Bass players unite

project made by 

 

Julie Pavlova and

Kathy Loran

 

Part I

Nico Bruniquet, France

KAKTUS GRÜN

(English version)

Nico Bruniquet, France

1. La première chose, qu’on voudrait savoir, c’est quand as-tu commencé à jouer de la guitare basse?
J’ai commencé à apprendre en 2007, c’est encore du tout frais.

– Pourquoi as-tu commence à jouer de la basse?

J’ai eu envie de faire de la musique très jeune, mais mes parents voulaient que je privilégie mes études. En attendant, j’étais en admiration devant mes amis musiciens, j’étais même jaloux parce qu’ils jouaient bien et ils avaient tellement de classe … et ils attiraient de jolies filles lol. J’ai choisi la basse car j’adore ce son grave, la place qu’elle a dans une chanson et pourtant, c’est un instrument rarement mis en avant … mais j’adore. J’ai plus un coup de cœur pour une basse qu’un autre instrument.

2. Est-ce que jouer de la basse pour toi, c’est … un hobby? Job? Style de vie?
Je le prends comme un job mais aussi un hobby. J’aime bien jouer avec un côté très professionnel tout en prenant beaucoup de plaisir.

3. Qui est ton inspirateur musical chez les bassistes?
J’en ai plusieurs, mais celui qui m’a donné envie de faire de la basse et qui a fait un peu ma culture musicale est Calogero.

Il fait partie de ces artistes qui font des belles choses en restant simple. Et je trouve que c’est plus difficile de faire une belle chanson avec des choses simples qu’une chanson avec de grosses techniques. Il accroche bien l’oreille avec de très bonnes et belles mélodies et ça n’en met pas dans tous les sens.
Je le compare vraiment à Paul McCartney … c’est un vraiment un artisan de la musique et il le fait avec Brio.

4. Joues-tu d’autres instruments de musique? Quels instruments? Quels instruments aimerais-tu jouer?
Je touche un peu à la guitare, le piano et la batterie, j’aimerai m’améliorer pour les 3 instruments. Sinon le violon est un instrument que j’aurai aimé apprendre.

5. Quel instrument de musique peux-tu t’associer à? Pourquoi?
Je pense que je serai un piano car cet instrument est très ouvert : On parcourt les fréquences, des graves aux aiguës en donnant différentes sensations. Il y a beaucoup de choses à faire avec cet instrument … comme avec moi ! LOL

6. Parle-nous des projets auxquels tu participes?
Je suis actuellement dans une formation qui fait son répertoire … un répertoire de compositions. Le nom est Kaktus Grün. Je ne saurai pas comment définir le style musical car il y a un mélange de Hip/hop, Rock, Pop, et autres … On pourrait dire que c’est du Hip/hop Alternatif lol.
D’ailleurs, vous pouvez écouter des sons sur notre page Facebook.

7. Parle-nous de tes impressions de live shows? Combien es-tu amical et ouvert aux fans?
Les concerts c’est fantastique !! C’est super de jouer en live et avoir une interaction avec le public. 

Je n’ai pas de fans, je ne suis pas Paul McCartney ou Chris Wolstenholme de Muse mais je reste très ouvert, j’aime avoir l’avis de chacun, bon ou mauvais surtout si c’est sur de la composition.

8. Qu’est-ce que t’attire sauf musique? Tu te vois dans d’autres domaines?
La photographie et la vidéo, j’aimerai bien créer un court métrage ou faire de la bande originale.

9. Peut-être cet article sera lu par tes collegues ou bassistes débutants. Que peux-tu dire sur les marques et brands des bass guitares? Quelles brands et guitares utilises-tu? Est-ce que la marque de la guitare influe sur la qualite du son, ou tout dépend de l’habileté du bassiste?
Je joue actuellement sur une Fender Aerodyne Precision Bass faite au Japon, et j’utilise une pédale de préamp de chez Tech21 ; une Memory Boy, une Big Muff et un POG2 d’Electro Harmonix et un compresseur d’EBS.

