Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Jason McCash - In memory of a fallen brother 4/19/76-4/5/14

It's usually by chance you come across and befriend genuine people. People who are down to earth, real and extremely friendly and caring almost to the point where others well-being is more important than their own. I've been lucky to meet a few people like this throughout the years and one of them is Jason McCash from The Gates Of Slumber.

In the summer of 2006 I attended a small and short-lived festival back home in Sweden called Gates Of Metal. One of the merch stalls I stopped by was occupied by a label, I Hate Records. Ola, one of the owners was pushing really hard for one of their current releases, 'Suffer No Guilt', by The Gates Of Slumber. I loved the beautiful Thor-like cover but was still unsure until Ola uttered the magical words...'they're influenced by Thin Lizzy'. That's all it took for me and naturally I immediately bought a copy.
Being busy watching bands and partying I didn't listen to the album until I got home but I was sold on the right there and then. In fact I liked them so much I wrote them about my thoughts of the band and their music but not really expecting a response. How wrong I was! Only a few days later Jason replied on behalf of the band, thanking me for liking the album and for taking the time to check out The Gates Of Slumber.

That was the beginning of a solid good friendship. Not the kind you develop through years and years of hanging out but a good long-distance friendship. About 18 months later I moved to the States to be with my future wife and not long after that I got to see and meet The Gates Of Slumber for the first time at Declaration Of Doom in Baltimore. As I approached Jason he gave me a huge bear hug smiling from ear to ear as he would always do whenever we met and that's how I will always remember him. We talked through the night missing a few bands in the process but who cared we enjoyed each others company.

Jason was a fantastic bass player and a beast on stage which is quite the opposite from how I perceived him off the stage. To me he seemed shy almost like he tried to stay away from people a lot of times but really came out of his shell whenever anyone took the time to talk to him. You know it felt like he didn't think anyone knew who he was and wanted anything to do with him. Instead it was the very opposite. Every time he walked into a room conversations would turn from negative to positive in an instant since he had a way of making people happy.

When I saw Jason in June 2013 at Days Of The Doomed III who would have thought this was the last time I would see him. We talked on and off after that and he said new things were on the horizon although his departure from The Gates Of Slumber came as a shock. However, he was exploring new musical avenues and seemed to be focused and intent on getting his struggling life back on track. But sadly that was not to be.

Anytime someone close passes away the survivors mourn asking questions why shaking their heads in disbelief to what has happened. That's only natural and I, myself, with so many others can't believe and understand that Jason is gone. But that is secondary to what his family is going through. Keep them in your thoughts and put their situation first because a husband, a son, and a father is gone.

Jason, I will always remember the music you made, the smile you always put on my face and what a good friend you were. You are missed and always will be. Watch over us from the great halls of Valhalla as I raise a tankard of mead in your honor. You might not still be with us in person any more but you are always here in our minds!

'Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.
Be kind.

- Swedebeast

Please take a minute and look at the links below. They have been started to raise money to help Jason's wife and children.

Days Of The Doomed IV is an annual event that Jason was influential in getting started. Founder and organizer Mercyful Mike is putting together a benefit bundle where all the proceeds goes to the McCash family. In between bands only The Gates Of Slumber songs will be played and several of the bands have promised to play The Gates Of Slumber covers in honor of Jason.

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