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Ethan Farmer by Andreas Farmakalidis – Bass Musician Magazine February 2012 Issue

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Ethan Farmer by Andreas Farmakalidis – Bass Musician Magazine February 2012 Issue… Andreas Farmakalidis is Having, Wine and Strings, with Ethan Farmer aka ebassman…

The idea of an instrumental album from one of LA’s A-list session musicians that is chock full of ‘lead’ bass and ‘backing’ bass might, at first, sound a bit daunting to some listeners. On the contrary, considering that said bassist is Ethan Farmer – who has played with everyone from Janet Jackson, Christina Aguilera, Patti Labelle and many, many more – that solo album is starting to sound a bit more tuneful. When people just let it happen and do what’s natural, and do what they are used to doing onstage, the writing process would be so much easier! Ethan Farmer is currently planning live dates for 2012 including a Wine & Strings solo tour and further roadwork with New Kids on the Block/Backstreet Boys.

As with all good stories, its best to start from the beginning, when and what first drew you to music as well as the bass guitar?

My Family had a gospel Quartet group, and I had to play bass with them when I was about 6yrs old, once my father – who was then the bass player, left the group. I did not start liking music until I was half way thru high school and started understanding that girls liked it and I could make money.

Chicago has a very reputable live scene. How did the Illinois music scene in general – usually known for its unique musical culture – influence your music and your career?

It made me who I am as a musician, learning all styles from jazz to blues to gospel and rock! You can listen and see bands play all these styles in clubs, and once I loved music I wanted to play it all with every band and every musician, so I had to learn it all!

Tell me about your latest recording project “Wine and Strings”. How did this project come about?

It’s a number of things. First, with Marcus, Stanley, and Victor making great bass records and being in control of their own careers, I admired that and thought it would be great for me to take control of my own. Second, a lot of people would see me play with a jazz artist and ask me, “Do you have an album out… and if not, you should do one.” Third, It was just time for me; I played on a lot of albums and toured with a lot of people, now it was time for me to do my own record and do my own tour!

All compositions were written by you and Dammo Farmer. Knowing that the compositional process is different from artist to artist, what has worked for you?

Eddie Brown also wrote on the record. It came pretty easy for us, Dammo is my cousin and he came up under me learning and playing bass, so he knows me really well when it comes to bass. I guess it is in our blood, we can follow each other, know each others moves and musical ear. So either he or I would start with an idea, and then join in and piece everything out really fast. It’s God!

You’ve been involved with a lot of, shall I say, cross-genre projects over the years. What keeps you on this, I’d like to say, musically progressive path?

Having the love for all kinds of music and music in general. Wanting to feel the crowd’s energy, making good money, and getting different experiences from different artists is something I look forward to.

What does the practice schedule of one so well versed in multiple genres look like these days, and out of pure curiosity, how do you go about prioritizing what to work on?

It’s really terrible, I am almost embarrassed to say that I really do not get a chance 2 practice these days, I have family, businesses, and just a lot of responsibilities, therefore my practice mainly come from playing on stage, from sound check, to the show, for me it all counts!

Any advice to other musicians/bass players?

Nowadays with how the music industry has changed, just do not play bass, be an entrepreneur. That is the only way to be financially secure, have a house, take care of your family and live comfortably.

What do you feel are the elements that keep your playing at such a musically high level?

I’m determined to be good, and I play from my heart. I am an emotional player, so what I play connects to people because it is sincere. Do not try to impress and just play what you feel. I think that takes everyone to another level!

Do you play any other instruments?

I play drums, guitar, and enough keyboards 2 produce.

What can we look forward to in 2012 that you’re involved in?  Any tours?

Well of coarse my own tour! In addition, touring with New Kids on the Block and Backstreet boys, and anyone that calls and I feel like it would b a great challenge or their music is so great that I want to be a part of.

What do you see not happening in 21st Century music that you’d like to see a lot more off?

More REAL music with BANDS, like the old days!

With the music business being (obviously in my humble opinion) not at its best, what might you suggest to an enthusiastic young player looking to make his art, his career?

The industry surely changed from when I First got in it! Do what you feel and not what other people want. That is the only way you will be happy with yourself regardless of the results! In addition, if you do what you feel, it will not be like others, and that way you keep the game interesting!

How do you achieve your heavy Fat funky tone?

It’s all in your hands mainly… everything else is the icing on the cake! You feel me!

How does it feel to be touring with some of the most famous artists?

I am definitely blessed! A lot of today’s musicians do not have the same experiences as I had because of how drastic the industry has changed. Industry should put Bands back together and making music that everyone feels, not what the record labels say is great.

What are some cool trends you see coming up in the bass world, and some you might want to see less of?

I love the light gear, amp heads and cabinets! I’m very lazy thus it makes it easier for me to play around town since I do not have to carry heavy stuff (LOL).

What is the key to stay working and getting gigs consistently in music?

Doing it because you love it, staying on top of your business, your game and having INTEGRITY, having a good personality, having a great sound, and really kicking ass on the gig!!

I heard some rumors about an extended version of the Album.

Yeah! It is true! An extended version of the album is coming out this Month (February)!

For more information on Ethan or to purchase Wine & Strings, visit: www.ethan-farmer.com

Photos by Patrick Stern

 

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Bass Videos

Ricky Phillips, STYX Bass And More – February 2024

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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:

www.Styxworld.com
FB & IG @styxtheband

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Bass Videos

Jeff Pilson, Foreigner Low End – January 2024

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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:
foreigneronline.com
facebook.com/Foreigner
twitter.com/ForeignerMusic
instagram.com/foreignerlive
youtube.com/user/FWebTeam
Also on FB @officialjeffpilson

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Bass Videos

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

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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.

Photos:
Cover,
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

Visit Online:

www.foghat.com
www.facebook.com/Foghat
www.twitter.com/FOGHAT
www.instagram.com/foghat_official
www.youtube.com/user/FOGHATMUSIC

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Bass Videos

Suzi Quatro, Eternal Powerhouse – November 2023

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Suzi Quatro, Eternal Powerhouse – November 2023

Interview With Bassist Suzi Quatro…

Suzie-Quatro-Bass-Musician-Magazine-November-2023

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:

suziquatro.com
IG @suziquatroreal
FB @Suziquatrorocks
TW @Suzi_Quatro

Photos: 
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

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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:

www.zachfowlerbass.com
IG @zachfowlerbass
FB @ groovemaster82

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