Jason Bieler is a songwriter/guitarist you should already know from his work with Saigon Kick in the late ’80’s/early ’90’s. If you didn’t know the man already through SK or through his work with Bieler Bros. Records (Will Haven, Soil, Look Right Penny, etc…), then his work with Owl Stretching is sure to turn your heads his way. Mr. Bieler recently chatted with the Blerd13 via email to talk about Owl Stretching, the state of the biz, and if Saigon Kick will ever play again:
1. It’s been over 14 years since your solo album was released and 12 years since Super TransAtlantic, why was now the right time to start releasing new music as Owl Stretching?
It just felt like the right time, the ideas started coming and everything fell into place. I am in a situation where I can do whatever I want with whomever I want and release it how I want, really a dream come true.
2. What differentiates Owl Stretching from a Jason Bieler solo record?
Mostly the name I guess, I have been wanting to use that name for a long time! Just feels like a fresh start and I intend to work with lots of cool artists, so the future shape and sound of OS can go anywhere.
3. How did Owl Stretching form and who is involved?
So far I have had Ricky Sanders on drums, Chris McLernon played bass on the Lizard revamp, the rest has been me working with our in house producer and general wiz kid Matt LaPlant at our studio. I am hoping to get some wicked collaborations going as we move this forward.
4. Why release an updated version of “The Lizard” as the first taste of Owl Stretching?
It was a touchstone for us to start with, it happened over one weekend and it was just something to mess with. Really fun to do, but no specific reason or agenda with it.
5. Is there a full-length planned?
We are just going to release new music every 4-6 weeks, no plans other than that for now.
6. Are there plans to tour as Owl Stretching?
There has been talk of some festival dates here and there but nothing set in stone yet…so the simple answer is no.
7. Being a musician who has come from the pre-internet days, how do you feel social media has helped or hurt the industry?
I think it is the best time ever to be creative especially in music. For me, the net has allowed so many great things to blow up, and for Owl Stretching is has allowed this type of project to happen and thrive, because there is no filter or middle man, and that is my favorite way to work.
8. Do you feel it’s helpful to an up and coming artist to be able to release music instantly without all the build up as was the previous model much like Owl Stretching has been doing?
I think it is awesome, especially for someone like me who writes a lot of music. You can engage with people in a way that was impossible a few years back. No rules at all anymore. No one knows what is happening or how to market or what will sell next, and to me that is awesome!
9. As a label head, what do you look for in bands best represent Bieler Bros?
We are fans of greatness, just being totally blown away by someone’s ideas and passion. We don’t really care about genre or trends…we just want to find the best music possible and then spread the word.
10. What are the chances of a Saigon Kick reunion happening?
I am up for doing something with the guys, we are all talking and getting along which is a huge success in and of itself. I just want it to be something great, not just a half ass money grab to rip off the fans…I am sure the other guys feel the same way.