Jase & Stace are a New York based pairing that are just starting out on their musical adventures together. After ages of hard work, a song is finally released with plenty more promised in the future. Continue reading to learn more about Jase & Stace from the duo themselves.
Can you introduce yourself and share a bit about your background in music?
Jase & Stace is… Stacy Werdin and Jason Ewald. We both grew up in households where music was being played on the stereo or live all the time.
Stace: My father was a musician and all-around music lover who instilled a passion in me very early on. I would sing along with him as he strummed the guitar or played records from his collection. After high school, I went to college to study music education/saxophone and ended up teaching band in the public schools for a couple of years in Wisconsin (where I was born and raised). After deciding that I didn’t want to be a band teacher, I moved to Brooklyn and started to pursue music a bit more, truly coming back to my rock/blues/soul roots.
Jase: Mom and dad were both amateur musicians. Dad was a drummer and mom was a pianist. They were always playing music on the stereo. I was a super hyper-active child and always had difficulties creating a comfortable work environment for my teachers until I found music. While in the fourth grade at a Catholic school, they started a band program and I started playing the saxophone. Soon after the saxophone, I started playing the drums. Throughout high school, I played in different bands and studied hand drums. In my early twenties, I moved west to San Francisco with a band. I continued playing with different groups while living there. It wasn’t until I severely injured my ankle and was laid out for a whole winter that I found my passion for songwriting and taught myself to play the guitar. Soon after that, I decided to move to NYC and have been making music here ever since.
Jase & Stace: We met playing in Gillian Harwin’s soul band some years back. From sharing the stage together, we could tell that there was a strong musical connection. So, we started jamming. In our group’s first configuration, Jason was playing drums and left hand keyboard bass as well as singing, with Stacy on all keys and vocals. But now, Stacy has been assuming the role of bassist with her left hand. With singing, playing keys and laying down the bass it’s a handful, so we have been talking about about adding a bassist.
You just released “If I Could.” Can you share more about the song in general? Did the end result match your initial vision for it?
This was the first tune we wrote together. The concept came from us improvising over the main groove and we somehow both ended up singing about painful feelings from past relationships that were pretty toxic and hard to break away from. The song came together rather quickly with the idea of trading verses between the two of us. We didn’t really have an exact idea of how we wanted the song to sound. We took it one section at a time sonically and let the lyrical content drive the whole tune. This being our first song together, you can almost feel how we loosen up and become more comfortable with each other as the tune progresses. By the end of the tune, it feels fluid and we are really having fun with the outro sections.
I read that both of you are completely involved in the creation process of your music. Since there are just two of you, how do you come to a conclusion when there are disagreements or differing opinions? Is it simple for you to set personal thoughts aside to see the opposing side?
Yes, we are both completely involved in the creation and writing of our tunes. Generally, one of us will bring in an idea such as a progression or a bass line. We’ll grove on that and improvise until something settles and becomes more concrete musically. Sometimes the topic of the song will come out in our improvisation sessions, other times we’ll have to figure out the lyrical content later on after the instrumental parts are established. As far as arranging and part-writing, we both contribute equally when it comes to that. So far, it seems to work out that when one of us has an idea the other one is usually in the bathroom. Musically, we seem to live in the same universe. So, as far as disagreements there hasn’t really been much yet. When one of us has an idea, we discuss it and always are able to connect over it and transform it. We look forward to our first major disagreement and how to work through that.
What type of message do you want to convey to listeners when they hear “If I Could?”
If you are in a toxic relationship fucking get out while you can! There’s always something better around the corner.
Are there goals that you have set for each other as musicians, or for the future?
Stace: Yes, absolutely. This is the first legit band that I’ve been a part of. This format is all quite new to me! I’ve sang back-up and played in various groups in the past, but this is a bit more stripped down. I feel pretty comfortable in the studio, but have some anxieties around performing that I am working through. Jason continues to push me and help me through this process. We have a lot of big plans for Jase & Stace in the future.
Jase: As far as goals for the band, I would love to see us hit the road! I think we would have a good time over in Europe. This wasn’t a goal but being in this group with Stacy has definitely made me step up my singing. She’s really good!
“If I Could” is your debut single, which obviously means that this is just the beginning for you. What is coming next, and when can it be expected?
Yes, this is just the beginning for us! We have a handful of originals that we’ve been finishing up in the studio. The next one should be coming out in the next few months or so.
Are live shows going to be something you venture into?
Absolutely! The studio space where we record and rehearse is also a performance space and we will be putting a show on there in early September. With just the two, traveling is pretty easy and we look forward to booking some tours in the near future.
Interview questions by Alondra Valencia.