. Let's just cut them and see what happens, go play my shows.' Then all of a sudden it started to come together, so probably the last three albums from Wide Open to this point were just me getting comfortable and more sure of myself, of what my style was, and that people actually liked it. It wasn't like we were grabbing for straws trying to find something people liked. We've been doing what we do and people seem to dig it and that takes a lot of the pressure off. Radio has proven to us that if we give them good songs, they are going to play it, so that took a lot of pressure off and just allowed us to go in and relax a little bit and cut what we feel was a great record."
Jason has been introducing new songs on his current tour. In addition to "Take a Little Ride," he's also playing "Wheels Rolling," which he describes as "a throw back 80's rock thing" that was written by Neil Thrasher and Wendell Mobley.
"Closer to the record coming out we'll start adding more and more songs in there," Jason says, but adds he's cautious about adding in too many new songs too soon. "You go out and you are playing all these songs that people know and they are freakin' out and then you play something they don't know and they don't really want to do anything but just sit there and listen. So you've got to be careful because you can lose them really quick if you try to overload them with too much music before they even know what it is. Once the album comes out, that's the time to start adding a lot of the songs, but right now we're playing a couple. We'll probably keep it to that until the album comes out."