Mr. Zimmerman and Ondrasik sat in the studio in comfortable high-backed chairs chatting about a large variety of topics. The following are transcripts from their interview.
John: So, Jason. Tell me a little about yourself.
Jason: Well, what is it that you want to know?
John: How about a few things that most people may not know about you?
Jason: Well, for starters, I can juggle butcher knives.
John: You’re kidding! How did you manage to do that?
Jason: Actually, I learned while living in
John: That’s amazing. Have you ever cut yourself?
Jason: (small laugh) More times than I’d like to admit.
John: So what would you say is one of the most “outgoing” or “amazing” moments you’ve had in your life?
Jason: Hmmm. Well, I’d have to say the time I met Howard Jones ranks up there as being something kind of gutsy.
John: Tell me about it.
Jason: Well, all during the concert Howard had made comments about people getting up to dance if they wanted, and nobody would do it. Finally, I turned to my friend, Mary Ellen, and said, “He really wants people to get up and dance…let’s go.” She admitted that she didn’t know the songs he was playing as they were from his new album…but she ended up going up with me.
John: What happened?
Jason: (laughing) I turned to the audience once I got up front and started to clap my hands over my head with the music and shouted, “C’mon everybody!”
John: How did they react?
Jason: Well, they just sat there and did nothing. To tell you the truth, it was a pretty lame audience up to this point.
John: Did you stay up there, in front?
Jason: Yeah. My friend and I started dancing and my sister and her husband came up to the front too…we were a group of four.
John: Was it that way for the whole concert?
Jason: No, it only took a couple of more songs and people started to trickle up to the front. Before long, there was a big crowd all up there dancing along with us. Howard even started to play some of his well-known songs from the beginning of the concert which he’d already played. Nobody seemed to mind though.
John: Well, that is a fun experience!
Jason: Oh, there’s more to it than that. You see, we’d stopped off before the concert and bought lighters. We were the only four people there with them either. I was so surprised…we lit them up on his song, “Hide and Seek.”
John: Now, you said earlier that you actually met Howard Jones?
Jason: Yeah. You see, we were…well, what’s the word? I guess you could say we were pretty “into it” at the concert, and once it had ended this lady came through the crowd and introduced herself as Howard’s tour manager. She asked us to stay after the show because Howard wanted to meet us.
John: He wanted to meet you?
Jason: Yeah, his tour manager said, “Howard wants you to stay after because he’d like to talk to you. He said that you must be his biggest fans in
John: So, did you stay?
Jason: Yes, we did. We waited around and he finally came out. We lit up our lighters so he would know who we were. He remembered. He came up to us and thanked us for making the show so memorable. I was totally blown away. He was a really nice guy, he even gave us his address and said we could write if we wanted to.
John: Did you ever?
Jason: Well, I was pretty young and didn’t really ever follow through, but I did think about it a few times. We did get a photo taken with him.
John: Ah, the jeans jacket.
Jason: (nervous smile) Yeah, I’m not too proud of the fact that I once wore that, or that awful hairstyle, but you know, it was the 90’s.
John: Indeed it was. Now, you mentioned earlier that you’ve been on the radio before? What happened to bring that about?
Jason: I was working at ComedySportz when this guy heard me doing my announcing. He liked my voice and asked if I’d record a couple of radio spots for his company.
John: What was the name of the company?
Jason: Inspecials. Yeah, I’d never heard of it either. We ended up recording five commercials which played on the radio during the summer of 2001.
John: I’ll bet that was fun.
Jason: Yeah, it was…I’d never been in a recording studio before, and there were several times we had to keep recording the commercial segments over and over again because we’d make a mistake. It was a lot of fun though.
John: So, have you always been interested in radio?
Jason: I have. I thought about being a radio announcer before, or maybe a movie director.
John: But not a teacher?
Jason: No, actually, that was the last thing I wanted to do…well, maybe not the last, but it wasn’t something I’d put much thought into.
John: What other professions did you consider?
Jason: Well, I wanted to be an actor. But when I got a bit older I decided I wanted to be an author.
John: Have you ever written anything?
Jason: Well, I blog.
John: (laughing) I’ve been there a few times. You’ve got a quote of mine on your header.
Jason: What can I say? You have a way with words.
John: Thanks. I noticed you had a few posts awhile back about experiences in your childhood. They’re pretty funny.
Jason: The past is always more funny once it becomes the past. While it was the present, all of those experiences were pretty awful, to tell you the truth.
John: Have you ever thought about writing a book about them?
Jason: Yeah. I’ve actually got a lot of other experiences I need to write about before I die. Some of them are funny, like the time Kenny Monzingo was in the outhouse and…well, I’ll just have to finish that one first.
John: You seem to have a good memory for things in your past.
Jason: Well, some of those times were a lot more memorable than others, you know? Some made a greater impact. I mean, I couldn’t tell you what I had for breakfast most mornings, but I can remember some of the “headline events.”
John: Have you ever written anything else?
Jason: Yeah. I’ve got a lot of unfinished stories…I do have a few which are done…or near enough anyhow. I’ve been stuck on my most current book for a few years.
John: What’s keeping you stuck?
Jason: Mostly the fact that I am lazy. I just don’t set aside the time I should to work on it.
John: Why not?
Jason: Lack of motivation I guess. But when I go to a bookstore and see some of the lame stories they have for sale, I know that what I’ve written would do better than some of that junk.
(director, off-camera): Two minutes remaining.
John: Well, we only have another minute or so of time left…I wanted to ask you a question about your cookie recipe.
John: Where in the world did that name come from?
Jason: Actually, they were named by a boy I used to mentor by the name of Alejandro.
John: Why did he name them what he did?
Jason: Well, actually, we were coming up with gross names for ice cream. We’d come up with stuff like catsup, liver, snot, and a bunch of other interesting flavors when Alejandro belted out, “CHUNK-A-POO!” I guess it just stuck.
John: But why a name like that for something as good as those cookies?
Jason: Probably because the middle of the cookie has a Rolo in it…in a sense that IS the “chunk” in the middle.
John: Do people ever question you about it?
Jason: Yeah, they say they are going to call them something else, but the name always seems to stick. It’s funny, my friend, Karen, and I will talk about them and how we “need some Poo.” I always wonder what other people would say if they overheard our conversation and that particular line.
John: Probably would be pretty grossed-out.
Jason: Probably. But I guess one of the perks about creating something is the fact that you get to name it.
John: (laughing) I guess it would be. Now, before our time is up, is there anything else you’d like to share?
Jason: Well, I actually wanted to thank you, really. I also wanted to let you know that I really enjoy your music.
John: Thanks. Any song in particular you like?
Jason: I’d have to say that “The Riddle” is my favorite right now.
John: That’s a good one.
Jason: I love the message you share with it. That’s why I picked a part of the song for my header…I just love the lines: “There are secrets that we still have left to find. There have been mysteries from the beginning of time. There are answers we're not wise enough to see…”
John: There are still some mysteries out there…some of those mysteries are still about you, Jason.
Jason: I think we all need a little mystery in our lives, it’s what keeps us interesting.
John: Well said. (looking at watch) And that’s all the time we have today. Join us next week with an interview on another blog. Thanks for coming in today, Jason.
Jason: My pleasure, it was good meeting you.
John: And you too.
End of program.