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Bass Musician Magazine: Dec07/Jan08 Issue Featuring Nathan East



Interview with Bassist Nathan East –

With a resume and discography second to none, Nathan East has set the standard for the consummate working bassist. Being a regular fixture with the best in the pop rock/rock world, and equally at home in the jazz world as well, he has produced decades of flawless lines with his trademark “perfect feel”, no matter what the musical context, and there seems to be no slowing him down. I marvel how this man can go from an Eric Clapton session to a Herbie Hancock session and just musically “get it”.

His band Fourplay has a 15-year legacy, and recently released their 10th album that sounds as fresh as their first. The respect from his peers is unquestioned, and his respect right back to them shows the depth of this man’s character, and the commitment he has to his craft and his colleagues. It’s one thing to throw together a few lines of praise on someone, and another when it’s almost not enough said. That would be Nathan.

JK: Your discography is nothing less than amazing. The art of genre leaping (no easy task) seems to be an effortless part of your musical makeup. I’m sure being successful in this part of the business encompasses a number of dynamics to be considered. What might those be in your opinion, and what might one focus on to bring that side of their artistic makeup into play?

NE: I think there are really only two kinds of music… good music and bad music. Fortunately, I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to play lots of good music with some amazing musicians! I focus on keeping my standards high and really listening to what’s going on around me. My musical vocabulary is broad enough that I’m able to cover a lot of ground when it comes to “genre leaping”. I enjoy the challenge.

JK: In our review this issue of Foreplay X, Damien speaks of your ability to create a deep, yet restrained pocket, as well as mentioning how you make the track really happen while not playing in a way that really makes your presence overwhelming. If there were a way to describe how you’ve mastered that part of your playing, I’d love to hear it.

NE: It’s always a work in progress for me but with experience comes confidence about choices of what to play and when. There is value in the space around the notes… what you don’t play becomes as important as what you play. Keeping it simple and carving out a deep groove is my basic approach, which is fun. A little discipline goes a long way and when you do decide to insert a little extra creativity, it means that much more.

JK: As busy as you are with your touring schedule, I know that you do quite a few clinics literally all over the world. As a clinician, what do you try to focus on in your presentation?

NE: My approach to clinics is not too academic. I like to incorporate examples of the music I’ve been involved with and demonstrations of how I approach creating a bass part. I focus on the primary role of the instrument and how to keep it interesting. I also encourage questions from everyone in attendance, as it’s a great opportunity for me to know what people are really interested in learning.

JK: Beyond touring, recording, and clinics, do you find any personal time for shedding in your schedule, and depending on your answer, let me phrase that another way. “If” you had time for practice, what would you be focusing on?

NE: I find that I am playing most of the time and don’t have a lot of time for shedding on my own. I used to have more guilt about not practicing enough but since playing with Herbie (Hancock), I’ve discovered that one of the most opportune times to practice is actually on stage during the performance! He said that Miles (Davis) used to tell the band not to come on stage playing what they practiced in their room. Miles said, “I pay you to practice on stage!” Now obviously, at some point the dues have to be paid, but I get the concept of not being locked into performing an exercise you practiced over and over in your bedroom. I would however focus on any difficult bits of the music that I’m expected to perform. Of the more challenging works to focus on when practicing, I’d say Jaco always comes to mind.

JK: Last issue, we presented a question to our staff members, that being—What player (or players) would you recommend giving a listen to, that in the sprit of Jaco and the innovation he brought to us is on the same path in your opinion as far as stretching the boundaries yet again on this instrument, and focusing on exploring the possibilities of its continued evolution. Your choice was the great bassist Pino Paladino. Could you articulate what it is about Pino’s musical approach that has captured your admiration?

NE: I just think Pino has some great ideas and his harmonic approach to the instrument is very special. He’s not afraid to play chords and double stops and uses them very creatively. His understanding of the big picture is keen and he knows when to step out there and when to hold back. He just gets it …a wonderful player and a great guy!

JK: What motivated you to create your DVD, “The Business of Bass”?

NE: I wanted to make a DVD that addressed some of the most frequently asked questions I get and basically create sort of a music clinic in DVD form.

JK: I recently caught a show on cable called Herbie Hancock- Possibilities. It showed the (and I don’t use the term lightly) genius of this man as he created a tune in the studio with a number of different artists. I also feel compelled to mention the final thought he shared at the end of all the sessions–that being–“I’m not a musician, I’m a human being–music is just what I do”. I know you just worked with him fairly recently, and I wondered if you could share your thoughts on what it’s like for you working with this particular “human being,” and if there’s a particular focus you feel you have when your working with him, what might that be?