Je pense que mon matériel évoluera au fil du temps car j’aimerai bien d’autres effets, une basse 5 cordes, ou la Rickenbacker 4003 ou une Musicman …

En qui concerne le son, c’est avant tout dans sa façon de jouer … la basse à son rôle aussi, bien sûr. Il ne faut pas hésiter à en essayer en magasin ou quand vous entendez le son d’une basse qui vous plait, d’essayer de savoir ce que le bassiste utilise comme matériels.

10. Parle-nous de tes plans musicaux et de tes rêves. Que devrions-nous te souhaiter?
Je vais avoir des concerts avec Kaktus Grün dans le nord de la France. J’ai hâte !

A côté de ça, j’aime bien faire des Bass Cover sur des chansons où il n’y a pas forcément de la grosse performance. Au début j’essayais de me rapprocher le plus possible de la basse initiale, mais maintenant j’essaie de personnaliser à ma manière comme je l’ai fait sur « Le Portrait » de Calogero qu’on peut voir sur Youtube.
J’aimerai bien partager des covers avec des amis ou avec les artistes des chansons choisies où on pourrait faire des arrangements; ou bien avec des personnes qui aiment faire de la vidéo, ou de l’animation.
Je rêve de composer pour d’autres, ou pour un film aussi.
Après le plus grand rêve est de faire une scène ou plusieurs, avec l’artiste qui m’a donné envie de faire de la musique.

Diggy Kat, the United State

(Vufcup, Odaal, The Mercury-Mars unit, 210toLowell, The Atomic Squirrels, Wasted Days)

Diggy Kat

1. For the first question we want to know when did you start to play the bass guitar? Was it easy for you to learn bass?
When I was 18, I had already been playing guitar for 10 years so picking up bass was easy and loads of fun!

2. Playing on the bass for you is… Hobby? Job? Lifestyle?
Both job and lifestyle.

3. Who is your musical inspiration among bassists?
Stephen Stills, Paul McCartney, Rick Danko, Bjorn Englen and Jerry Only.

4. Do you play any other musical instruments? If you start to learn another one which would you like?
Besides bass, I also instruct guitar and banjo. I can find my way around drums, keyboards, piano, accordion, harmonica, dulcimer, sitar, melodica, cumbus, glockenspiel, autoharp and mandolin. The next instruments I have my eyes set on are cello and stand up bass.

5. Musical instrument with which you can be associated with is…
Anything with strings.

6. Tell us about the projects in which you participate?
I was bassist for Wasted Days (2007-2008), The Atomic Squirrels (2008), and 210toLowell (2012-2013) guitarist for The Mercury-Mars Unit (2009-2011) and percussionist for Odaal (2012-hiatus). I have my own project called Vufcup where I play all the instruments.

7. What do you feel on live performances? How friendly and open are you with your fans?
Very natural, loads of fun, great times! I absolutely love my fans and always willing to pose for a picture and chat with them because I really view my fans as friends.

8. What do you like except music? Can you imagine yourself in other areas of life?
I am also the co-founder, station manager and radio personality for Lucky Star Radio, I like cats, the color orange and coffee and I directed a music video for the latest Parker Rose song, „Slow Drive”.

9. Maybe other bass players or those who start to learn bass are reading this article now. Let’s talk about technical stuff. Which brand do you prefer? Does quality of music depend on the guitar’s brand or of the skill of the bass player?
I am never set on one brand, I love checking out different types. I use a Ashdown Bass Amp and the basses I use are: 24 fret electric ESP, electric Peavey, acoustic/electric fretless Michael Kelly and an electric fretless bass that was made by a violin player and owned by Malcolm Jones from Blues Image.

The skill depends on the quality. If the quality is bad you can’t hear yourself as well as you should which means others can’t as well. If the quality is clear you can hear what sounds good, you can easily identify mistakes that will make it easier for you to practice and accomplish at a professional level.

10. And the last question is about your musical dreams and plans. What are you planning for the future? What are you dreaming about? What should we wish for you?
I am in the early process of working on Vufcup’s 6th independent album and continuing full speed ahead with www.live365.com/stations/luckystarradio!

