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Lenny Sasso – Bass Musician Magazine Q&A

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Bass Musician Magazine Q&A with Bassist Lenny Sasso…

Name:
Lenny Sasso

Born In What City:
Red Bank, NJ

Current Band(s) I Play With:
June Divided

CD’s I’ve Released/ Been a Part Of:
June Divided – ‘Backbone’ 07/10/2012

Describe The Way You Play Bass:
If you’re talking “technicality,” I picked up the ‘3 fingers-style’ technique from John Myung and have been playing that way for the good part of the past 5 or 6 years.  But I’ll rotate to a pick if I’m looking for a harder edge, which you’ll hear on some of the June Divided stuff.  I rarely slap or pop, so I’ve definitely been more of a melodic, experimental player in that sense.  A lot of people have told me that I put a lot of feeling, emotion, and expression into my style as opposed to just trying to melt the neck off the bass. 

What Made Me Decide to Play Bass:
I always saw the bass as such a versatile instrument, watching some players do things that absolutely blew my mind that could never be achieved with another instrument.  The feeling and tones you can get out a bass have continuously drawn me towards it.  I’ve always been intrigued by the concept of how you can hear a guitar, piano, drums, etc… but you can feel a bass.

Musical Influences:
A lot of progressive stuff, but anything really… Pink Floyd, Dream Theater, Thrice, Dear Hunter, Senses Fail, and my buddies I grew up playing with.

Favorite Musical Styles:
I’ll play it all from Blues to Jazz, to Reggae and Hip-Hop, but nothing gets me going like some Progressive Rock.

My Bass(es):
MusicMan Stingray “SLO Special” 4-String HS; Custom built 4-string Thunderbird w/ Dual Rio Grande vintage Humbuckers & Mike Pope pre-amp system, and a Schecter Elite-4

My Amps and Other Gear:
Ampeg SVT 3-pro
Ampeg PR-410 H
Sansamp RBI
BBE 882i Sonic Maximizer
BSS 901 Dynamic EQ

Endorsed By:
Ernie Ball / MusicMan
FutureSonics

Best Bass Advice You Ever Received:
My teacher in college, Bruce, was really the one who taught me bass as a philosophy rather than an instrument. Kinda how Vic Wooten’s views are.  I couldn’t give any specific examples other than the guy was brilliant, or maybe when he’d yell at me for letting my thumb slip over the top of the neck, “Don’t do that, just don’t do it.” haha.

One Piece Of Advice For Other Bassists:
Hone your style and your tone.  Also, understand that you’re not the lead guitar player.  You need to kind of know your place and riff where it’s appropriate.  You’re drummer is your best friend.

Favorite Quote or Life Philosophy:
Hey Guys! Woah, Big Gulps eh? All right. Well, see ya later!

Most Amazing Gig so Far:
Probably at our sold out TLA show in Philly on 1/27, the roar of the crowd was amazing.

Dream Gig:
Either sharing the stage with Roger Waters and David Gilmour on some Floyd tunes… or headlining a sold out gig at Red Rocks.  Both?

Most Embarrassing Moment on Stage:
I normally don’t let any screw ups or tech difficulties get to me… there was a little mishap at a gig a few weeks ago where I was getting maybe a little “too into it.”  I ended up wrapping my cable around the headstock and neck, which in turn detuned the E, and A string about 2 whole steps down mid-song.  I essentially had to spend the remaining half of the song half transposing and tuning on the fly. I was all over the place; it was definitely a mess – haha.

Favorite Tip to Share on Traveling With Your Bass:
When I got my first set of professional live shots back, my bass had fingerprints all over it.  I know it sounds stupid but I almost felt a little ashamed – haha.  So I’d say, wipe your bass down before you hit the stage.

What Would You Be Doing If You Weren’t A Musician:
I’d probably be touring as a lighting designer or band manager.  I’ve been doing both of those gigs for a while now.

The Question No One Ever Asks Me, But I Have Been Dying to Share:
Q. What moments on stage feel surreal to you?  A. My band mates like to make fun of me and say I’m definitely the most unhinged person on stage. I’ll try just about anything to flip the bass around, hit the right notes, and hopefully still look good doing it – haha.  But there are moments when things feel like they’re in slow motion; I’ll hit a sub-low note, feel the entire stage move under my feet, see everyone’s face in the crowd, and everything just feels so unbelievable. There’s nothing like being immersed in that moment.  Or catching the reactions of the kids in the crowd just loving what we’re doing on stage, and I think, man that used to be me! I hope someday what I do will inspire someone to follow in my footsteps.

What You Can Look Forward to From Me this Year:
We’ll be on tour, a lot!  With the new album out we’re hitting the road, we’ll have a music video coming out too.

Find Me Online:

Website: www.junedivided.com

Twitter: @junedivided, @lennysasso

Facebook: www.facebook.com/junedivided

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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