Buzz- Growth spurt: Jason Pollock feeds off home-grown comforts
Going off to college is a turning point for most teens, allowing them to freely express their individuality and develop their personality. Charlottesville-area guitarist Jason Pollock's experience was no different–- it wasn't until he began attending the College of William and Mary that he had any interest in music. And yet while Pollock was eventually nationally renown in the rock band Seven Mary Three, it wasn't until years later that he finally found comfort in creativity at the helm of his own project, The Pollocks.
"The first day at college, when you have to say what you want to be in life, I said, 'I'm going to be a rock 'n roll star'," Pollock remembers. "But I was just joking."
Picking up a guitar for the first time in Williamsburg, Pollock hooked up with three fellow students and started performing up and down the coast under the moniker 7M3 to overwhelming success. Immediately after graduation in 1995, the band signed to Mammoth Records, moved to Florida, and achieved platinum status with their subsequent album, American Standard–- all in the same year. Four years later, Pollock left the band and found his way back home to Charlottesville to find his musical mojo once again.
"When I left 7M3, I was feeling stagnant, wasn't writing anything, wasn't feeling good," he says. "So I taught myself to sing, and it became a whole new ball game."
After years of writing daily and boosting his singing confidence, Pollock was urged by friends and family to take his music out to the public–- so in 2007, he and partner Maryline began releasing the first of what's become a evolving, momentum-driven wave of home-recorded records. Beginning with the poignant Last Tender Leaves and Pardon The Witches, then rising to a more emotionally buoyant Wine Diamonds, Pollock and his rotating cast of bandmates have run the lyrical gauntlet from heartbreak, sorrow, and hope, capturing both the "bitterness and sweetness" of the lives that inspire them with a British-pop, classic-American-rock sound.
"I've hit a great stride–- like people on sports teams who enjoy going to practice, I enjoy doing the work," Pollock says. "When a CD is finished, I'm immediately on to the next one."
And while the stark emotional residue inherent in his work with The Pollocks might be a far cry from his days in 7M3, incorporating a "normal life" alongside the responsibility and freedom he has as an individual artist seems to be the perfect fit.
"In 7M3, I was sharing the writing chores with the rest of the band–- that's what makes it a band–- but at the same time, some ideas got lost for the greater good of the group," Pollock says. "In this respect, I'm doing what I love–- I'm the benevolent dictator, I'm doing everything from writing, arranging, recording, singing, it's all on my shoulders–- and that's what makes it very satisfying."
The Pollocks release Wine Diamonds Saturday, December 12 at The Southern. The Brian Patrick Band opens. The show starts at 8:00pm, and tickets are $6.