Jason Webley is like a character from a movie or a book. He travels the world with an accordion, acoustic guitar, and his hat. When he's at home in Seattle, he lives on a houseboat. He has shared the stage with the likes of The Dresden Dolls, The Avett Brothers, and more. Most recently he did a collaboration with Amanda Palmer in which they had a slew of special guests including Weird Al, Francis Bean Cobain, Tegan and Sara, and Gerard Way submit vocals to the album's closing track. Danny Says! sat down with Jason to ask him 11 questions (a number he seems to obsess over)
1. Which album of yours is your personal favorite?
JW: That is hard... they are all different sorts of albums, and each is my favorite in different ways. Even my least favorite, "Counterpoint" in some ways I am most proud of, as it was probably the most ambitious of them all. But generally I prefer the last two, "Only Just Beginning" and "The Cost of Living." I think they are both strongest in terms of songwriting and production. They lack whimsy a bit, but I think that actually makes them hold together better than the older records did.
2. On average, between touring, how long do you stay at your house boat?
JW: It depends. Sometimes a few days, sometimes a month or more. I was home for all of August which was nice.
3. How many countries have you performed in?
JW: More than eleven... let's count. Canada, US, Mexico, Ireland, UK, Spain, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, Austria, Italy, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Ukraine, Moldova, Russia, Austalia, New Zealand, Morocco. So twenty four, unless I am forgetting something.
4. Where’s been your favorite place to play?
JW: I guess I don't like to think in terms of favorites. I love places, all sorts of different places. I love visiting new places for the first time, and I love revisiting familiar spots.
5. How many times have you played in New Jersey?
JW: I'm not sure. The first time was opening for the Dolls in Asbury Park... I've probably been back 4 or 5 times since then?
6. Have you been able to visit the Jersey Shore between your shows?
JW: I have a couple times! Before that first show in Asbury Park, I spent a bit of time walking along the beach. It was there actually that the first seeds of the Evelyn Evelyn project were born.
7. Do you have any new collaborative records coming out?
JW: I just finished two earlier this year, but I have a few more coming down the pipe. I had hoped to have one finished this autumn, but just had my laptop stolen and am probably not going to make that deadline.
8. Who is your biggest accordion influence?
JW: I don't really have one. I started playing in a bit of an accordion bubble - not really having heard much of the music, and while I have grown to like a lot of different accordion music, not much of it has affected the way I play.
9. Who is your biggest punk influence?
JW: I liked the pop punk stuff that was happening in the late 80's... Operation Ivy, Crimpshrine, Jawbreaker. I was also into the DC Dischord scene... Fugazi, Jawbox. I'm not sure who the biggest "influence" was. The main thing that inspired me was the whole attitude that you can play shows and make records without really being plugged into any sort of industry.
10. What is your favorite non-curse word?
JW: You like favorites a lot.... there are so many nice words out there. Tergiversation. Dirigible. Transmography. I also like made up words... Sinceriously. Nongratulations.
11. And finally the question everybody needs to know: What’s your favorite vegetable other than tomato?
JW: Another favorite question! But this one is easier, because the artichoke is by far the tastiest, sexiest, thistliest vegetable that I am currently aware of. Do not pickle them and pizza them. Steam them and eat them with butter and salt.