He received his first guitar when he was 10 years old, but he put it away and didn't play it for a few years then he picked it back up when he began listening to Metallica, because he wanted to recreate their sound. He learned music and harmony theory from his mother, who was a classical pianist and composer. Jake is also influenced musically by rock and heavy metal artists such as Van Halen, Scorpions, Paul Gilbert, Buckethead, Randy Rhoads, Pantera, Black Sabbath, Armored Saint, Dio, Manowar, Iced Earth, Darkthrone, Cannibal Corpse, Slayer, Avenged Sevenfold, Mötley Crüe, and Metallica. Before joining Black Veil Brides, he played lead guitar in the bands the Perfect Victim and 80 Proof Riot. He is a certified recording engineer and went to Los Angeles Recording School in 2006. He co-produced the fourth Black Veil Brides record with John Feldmann, along with their fifth record Vale. He is working on a new band with his wife Inna, called Aelonia. He is also producing for other bands such as New Years Day.