Basic Background Info

Birth: Unknown
Location: Bellingham, Washington
Band: Death Cab for Cutie
Genres: Rock, Emo, Indie Rock
Instruments: Drums
Occupation: Musician, Instructor, Studio Owner


Jason McGerr’s drum education began at The Seattle Drum School in 1992. Jason McGerr studied under owner Steve Smith, who taught Jason both independence and gave him the tools to eventually teach himself. Jason McGerr also received instruction on stick motion economization from North American Solo Drum Champion, John Fisher. To round out Jason McGerr’s impressive list of teachers, he sought the mentorship of Jim Kilpatrick of Glasgow, Scotland.

After a thorough education, Jason McGerr earned work on multiple recording, session, and live performances with his relentless dedication. Jason McGerr performed with Matt Nathanson, Eureka Farm, Neo, Pretty Girls Make Graves, Tegan and Sara, and Chris Walla. Jason McGerr returned to The Seattle Drum School, where he taught courses and provided private lessons to drummers of all ages and skill levels.

In 2003, Jason McGerr accepted an invitation to join Death Cab for Cutie, a band notorious for the frequency with which drummers would come and leave. After the release of Transatlanticism, critics suggested that perhaps Death Cab finally found the right drummer—or at the very least, ought to hang on to Jason for as long as they could.

In 2007, Jason opened his own recording studio, which would go on to host Smoosh, Only Human, Moros Eros, Grand Archives, Dave Bazan, Mark Kozelek, Matt Cameron, and Death Cab for Cutie. Jason operated his studio with a hands-on approach, reminiscent of his days as a session drummer—always willing to record a single track, serve as engineer, or even drum tech.


Album Year Album Name Album Band
2003 New Romance Pretty Girls Make Graves
2003 Transatlanticism Death Cab for Cutie
2004 Battery Aveo
2004 Brighter When Marc Olsen
2004 Late Great Daniel Johnston: Discovered Covered Various Artists
2004 Travistan Travis Morrison
2005 Dutch Dub Dutch Dub
2005 In the Red Kind of Like Spitting
2005 Plans Death Cab for Cutie
2006 Free to Stay Smoosh
2007 Con Tegan and Sara
2007 Endless Highway: The Music of The Band Various Artists
2007 Some Mad Hope Matt Nathanson
2007 Wincing the Night Away The Shins
2008 April Sun Kil Moon
2008 Field Manual Christopher Walla
2008 I Will Possess Your Heart Death Cab for Cutie
2008 Narrow Stairs Death Cab for Cutie
2009 Sainthood Tegan and Sara
2009 The Open Door EP Death Cab for Cutie
2011 Codes & Keys Death Cab for Cutie
2011 Modern Love Matt Nathanson
2014 Lions William Fitzsimmons


  • In addition to allowing them to record in his studio, Jason also mentored pre-teen indie group Smoosh—two sisters who were originally drum students of his. After hearing them sing and play piano, he helped them record.
  • "I love to transcribe, so when I got Death Cab's catalogue, I wrote out all of the drum parts so I could play the songs note-for-note. At first, it was hard to make the older songs feel the same for the guys in the band, since several previous drummers had played the parts. There was a lot of push and pull. I worked out the parts as close to the originals as I could, but I eventually pulled them into my own feel.” -Jason McGerr

Instruments of Choice



Drums: Ludwig
Cymbals: Paiste
Hardware: Drum Workshop
Sticks: Vic Firth

Pics & Clips