Go Nakabayashi, the US, Japan

Go Nakabayashi

1. For the first question we want to know when did you start to play the bass guitar? Was it easy for you to learn bass?
I start playing the bass when I was 14 and it was kind of easy to getting into because I was always humming the bass lines from the music that I was listening to. But funny I’m still learning everyday. Lol

2. Playing on the bass for you is… Hobby? Job? Lifestyle?
Uhh.. It’s a hobby and a job. It depends on the situation.

3. Who is your musical inspiration among bassists?
I usually inspired by the drummer or the other part. But if it’s among bassists maybe Verdine White from EW&F, Louis Johnson from brothers, Johnson Stuart Zender from Jamiroquai. Haha funny no rock bassist… it’s all about the groove to me.

4. Do you play any other musical instruments? If you start to learn another one which would you like?
I actually start with the drums because of my dad was playing and play guitar as well. I use keyboard to write I mean just programming and stuff but I wish I can play piano real-time.

5. Musical instrument with which you can be associated with is…
The drums and the main melody.

6. Tell us about the projects in which you participate?
I’m currently not with any projects. Just doing some studio sessions and writing music. So let me know if you need me. lol

7. What do you feel on live performances? How friendly and open are you with your fans?
Pleasure and excitement. I’m pretty open to people. Not just to fans.

8. What do you like except music? Can you imagine yourself in other areas of life?
Cooking and golfing!! Haha.

9. Maybe other bass players or those who start to learn bass are reading this article now. Let’s talk about technical stuff. Which brand do you prefer? Does quality of music depend on the guitar’s brand or of the skill of the bass player?
I fall in love with MTD basses but guitar brand doesn’t matter. You should use what you like and someday that becomes your character. I believe the bassist need good skill especially good sense of time or I should say the groove. That effect big time. Bass is like a base of the house. Lol

10. And the last question is about your musical dreams and plans. What are you planning for the future? What are you dreaming about? What should we wish for you?
That’s a tough one. Maybe I just want to play with bunch of real musicians and get that great feel on the stage. I like performing live because you can not fake it like at recording. If I can share the time with a lot of people and get goosebumps together. I will be a happiest person in the world. lol

Alessandro Paveri, the US, Europe
(Gemini Syndrome)

1. For the first question we want to know when did you start to play the bass guitar? Was it easy for you to learn bass?
I started when I was 14. When you start it’s never easy but I was very determinated and I got used to the big frets and fretboard pretty quickly, my first teacher was pretty happy, I remember that.

2. Playing on the bass for you is… Hobby? Job? Lifestyle?
It’s a life style first, it’s something I need for my sanity, to express myself. I’m a very introverted person and playing an instrument really helped me out a lot. Fortunately, I can say it’s also my job and I consider myself very lucky for that. I think one of the most important things in life is to do something you really love for a living; otherwise your life can easily be miserable. I found that with my passion for music.  

3. Who is your musical inspiration among bassists?
Cliff Burton first, but there are also phenomenal bass players nowadays in any music genre. In my opinion, the more open minded we are, the more we will learn and grow as players, no matter what instrument you play.

4. Do you play any other musical instruments? If you start to learn another one which would you like?
I play double bass, I used to study at the Classic Conservatory in Genova (Italy) back in the day. I also play, and love, guitar and some drum.

5. Musical instrument with which you can be associated with is… 
Bass Guitar

6. Tell us about the projects in which you participate?
Before Gemini Syndrome, I played with many bands in Europe. The list is very long and I’ve toured everywhere in the old country. I always played bass in any band or project I’ve been part of besides one time, where I was playing guitar. The name of that band was 2000DS, from Wales. I also recorded an album as a guitar player with them.

Right now all of my experience and focus is for my band Gemini Syndrome. I have been part of it since the inception. We have a record out, “LUX,” and we are getting ready for the second one with a lot of excitement.

7. What do you feel on live performances? How friendly and open are you with your fans?
I feel the energy of the people, It’s something magical, every time is different and I cannot really find the words to describe it, it’s the magic of music.

I always find the time to meet and talk to fans after every show, they are the reason why I’m on stage. Without them I’m no one.

8. What do you like except music? Can you imagine yourself in other areas of life?
When I’m not touring or playing, I enjoy staying home. The best way for me to recharge myself is staying with myself. It might sound weird, but it’s true.  

