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Lou Panico, Bass Musician Magazine Q&A

Bass Musician Magazine Q&A with Bassist Lou Panico…

Name:
Lou Panico

Born In What City:
Englewood Cliffs, NJ

Current Band(s) I Play With:
My main gig is with Socratic and has been for many years now. We dabble in a side project once in a while called Rendezvous. I also recently started a Blink-182 tribute band called Bathsalt-182 with a few buds of mine. It gives me an excuse to get back to my obnoxious teen roots.

Former Bands I Have Played With:
Blue Star Drive and The Showcase. Both based out of NJ.

CD’s I’ve Released/ Been a Part Of:
Socratic (The Album) released in January and available on iTunes and Socratic “The Soundwaves Sessions” which is a live EP we’re currently recording due out this fall.

Describe The Way You Play Bass:
I was raised a singer and studied voice growing up. I come from a strict melody-driven background. I’d like to think that it’s my ear for such melody, which separates me from other bassists. I’ll grab a pick if the song asks for it, but the majority of my playing is traditional finger-style.

What Made Me Decide to Play Bass:
Funny story. When I was 13 years old I approached my parents about wanting to play the guitar. Obviously at 13 years old, money was tight and I would need their help if I were ever going to get on stage and play. They were a bit hesitant at first. I was preparing to enter high school at the time. In a further attempt to con my parents into caving and buying me a guitar, I told them that I would use it in band class once school started. One problem, there wasn’t an electric guitar in band class.

It was time for a plan B. My father was a huge fan of the bass guitar. He would constantly single out the bass playing growing up listening to cassette tapes of The Eagles, Pink Floyd, and The Beatles. So, just like any young and selfish teenager would do, I asked my dad if I could take bass lessons. I pinned his passion against him and promised that I would take it seriously and play bass in the school band. A quite local mom and pop shop called Loria Music was where I went. My dad and I picked out my first bass and signed up for bass lessons with the local teacher. From there it was history.

Musical Influences:
Growing up my parents would play The Beatles, Beach Boys, and The Talking Heads. My first memory of performing was on top of my Fisher Price table, behind pots and pans, banging along with wooden spoons to my dad’s “Stop Making Sense” VHS tape. Fast forward… my early teens were spent rocking out in my room to Blink182. I was the kid who my friends would call and ask, “Hey, what’s this chord? How do you play this song?” I knew how to play every Blink182 song known to man (along with other musical trends going on at that time). I went to college to study voice and gain my degree in music. It was there where my musical tastes truly expanded. My biggest influence on the bass guitar is hands down Paul McCartney.

Favorite Musical Styles:
Americana, Folk, Indie, Pop, Rock

My Bass(es):
1970 Gibson Grabber, 1960’s Ovation Typhoon II Hallowbody, Reissue Rickenbacker 4003

My Amps and Other Gear:
Ampeg Classic head, Ampeg 8×10 cab, Aguilar AG500, Markbass Little Mark II, Bose L1 system, 1972 Gibson Goldtop Les Paul, Gretsch Historic Acoustic

Best Bass Advice I’ve Ever Received:
Play with the time. Don’t be afraid to hang on a note a little longer than you’re comfortable. Always push your comfort zone.

One Piece Of Advice For Other Bassists:
If you can hum it, you can play it.

Favorite Quote or Life Philosophy:
A bit cliche, but live life to the fullest. Experience as much as possible, push your limits, face your fears, and enjoy every day like it’s your last.

Most Amazing Gig so Far:
Would have to be a tie between the Myspace Tour (Say Anything / Hellogoodbye) where I had the privilege of playing every major theatre and house of blues on the west coast and traveling to Australia with Incubus. I once played a gig with The Teletubbies, too. It was at the Virgin Megastore in New York City for their first U.S. appearance. It was a bit strange to say the least.

Dream Gig:
A world tour with Paul Mccartney, Coldplay, and Green Day.

Most Embarrassing Moment on Stage:
I fell through a hole on stage once. It was pretty funny. I kept playing and finished the song underneath the stage. The entire thing was recorded by a fan in the audience and was posted on the internet immediately.

Favorite Tip to Share on Traveling With Your Bass:
Hard shell cases, and never black out until your gear is safely packed away. The worst feeling is waking up in the van on tour and not knowing where your gear is (even if your night was epic and ended in a threesome).

What Would You Be Doing If You Weren’t A Musician:
I have no idea. I’m sure I’d still be involved with music. I’d probably manage behind the scenes, or be a professional wrestler.

The Question No One Ever Asks Me, But I Have Been Dying to Share:
Before deciding on becoming a full-time touring musican in my band Socratic, I was researching wrestling schools and would have pursued a career in professional wrestling if it wasn’t for my small stature and size.

What You Can Look Forward to From Me this Year:
Another Socratic release, performances up and down the east coast, and hopefully another overseas opportunity to share my music with others and meet as many new people as possible.

Find Me Online: www.socratic.bandcamp.com

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