Jason Hartless

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Jason Hartless
Jason Hartless live in 2016
Jason Hartless live in 2016
Background information
Birth nameJason Michael Hartless
Born (1994-11-05) November 5, 1994 (age 26)
Fraser, Michigan
GenresHard rock, alternative rock, Jazz, Funk, Fusion, Country Pop, Pop
InstrumentsDrums, percussion
Years active2000–present
Associated actsTed Nugent, Mitch Ryder, Sponge, Tantric, Joe Lynn Turner

Jason Hartless (born November 5, 1994) is an American drummer, best known for being the drummer for guitarist and fellow Detroit native, Ted Nugent. Hartless has also performed and/or recorded with Mitch Ryder, Sponge, 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[edit]

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[edit]

  • Jason Hartless Jr. - First Division (2004)
  • Richie Scarlet - Revelation Supreme (2005)
  • Gun Shy - Gun Shy (2007)
  • Brian Schram - Disturbing The Peace (2007)
  • Brian Schram - Rockin' Fish Tales (2008)
  • SHRAM - Molly EP (2009)
  • SHRAM - Shut Up And Press Play (2009)
  • Brian Schram - Rockin' Fish Tales III (2012)
  • Pistol Day Parade - Burn (2013)
  • Jayme Orr - Healed (2016)
  • Joe Jermano - The People Inside (2016)
  • If Walls Could Talk - What Would They Say? (2016) (Co-Producer & Guest Drummer)
  • Steve Salter - Gleaming (2016)
  • Gary Garris - Stuck On You (2016)
  • Antonio Cipriano - Never Gonna Be the Same (2016)
  • Sami Mei - Puppets (2016)
  • By The Way Girls - Introducing By the Way (2016)
  • Joe Jermano - Dreaming In Color (2017)
  • Rustic Union - Fearless (2017)
  • Nicholas Wolf - Invincible (2017)
  • Sami Mei - Brighter Than The Stars (2017)
  • Brittan Church - Breathe into Me (2018)
  • Pompeii - The Secret Sessions (2018) (Drums on "Growing Old with Rock & Roll (2017 Re-Record)")
  • The Sweet - Level Headed Tour Rehearsals 1977 (2018) (Vinyl Reissue Executive Producer)
  • The Rationals - The Rationals (Deluxe Edition) (2018) (Reissue Executive Producer)
  • Max Ater - Small Town EP (2018) (Drums & Executive Producer)
  • Ted Nugent - The Music Made Me Do It (2018)
  • Los Lobotomys - Los Lobotomys (2019) (Vinyl Reissue Executive Producer)
  • Corky Laing - Toledo Sessions (2019) (Executive Producer & Additional Percussion)
  • SHRAM - Winnipeg Sessions 2007 EP (2020)


  • Learn To Rock Drums With Jason Hartless & Friends (2012)
  • Ted Nugent - Live at Freedom Hill (2018)
  • Ted Nugent's Spirit of The Wild TV (Various Episodes)
Year Title US Mainstream Rock Album Artist
2013 "Not Today" 34 BURN Pistol Day Parade
2014 "Rockstars Girlfriend" 19


Pearl Drums: Reference Pure Music City Custom

  • 24"x14" Bassdrum
  • 12"x9" Tom
  • 14"x14" Floortom
  • 16"x16" Floortom
  • 14"x5" Snare

Sabian Cymbals

Remo Drumheads

Jason Hartless Signature Vater Drumsticks 5A model


  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.

External links[edit]