This led to playing in various metal and hard rock bands throughout the late eighties and early nineties.
In 1994 he joined the band Stigmata, a prominent hardcore band in the New York scene, and over the course of the next 7 years, recorded 3 albums, released a home video, and toured the U.S. and Europe with this outfit. In 1995 he started his origianl death metal band Burning Human. They recorded 7 songs that would appear on the album "We The People: A tribute to upstate NY's hardest". Most of these songs would be rerecorded for there first album which would'nt come out for another decade after Bittner joined Shadows Fall. Burning Human would eventually disband in the late 90's. Stigmata disbanded in 2001; the following fall, Bittner joined Shadows Fall. Initially, he had signed on just to do one tour of Europe with the band, but subsequently decided to remain as a permanent member.
In September 2002 the band released "The Art of Balance" and went on to tour throughout the US, Japan, and Europe. Over the course of 2005, following the release of Shadows Fall's follow up effort The War Within, Bittner started establishing himself as a clinician, performing at the Modern Drummer Festival, the DRUMMER live festival in the UK, followed by a clinic tour of Germany, and also PASIC in November 2005.
In 2006, filled in for Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante on several dates, who could not tour due to family obligations. Hudson Music released a joint DVD with Bittner and Chris Adler of the American metal band Lamb of God, Pro-Mark introduced the Jason Bittner Signature model 5BX drumstick, and Meinl introduced the Bell Blast ride, designed in conjunction with Jason. He was the cover feature of the UK drum publications, DRUMMER and Rhythm, the cover feature of DRUM!, and participated on Magna Carta's Drum Nation 3 record. Shadows Fall released "Fallout From the War" on Century Media Records in 2006 and spent the remainder of the year writing and recording Threads of Life at Studio 606 in L.A. with Producer Nick Raskulinecz (Foo Fighters, Rush). Bittner also won the Modern Drummer Reader's poll for #1 Metal drummer for the second year in a row.
In the early winter months of 2007, Jason spent much of his time writing and recording old and material for his original band, "Burning Human". Late March brought the beginning of the Shadows Fall tour cycle supporting Threads of Life, which was released in April 2007. Also during this time period, Bittner started writing a monthly drum column for RHYTHM magazine in the UK, was a faculty member (along with Steve Smith, Dave Weckl, and Horacio Hernandez) at the 2007 Drum Fantasy Camp held at Seton Hall University, and won #1 Metal Drummer and #1 Rising Drumming Star awards in the 2007 DRUM! Reader’s Poll. His book, "Drumming Out of The Shadows", co-authored by Joe Bergamini, received the #2 award in the DRUM! Reader’s Poll for Best Educational Book, and he was also featured in the book "On the Beaten Path" by Rich Lackowski, the #1 Educational Book of 2008 in the Modern Drummer and DRUM! Magazine reader's polls. Bittner and Hudson Music launched his first ever instructional DVD entitled "What Drives the Beat" in October 2008, with a clinic tour following its release.
With "Retribution" – Jason's most recent full length CD with "Shadows Fall" and follow-up to 2007’s critically acclaimed Threads of Life – it’s no surprise to find Shadows Fall once again taking bold steps in their quest for constant evolution. It starts, of course, with the guts of Retribution – the sound. “With each album we’ve gotten a little more confidence to really let all of our influences show,” says vocalist Brian Fair. “We’re unapologetic about the old-school metal and the 80s influence, as well as the thrash and the melodic death metal.” And Retribution – with music production by Zeuss (Hatebreed, Municipal Waste) and vocal production by Elvis Baskette (Incubus, Alter Bridge) – surely has that thrash-metal bedrock which has long served as the foundation of Shadows Fall – but there’s more. “We’ve really taken some songs all the way,” explains Fair. “The brutal parts are a complete, non-stop assault, and the rock-influenced songs go all the way within that rock direction. A song like ‘Picture Perfect’ – the chorus is more Journey or Def Leppard than it is death metal,” laughs Fair. “There’s really no holding back when it comes to our songwriting. Once the floodgates open, we go all the way.” The result is Retribution – a collection of songs that showcase the versatility and vision of this band that only seems to get better over time.
Jason played an acoustic set with George Lynch (Lynch Mob) and Stu Hamm (Joe Satriani) in the first ever acoustic performance of Lynch's Mr. Scary. The private event was hosted by US Music at the Hilton Hotel for NAMM 2010.
Bittner currently endorses Tama drums since 2002, however he cites that he has been using the company's products since 1981. Bittner has noted that he uses three kits: a Starclassic Maple, a Starclassic Bubinga, and a Superstar Custom. He is also endorsed by Meinl, Promark drumsticks, Ahead drum gloves, and Remo drum heads.
Drums - Tama Starclassic Performer B/B, Custom Red Lacquer
◦22"×18" Bass Drum (×2)
◦14"×6" Warlord Praetorian Snare Drum
◦20"×14" Gong Bass or 18"×16" Tom (On left side)
Cymbals - Meinl
◦14" Mb10 Heavy Soundwave Hi-Hat (×2)
◦18" Mb10 Medium Crash
◦17" Mb10 Medium Crash
◦18" Mb20 Rock China
◦18" Byzance Brilliant China
◦16" Byzance Brilliant China
◦17" Generation X China Crash
◦20" Mb10 Bell Blast Ride
◦20" Mb20 Heavy Ride
◦10" Byzance Dark Splash
◦8" Byzance Dark Splash
◦8" Classic Bell Effect Cymbal
◦17" AA China
Drumheads - Remo
◦Toms - Clear Emperor | Clear Ambassador
◦Bass - Clear Powerstroke 3 | Ebony Powerstroke 3
◦Snare - Coated Emperor X | Clear Ambassador
◦Gong/18" tom - Coated Emperor | Clear Ambassador
◦Tama Iron Cobra Single Pedal (×2)
◦Tama Iron Cobra Lever-Glide hi-hat stand
◦Tama Cable-Hat (Discontinued)
◦Tama Power Tower Rack System
Jason Bittner (born January 11, 1970 in Colonie, New York) is the drummer for the American metal band Shadows Fall. One of the most popular and celebrated current drummers in metal, he has won numerous awards including Modern Drummer Reader's poll for #1 Up and Coming Drummer of 2004, and in 2005, #1 Best Recorded Performance for the Shadows Fall album The War Within, and #1 Metal drummer.
He is recognized for his tight playing, extensive skill with double bass drumming, particularly his ability to play complex patterns at high speeds, and his familiarity with numerous styles of drumming, including Latin and jazz.
Bittner started taking formal drum lessons at the age of ten years old, however he has stated that he "had been banging on pots, pans, and garbage cans since he was about five". A native of Schenectady, NY, he continued to take lessons and perform in his middle school and Linton high school jazz and orchestra ensembles before attending Berklee College of Music in 1988. After a year of intensive study, he left Berklee to pursue his musical career outside the educational environment.