Songlines Across New Zealand
  Jason Paige Interview via Email 13-07-2017
 

SANZ: How did the job of the pokemon theme come along

JASON: Each year I record about 50 - 100 vocal demo sessions for all manner of projects from song demos to Jingles to vanity projects to Industrials voiceovers movies TV and film work. The demo for Pokemon TV show was one of these sessions I have had for the past 20 years.

SANZ: If someone told you back then that this theme would become an iconic tune what would you have to that person

JASON:Fingers crossed! There have been others that have swelled to great public success like my Lego-Mania theme hopefully this will too.

SANZ: Had you known or even played the game when it was introduced

JASON:No

SANZ: Did you also ever sit down at all and watch the show

JASON:We watched some of it in the first demo sessions to get a vibe. Since I've watched quite a few episodes.

SANZ: Now with the series into the 20th season (aswell as ranking up to 20 movies) there has obviously been many new theme songs come and go did you ever go and check them out and if so are there any others that stand out (not including your of course haha)

JASON:I've listened to some compilations on YouTube and mine is clearly "the very best"

SANZ: When pokemon go came out did that lure you back to the franchise

JASON:Yes. I was approached by a number of media sources who wanted to know more information about the making of the song.

SANZ: How did the idea come about to do the pokemon go song/theme(in my opinion it should be the theme song for the game)

JASON:As I am producing and writing music all the time, I thought that the phenomenon of the game needed a song to inspire gameplay. Who better to do it then myself!

SANZ: In the video we see you playing pokemon go do you still play it and if so what team are you on

JASON:I'm on team Mystic and I do play however I am looking forward to updates to the game to increase functionality and fun.

SANZ: Now there are around 700 pokemon now do you have any favourites and why

JASON:Pikachu is my favorite. He is electric and always moving internally and externally with Simplicity style and grace.

SANZ: What are your thoughts on the pokemon franchise as a whole (I am guessing you have had alot of positive comments regarding it with your involvement

JASON:Most of what Pokemon stands for lives in the imaginations of the players who remember catching Pokemon in their minds with only the cards. Before catching them on their phones and in video games. The franchise is just trying to keep up with the Vivid imaginations of all of its participants. As they evolve so too must the franchise and offer them other ways to expand their own imagination. Music is very helpful as it stimulates our imaginations much of the time.

SANZ: Now you also performed the song Viridian City have you ever performed that live

JASON:Only one time at Yorkshire cosplay con. I'll be performing it again at Pokecon in Minneapolis in August.

SANZ: You recently did the pokemon theme in Japanese what made you decide to do that

JASON:A Japanese friend of mine suggested it after we listened to the original Japanese theme song.

SANZ: How long did it take to learn and how much time did it take to practice to get it just right

JASON:That same friend did the translation and Coached me through the session. It took about an hour and a half.

SANZ: Any thoughts on recording it in another language (other than the English version I know the Danish one quite well)
JASON:No plans on any other languages as of now.
SANZ: Now I want to bring to light something I discovered on your channel the tunnel series how did that come about

JASON:I sang Boulevard of Broken Dreams for an audition for The Green Day musical many years ago in a tunnel and it worked out well. Since then I've done other Tunes in the tunnel. I love the Reverb. Natural organic and totally real.

SANZ: I must say I loved you cover  of Greendays Boulevard of broken dreams any plans to cover any of their other tracks like good riddance (time of your life)

JASON:No plans perhaps in the future.
SANZ: What would you say are some difficulties of doing that series

JASON:Traffic rolling through the tunnel is definitely a problem but can work out to my advantage if it comes at the end of a song.

SANZ: In regards to tv themes could you name some of your favourite/ tv themes that in your opinion stand out and are catchy

JASON:I used to love Speed Racer. Of course all of the 70s and early 80s shows like Different Strokes, The Jeffersons and Love Boat, Gilligan's Island are all some of my favorites

SANZ: If you could have done any other tv themes what would they have been

JASON:I would have liked to done all of those I just mentioned.

SANZ: Now one of my favourite discoveries of your work is that you perform a track from a band based from my country of NZ steriogramme the song being walkie talkie man how did you get to do that job

JASON:One of the many jobs I do each year was to do songs for that Nintendo game Elite beat agents. I did three or four songs for that.

SANZ: Now the song is quite a fast paced one did you have any issues signing it

JASON:No. One of my skills is to imitate others. This helps me grow while serving the project.

SANZ: Now looking at your vast body of work what has some of the most memorable bodies of work been (I ask as I see you performed with Michael Jackson and worked on The Art Of Mcartney just to name a couple)

JASON:Michael Jackson certainly was a highlight. I had a public access TV show at the same time as I recorded the Pokemon theme song "The Whats Up show". It's a time capsule of the late 90s. It was a extension of my band performing in New York City. We would promote our live gigs with real world type footage backstage mixed with planned skits and musical Improv. We were local celebrities due to its popularity in Manhattan. I've also written a couple of musicals for Hartford Academy of the Arts. "Writing pictures" the story of Harry Beecher Stowe's writing of Uncle Tom's Cabin and "Box" a story about Henry Box Brown who mailed himself from slavery to Freedom in a shipping box.  Im a original member of "FTR for the record"  We have a couple of very successful shows that I've been a part of since Inception. Baz @ the Palazzo in LV and Brat pack on Norwegian Cruise lines. And every year I reinvent Christmas with a Beatles gospel Nativity for which I did Arrangements of The Beatles songs telling the Nativity Story with gospel choir Arrangements.

SANZ: What has been the most memorable moment overall for you

JASON:Rapping the black and white solo with Michael Jackson live at Madison Square Garden in one of his last concert appearances.

SANZ: Has there been a least favourite moment if so can you tell us about it

JASON:Having to perform with a severe cold sore throat and tons of chest congestion a full 15 song Blood Sweat and Tears concert in Austin Texas. Somehow I made it through.

SANZ: What are your plans for the rest of 2017

JASON:Poke Con in August 5-6 in Minneapolis. Releasing more YouTube videos and expanding further into the character who I already am J-Sun healing the world with the powers of his voice.


 
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