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We were recently afforded the opportunity to review Session 606’s most recent EP, Martyr Dispatch (which we did here), and were instantly impressed by its (to quote myself), “splendid blend of progressive and synth-rock elements coupled with intoxicating melodies and poignant lyrics.” In fact, I was intrigued enough that I decided to have a little chat with the man behind Session, Anthony Masington, to get further insight into the music and the mind that devised it! We get into his ties to Coheed and Cambria drummer Josh Eppard, the inspiration for the project’s moniker (and get a slew of personal ones for himself and others…) and a peek at what’s around the corner.
 
Sit back, relax and enjoy a little session with Ant and AmpKicker, kiddies! I know we did…
 
Ant
 
 
AmpKicker: Good day, Ant! Thanks immensely for taking the time to speak to our readers (and myself) for a moment! Let me a take a moment to congratulate you on a phenomenal record- I greatly enjoyed the last EP (and back catalog), and I’m greatly looking forward to your upcoming releases as well! 
 
 
Let’s begin by having you introduce yourself—

 

Ant Mas: My name is Anthony Masington, A.K.A. Ant Mas A.K.A. Jewlian K and the name of my band is Session 606.

 
220px-Session_nineSo, how did you go about naming the project? Is there a story behind the title? 

 

I actually picked up the movie Session 9 from a Blockbuster randomly. Brought it home, watched it, and was floored and inspired by the premise and the movie itself. I soon decided to make a project based upon being strictly therapeutic, which is where the Session part comes from, being as in the movie there were recorded therapy sessions which unearthed different personalities of one person. The 606 half of the name comes from an idea from the movie as well. The graves of the crazy people who used to be in the mental hospital each had their graves numbered instead of having their names. I figured that 606 would be mine.

 
 
I absolutely adore that film. To be frightfully honest, I actually would use it for date nights to determine compatibility. If my proposed paramour could appreciate that film, we could get through anything I was bound to throw at her. (I am also prone to yelling, “I am fucking awake!” at random times…) Well played, sir! 

 
 
I would imagine your music draws many comparisons to Coheed and Cambria based on your vocal style and the affiliation with Josh early on… What are your feelings about that? 

 

I’ve heard this so many times. I’m sure I’m always going to hear it, and it’s technically not a bad thing, but still makes me feel unoriginal. Yes, I have more of a higher tenor vocal, and that is because I have a higher talking voice and I learned to sing from singing along to female vocalists. It’s just a coincidence that every guy that has a higher vocal sounds similar. I don’t take it as an insult though because I won’t deny that I love Coheed. I’ve heard Coheed be referenced to Rush so many times when they first hit the scene, which is funny because they sound nothing alike, but it’s still a compliment. Jo Sheppard (Josh Eppard), as I call him, is my homedog and I am lucky to have had affiliation with him. He is an amazing talent. Coheed has given me great influence over the years. I won’t deny that.

 
 
How did you get into music? Furthermore, give us a little background on the genesis of Session—

 

I was literally sitting in my living room when my dad asked me if I wanted to take lessons to play guitar. I was 10. I hated to practice and never thought I would become a singer. I wanted to be a bass player!
 
Session 606 started off as a collection of 5 albums worth of acoustic songs made in 2005. I took a break to do a few bands and later began making new music after hearing Deftones for the first time. That was a truly religious experience in my life. It all started with a song called, “Exodus 8:25,” or, “Nein-Nineteen.” I don’t remember. 2008 was the year I began recording.
 


 
I knew Dave Parker, who was the live keyboardist for Coheed and Cambria at the time (currently the bass player of Stellar Young), and he had a studio. I began recording with him in Kingston, NY. Josh heard my music; they collectively decided they wanted me to move up there from Trevose, PA to make music with them (which later turned into Mours). I recorded the song, “Exodus 8:25,” with Josh on drums, which was purely magic. That was the last I did with Session 606 in 2009 until the end of the year which brought on opening up for Weerd Science on a short lived tour.
 
In October of 2009 I met a fan named Bryan Mills, he joined up and played drums for me, we went into Applehead Recording in Woodstock, NY and recorded a 5 song EP, which has never been released. Things didn’t come to light for 606 until Bryan and I went into Oceanic Recording in Bethesda, MD in 2012 to record the first release, Rebirth, and that is what kicked off the chain reaction now known as Session 606. I then decided to make two more EPs crossing 2012 & 2013. They are called No Zeros and Martyr Dispatch.
 
