Jason Hartless

Last updated
Jason Hartless
Jason Hartless with Ted Nugent in 2016.jpg
Jason Hartless live in 2016
Background information
Birth nameJason Michael Hartless
Born (1994-11-05) November 5, 1994 (age 26)
Fraser, Michigan
Genres Hard rock, alternative rock, Jazz, Funk, Fusion, Country Pop, Pop
Instruments Drums, percussion
Years active2000–present
Associated acts Ted Nugent, Mitch Ryder, Sponge, Tantric, Joe Lynn Turner
Website www.jasonhartless.com

Jason Hartless (born November 5, 1994) is an American drummer and Record Label Executive, best known for being the drummer for guitarist and fellow Detroit native, Ted Nugent. Hartless currently tours with American rock band Sponge and has also performed and/or recorded with Mitch Ryder, Tantric and Joe Lynn Turner. Since the age of 12, Hartless has also toured as the support act with bands such as Mötley Crüe, Godsmack, Ted Nugent, Theory of a Deadman, Mountain, and Warrior Soul.


In Spring of 2020, Hartless earned his bachelors degree in Music Business from the renowned Berklee College of Music [1]

Personal life

Jason Michael Hartless was born on November 5, 1994, in Detroit, Michigan and was the first child of Jason and Shelly Hartless. Hartless grew up in Fraser, Michigan, where he graduated high school from Fraser High School in 2013. He started to play drums as a child and grew up listening mainly to bands such as The Who, T-Rex, The Sweet, Kiss and Styx. Hartless cites Corky Laing, Eric Singer, Mick Tucker and Buddy Rich as early influences to his playing style. Jason’s influences include: Corky Laing, Jeff Porcaro, Buddy Rich, Todd Sucherman, Keith Moon, Zak Starkey, Bernie Dresel, Anton Fig, Eric Singer, Stewart Copeland, Mick Tucker, Steve Smith, and Vinnie Colaiuta. [2]


At a very early age, Hartless was always intrigued by the drums and was born into a musical environment. His father, Jason was a professional drummer in the Detroit area. By five, Hartless began playing cover gigs with an all-adult band around Metro Detroit. A videotape of Hartless playing the Mountain song, “Nantucket Sleighride” caught the eye of Mountain drummer, Corky Laing, who then contacted Hartless’ family inquiring to work with him. In 2002, Laing began mentoring Hartless and by that summer they began recording Hartless’ solo album, titled First Division. For two years, Laing commuted from Toronto to Detroit to work and record with Hartless until the record was released in the summer of 2004. First Division included Hartless on drums and vocals, Laing on guitar and vocals and Richie Scarlet from the Ace Frehley Band on guitar and bass. [3]

In 2005, Hartless was asked to come to Millbrook Recording Studios in Millbrook, New York to record a track on Richie Scarlet’s release, Revelation Supreme. During this session, Hartless met legendary drummer Anton Fig; Fig was cutting a track on Scarlet's record as well. During Fig's session, Fig showed Hartless some of his techniques for charting music and recording drums in the studio. In late 2005, Hartless joined forces with the Toys for Tots foundation and began a yearly Rockin' 4 Tots drive outside a Toys R US in suburban Detroit. Various musicians from the Detroit area participated every year for this daylong event, such as Vinnie Dombroski from Sponge and Joey Gaydos from the film School of Rock . [4]

In early 2007, Hartless got a call from Brian Schram, ex-lead guitar player for Uncle Kracker, to come to Toronto and record a track on his 2007 release, Disturbing the Peace because their drummer had a family emergency and had to cancel last minute. A few months later, Hartless received another call from Schram to fill in on drums with his band, The Brian Schram Band, who was opening for Les Claypool the next night at the Rave Ballroom in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Hartless was offered the full-time seat after the show. Hartless toured across the east coast of the US in the summer of 2007 with the Schram Band supporting the release of Disturbing the Peace at the age of 12. In October 2007, Hartless and the band flew to Winnipeg, Manitoba and recorded some demos with former Nickelback producer, Dale Penner. During a run of shows in Toronto, Corky Laing suggested that the name of the band be changed from The Brian Schram Band to Shram. [5]

During January 2008, Shram began the two-month long, Loco Tour with The Dreaming as direct support. Throughout the year, Hartless and the band recorded the theme songs for The Next Bite and John Gillespie’s Woods and Water fishing television shows on Versus TV.

At 14 years old, Hartless and Shram toured on Mötley Crüe’s Crue Fest 2 North American tour in the summer of 2009 in support of the band's release, Shut Up and Press Play.