NE: Working with Herbie is like going to school. He is of a brilliant mind and genius is quite an appropriate word to use when describing him. He has the ability to instantly raise your standards and without telling you what to play, greatly influences your approach. He’s one of the most challenging players to play with and listening is key when playing with him (as it is with anyone). Herbie’s mind is so advanced that it almost feels like he is miles ahead of the rest of us mere mortals and keeping up is more than a notion. The primary focus for me is having my internal time clock locked in place, I like to refer to it as my GPS system and as long as you know where you are at all times, you can participate in the party. He’s a wonderful musician and an exceptional human being. It’s nothing less than a true pleasure and honor to work with such a man.

JK: Thanks for your time Nate, and could you tell us what’s coming up for you in late 07 and early 08 that we can watch out for.

NE: I’m finishing my touring commitments with Herbie for the rest of 2007, which have been a lot of fun. In 2008 I plan to record a new Fourplay CD and tour with the band. I will also be involved as Musical Director for a concert sponsored by Yamaha that will take place during the NAMM Show in Anaheim on January 18.

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Bass Videos

Ricky Phillips, STYX Bass And More – February 2024



Ricky Phillips, STYX Bass And More, January 2024

Ricky Phillips, STYX Bass And More…

This Week’s Top 10 Basses on Instagram

I have always been a huge Styx fan. Their music kept me awake during countless nights studying and gave my imagination a place to escape when I had a moment to take a break. 

I had the immense opportunity to chat with STYX bassist Ricky Phillips for our August Cover in 2017 and follow his projects as time passed. Now, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to catch up with Ricky as he has been super-busy over the past six years. 

Join me as we take a deep dive into the band’s most recent album “Crash the Crown” and EP “The Same Stardust”. Ricky shares some insights into the herculean team effort behind the scenes and the musical process that keeps them ever so busy and how he has updated his sound. 

Without further ado… Here is Ricky Phillips!

Photo: Jason Powell

“Crash of the Crown” lyric video

“Reveries” lyric video

“Save Us From Ourselves” lyric video

“Sound the Alarm” lyric video

“Too Much Time On My Hands” Zoom video 2020

Visit online:
FB & IG @styxtheband

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Bass Videos

Jeff Pilson, Foreigner Low End – January 2024



Jeff Pilson - Bass Musician Magazine - January 2024

Jeff Pilson, Foreigner Low End – January 2024…

Those of us who were around back in the 70’s remember how certain songs on the radio resonated with us. It turns out that many of these iconic melodies came from Foreigner and they were part of our personal soundtracks! 

After all these years, the band is going as strong as ever with Jeff Pilson firing away on bass midstream into a 2-year farewell tour. 

I am excited to be able to bring you all the details about Jeff’s musical Journey, the farewell tour in progress, how he gets his sound and his plans for the future.

Cover Photo: Krishta Abruzziini / Video Photos: Krishta Abruzzini, Karsten Staiger, Gina Hyams

For more news on FOREIGNER and upcoming Farewell Tour dates, fans can visit:
Also on FB @officialjeffpilson

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Bass Videos

Rodney O’Quinn, Rockin’ Hard Through the Years – December 2023



Rodney O'Quinn, Rockin’ Hard Through the Years – December 2023

Interview With Foghat Bassist Rodney O’Quinn…

Rodney O'Quinn - Bass Musician Magazine - December 2023-v2

Many rock fans have enjoyed music by Foghat, who originally formed in London back in 1971.

Over the many decades of playing, the band members have changed, leaving behind only Roger Earl as the only original member. Bassist Rodney O’Quinn left the Pat Travers Band and joined the group in 2015 and has been laying down the low end for this iconic quartet keeping the Foghat legacy alive. With a new album titled “Sonic Mojo” which dropped on November 10th, the band is as busy as ever and there is lots of very tasty music to come.

Join me as we learn of Rodney O’Quinn’s musical journey, how he gets his sound, and his plans for the future.

Jake Coughlin
Video Thumbnail, Tom Apathy
Photos used in the video: Kerry Quinn, Chuck Lanza, Kim Granger, Kenneth Strohm, Jake Coughlin, Jay Jylika

1st Single from Sonic Mojo – Official “Drivin’ On” 

2nd Single from Sonic Mojo – “She’s a Little Bit of Everything Official Video

 “Road Fever”- California Mid State Fair – Paso Robles, CA – 7-27-22

“Stone Blue” – Rodney O’Quinn Bass/Lead Vocals – Don Odell’s Legends – Woonsocket, R.I – 10/15/22 – The Stadium Theater

The Earl’s Court – Season 2, Episode 7: Funny Guys 

“I Just Want to Make Love to You” – CasinoRama – 6-9-23 

FOGHAT “Somebody’s Been Sleepin’ in My Bed” – Mohegan Sun, Uncasville, CT – 1/28/22

“I Just Want to Make Love to You” – California Mid State Fair – Paso Robles, CA – 7-27-22

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Bass Videos

Suzi Quatro, Eternal Powerhouse – November 2023



Suzi Quatro, Eternal Powerhouse – November 2023

Interview With Bassist Suzi Quatro…


It is always exciting to have the opportunity to talk to an artist who has been prolific for decades.