 
You have a multi-tiered sound, with the synth elements, the industrial touch and the hard-nosed rock facets to your various releases. Are your listening habits pretty diverse? What, if anything (influences, etc.), lead you to your sound? 

 

I initially decided that I wanted to make some hard hitting rock music with electronics sprinkled on top, since I love New Wave as well. The 80’s is my favorite decade of music. I’d call it Electrocore if I had to put it in a genre. I love the idea of vocals that sound out of this world, which is what I strive to do when applying vocals to a Session 606 song. So I’ve developed a signature vocal sound for myself, kind of a formula for every time I record to create a character.

 
 
As a songwriter, do you prefer to be insular when creating material or do you cull from contemporary movements? 

 

It’s almost as if the music finds me, instead of me finding the music. So I’d say I’m stuck on my own little island of sound most of the time, since I haven’t learned how to play anyone else’s songs in years. I would say I’m somewhat insular these days. Sometimes it’s caging and sometimes it takes me to heights I’d never thought I’d reach before.
Ant2
 
Are there any groups/songwriters that have influenced you in particular? 

 

Glassjaw’s music gave me all the influence I could ever need. Mix that with Deftones, Tears For Fears, Depeche Mode, Elvis Costello, Duran Duran and Regina Spektor… and you get my music.

 
 
Is there an aspect of your sound that you would consider your trademark, or something wholly unique to you? 

 

There is an idea of a “Session 606” sound that is all my own, yes. It is that epic, spacious, dark, shuffling, gritty randomness, kind of a controlled chaos sort of movement to the sound that I feel has been created just by me. I also use a baritone guitar, so that gives me a unique sort of sound that I’ve come to be very fond of. As I said earlier in this interview the vocals are the icing on the cake, as well as the electronics. Since I have a formula to my vocals, it adds an extra atmosphere to the planet already created.

 
 
What can we expect from you in 2013 and beyond? 

 

A 10 song LP called Douleur De Vivre which is going to contain new elements and different atmospheres. “Douleur De Vivre,” translates into ‘The Pain Of Living’, which is just so true, it is poetic. I love that poeticism of the dark side of human emotion: it is so attractive, such as a “beautiful depression” which is just a beautiful phrase in itself. Don’t get me wrong though; it’s not all about depressive subjects. It is supposed to be the reality of life, which can go either way. It’s good to expect anything to come your way. Hopefully I will get into the studio to record Hiatus as well, which is the EP Bryan and I recorded in Applehead Recording, Woodstock, NY in 2009, but never finished.

 
Now, for my James Lipton portion of the interview…
 
Do you have an all-time desert-island Top-Five albums (or Artists)?
 
 

Ha, James Lipton is awesome. In no particular order….

 
 
Tears For Fears: The Hurting
 
Elvis Costello: Armed Forces
 
Glassjaw: Worship And Tribute
 
Deftones: Diamond Eyes
 
Duran Duran: Seven and The Ragged Tiger

 
 
What single song has the highest play-count in your music library? (Check your Mp3 player, iTunes, etc. or plead the 5th if it involves Jessica Simpson or Olivia Newton John and John Travolta)

 

Demi Lovato – “Heart Attack”

 

Don’t judge me.

 
Judgement is for the feeble-minded, sir! We’re all about love and adoration for music. I’ve always been of the belief that I love songs- I don’t care who’s performing them. So, bully for you for the confession my friend! Now, on with the show…

 
 
If you could choose any artist living or dead to collaborate with (could be recording, tour, or simply write with—), who would it be?
 
There are a few that I NEED to collaborate with before I die! Daryl Palumbo, Chino Moreno, Curt Smith, Roland Orzabal, Elvis Costello, Martin L. Gore, Regina Spektor and Anthony Green.

 
 
What is the best live show you have ever attended? (or if that’s too difficult to narrow down… just the first show you ever attended)
 
Glassjaw. Elvis Costello.
 
That will conclude the interview, sir! Thanks immensely for taking a moment to speak with us, and we eagerly anticipate your upcoming releases! 
 
Word.
 
 


 
 
FOLLOW:
 
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For fans of:
Coheed and Cambria, Deftones, The Prize Fighter Inferno, Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode

 

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