In April 2011, Hartless released his debut educational DVD, Learn To Rock Drums With Jason Hartless And Friends, partnered with Drumfun and distributed through Hal Leonard. [6]

In the summer of 2012, Hartless studied at Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA and received a full tuition scholarship for the Berklee summer program. During his time studying there, Hartless studied with percussion education legend Kim Plainfield.

In late 2012, Hartless joined Pistol Day Parade. With the band riding off of high popularity in the Michigan/Mid-West region, Goomba Music signed the band to a record deal. The band’s debut release, BURN was released in the summer of 2013. The first single off of BURN, "Not Today", charted at #34 on the Mainstream Rock Charts in October 2013. During the summer of 2014, Pistol Day Parade toured with fellow Detroit native, Ted Nugent on the Shut Up and Jam tour. "Rockstars Girlfriend", the last single off of the band's release, charted at #19 on Mainstream Rock charts in Fall 2014. [7]

In Spring 2016, Hartless replaced Dokken drummer, Mick Brown on drums for Ted Nugent.

Hartless currently serves as a managing partner of Detroit based Sony The Orchard (company) distributed company, Prudential Music Group, where he oversees the day to day operations of Prudential Records and Rouge Records. Hartless is also the in-house session drummer at Pearl Sound Studios in Canton, MI for producer Chuck Alkazian. [8]

Selected discography



Pearl Drums: Reference Pure Music City Custom

Sabian Cymbals

Remo Drumheads

Jason Hartless Signature Vater Drumsticks 5A model

Related Research Articles

Sponge (band) American rock band

Sponge is an American rock band formed in Detroit, Michigan in 1992 by vocalist Vinnie Dombroski, guitarist Mike Cross, bassist Tim Cross, drummer Jimmy Paluzzi, and guitarist Joey Mazzola. Dombroski and the Cross brothers were founding members of the hard rock band Loudhouse, later joined by Mazzola at the end of the band's tenure. Sponge's discography includes eight studio albums, four live albums, and several charting singles. They are best known for their 1994 hit "Plowed", their 1995 hit "Molly ", and their 1996 hit "Wax Ecstatic ".

Mountain (band) American rock band

Mountain was an American hard rock band that formed on Long Island, New York, in 1969. Originally comprising vocalist and guitarist Leslie West, bassist and vocalist Felix Pappalardi, keyboardist Steve Knight and drummer N. D. Smart, the band broke up in 1972 and has reunited frequently since 1973. Best known for their cowbell-tinged song "Mississippi Queen", as well as the heavily sampled song "Long Red" and their performance at the Woodstock Festival in 1969, Mountain is one of many bands to be commonly credited as having influenced the development of heavy metal music in the 1970s. The group's musical style primarily consisted of hard rock, blues rock and heavy metal.

The Amboy Dukes were an American rock band formed in 1964 in Chicago, Illinois, and later based in Detroit, Michigan. They are known for their one hit single "Journey to the Center of the Mind". The band's name comes from the title of a novel by Irving Shulman. In the UK, the group's records were released under the name of The American Amboy Dukes, because of the existence of a British group with the same name.

Frehley's Comet was an American rock band formed and led by ex-Kiss lead guitarist Ace Frehley. The group released two studio albums and one live EP before Frehley left the band to release his 1989 solo album, Trouble Walkin'.

<i>Ted Nugent</i> (album) 1975 studio album by Ted Nugent

Ted Nugent is the debut studio album by American hard rock musician Ted Nugent. The album was released in September 1975, by Epic Records. It was released after the disbanding of his former group The Amboy Dukes.

Pat Torpey American musician

Pat Torpey was an American drummer and singer, mostly known as the drummer for the rock supergroup Mr. Big. As well as playing for other various singers and artists such as; John Parr, Belinda Carlisle, Robert Plant, Montrose, Richie Kotzen and The Knack. Torpey had also recorded with Impellitteri and Ted Nugent.

Carmine Appice American rock musician, drummer

Carmine Appice is an American drummer and percussionist most commonly associated with the rock genre of music. He is best known for his associations with Vanilla Fudge; Cactus; the power trio Beck, Bogert & Appice; Rod Stewart; King Kobra; and Blue Murder, which also featured John Sykes, of Whitesnake and Thin Lizzy fame, and Tony Franklin of The Firm. Appice was inducted into the Classic Drummer Hall of Fame in 2013 and the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 2014.

Deen Castronovo American drummer and singer

Deen J. Castronovo is an American drummer and singer, best known for being a member of classic rock band Journey and hard rock acts Bad English and Hardline. He currently plays drums and shares lead vocals for the bands The Rise Above and the Revolution Saints. He has been a touring and studio member for Ozzy Osbourne, Steve Vai, Paul Rodgers, Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler's GZR, and The Dead Daisies.

