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Bass Musician Magazine: Feb/Mar 2009 Issue Featuring Adam Nitti



Interview with Adam Nitti by Editor Jake Kot –

Adam Nitti in my opinion represents one of the unsung hero’s in the bass community. Those of us deep within the community know him well because of his unquestioned top-flight musicianship, his very positive and almost humble enthusiasm and commitment toward the growth of the musical idiom he embraces, and quite simply put, he’s a badass on his instrument.

How much of a bad-ass you say—-the kind of accomplished player that receives a very last minute call to fill in with the Dave Weckl band, and handle it—and you don’t even want to “see” that book. He’s also been featured at Victor Wooten’s bass camp, a very prestigious call that embodies the respect he has from his peers. Beyond that, he carries the torch that few hold as far as being an accomplished “composer” as well as player, which is more than evident in his newest release “Liminal” reviewed in this issue. My guess is, even though Adam’s been out there for a while, we’re going to hear a lot more from this very talented and well respected musician.

Jake: I’d like to start off with an article you wrote a while back called Birth of a Bass line, in which you talked about three key points—activity level, dynamics, and harmonic content. After listening to your new CD, it was easy for me to appreciate and understand the points you made in that article. That being said, are your bass parts up front in your mind when you’re composing a piece?

Adam; I’ve got a pretty standard answer when people ask me about the compositional process. The fact of the matter is it’s never the same. There are some pieces that I compose that evolve from a bass line. There are some pieces that completely evolve from the melody, and there are pieces that I hear complete in my head. Sometimes I’ll hear all the components together—the melody, the harmony, and the structure. It’s really interesting, as a writer I never know what’s going to come up. It’s always been subject to a spontaneous inspiration, and kind of what’s moving me at the time. Even though I’m a bass player, when I’m in a compositional setting, I won’t necessarily be thinking about the bass. Sometimes that’s actually an afterthought because I try to be careful not to let what I might do as a bass player lead me in a direction that might detract from the continuity of the composition.

Jake: One of the things that led me to that question was listening to, on this particular CD, how you employed a chord melody approach on a few of the tunes and developed that into an ensemble piece.

Adam: One thing I really wanted to make sure of with this record, and it was pretty much the same case with my last record as well, was as a writer, I tried to make an album that hits the listeners ears as more of an ensemble recording rather than something that’s just bass player led through and through. My first two records were kind of, I guess I’ll use a term I coined a while back, a “bass player business card” type of mentality that was behind those releases. In these earlier recordings it was about the bass being a little more upfront, maybe taking the melodies and having a little more of that duality role where the bass is playing the melody and the bass line, and that’s cool and fun. I do enjoy sharing compositions in that way. But starting with the Evidence record I found myself kind of going in a different direction. I really wanted to make an ensemble recording, something that wasn’t completely a feature for me as much as it was a feature for the ensemble or band that was recording the tune. You probably figured out listening to all the tracks on this new CD that there are a lot more groove-centered compositions on this release than my prior releases. I really wanted this one to come across more like a band effort, and hopefully I’ve achieved that, and I guess we’ll find out soon what people’s reactions are.

Jake: You’ve kind of led into my next question. Once again referring to your new CD, I found the compositions to be uniquely diverse in structure. I remember that you won an award a while back for being one of the most influential new fusion bassists of the nineties. After hearing your compositions, what do you think the word “fusion” might be representing here in the 21st century?

Adam: Man, that’s such a great question. When people who aren’t too familiar with my music ask me about that——I’m trying to think of a way to describe it or label it without them having any preconceived notions or judgments regarding what the music sounds like, so I’ll say it this way. I think we’ve witnessed expediential growth and change in what people might call fusion music, especially over the last seven to ten years. What I’m kind of picking up from listening is that the new fusion now more than ever is throwbacks or retro hints from what our earliest influences were. The fusion of the late eighties and early nineties may have been something more characteristic of a particular type of synthesizer sound, or particular types of bass tones, or recording methods for drums—I guess I’ll say tonal soundscapes or categories you could kind of assume you would hear from your favorite artists or influential players of that time. Now I think the game has changed because when you listen to the new players that are coming up, what’s happening in the compositions for me is that I hear a much wider sonic bandwidth that has been influenced from old school funk, and old school styles and phrasing being combined with the use of the newer technologies available. I guess that would be my long-winded explanation. My short answer on what is the new fusion is that it incorporates the new, but within that it also seems to borrow from the old even more. That’s what’s hitting my ears, and other people’s perceptions may be different.

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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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