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IT With Marco Schoots: An Interview with Lorenzo Feliciati

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Meet Marco Schoots –

Lorenzo Feliciati is probably one of the most well know Italian bass players outside Italy. He has played on all of the Bass Day’s in Europe and as Solo Artists for Workshops, as well as other projects. He is a guest every year at European BassDay in Germany.

In 2003 Schoots Records released his first CD as a leader, “Upon my Head”, followed in 2006 by “Live at European BassDay & More” recorded live at the 4th European BassDay in Viersen (Germany), and both CD’s received worldwide enthusiastic reviews.

Since 2005 he has been a clinician at the Conservatory of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Tilburg and the Academy of Contemporary Music of London.

He is also an endorsee/clinician for Mark Bass amplifiers in the Disma Music show in Italy, and the Frankfurt Musik Messe in Germany.

[Marco] Hey Lorenzo, please tell us a little how you got started playing Bass? [Lorenzo] As in many things in our life, the most important choices seem to be ruled by hazard. I was really interested in playing drums, but my elder brother was singing and playing guitar. A friend of ours owned some sort of a drum kit, which he built by himself with hard-paper cans. So playing the bass (which was a cheap acoustic guitar with only the first two strings left) was the only choice left for me in order to be part of the band. Then I saw Weather Report with Jaco in concert and the bass guitar (as well as good music) became sort of a fever for me… it still is. [Marco] And then you bought your first Bass? [Lorenzo] My Dad bought it for me. It was an Eko Fender copy. He also gave me and my brother a bass amp and an electric guitar and amp. So actually, this is all his fault. [Marco] How did you continue, did you take lessons? [Lorenzo] I started playing every minute I could, but I was starting my Architecture studies as well. Everything changed 5 years after that when I decided to stop my college studies and started to work at a music shop. I studied bass guitar seriously and tried to make a living playing the bass…that happened few years after. 😉

[Marco] Which bass players have been particularly influential on your playing? [Lorenzo] Jaco was my first and foremost influence the first years of studying the bass. He was still alive and gigging in Italy. He was very Impressive to me as a young musician…the power he had on stage was amazing. The crowd went crazy even if he was only tuning his bass. Then when I grew up, I understood that all the craziness around him was the reason he had such a terrible and sad life in his last years.

Going deep into the Jaco style, I discovered great players like Rocco Prestia of the Tower of Power, James Jamerson, Willie Weeks, and Percy Jones, all the players that Jaco used to mention in his interviews. [Marco] What kind of music did you play at that time? [Lorenzo] My brother was deep into Led Zeppelin and Jethro Tull, so that was what we used to play as a trio. [Marco] What was your first gig? [Lorenzo] My very first “paid” gig was in a jazz club (I am still playing there) with a singer that has a sort of Top40s song list, all kinds of songs that were very challenging for me, but a very, very good gig to learn how to play with singers and interact with the other musicians without overplaying and destroying the groove. [Marco] You continued as a sideman for other singers and bands. Why did you start your own band?

[Lorenzo] As I started to compose little pieces of my own music, I needed to listen how it really sounded as opposed to the sounds on my Mac. [Marco] As a sideman for others, how do you develop your bass parts? [Lorenzo] Usually if they call me, they want my approach. So they leave me a lot of space…usually just some chord charts. Sometimes they have a precise, clean idea of what they want, so I start from their idea and maybe add something new and let them have the final decision. [Marco] You are playing so many different projects…Pop, Alternative Rock, Fusion. What kind of style do you feel at home with the most? [Lorenzo] I started as a rock/blues bass player, and that is my home. But now, everything is mixed. So if you love soul blues music you might listen to Medesky Martin & Wood, or John Scofield. And having started playing upright in the last 5 years I am really deep into modern Jazz like J.Redman and the W.Shorter quartet, etc, etc.

[Marco] You realized your first CD called “Upon My Head” in 2003. It was well received as it was very musical and had a great flair. You composed and arranged most of the tracks. Why did you want to make this CD? [Lorenzo] As every musician that owns a Mac (or a PC) with a Digi01 and ProTools software, I was recording ideas every day, working with loops, synths, and all the toys. It was great to feel free to compose and play the bass, guitar, and keys, and program loops without the pressure of creating something that someone will listen to one day. I was doing it just for the fun of it. I wish I had the same approach now when I work on my music. But then I came to the first European Bass Day as a MarkBass endorse, and the leader of the event asked me if I had some music of my own because he was starting a “bass related” label. So I started to open all the sessions I had on my Mac and finished all the songs and, well, the rest is history! [Marco] How do you write/compose your compositions? Do you play them on Bass? [Lorenzo] I always put the bass track as the final one, to be sure that my music will be not a “bass virtuoso” orientated music, so I’ll start from a key sound and a drum loop that really captures me…something like that. [Marco] Do you chart out every new idea, or do you record it immediately? [Lorenzo] I am not a great music writer/reader, so I try to record them immediately and then maybe write them down for the guys in the band when it is time to perform the music in front of an audience. [Marco] Do you have any recording recommendations for getting a great bass sound in your opinion? [Lorenzo] I know it sounds easy to say, but the first thing to know about getting a good sound is to have a good sound. Nothing can save a bad sound, and it is very hard to destroy a good sound, even with the worst sound engineer. This is why it is so crucial to have the chance to record ourselves, and listen back. It takes work to get a good sound just plugging in the amp. Even without plugging in you can recognize a good sound from the player’s bass.

