How long have you been writing music?
Jason Lee McKinney: I’ve been writing since I was 15. So, a while.
What are your influences? Who or what inspires you?
Jason: Musically my influences are pretty wide. My two favorite artists of all time are Prince and Willie Nelson. So both the Nelsons (but not the twins).
Lyrically I am inspired by guys like Rich Mullins and Dylan. I did Glen Hansaard and being an Indiana boy John Mellencamp as well.
Idea wise I draw from deeper philosophical wells like Thomas Aquinas, Soren Kierkegaard, C.S. Lewis, Simone Weil and Brennan Manning
What can you tell me about your latest album “One Last Thing?
Jason: It’s my favorite album I’ve ever done. We call our music Soul-infused Folk and Blues and that blend has never been so seamless as it is on this album. We deal with really big themes on this album but in a fun way. Themes such as the nature of existence, the problem of evil, what is the self, metaphysical reality, how the reality of death changes life, all run throughout the album.
Do you create art with a specific message, or do you prefer art for arts sake?
Jason: That is tough to answer because seems to put those two things as binary options. I tend to create art with a message but without too much regard for how the audience will receive it.
What is your creative process like? What tools and methods do you use to make your songs?
Jason: The creative process is always different, but I more often than not start with a conceptual theme in mind and then build the music, melodies and lyrics around the theme.
The tools change as well. Sometimes it is just me singing into my phone, sometimes it is me and an acoustic guitar and other times I start with the drumbeat. All that is dictated by the concept for the song.
How long have you considered yourself a libertarian?
Jason: Right around 10 years, and I still feel just as misunderstood about that as I did 10 years ago lol.
What do you think the
role of art should be in the libertarian movement?
Jason: Great question. I think the most libertarian answer is that it shouldn’t. Otherwise libertarianism becomes what it opposes. Do what you do, say what you want to say. If there is an audience for what you do, and who agree with, or are at least intrigued by what you have to say, you may get to do it for a while and make some money doing it. if not then..well the lack of audience has spoken.
What I mean is that I never intentionally write a libertarian themed song, if it comes through (and I think it does) it is without agenda.
Where can people go to listen to your music?
Jason: We are on all the usual suspects, Spotify, Apple Music, etc. You can also find us at www.jasonleemckinneyband.com