Jason Cross- “The Engineer”

Caleb Bryant, campus life editor

MCA senior Jason Cross’ new single “The Engineer” is now out on all platforms. The song speaks for itself, but here’s what Cross has to say about its making and much more:

How long did this song take you to write?

“Songs typically take me 45 minutes to a month to compose, depending on how much time I spend on it and how much motivation I have to complete it. I composed ‘The Engineer’

in under an hour. At the time I began writing this song, I had previously written five others, which likely contributed to the speed in which it was written. This song was written over Thanksgiving Break, and I actually managed to finish three total songs in the span of a three-day trip to see my grandparents.”

Do you plan to pursue music as a career? Why or why not?

“It would be a dream to make a living off of my musical abilities. However, I feel that in a realistic sense, music will always be more of a hobby for me. I will continue writing and playing, but music is a notoriously futile career option, and only so few make it big. While I wish I could make music my primary focus, I will most likely pursue other career options.”

Did you have any help from fellow students?

“Marshall and Charlie Stubbs helped me record and produce this song. Marshall and Charlie are songwriters as well. They compose their own music in their home recording studio, which they have named ‘Mount Saint Elias.’ The process of recording ‘The Engineer’ took roughly four hours, including second takes, discussion, and technical difficulties.”

“Marshall also served as my drummer. I can play most stringed instruments to some degree, but I have never been any good behind a drum set. After sending Marshall a bare recording of my song with just my vocals and an acoustic guitar, we colluded thoughts concerning how drums ought to sound. After we finished recording drums, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, bass, lead vocals, and harmonies, Charlie began mixing. Charlie and I communicated as he sent me each mix. I would listen to each mix about 4-5 times, point out specific aspects I wanted to change, and he would begin work on the next. After three mixes, we both felt satisfied with what we had produced. On February 3rd, I paid a fee to join a music distributor, then set the release date for five days away, February 8th.”

Has your time in praise band helped inspire you in any way? If so, how?

“Absolutely! I have played guitar since 2nd grade, however, up until around middle school, I only played because my parents forced me to. I began taking lessons, where I would be given about a week to learn a particular song. For six days, I would apathetically disregard my guitar, and on the day of the lesson, I would take ten or fifteen minutes to get a decent idea of what I needed to know to get through the lesson.”

“It wasn’t until Freshman year that I picked up the guitar with the intention of improving. I was primarily self-taught through YouTube videos and online guitar tabs, with lessons accounting for base knowledge such as chord shapes and strumming patterns. Throughout high school, all forms of music have served as outlets. I joined Praise Band sophomore year with a very finite musical footing. Through immersing myself with more talented people and playing every Friday, I have picked up on more complex chords and theories. In playing music frequently, I improved more than I ever would have without Praise Band. I started writing this past summer, which has led to a true passion for original expression. “The Engineer” has always been one of my favorites, so it is now the first of many to come.”

Photo by: Courtesy Photo
Jason Cross has grown so fond of music, he took his senior photos with a guitar in-hand.