Appeared: April 26, 2009 on http://www.nu-mag.com
Jets Under Fire – Calling the Shots
When Jason Poe left his hometown of Springfield, Missouri, he expected to find success with his band, The Professional Americans. Little did he know that he would soon find himself as part of Jets Under Fire, a British-rock inspired band that has been thrilling fans since 2007.
In addition to Jason on vocals, guitar and keyboard, Jets Under Fire is made up of Stu Smith on guitar, Todd Meador on bass and keyboard and Corbin Petersen on drums. Corbin Petersen was also a member of Poe’s former band, The Professional Americans, and Todd Meador was a former member of a band called Cord, which had played with them. Stu Smith was recommended by Todd, and has worked well since joining Jets Under Fire. In fact, Jason Poe credits Stu as having been “an important part of the song-writing process.”
As for Jason, his parents started him in music at a very young age. He took piano lessons beginning in first grade, and continued throughout his childhood. At sixteen, he picked up the guitar, and as he says, “he caught the bug.” Before he got the current band members together, Jason released two albums under the Jets Under Fire name. “I had lost a job, and I felt like it was an opportunity to try and support myself with music. At that point I felt like an airplane being shot at, so I started playing as Jets Under Fire,” he says. The first Jets Under Fire album, “Promises,” which was released in 2002, was written as a linear concept album and recorded in a storm shelter in Missouri. In 2004, Jason released the next album, “The Winter EP,” which showcased his multiple talents as he played each instrument and singlehandedly produced and recorded the album. The band’s latest release, “Kingdoms,” involved all of the new members and was released in March 2008. According to Jason, it has an existential message: “You build whatever you want, but in the end, you’re going to die. Kingdoms rise and fall.”
Jason continues to put his philosophical ideas and struggles to music. “Lately, I’ve been inspired by a lot of deeper theological/philosophical ideas about God,” he says. “I’m working on a new song that’s just a big question about whether or not I have free will. I’ve also been inspired by where science is going. It all seems Apocalyptic. We’re trying to recreate the Big Bang miles below the Swiss Alps, and part of the scientific community believes it’ll create a black hole that could swallow our universe, but there’s been so much money invested into it that they’re still going to go through with tests. All these ideas swirl in my head.” According to Jason, those around him recognize that his music is increasingly deep. “My wife always says, ‘Why don’t you just write a love song?’ And I have written a few, but not too many,” he admits.
Stylistically, the band’s music has been shaped by a number of influences, including Radiohead, The Smashing Pumpkins, The Beatles, and The Beach Boys. They have been featured at South by Southwest, one of Austin’s top music festivals, and they are currently working on recording four different EPs, which will be available for free on their website, JetsUnderFire.com. “We’re throwing the old album format behind, and trying to experiment with release models,” Jason says. “As far as this project goes, we’ll be releasing an EP every 3 months. Our first EP, EP1, is available for download. Since its release on March 17th, we’ve had over 800 complete EP downloads, and over 2,700 total songs downloaded.” Jets Under Fire music can also be found at MySpace, iTunes and CDBaby. You can also follow the band at twitter.com/jetsunderfire.