Interview with Jackson Floyd (Ronald Ray-Gun, Jasper’s Cast)

Jackson Floyd is a former Trinity student from Nashville who is a member of the SA-based bands Ronald Ray-Gun and Jasper’s Cast.

IDP: How many bands have you been in since coming to Trinity?

JF: Five. One was a collective of musicians that jammed together and recorded on each other’s songs and things like that, and that was called Lilac Inferno. Later I started Jasper’s Cast with other Trinity sophomore students. From there I got involved in the local music scene, was part of a couple Marcus Rubio projects, and finally this past year I started my own band called Ronald Ray-Gun, which is also made up of Trinity students. Jasper’s Cast and Ronald Ray-Gun are working on albums right now, and I’m also working on an electric guitar and cello album with Meg Lobasso, an Incarnate Word student.

IDP: How do you decide which songs go with which project?

JF: Jasper’s Cast and Ronald Ray-Gun have completely different mindsets: one’s a folk band and one’s a rock band. So I can tell when I’m coming up with something which direction it’s going to go. There have been a couple of instances where I’ve had a song that I wrote on an acoustic guitar and wanted to show to Jasper’s Cast, but then I’ll plug in an electric and play it and then realize it sounds like a Ronald Ray-Gun song. The same thing has happened the other way, too.

IDP: Who’s in charge of the lyrics, and what influences the music?

JF: For Jasper’s Cast, Eric Elliott is the lead singer for 99 percent of the songs, so we tend to leave lyrics in his hands. But for Ronald Ray-Gun I write the lyrics for all the songs I sing. There are a few that Tyler Sanders sings and writes lyrics for. Ronald Ray-Gun started off kind of silly, the whole project was very “˜90s nostalgic. Musically, I take a lot from what I grew up listening to in the “˜90s, and I’m always striving to make music like my idols, like Nirvana and Sonic Youth. I like really loud guitars and relying on drum and bass while the guitar just makes noise, like a lot of those bands.

IDP: Do you find that each band comes with its own set of venues to play?

JF: Definitely, Ronald Ray-Gun plays The Ten Eleven a lot, they let you be as loud as you want. Whereas Jasper’s Cast have recently been playing farmer’s markets, restaurants and outdoor acoustic settings, something I could never imagine Ronald Ray-Gun doing. But Jasper’s Cast also plays The Ten Eleven a lot, it’s great that we can play late-night venues as well as smaller acoustic venues where we still get a lot of people to come listen to us.

IDP: Do you see yourself staying in San Antonio for a while?

JF: I definitely see myself staying here another year. There’s a lot of people down here who do a lot of really cool things and a lot of venues that are making this scene into something that’s pretty formidable.