10 Questions with Tony Mason!
I was lucky enough to have the Jingle Man himself, TONY MASON agree to 10 Questions sent in from readers. Tony Mason talks inspiration, making Ruthie laugh, NOT working in the music industry, and that feud with Quiet Talking James.
1. You are most well known (publicly) for doing jingles for Dave Shelly and Chainsaw. How did you get involved with the DSC?
I have been a listener since the early Dawn Patrol days. I moved out to San Diego in June, 1991 and they seemed to be the morning show to listen to out here! I contributed the “Ode To Boyer” jingle to the 1996 jingle contest and it somehow won! I did a (overly excessive) writeup on the story behind it which is posted in my facebook notes HERE in case anyone is really THAT bored.
2. The main thing I heard from DSC fans was “Wow. How does he do that? Why is he so f#$%&* talented? ” So I guess question 2 is, How do you do those jingles so quickly?
I have a pretty easy to use rig in the garage with a keyboard and mic hooked up to a computer and some simple recording software. It’s great for tossing something together quickly, provided I actually have an idea! In the case of “Ruth Girl”, listener Rob Rucker suggested it on air to have me write something for Ruth to that song…I went and found it on youtube, re-recorded it and sent it in the next day. A lot of the jingles have been from people telling me “you should do jingle X about person Y”. Sometimes they are just random like the one where the Emilito puppet is just singing “Da da….” to “hey jude”. The radio was playing the real song and I just started singing along with the Emilito puppet, and it hit me “ok, this would be incredibly stupid, but I think it would work”.
Continue “10 Questions with Ton Mason after the jump”!
3. I took a look at TONYMASON.COM and it looks like you are prolific in your music! When not poking fun at the DSC, what kind of work do you do in the music industry?
I don’t actually work in music at all beyond what I do for DSC. All the stuff at the website is just my own crap I’ve written for the “fun” of it over the years. I got brave in 2007 and actually attempted singing beyond trying to sound like Weird Al, I am hopeful that has been improving anyway! I haven’t done a lot this year as far as new stuff, it comes and goes. (Insert Tiger Woods soundbite “It comes in spurts” here)
4. What do/did people do when they realized YOU were “the jingle guy” on DSC?
I’ve had a few conversations with people on facebook where we’ve chatted for a while about the show and they suddenly hit me with “Wait…you are THAT Tony Mason that is obsessed with the show?? Oh! Wow!”. How many DSC obsessed Tony Mason’s can there be?
5. What do your family and friends think of your music (not just the DSC jingles) being such a hit on Facebook?
I don’t think anyone listens to that stuff (laughs). Occasionally I will post a song up on Facebook if I think it’s done halfway decently in hopes of some responses. It’s tough to do that because you can pour your heart into something over the course of a week, post it, and…..zero comments. Crushing!
It’s a lot to ask of people to actually click the play button and spend 5+ minutes listening to something, but when I do get feedback that is always cool. Even if it’s a “cool song bro!” it makes my day. I did see Kimmie actually downloaded the last song I did “Dearth Of Marmalade” which was originally a obscure DSC bit….I don’t know if she liked it! They do like hearing the jingles on the air though, I hope DSC can play the old stuff, I’ve done 40+ songs for the show in the last 15 years (15 years? Good lord) and it’d be a real shame to never have any of that played again. Otherwise I really hope I can come up with more ideas!
6. That other jingle guy, Quiet Talking James, let it slip that you were invited to be on The DSC this week. How did that happen? Were you surprised?
Yes I was very surprised! I rarely call into the show so I am not as much of a wanna-be. I would have loved to go in WITH Quiet Talking Jim and have an in-studio throwdown (or possibly a spontanous duet, provided either of us remember any of our lyrics), but I was out of town last week. Bummer!
7. Speaking of QTJ, it seems that you two have had a good natured rivalry for years on the show. Starting with his “Tony Mason Must Die”, and then the two of you beating each other up in “We Write The Jingles”. Do you know each other in real life? Do you get along?
We’ve been to lunch, he is a great guy Steve! I had a blast doing the two jingles together with him – we did it all remotely, he recorded his vocals at his place, and sent them over to me and I added them into the music I’d done. Isn’t technology great?? I’d work with him again gladly, his singing kicks the living crap out of mine. Maybe there will be another contest soon!
8. What is the best thing that has come out of being involved in the DSC?
It’s great to send stuff in and know I’ve made them laugh – the best moments are when they play a “virgin” jingle without having screened it so I can get the reactions live. Hearing Ruth laugh to something I’ve done makes my week! Conversely if I send in a stinker of a jingle it haunts me for years – I will never live down that godawful “Godzilla” take-off and nobody laughed at ALL. I just wanted to crawl in a hole and die :-)
9. When not being a musical wonder, what do you like to do around town?
First off I am certainly not a musical wonder, I just know how to use a computer! My keyboard chops are fairly pathetic and my vocals take dozens of takes before I am at all happy with them! Beyond that I am just a homebody working out of my garage in Sawn-tay.
I work doing computer and website design stuff that would bore horribly. I do things like doctors office medical records systems and help-desk phone scripting software. For fun, I like hiking Cowles Mountain (that’s “KOHL-S” mountain, David) though I am really in horrible shape and just doing the service road is enough to make me want to pass out. I need to get back to that! I waste a lot of time watching TV series like The Office, Newsradio, and animated stuff like Metalocyalpse, The Venture Bros, and Robot Chicken. I used to be an online gaming junkie (Everquest 2) but gave that up about a year ago after I realized I’d lost 5 years of my life to it somehow. I tend to obsess a lot!
10. If not music, what else would you be doing?
Without music I imagine I’d be the most boring person in the world! I’d probably still be driving pizzas around, or working at Putt-Putt golf or something. I like to think there is some alternate universe where I am a successful quirky, nerdy musician ala Johnathan Coulton, Ben Folds or Devin Townsend…maybe someday!
Thank you Tony Mason for being up for our “10 Questions”. I cannot wait to hear you on air today!
If you want to know even more about Tony Mason, visit his Facebook page and his Ode To Boyer – Behind the Music