9. Maybe other bass players or those who start to learn bass are reading this article now. Let’s talk about technical stuff. Which brand do you prefer? Does quality of music depend on the guitar’s brand or of the skill of the bass player?
I’m endorsed by Ernie Ball Music Man, Ashdown amps, Darkglass, and Jim Dunlop. Those are my favorite companies of all times. I worked hard to get their attention, and finally, the privilege to be part of their roster.

Quality of music is a combination between the skills of every member in a band, this is undeniable, after that the quality of the sound has a very important role as well. I can honestly say that without the right gear you cannot get the sound that you are looking for. One thing is for sure, it’s a lot of work and you really have to have a clear vision about what direction to take.

10. And the last question is about your musical dreams and plans. What are you planning for the future? What are you dreaming about? What should we wish for you?
Playing, playing, and playing again. We want to take Gemini Syndrome to the next level and be able to reach as many people as we can with our music and message. We are working hard for that and we will keep working harder and harder.

Joey Jane
(VATTICA)

Joey Jane1. For the first question we want to know when did you start to play the bass guitar? Was it easy for you to learn bass?
I briefly played bass in a band around the age of 16. It wasn’t until about 19 (6 months after moving to Los Angeles) that I started playing bass seriously after finding Alex & Prentice who needed a bassist, which came easy to me because I come from a background of playing guitar. And then we formed VATTICA.

2. Playing on the bass for you is… Hobby? Job? Lifestyle?
Playing bass for me is something I’ve grown to love because you really have to own it. When I decided to play bass I figured „well, then I just have to be the most badass bass player in the business, so I guess it became a lifestyle thing!

3. Who is your musical inspiration among bassists?
Duff Mckagan and Nikki Sixx, no question. Duff for his creativity and skill. Nikki for his live energy and overall persona.

4. Do you play any other musical instruments? If you start to learn another one which would you like?
I play guitar and some drums. I sing and scream as well as seen live or heard on our record „We Survive”.

5. Musical instrument with which you can be associated with is…
Well I guess now that would have to be the bass now wouldn’t it! Haha

6. Tell us about the projects in which you participate?
I’ve really dedicated all my time and effort and emotion into VATTICA and really no other thus far. Those guys are my brothers and it’s all of our baby we’ve raised from the bottom and we still continue to grow. I’m a firm believer in focusing your time into one thing until it gets to where you see fit.

7. What do you feel on live performances? How friendly and open are you with your fans?
My sanity is playing live. I get really pumped up about an hour before stage. And when I get up there I almost feel taken over by the energy. So everything that happens up there is complete honesty. I’m an open book, so I’m very friendly to each and every fan and extremely open. I’m honored that they take the time to pay attention to me, so they deserve my attention to them.

8. What do you like except music? Can you imagine yourself in other areas of life?Joey Jane2
There is nothing else. It’s do or die.

9. Maybe other bass players or those who start to learn bass are reading this article now. Let’s talk about technical stuff. Which brand do you prefer? Does quality of music depend on the guitar’s brand or of the skill of the bass player?
I’m not really a gear head. I mean I love my thunderbird bass, and my sans amp pedal and that’s it. I’m good to go. But you can have the best equipment in the world and if you don’t put the time and effort in it won’t help you. But I just consider myself an entertainer. My advice would be if you want to be a rock star, learn the basics then go out and hustle. You can spend your life perfecting the craft in your room but then what? You’re the greatest musician nobody’s ever heard of. Just go get yours!

10. And the last question is about your musical dreams and plans. What are you planning for the future? What are you dreaming about? What should we wish for you?
My plan is simple, I just want to be that next generation rock n roll hero such as the ones I grew up idolizing. I want to be the biggest band on the planet and inspire people to follow their dreams! Go big or go home!