Mick Brown (musician)

Michael J. Brown, a.k.a. "Wild" Mick Brown is a drummer who has played in the bands Dokken, Ted Nugent, Lynch Mob, and Xciter.

<i>Frehleys Comet</i> (album) 1987 studio album by Frehleys Comet

Frehley's Comet is the second solo release by American musician Ace Frehley, former lead guitarist of Kiss. Frehley also named his band after the title of this album, and in this way, it is also considered the self-titled debut album credited to Frehley's Comet, as opposed to a Frehley solo release. It was the first album that Frehley released after leaving Kiss in 1982.


Damnocracy was a heavy metal supergroup formed on, and for, the VH1 TV show Supergroup in 2006. The members of the band ultimately dubbed their band project Damnocracy.

<i>Intensities in 10 Cities</i> 1981 live album by Ted Nugent

Intensities in 10 Cities is the second live album by the American guitarist Ted Nugent, released in 1981 and consisting of ten songs recorded during the last ten dates of Nugent's 1980 tour. Nugent played 2 or 3 new songs every night on the tour, and told audiences he was recording them for possible inclusion in a new live album featuring all previously unreleased songs. None of the songs had appeared on any previous Ted Nugent album. Nugent explained at the time that about twenty previously unreleased songs were played at the beginning of the tour, and at the end the best ten were recorded live rather than in the studio later, because they were well-honed from months of performances and had the extra spark of a live setting. It was Ted Nugent's final album for Epic Records and the last album to feature drummer Cliff Davies.

Corky Laing

Laurence Gordon "Corky" Laing is a Canadian rock drummer, best known as a longtime member of pioneering American hard rock band Mountain.

Ted Nugent American rock musician

Theodore Anthony Nugent is an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and pro-gun political activist. He initially gained fame as the lead guitarist of The Amboy Dukes, a band formed in 1963 that played psychedelic rock and hard rock. After dissolving the band, he embarked on a solo career. Nugent is known for his Gibson Byrdland, his bluesy and frenzied guitar playing and his energetic live shows. Despite possessing a distinctive, wide-ranging singing voice, Nugent recorded and toured with other singers during much of his early solo career, including Derek St. Holmes, Brian Howe, and Meat Loaf, only taking on full lead vocal duties later on. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, he was part of the supergroup Damn Yankees.

<i>Live: The Road Goes Ever On</i> 1972 live album by Mountain

Live: The Road Goes Ever On is a live album by American hard rock band Mountain. Released on 24 April 1972 by Windfall Records, it contains four songs recorded at three shows in August 1969, December 1971, and January 1972. The album was produced by the band's bassist and second vocalist Felix Pappalardi, while the artwork was created by his wife and collaborator Gail Collins. The Road Goes Ever On takes its name from J. R. R. Tolkien's 1937 novel The Hobbit.

DJ Ashba

Daren Jay Ashba is an American musician, guitarist, songwriter, record producer, and graphic designer. He is currently the lead guitarist in Sixx:A.M.. He is also known for his work with hard rock bands BulletBoys, Beautiful Creatures and Guns N' Roses. He has worked with various artists including Mötley Crüe, Drowning Pool, Marion Raven, Aimee Allen and Neil Diamond. He is the CEO of Ashba Media.

Cliff Davies (musician) British musician

Clifford "Cliff" Davies was a British drummer, songwriter and producer.

<i>Masters of War</i> (album) 2007 studio album by Mountain

Masters of War is the eighth and final studio album by American hard rock band Mountain, released in 2007. The album consists entirely of Bob Dylan covers.

John Sauter is an American rock and blues musician and bass guitarist from Decatur, Illinois. He has played in Mitch Ryder's band Detroit and with Ted Nugent.

The Music Made Me Do It is the fifteenth studio album by American rock guitarist Ted Nugent. It is the first album to feature drummer Jason Hartless.


  1. "Biography". Jason Hartless - Drummer. Retrieved 2018-07-09.
  2. "Biography". Jason Hartless - Drummer. Retrieved 2018-07-09.
  3. "Biography". Jason Hartless - Drummer. Retrieved 2018-07-09.
  4. "Biography". Jason Hartless - Drummer. Retrieved 2018-07-09.
  5. "Biography". Jason Hartless - Drummer. Retrieved 2018-07-09.
  6. "Hal Leonard - Learn to Rock Drums with Jason Hartless & Friends". Hal Leonard Corporation.
  7. "Teen musician to embark on tour with Ted Nugent". C&G News. July 1, 2014.
  8. "Pistol Day Parade in the Studio". Jason Hartless - Drummer. Retrieved 2017-04-14.