Mike Frost, Bass Musician Magazine Q&A
Bass Musician Magazine Q&A with Mike Frost
Born In What City:
Current Band(s) I Play With:
Mike Frost Jazz, Jesse Colin Young
Former Bands/Artists I Have Played With:
Jimmy Bruno, Jesse Colin Young, Esteban, New York Voices, The Gypsy Kings, David Mann (Tower of Power), Manolo Badrena (Weather Report), Todd Turkisher (David Byrne, Ute Lemper), John Scarpulla (Tower of Power, Bruce Springsteen), John Miceli (Meatloaf), George Cintron (Leslie West, Blue Oyster Cult), Karmic Tiempo, The Deep, New York Voices, The Gypsy Kings, and Ken Talve.
CD’s I’ve Released/ Been a Part Of:
Mike Frost: Inner Voice (debut solo album) 1992; Mike Frost Inner Voice: Tears of Joy, 1996; John Hughes’s Local Players: Our Black Hand, 1996; Ken Talve: Across the Board, 1997; The Deep, 2000; Keith Hart: It’s About Time, 2004; Karmic Tiempo: Synergy, 2005; Esteban: Live at Red Rocks, 2005; Cathy Kreger: Pure Imagination, 2007
Recordings with my current band, Mike Frost Jazz: Live at the Blue Horse, 2011; Riddle Me This?, 2011; Frosty Christmas, 2012
Describe The Way You Play Bass:
I play from the heart. Every note is heard and felt before it’s played.
What Made Me Decide to Play Bass:
I started on drums and switched to the bass when I was sixteen. As soon as I hit the first note on my brother’s $40 bass, I knew I’d be playing bass for the rest of this life. I went out the next week and bought a 1972 Fender Precision bass for $200 and rode home with it in a hard case, balanced on the handlebars of my bicycle!
All my basses are Clifford Roi custom masterpieces. Most are six-string, both fretted and fretless. I recently added a four-string with a solid teak neck to my collection that I have really enjoyed.
My Amps and Other Gear:
I have been using a Walter Woods blue light amplifier and BrickHouse speaker enclosures (of my own design) for years. Recently I’ve been enjoying Aguilar’s ToneHammer 500 amp and the GS410 and GS112 speaker cabinets.
I designed an envelope pedal called the Funkalope built by Foot Fetish pedals, and a distortion/fuzz called Frosted Haze by Getonemaker.
I have endorsements from S.I.T. Strings, Clifford Roi basses, Aguilar Amplification, Hartke, Foot Fetish pedals, Getonemaker, and A Design.
Best Bass Advice You Ever Received:
At the end of my first lesson with Jaco Pastorius in 1982, I received the best advice about creating and delivering music. He said, “Most of all, take your time… take your time.” Fortunately I recorded the lesson and used this quote on my own recording of Continuum on the my first solo CD, Inner Voice, released in 1992.
One Piece Of Advice For Other Bassists:
Always listen. In performance, listen to what is going on around you and respond. Always listen before you speak.
Favorite Quote or Life Philosophy:
I always ask my students, “Why do we practice?” Their answers, as you might imagine, are varied, but my response is that we practice so we don’t have to think when we create music. As I always say, “When you think, you stink!”
Most Amazing Gig so Far:
The concert I played at Red Rocks Stadium near Denver, Colorado was the most amazing concert setting I have experienced to this point. The amphitheater is carved from the stone on the side of the mountain. It looked like the place where the heaven meets the earth. It was an unforgettable experience to be able to create music there.
Best NAMM Moment:
The best thing about NAMM is meeting and connecting with some of the greatest musicians in the world, and testing out new gear as it’s coming out.
Most Embarrassing Moment on Stage:
I was playing at the Cabaret Theater at the Mohegan Sun in Connecticut with Esteban when I got the worst stomach virus that hit right as we took the stage. I had to leave the stage every 10 minutes during the concert and toss my cookies into a garbage can just off stage. I kept coming back and playing my bass parts, and the best part was that Esteban never noticed! Still, I’m pretty sure you can hear my heaving in the concert recording.
Favorite Tip to Share on Traveling With Your Bass:
When I fly with my basses, I use an SKB hard golf bag case. I can fit two six-string basses in gig bags inside the case and it weighs in at just under 50 pounds!
What Would You Be Doing If You Weren’t A Musician:
If I were not a performing musician, I’d probably spend more of my time doing audio engineering or designing gear.
What You Can Look Forward to From Me This Year:
I just completed my first Christmas CD, Frosty Christmas. This next year will include another recording project with my band and some active touring. Check the calendar at http://mikefrost.co for updates.
Find Me Online:
Mike Frost: http://mikefrost.co
Mike Frost Jazz band website: http://mikefrostjazz.com
Mike Frost Jazz band page: http://www.facebook.com/mikefrostjazz / Mike Frost: http://www.facebook.com/mike.frost.5055
Mike Frost Jazz Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/MikeFrostJazz
Mike Frost Bass Channel:http://www.youtube.com/user/mikefrostbass