Joseph “BEARCLAW” Burcaw – Bass Musician Magazine Q&A…
Joseph “BEARCLAW” Burcaw
Born In What City:
Current Band(s) I Play With:
“GI Blythe” “Black 47”
Former Bands I Have Played With:
Mascot’s Distance, Erene Mastrangeli, Angry Salad, Emiko just to name a few.
CD’s I’ve Released/ Been a Part Of:
1) IRAQ by Black 47 2) Bankers & Gangsters by Black 47 3) Black 47 Live in Times Square DVD 4) Lost in Space by GI Blythe
Describe The Way You Play Bass:
My nickname (Bearclaw) sums it up quite nicely actually, I tend to really dig in with a heavy right hand attack ala Geddy Lee… Creating space within the bar is the name of the game… less is more.
What Made Me Decide to Play Bass:
Seeing and listening to the early Duran Duran videos on MTV caught my attention immediately. John Taylor is the reason why I picked up the bass in the first place; he is by far my number one influence.
Favorite Musical Styles:
I tend to listen to a lot of Jazz/Fusion and Bop era music. Although “Apostrophe” & “Roxy & Elsewhere” by Frank Zappa are always in my playlist rotation! 🙂
Ernie Ball Musicman Stingrays are my preferred choice of bass.
My Amps and Other Gear:
Markbass amps and cabs, DR Strings, Aguilar Tone Hammer DI box.
Markbass & DR Strings
Best Bass Advice You’ve Ever Received:
Pay attention to the kick, and let it be the anchor between you and the rest of the band. This advice has led me to become a much better listener when performing live.
One Piece Of Advice For Other Bassists:
Get out of the bedroom and jam with people who are better than you, and who have more gigging and life experience. I have always surrounded myself with musicians who can teach me a thing or two, and who keep me on my toes to learn and grow as a player.
Most Amazing Gig so Far:
Gaelic Park in Chicago, close to 10,000 people in attendance
Playing in the “Zappa plays Zappa” band.
Most Embarrassing Moment on Stage:
Running to the front of the stage to begin playing a solo section, but soon realizing that no sound is coming out of my amp because I accidentally pulled the cord out when dancing around with “happy feet”.
Favorite Tip to Share on Traveling With Your Bass:
Never let TSA agents fondle your wood…
What Would You Be Doing If You Weren’t A Musician:
Being miserable at whatever it is!
The Question No One Ever Asks Me, But I Have Been Dying to Share:
Why do you smell so fresh Bearclaw? Well my friends, because I recently switched to Old Spice Aqua Reef deodorant.
What You Can Look Forward to From Me This Year:
Another wave of shows with GI Blythe later in the fall, continuous year-round shows with Black 47, and the launch of my online Skype teaching business… It’s called “Bearclaw’s Bass Lessons”.