[Marco] How do you capture your bass tone in the studio? [Lorenzo] Usually it is my fingers, then strings, bass, cable, and my MarkBass head direct in the board without compression or EQ…everything straight. When I do sessions sometimes I’ll have a mic on my MarkBass cabinet, but this approach is usually for sessions where everyone is playing live and they are searching for some “air” in the sound. It’s great that recording all together is becoming more and more popular everyday, as it was in the 70s. [Marco] Tell us about your Basses. [Lorenzo] I am an Ibanez endorser, and I use the Ibanez Soundgear 4&5 string prestige basses, Roadgear 4&5 string bolt on basses, and a semi acoustic AGB 200 with Dean Markley flatwounds. But I also have some other great basses at home such as old Fenders, and a Windmill and Mari. [Marco] You are one of the first (maybe the first) MarkBass endorse’. You’ve changed your Basses over the last few years, but never your amplification.

[Lorenzo] MarkBass amps are the only ones I’ve ever tried that really let the sound of my bass come out from the speakers. It is not the sound of the amp; it is the sound of my bass. And then you have all the controls and features that a great modern bass amp has in terms of EQ, compression, and in & outs. [Marco] What are your future musical projects? [Lorenzo] I am working right now to finish my third album (after “Upon my Head” and “Live at European BassDay and More”), so I think that everything will be in the right place next spring. Plus, I am playing Upright more and more for sessions, and with the WASABI project with A.Gwis on piano and E.Smimmo on drums. We play mostly tunes composed by me with an acoustic flavor, which I love.

Visit online at www.lorenzofeliciati.com

Bass Videos

Interview With Bassist Ciara Moser

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Interview With Bassist Ciara Moser

Bassist Ciara Moser…

Ciara and I sat down for this interview a few months after the launch of her debut album, “Blind. So what?”

Blind since birth, she is a powerhouse of talent; she is not only a professional bassist, but also composes music, and is a producer and educator. I am just blown away by her talent and perseverance.

Join me as we hear about Ciara’s musical journey, the details of her album, how she gets her sound, and her plans for the future.

Visit online:

www.ciara-moser.com 
IG @ moserciara
FB @ ciara.moser

Photos by Manuela Haeussler

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Bass Videos

Interview With Bassist Travis Book

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Interview With Bassist Travis Book

Interview With Bassist Travis Book…

Bluegrass music has had a very solid following over many years and I am always happy to hear from one of the pioneers in that genre.

Travis Book plays bass for the Grammy award-winning band “The Infamous Stringdusters” and has recently released his first solo album “Love and Other Strange Emotions”. As if he wasn’t busy enough, Travis also hosts a podcast, Plays a Jerry Garcia music show with Guitarist Andy Falco, and is constantly gigging locally in his neck of the woods.

Photo, Seyl Park

Visit Online:

www.thetravisbook.com
www.thestringdusters.com
FB @ TheTravisBook
IG @ travisbook

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Bass Videos

Interview with Malcolm-Jamal Warner

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Interview with Malcolm-Jamal Warner

Malcolm-Jamal Warner…

I am pretty sure that everyone is aware of Malcom-Jamal Warner’s work as an actor. What may be less known is his work as a director, poet, musician, and most importantly for us, a bass player. With four albums of his own, Grammy nominations and wins, as well as a sizable amount of ongoing live gigs, Malcolm is dedicating a serious amount of his attention to his music.

Join me as we hear about Malcom’s musical journey, projects, his gear choices, and plans for the future.

Here is Malcom-Jamal Warner!

Photos: Dwain Govan @dwain_go / Conrad Montgomery Mckethan @eyeconimages

Visit Online:

malcolmjamalwarner.com
IG @malcolmjamalwar
Twitter @malcolmjamalwar 
Facebook: Malcolm-Jamal Warner

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Bass Videos

Interview With The Labex Funk Project

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Interview With The Labex Funk Project

Interview With The Labex Funk Project…

Time really flies when you are having fun! Just over a decade ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing Michel “Labex” Labaki for our July 2013 cover.

At that time, much of our conversation concerned his personal approach to bass playing and his techniques. Fast forward to now and I am pleased to discover Michel’s new endeavor, the Labex Funk Project.

Join me as we meet the band:
Kynion Lanier on vocals
Pablo Batista on percussion
Jake Brightman on Guitar
Daniel Gonzalez on Drums
And Michel “Labex”Labaki on bass

As a bonus, we have the band’s producer Phillippe Dib in on this video chat as well.

Here is the Labex Funk Project!

Visit online:

michellabaki.com
www.facebook.com/MichelLabexLabaki/
www.instagram.com/michellabaki
www.youtube.com/c/MichelLabaki
FB @LabexFunkProject
IG @ Labex Funk Project

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Bass Videos

Interview With Bassist Tony Newton

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Interview With Bassist Tony Newton

Bassist Tony Newton…

I am always learning new details about Bass history when I get the opportunity to talk with seasoned players like Tony Newton. Tony, a Detroit native, came up in the golden years of Motown and laid down the low end for countless performers and studio sessions; he has performed on over 25 gold and platinum hit recordings.

As time went by, and the whole Detroit scene dwindled, Tony relocated to LA where he worked a busy schedule, even going back to school to learn about music theory and composition.

Over the years he performed on many historic hit recordings and tours with Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson(music Director), the Temptations, Aretha Franklin, The Funk Brothers and more, as well as working with veteran rock guitarist, Gary Moore in the British group G-Force.

Presently, Tony is super busy and on the verge of releasing a movie titled “Mars Quest” among his numerous other projects.

Join me as we get to enjoy all the history and knowledge that Tony has to share along with the details about his new Signature bass from BITE Guitars named “The  Punchtown Bass”.

Here is Tony Newton…

Photos: Mary K. Brand, Mitch Snyder, Haneefa Karrim, Hans Adamsen

Visit Online:

tonynewtonmusic.com/
FB @ TonyNewtonMusic Artist
YTB @ antoniotonynewtonmusic

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