Connect with us


Jiro Okada, Japan’s Melodic Superstar by Andreas Farmakalidis: Bass Musician Magazine April 2013



04APR13-Jiro Okada-Bass-Musician-MagazineVIEW Jiro Okada Time Warp Transcription

Jiro Okada! Jiro Okada was born in 1967 in Japan. He started studying bass at the age of 12, however he did not take music seriously until he was in his early 20s; he states that he started taking music seriously and performing at a professional level when he was 22.

A couple of years later, in 1994, he started performing with well-known Japanese singer Mariko Takahashi and was a part of Marikos touring band for 15 years. In order to broaden his horizons, in 2001, he became an official member of the renowned awe-inspiring jazz fusion band “Prism”. Together they have released 8 albums and 3 DVD’s!

Since 2009 he joined Japanese pop star Ayaka Hirahara’s touring band, which he is still a member. He is currently teaching at Senzoku University, Jazz course.

What inspired you to start playing bass?

I was in between guitar and bass, however I chose the Bass since it is a lot cooler than guitar! This is the reason why I treat the bass like a guitar sometimes (smile).

Who influenced you the most? Who are your favorite musicians and why?

Very interesting question. It is very appealing to me to understand who helped me evolve musically. I will have to mention: Bobby McFerrin, Tommy Emmanuel, Pat Metheny, Richard Bona, Ayaka Hirahara and Marcus Miller. All of these musicians have a unique “voice”. They are inspiring, lift up your spirits and motivate you!

Which are your favorite: Top 10 Recordings/CDs

Play / Bobby McFerrin & Chick Corea
Center Stage / Tommy Emmanuel (DVD)
Off-ramp / Pat Metheny
Greenhouse / The Yellowjackets
Star / Jan Garbarek with Miroslav Vitous and Peter Erskine
Eyewitness / Steve Khan
For You / Tatsuro Yamashita
Wain no nioi (??????) / Off Course
The Voice / Ayaka Hirahara
American Dreams / Charlie Haden

Which is your favorite bass, as well as piece of gear?

My favorite bass is the Real Bossa Design OBJ 5. For amplification I use Markbass amps and for effects I like the ZOOM B9ut.

Can you tell us any tips for younger musicians?

I believe that many people will listen to your music, regardless of the genre if you put feeling and your heart and soul into your music. If you love what you do then the result will be good.

I know that you are one of the most busy bassists in Japan; you tour a lot! Any touring advice?

Having fun is the most important thing. You have to make it fun and pleasant. Imagine being stuck in a tour bus with musicians that don’t get along with each other. This will affect everyone’s psychology and most importantly it will affect the music.

Any Funny touring moments that you would like to share?

I cannot think of funny moments, however I will tell you what I consider some of the most important moments. The fact that I’ve visited many historical castles in Japan, along with the tour members, makes it a truly imperative experience. Learning more about my culture as well as the history of Japan is imperative.

Any TECHNIQUE tips? I noticed that you use a 4-finger technique, as well as chords etc. Any comments on that?

It’s difficult to play fast when the fingers hit the strings too hard. For that reason I place my ring finger on the rear pickup. That way I can even-out the strength of each finger.

Any Studio advice regarding recording? I know that you worked with many Japanese, as well as international producers.

I just try my best each time, however there’s not as much session work as there use to be; the music business has changed a lot the last few years. Yes, I have worked with many well-known Japanese, as well as international producers. The last couple of years I started working with Neila Productions, which is an LA based production company/label and I am very excited about that. It is good to work with people from diverse backgrounds, as well as different and fresh views regarding music; it is always a learning experience.

What are your plans for the future? Any new recordings/tours coming up?

I will be recording a new album with “PRISM” very soon and I will be touring with Ms. Ayaka Hirahara. I have some new stuff in the works; I will keep you posted as soon as everything is finalized.

Any Solo music plans?

I have some stuff in the works. I will keep you posted very soon! All I can say is that I am very excited and I am looking forward to sharing the news with you.

Videos from YouTube

A big thanks to the people from Neila Productions,, firstly because they have brought me in contact with Jiro and secondly for helping me with the translation.

For more information please check:

VIEW Jiro Okada Time Warp Transcription



Bass Videos

Ricky Phillips, STYX Bass And More – February 2024



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:
FB & IG @styxtheband

Continue Reading

Bass Videos

Jeff Pilson, Foreigner Low End – January 2024



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:
Also on FB @officialjeffpilson

Continue Reading

Bass Videos

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



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.

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:

Continue Reading

Bass Videos

Suzi Quatro, Eternal Powerhouse – November 2023



Suzi Quatro, Eternal Powerhouse – November 2023

Interview With Bassist Suzi Quatro…


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:
IG @suziquatroreal
FB @Suziquatrorocks
TW @Suzi_Quatro

Video – Andrew Whitton
Cover and Header Photo – Courtesy of Suzi Quatro

Continue Reading

Bass Videos

Zach Fowler, Not Just Laying Down the Low End – October 2023



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:
IG @zachfowlerbass
FB @ groovemaster82

Continue Reading