Rick Sue-Poi, Bass Musician Magazine Q&A
Bass Musician Magazine Q&A with Bassist Rick Sue-Poi…
Born In What City:
I was born in Orange, NJ. I grew up in West Orange and Roselle Park. I currently live in Westfield, NJ.
Current Band(s) I Play With:
The Ugly Club
Former Bands I Have Played With: I’ve been involved with various bands in the NJ music scene for 10+ years.
CD’s I’ve Released/ Been a Part Of:
The Ugly Club’s 2nd EP – Visions of Tall Girl and our 1st Full Length LP – You Belong to the Minutes are most noteworthy.
Describe The Way You Play Bass:
Coming from a tenor sax background, I was fluent in understanding how important it was to keep a solid rhythm foundation as well as tight harmonization. I learned when it was free to loosen up a melody and when it was appropriate to add my touch to a solo. There’s a delicate balance between holding it down and losing control while still being in control. I embrace both worlds equally so it comes naturally to me when I’m holding my bass.
What Made Me Decide to Play Bass:
As I mentioned before, I grew up playing Tenor, Soprano, and Alto Sax. I wanted to play in every band that I could get into, so I did, and joined the B-Jazz group in school on the bass. I studied it a lot and realized that I didn’t need my perfect lungs anymore so I started smoking. I was thinking too much while I was practicing once and smoke got into my eyes. It burned like hell but I had to keep playing. I couldn’t read the charts so I had to improvise and pulled the song off. It was wild! And it was at that moment that I fell in love with the bass.
I could list so many, but they’re already on every other bass players list so I’d rather not rehash that. Some definitely worth mentioning are – Stuart Zender, Colin Greenwood, Kim Gordon, and Prince. I just as much adore synth bass playing too!
Favorite Musical Styles:
Indie, Experimental, Afro-Beat/Latin, and Electronic music.
Fender Mustang bass, a Gretsch G5123B Hollow body bass, and an Epiphone El Capitan Acoustic/Electric bass.
My Amps and Other Gear:
Honestly, I couldn’t live without my Tech 21 SansAmp 3-Channel Programmable Bass Driver. Every bass player should be using one.
Best Bass Advice You Ever Received:
This is not really “bass advice”, but I took it as a HUGE compliment. After a set, my friend and fellow bass player, Lou Panico of Socratic told me, “You’re gonna die just like Jaco (Pastorius).”
One Piece Of Advice For Other Bassists:
Don’t die like Jaco!
Favorite Quote or Life Philosophy:
“I am not read well, but when I do read, I read well.” -Kurt Cobain
Most Amazing Gig so Far:
Last March we had the opportunity to make it out to SXSW. It was such an overwhelming experience! But my personal ‘most amazing gig’ was simply playing on the streets of Austin and Nashville. The response from the crowds as we busked unplugged and with different instrumentation (I played tenor ukulele) was sincerely touching and heartwarming. The genuine appreciation of the passers-by was something from another level.
NuBlu in the Lower East Side of New York City.
Most Embarrassing Moment on Stage:
Nothing exceptionally embarrassing has happened to me yet. I’ve tripped on wires and amps, but who hasn’t? I guess I’d have to say wearing white pants on stage when the lights are blasting and there are people taking pictures. I tend to hang my bass up high and I don’t wear underwear…
Favorite Tip to Share on Traveling With Your Bass:
Love your bass because you’d be nothing without it, but don’t be afraid or bummed out from getting a couple of dings and scratches on it. No cracks tho… that’s whack.
What Would You Be Doing If You Weren’t A Musician:
I’d own a spider farm and milk the occasional venomous snake. Seriously.
The Question No One Ever Asks Me, But I Have Been Dying to Share:
Why don’t I EVER wear underwear?
What You Can Look Forward to From Me This Year:
I’ll be out with the band supporting our debut full length ‘You Belong to the Minutes’. I’m really looking forward to this year because I’m overly excited about sharing our music with every ear I could bring it to.
Find Me Online:
Website – http://www.theuglyclubmusic.com
Twitter – @theuglyclub
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/theuglyclub & http://www.facebook.com/ricksue-poi