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Lenny Sasso – Bass Musician Magazine Q&A

Bass Musician Magazine Q&A with Bassist Lenny Sasso…

Name:
Lenny Sasso

Born In What City:
Red Bank, NJ

Current Band(s) I Play With:
June Divided

CD’s I’ve Released/ Been a Part Of:
June Divided – ‘Backbone’ 07/10/2012

Describe The Way You Play Bass:
If you’re talking “technicality,” I picked up the ‘3 fingers-style’ technique from John Myung and have been playing that way for the good part of the past 5 or 6 years.  But I’ll rotate to a pick if I’m looking for a harder edge, which you’ll hear on some of the June Divided stuff.  I rarely slap or pop, so I’ve definitely been more of a melodic, experimental player in that sense.  A lot of people have told me that I put a lot of feeling, emotion, and expression into my style as opposed to just trying to melt the neck off the bass. 

What Made Me Decide to Play Bass:
I always saw the bass as such a versatile instrument, watching some players do things that absolutely blew my mind that could never be achieved with another instrument.  The feeling and tones you can get out a bass have continuously drawn me towards it.  I’ve always been intrigued by the concept of how you can hear a guitar, piano, drums, etc… but you can feel a bass.

Musical Influences:
A lot of progressive stuff, but anything really… Pink Floyd, Dream Theater, Thrice, Dear Hunter, Senses Fail, and my buddies I grew up playing with.

Favorite Musical Styles:
I’ll play it all from Blues to Jazz, to Reggae and Hip-Hop, but nothing gets me going like some Progressive Rock.

My Bass(es):
MusicMan Stingray “SLO Special” 4-String HS; Custom built 4-string Thunderbird w/ Dual Rio Grande vintage Humbuckers & Mike Pope pre-amp system, and a Schecter Elite-4

My Amps and Other Gear:
Ampeg SVT 3-pro
Ampeg PR-410 H
Sansamp RBI
BBE 882i Sonic Maximizer
BSS 901 Dynamic EQ

Endorsed By:
Ernie Ball / MusicMan
FutureSonics

Best Bass Advice You Ever Received:
My teacher in college, Bruce, was really the one who taught me bass as a philosophy rather than an instrument. Kinda how Vic Wooten’s views are.  I couldn’t give any specific examples other than the guy was brilliant, or maybe when he’d yell at me for letting my thumb slip over the top of the neck, “Don’t do that, just don’t do it.” haha.

One Piece Of Advice For Other Bassists:
Hone your style and your tone.  Also, understand that you’re not the lead guitar player.  You need to kind of know your place and riff where it’s appropriate.  You’re drummer is your best friend.

Favorite Quote or Life Philosophy:
Hey Guys! Woah, Big Gulps eh? All right. Well, see ya later!

Most Amazing Gig so Far:
Probably at our sold out TLA show in Philly on 1/27, the roar of the crowd was amazing.

Dream Gig:
Either sharing the stage with Roger Waters and David Gilmour on some Floyd tunes… or headlining a sold out gig at Red Rocks.  Both?

Most Embarrassing Moment on Stage:
I normally don’t let any screw ups or tech difficulties get to me… there was a little mishap at a gig a few weeks ago where I was getting maybe a little “too into it.”  I ended up wrapping my cable around the headstock and neck, which in turn detuned the E, and A string about 2 whole steps down mid-song.  I essentially had to spend the remaining half of the song half transposing and tuning on the fly. I was all over the place; it was definitely a mess – haha.

Favorite Tip to Share on Traveling With Your Bass:
When I got my first set of professional live shots back, my bass had fingerprints all over it.  I know it sounds stupid but I almost felt a little ashamed – haha.  So I’d say, wipe your bass down before you hit the stage.

What Would You Be Doing If You Weren’t A Musician:
I’d probably be touring as a lighting designer or band manager.  I’ve been doing both of those gigs for a while now.

The Question No One Ever Asks Me, But I Have Been Dying to Share:
Q. What moments on stage feel surreal to you?  A. My band mates like to make fun of me and say I’m definitely the most unhinged person on stage. I’ll try just about anything to flip the bass around, hit the right notes, and hopefully still look good doing it – haha.  But there are moments when things feel like they’re in slow motion; I’ll hit a sub-low note, feel the entire stage move under my feet, see everyone’s face in the crowd, and everything just feels so unbelievable. There’s nothing like being immersed in that moment.  Or catching the reactions of the kids in the crowd just loving what we’re doing on stage, and I think, man that used to be me! I hope someday what I do will inspire someone to follow in my footsteps.

What You Can Look Forward to From Me this Year:
We’ll be on tour, a lot!  With the new album out we’re hitting the road, we’ll have a music video coming out too.

Find Me Online:

Website: www.junedivided.com

Twitter: @junedivided, @lennysasso

Facebook: www.facebook.com/junedivided

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