My name is Jon "August". I'm a Nashville based drummer and would love to help bring whatever project you have, to life. I'm fortunate to have played/recorded with artists ranging from Finding Favour, Zach Williams and Building 429, to Lukr, Eric Paslay and Lee Roy Parnell. I love creating and getting that perfect sound and feel. So let's do work!
I specialize in Rock, Country, Pop and Hiphop and have over 10 years of professional experience. I have played everything from indie electronic to major label rock and country. I have toured/recorded with Finding Favour, Zach Williams, Building 429, Lee Roy Parnell, Eric Paslay and more. Currently I am touring with up and coming country star Hudson Moore as well as MDing/Drumming for up and coming alt pop artist, Lukr. I love getting live drums dialed for rock & country as much as I love making beats and tracks for pop/r&b/rap stuff. Simply put, I love creating and look forward to making some magic.
I'd love to hear about your project. Click the 'Contact' button above to get in touch.
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Interview with Jon August Williams
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Currently working on sampling at the studio and building live tracks for one of the artists I work with.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Nathan Thomas (Bass, Producer), Matt Pacco (Guitar)
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Man honestly whatever works. I tend to lean towards analog, but I'm not a purist.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I'm working very hard for you. What your final product sounds like, reflects not just on you, but on me.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: Idk, I don't like to think of myself as just a drummer. I feel more like an artist/producer who happens to play drums.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What's the feeling you're trying to get across? Sonic examples of what you're going for?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: I guess I would say it's best to have a fairly good idea of what you're going for. If there isn't a whole lot of direction up front, it could be really great! But it could also just muddy the waters for everyone involved and make the process not super fun.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Assuming there's power on this island lol. Laptop, interface, prophet 6, brushes, mpc
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I started off in drumline, and playing to a bunch of records. I pursued a commercial music degree but ended up leaving that to do other things in Nashville. I played in bands around town for about 6-7 years, then started breaking out and really going for the hired gun thing. In doing that, I realized that I really just love creating, maybe a little more-so than just playing shows, so I started writing a bit, and working on tracks. All in all, I've been doing this for about 10 years I guess, learning a lot along the way. It's so easy to get down on yourself as someone who is creative for a living, but looking back it's incredibly encouraging seeing the growth over time.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: John Bonham, Questlove, Tame Impala, Post Malone
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: I've always been a huge Beck fan.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Well, this isn't news to anyone, but parallel compression is super duper. I also love having my normal setup and then add in a couple trash mics that are slammed or effected in some way. It really adds a lot to a drum sound.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Pop, Country, Swampy stuff (?), Americana, Rock
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Deep pocket and always stretching to think outside the box. I'm not a fan of being complacent haha.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I think I really bring a lot of feel and emotion to a track. Even with programming. It can be locked to a grid, but still have feeling.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I tend to work pretty fast. I know a lot of projects can be and usually are on some kind of deadline, so I like to make sure people are getting great quality stuff in plenty of time in case there are revisions or more ideas to try. I usually like to start with notes from whoever I'm working with, play through a few ideas, get the feel/sounds right, then jump in and start tracking. I may even send some sonic references before actually tracking just to make sure we're on the same page.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I have a small drum studio behind my house, it is treated really well so I have the capabilities to get some great room sounds (especially with some UAD juice), as well as super dry sounds. I'm running PT12, with an Apollo 8 Quad and DSP Accelerator. I have multiple vintage and modern kits at my disposal to get any number of different sounds. As far as mics go (always changing and upgrading) I use a combo of SM57s, vintage 421s, Cascade ribbons, KSM27s and WA87s.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Here's a list of some of my favorites: T Bone Burnett, Jack Antonoff, Frank Dukes, Frank Ocean, James Blake, Questlove, J Dilla, Illangelo, Rick Nowels, Busbee, Beck, Kevin Parker, Dan Auerbach, Jay Joyce...to name a few.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: The majority of what I do is based on a deep pocket. I tend to do more pop leaning stuff but these days that covers a lot of genres. I sometimes describe my playing as a cross between John Bonham and Questlove. For the most part, what I'm providing is very professional drum tracks, but that can also involve some programming (or a lot), if that's what the client wants/what is needed. I do a lot of my own sampling and loops but also have a large library of other samples to pull from.