INTERVIEW: Jimmy Benson – Mason

Interview by Adrian 'Dren' Barham


Drawing influence from The Big Four and The Bay Area, MASON encapsulates the 80′s thrash sound mixed with fast tempos and a dominating rhythm section. Unleashing their debut self-titled EP in 2011, MASON are ones not to let the dust settle. We find out more from guitarist Jimmy Benson.


Metal-Roos: How long has Mason been together as a band?

Since 2007. We started out as a two piece with myself and Nondo, the drummer, just jamming out for a number of years until we got the line up happening. But we had a few changes to the band over the time – the band you hear on the album is the band we have currently got and the one that will stick.

Metal-Roos: You have history with Harlott. How was it losing your guitarist to them?

Look man, as a person you always have the freedom to do what you want. I think at the time, it was the right thing for him to do. It’s all cool now. We get to tour with another killer band, we are all good friends and it’s good to be back on the road.

Metal-Roos: How has the Origins of Hate tour been so far?

Good man. I think last night has been the highlight so far. In Ballarat, that was a surprise, a lot of those rad motherfuckers came out and supported metal. New South Wales, you know we have been a few times. I thinks it’s due to the fact that we need to keep doing shows out there and getting our name out. So far so good.

Metal-Roos: How has life been since the release of “Warhead”?

Awesome man, really good! It has definitely put us on another level in terms of a band, the way we feel and the whole outlook. I think people appreciate us a lot more. They have something to attach us to and not be like, oh, they are those guys we saw on the weekend. They can take home an album and have a listen. Yeah, positive feedback all round.

Metal-Roos: How was the experience making the film clip to Warhead?

Fucking crazy. It was a long process. We started filming in the beginning of 2014… so January we started filming and finished up last month (June) editing and everything. It was well worth it – you know what you put in is what you get out and that shows.

Metal-Roos: If you could open for any band of your choice, who would it be?

There are so many bands that I would personally like to open for but collectively it would be Metallica… that would be the ultimate. I think for any band and especially for us because we are all massive fans – so Metallica for sure.

Metal-Roos: Who are your musical influences?

Me personally, I’m influenced from everything from blues, rock to hardcore metal… classical music, I love it all. As a band, I think we are influenced by the Bay Area thrash scene. But we try to put our little twist to it without ripping off the Big 4, you know. We still have a wide variety of stuff that we listen to.

Metal-Roos: What are your thoughts on downloading music?

To be honest man it has never cut me up because it did when I was younger and I’m not opposed to it. I can see why it hurts band because people don’t buy albums anymore and that’s just where a lot of the income is made by bands… we rely heavily on merch and people coming out to show and people buying our shirts at the show. At least with downloading, people get the album and they can get it all around the world, it’s cool man.

Metal-Roos: Where do you see the band heading in the future?

Hopefully out of Australia – we want to get out there as much as possible, put the Mason name out there and spread the music as far as possible… get some awesome opportunities and shit like that. We have some things lined up, but we want to keep touring our asses off – I think any band should – you don’t write an album and do nothing… that’s shit. You might as well put out a great album and tour around, but that’s where it is at man, we wanna keep touring. And tour everywhere.

Metal-Roos: What do you think of the Australian metal scene?

It’s cool man, when we play in Melbourne in front of mainly friends and family… that kind of thing and that’s cool. But when we tour around Australia like this now, we get to meet new people and make new fans. Of course, there is only so much you can do in Australia and that’s why we want to branch out in other avenues. Still, Australia has a healthy strong scene.

Metal-Roos: How did you get Jeff Loomis to play on the album? Did you get to meet him or was it done online?

I met Jeff at a Cannibal Corpse show just briefly and I hit him up about the album. He was like, ah cool, but I hit him up on the internet as well. So I sent him the tracks and he dug it. We all basically said “do whatever you like on it, just run with it”… we got the track back and he did it in one take. He sent the MP3’s back and we were blown away, man, it’s fucking Jeff Loomis. That dude’s a freak, Nevermore, unbelievable.

Metal-Roos: If you could get another soloist to record with you again, like Jeff Loomis, who would you get?

I have a lot, I could choose from but if I had to choose just one, maybe Zakk Wylde… (Eddie van Halen from drummer Nondo in the back)… Hell yeah, Eddie van Halen! Forget that I said Zakk, we want Eddie!

Metal-Roos: Thanks, Jimmy, for taking the time to speak me and to Mason for destroying the Enigma Bar….cheers! \m/


Interview Date: 2014-07-12

Interviewer: Adrian ‘Dren’ Barham