Russ Swearingen, the US

Russ Swearingen1. For the first question we want to know when did you start to play the bass guitar? Was it easy for you to learn bass?
I started playing when I was 15

2. Playing on the bass for you is… Hobby? Job? Lifestyle?
More of a hobby these days but would like to see the stage again

3. Who is your musical inspiration among bassists?
Geddy Lee, Chris Squire, Tom Hamilton

4. Do you play any other musical instruments? If you start to learn another one which would you like?
Mandolin, would love re acquainting myself with piano

5. Musical instrument with which you can be associated with is…
Fender Jazz

6. Tell us about the projects in which you participate?
Just jamming with friends for now

7. What do you feel on live performances? How friendly and open are you with your fans?
Crowd energy, been known to go into the audience

8. What do you like except music? Can you imagine yourself in other areas of life?
Golf hunting. Not really

9. Maybe other bass players or those who start to learn bass are reading this article now. Let’s talk about technical stuff. Which brand do you prefer? Does quality of music depend on the guitar’s brand or of the skill of the bass player?
I play a Fender Jazz with a maple fretboard as my main bass. I also have a Squire bass that is fretless and is modeled after Jaco’s bass of doom. The Jazz bass feels most comfortable to me. I think first off you need to find a bass that you think feels and sounds good no matter what style of music you prefer. Certain basses don’t always work well in certain styles because of they way they are made. Certain pickups, fretted or fret less don’t always work from genre to genre. Because of the pickups on my main Jazz, it might not sound right playing jazz or bluegrass because they are a bit growl and aggressive.

10. And the last question is about your musical dreams and plans. What are you planning for the future? What are you dreaming about? What should we wish for you?
I would just love to get up in front of people, play interesting music and overhear people saying I’m not too bad.

Greg Richling, the US

(Wallflowers, Fiona Apple, Macy Gray, Michael Penn, Joe Henry)

 

Greg Richling1. For the first question we want to know when did you start to play the bass guitar? Was it easy for you to learn bass?
I started playing bass when I was 11 years old, in the 80’s, and took lessons at a local music store. I learned to play many popular songs of the day and found that if I wasn’t able to play something immediately, I usually was able to the next day after I got away from it for a bit.

2. Playing on the bass for you is… Hobby? Job? Lifestyle?
Playing the bass for me is a fun activity that turned into my job for a very long time. However, now it’s only one of the things that I do along with being a dad, producing records, and running my music promo site unkovr.com. The site takes about 8 to 10 hours out of my day nowadays.

3. Who is your musical inspiration among bassists?
I love so many bassists for different reasons, but my main influences are my friend and session ace Bob Glaub, Neil Jason, John Pierce, Davey Farragher, Jaco Pastorius, Taras Prodaniuk, James Jamerson, Duck Dunn, and many others.

4. Do you play any other musical instruments? If you start to learn another one which would you like?
I play drums, as well. Used to play drums in a couple bands many years ago. I think it would be cool to learn tuba next. I might do that.

5. Musical instrument with which you can be associated with is…
I play a fender p bass most of the time. Also an airline pocket bass.

6. Tell us about the projects in which you participate?
I have worked with a lot of great artists through the years like the Wallflowers, Fiona Apple, Macy Gray, Michael Penn, Joe Henry…it’s been a fun ride.

7. What do you feel on live performances? How friendly and open are you with your fans?
I always try and be in the moment and focus on the music when I’m playing live…. Listen to everyone. I’ve always been friendly and made myself available to fans after shows and online. Without them there really  isn’t a reason to perform…

8. What do you like except music? Can you imagine yourself in other areas of life?
I love to read. I read books everyday. I like biographies mainly. Love to learn about other people and their experiences in life. I also collect vinyl.

9. Maybe other bass players or those who start to learn bass are reading this article now. Let’s talk about technical stuff. Which brand do you prefer? Does quality of music depend on the guitar’s brand or of the skill of the bass player?
I play fender p basses and I’m endorsed by GK for bass amps and speaker cabs. I love those 2 companies. Great sounds. 

Personally, I think great equipment helps, but it’s really about the player. His or her style, touch, and personality, right? I mean, give a pro surfer a crappy board, he or she is still gonna shred on it!!

10. And the last question is about your musical dreams and plans. What are you planning for the future? What are you dreaming about? What should we wish for you?
My musical dreams have been fulfilled in many ways, but I suppose I’d love continue to play and produce great records and also do my part in turning the music business around with my new website unkovr.com