Suzi Quatro has been rocking our world since the sixties and has been super-creative as a bassist, musician, actress, singer, songwriter, author, radio show host and so much more. Most recently, Suzi released a new album titled “Face to Face” where she joined forces with KT Tunstall and together they are a force of nature. (See our video with Suzi about the album release)

Join me as we hear about Suzi’s musical journey, her many projects, how she gets her sound and her plans for the future.

Here is Suzi Quatro…

Suzi Quatro & KT Tunstall – “Truth As My Weapon” (Official Music Video)

“Shine A Light” music video (from the upcoming album)

“Bad Moon Rising” music video (from 2022):

Bass-Solo / Live in Prah? 1979

Glyserine Queen / Bass solo – Tampere Finland

Follow Online:
IG @suziquatroreal
FB @Suziquatrorocks
TW @Suzi_Quatro

Video – Andrew Whitton
Cover and Header Photo – Courtesy of Suzi Quatro

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Bass Videos

Zach Fowler, Not Just Laying Down the Low End – October 2023



Zach Fowler, Not Just Laying Down the Low End - October 2023

Zach Fowler, Not Just Laying Down the Low End – October 2023

I have been hearing about Zach Fowler’s bass playing since he was in New Mexico. Now, based out of Nashville, Zach is very busy laying down the low end, acting as musical director, writing songs and producing music. He has been very active doing studio work as well as touring with LoCash.

Join me as we hear about Zach’s journey, how he gets his sound, all the details about his new Lakland bass and his plans for the future.

Here is Zach Fowler!

Photos Credits  – Cover, Allee Visuals / In Video –  Matthew Allen, Max Muehlhausen

Typical, run-of-the-mill, slap happy bass solo taken during LOCASH’s performance at the Suwannee River Jam in Live Oak, Florida on May 4, 2018.  Video was shot by David Lehr.

This was part of a series of acoustic performances filmed at the famous Blackbird Studios in Nashville.

LOCASH performs a song from “The Fighters” album called “Shipwrecked.”  This was filmed not long after I joined LOCASH, and I’m using a Carvin PB5 plugged straight into the board via a Countryman DI.

LOCASH performs “One Big Country Song” at the Grand Ole Opry in May 2022.  

We performed the song along with Opry House Band, and the performance was in conjunction with The Beach Boys’ first performance at the Opry (which explains why we’re wearing leis around our necks). I used one of my two PRS Grainger 5-strings plugged directly into the Opry’s house rig, which is made by Aguilar.

One of only two times that I’ve recorded myself playing bass.  

I arranged John Legend’s “Ordinary People” for solo bass, and used my PRS Gary Grainger 5-string plugged into a Gallien-Krueger PLEX preamp.  I added a little reverb in Logic to give it a little ambience.  I recorded this right after the COVID shutdown happened.  I’m not too big on recording myself playing bass, so this was somewhat of a rarity, but considering my job had shut down, it felt like a good outlet to keep my name on the radar.  There’s a little gratuitous slapping in there, but mostly because I didn’t have an arrangement for the bridge section that I liked, so I just let loose.

During my time in Albuquerque, I was blessed to perform on two albums by a progressive rock trio by the name of Illustrated Man.  

This song is off of their second album, “Zebra Hotel,” and is coincidentally called “Zebra.”  I recorded this song using a Fender 5-string Precision Bass plugged into an Avalon U5 direct box.

I was with a band called The James Douglas Show for eleven years.  

We put out four studio albums, and this track is off the final album we put out called “9.”  The track, called “Can’t Stop,” was written by our guitar player, Jesse Martinez, and produced by Mike Cee.  As is typical with a lot of R&B tracks, I overdubbed a bass track over an already-existing synth bass line.  I used a Carvin JB5 run into an Avalon U5 direct box.

“Kissing a Girl” is a track off of LOCASH’s album, “Brothers.”  

We recorded a live version of the song at a venue in Minnesota during soundcheck.  The video was shot by David Lehr, and the sound was edited and mixed by our production manager at the time, Evan (“Turbo”) Owen.  It was negative 12 degrees outside in February, which explains why most of the people in the band are wearing beanies on their heads.  I used my main road bass on this track, my white PRS Gary Grainger 5-string, plugged into my Gallien-Krueger PLEX preamp, then into a Radial FireFly direct box.  I used a little bit of compression from my Origin Effects Cali76 compressor pedal, as well as a little bit of added chorus effect from an EBS UniChorus pedal to give it a little bit of a fretless sound.

Follow Online:
IG @zachfowlerbass
FB @ groovemaster82

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