During the past 15+ years, Jason Bittner has created a massive name for himself primarily for his work with Massachusetts based metal giants SHADOWS FALL, a band he officially joined in the fall of 2001.
The spotlight shifted onto Jason almost immediately after joining Shadows Fall, starting with the band’s 2002 release, The Art of Balance, which found the band reaching international acclaim and serving as the band’s breakthrough album. In 2004, The War Within launched Shadows Fall to the peak of the Top Independent Album Charts upon its release, also breaking into the Top 20 on Billboard’s Top 200 Charts, and earning Shadows Fall their first Grammy Nomination for the song, “What Drives the Weak”, under the category of Best Metal Performance. Since their breakthrough, Jason Bittner and Shadows Fall have released 3 other studio albums including 2007’s, Threads of Life- which earned the band their second Grammy Nomination for the track “Redemption” under the Best Metal Performance category, and 2009’s, Retribution, which found the band playing massive touring festivals including the 2010 Mayhem Festival and the Shock & Raw Tour. Their live DVD/CD Madness in Manila was also released in 2010. Fire From the Sky, Shadows Fall's last effort, was released in May of 2012, courtesy of Razor & Tie records, and to this date the band’s collective catalog has reached over 1,000,000,000 sales in the United States alone.
Jason Bittner’s speed, ambidexterity, double bass dominance, and ability to play multiple styles behind the kit, began to get noticed by the drum community soon after joining Shadows Fall. This launched a barrage of clinic/festival requests and placed Bittner into a featured performer position at the Modern Drummer Festival, Drummer Live, PASIC, Drum Fantasy Camp, DRUM! Night, and countless other fan-filled clinic tour stops. 2004 brought Bittner his first Modern Drummer Reader’s Poll win as the #1 up and Coming Drummer. In 2005 Jason Bittner was voted the #1 Metal Drummer in the Modern Drummer Reader’s Poll, and also won the #1 Best Recorded Performance Award for Shadows Fall’s “The War Within”, In 2006 he repeated the #1 Metal Award in Modern Drummer. The following year brought the #1 Metal Drummer and #1 Rising Drumming Star awards in the 2007 DRUM! Magazine Reader’s Polls. Jason’s book, "Drumming Out of The Shadows", co-authored by Joe Bergamini, was voted the #2 award in the DRUM! Reader’s Poll for Best Educational Book, and Jason was also a featured performer in the book "On the Beaten Path" by Rich Lackowski which was the #1 Educational Book of 2008 in both the Modern Drummer and DRUM! Magazine Reader's polls. His Hudson Music educational DVD “What Drives the Beat” took the #3 Best Educational DVD in the 2009 MD Reader’s Poll, and his last accolade, so far, was 2011’s #2 Clinician in the DRUM! Magazine Reader’s Poll.
Outside of Shadows Fall, Bittner is a very busy man. He spent most of 2012 touring with Big 4 Thrash Kings ANTHRAX, filling in for Charlie Benante. This was Bittner’s third time filling in for one of his heroes, a job he had been handling for Benante on and off since 2006. 2012 brought Jason to South America, Canada and the US with Anthrax including the whole 2012 Rockstar MAYHEM tour. He soon returned to finish 2012/13 touring with Shadows Fall, when Anthrax intervened once more, this time deciding to recruit SF guitarist Jon Donais to join their well established machine.
Shadows Fall announced a “hiatus” in 2014 due to the band’s inability to tour with Donais being in Anthrax, and SF members having children. Bittner then went on to play in the underground 80’s band TOXIK for a year, recording a CD that unfortunately never saw the light of day, and doing some international touring with the act that would once again lead to the next chapter in his career.
While touring Europe in 2014, Bittner was asked by Arizona thrash metal legends FLOTSAM AND JETSAM to join their ranks. Original drummer, and longtime friend Kelly Smith was stepping down from the road and hand picked Bittner to continue his legacy. 2015 brought international touring for the band plus the writing and recording of the band’s new record. Also during this time Bittner, was busy doing sessions, private lessons and clinics around the US.
In 2016, Bittner released albums by Coconut Donut, which is a 70’s influenced rock/funk project that shows yet another side to his ambidexterity behind the kit, (as well as his abilities as a producer), along with a 5-song EP by his Prog-fusion project Midnight Whiskey Worship (which also includes Frank Aresti from Fates Warning in it’s ranks).
FLOTSAM AND JETSAM also released their self-titled album, on May 20, 2016 and then proceeded to spend the rest of the year touring to support it.
2017 brought some early European touring for the Flotsam camp, however this would be Bittner’s last tour with the band due to his departure to join New Jersey Thrash Metal Legends – OVERKILL.
Overkill will release their 19th album “The Wings of War” on February 22, 2019. The album release will also coincide with a tour cycle that will begin in South America in January 31, 2019 and go around the world through 2020.
After picking up a pair of sticks at a very young age, the young drummer started destroying his Mother’s pots and pans, and whatever else he could get his hand on until his father finally bought him a drum set when he was 8. In the years to follow, he would study privately, be active in his school bands/orchestras, and eventually head off to study at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in the late 80’s.
During the 90’s Bittner spent most of his time playing/touring/recording with a plethora of regional East Coast bands, the most notable being Stigmata, Burning Human, and one-time Metal Blade recording artists CRISIS. Many shows were logged up and down the East Coast, as well as a full international tour with the later. It was also during this time, that he would meet his future band mates who also played the same East Coast scene but in different bands - Overcast, Pushbutton Warfare, Exhumed, and Aftershock.
Yoga, Meditation, Marijuana and long walks alone...