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Bassist Brad “Russo” Russell, Bass Musician Magazine Q & A

Brad “Russo” Russell

Born In:

Current Band(s) I Play With:
Gary Hoey Band, Bass In Yo Face

Former Bands I Have Played With:
Clarence Clemons, Dr Lonnie Smith, Neal Schon, Russell Bros Band

CD’s I’ve Released/ Been a Part Of: 

    • Russell Bros: “Thick Than Water,” “All These Blues”
    • Brad Russell solo cd (featuring Joe Satriani & Gregg Bissonette): “Let’s Hear It!”
    • Mariah Carey: “Vision of Love”
    • Jeff Watson: “Lone Ranger”
    • Ric Derringer: “Electra Blues”
    • Pat Travers: “Blues Tracks”
    • James Murphy: “Convergence”
    • Deen Castronovo instructional video: “High Performance Drumming”

Describe The Way You Play Bass:
Stanley Clarke meets Eddie Van Halen with  some James Jamerson thrown in!

What Made Me Decide to Play Bass:  
My Dad played upright bass, and there always was and old Kay upright leaning in the corner of our basement. When I was about 12 and trying to decide what instrument to play in the school band/orchestra, my Dad said to me ” Play the bass! Everybody needs a good bass player.”

Musical Influences:
Stanley Clarke, Billy Sheehan, Mark King, Eddie Van Halen, Steve Vai and a million more!

Favorite Musical Styles:
Instrumental rock, fusion, jazz and anything written by Bach or Vivaldi!

My Bass(es):
Warwick Thumb bass (4 string w/Kahler tremolo), Warwick Streamer Jazzman ( 5 string), Juzek Upright Bass

My Amps and Other Gear:
Mark Bass Amp ( Little Mark II ), Ampeg Classic 4 10 & 15 cabs, Kahler Bass Tremolo, Radial  Hot British Distortion pedal, Dunlop Bass Crybaby, GHS Boomer Bass Strings ( lights & med lights)

Endorsed By:
Warwick Basses, GHS strings, Radial Engineering, Kahler

Best Bass Advice You Ever Received:
My Dad… “Play the bass, you’ll never be out of work!” Thanks Dad

One Piece Of Advice For Other Bassists:  
I call them the three “T’s” so I guess this is three pieces of advice (smile)

TONE: Always strive for a good clean punchy tone; make sure the other musicians can really feel the bass but still hear the definition of the notes.
TIME: Nobody likes a bass player who can’t be depended on  for the groove- the pulse! Really work on playing in time and learning when to lay back on the beat and when to push it ahead.

TASTE: always try to choose the right notes for both your bass lines , fills & solos. Melodic content is as important as the other two “T’s.”

Favorite Quote or Life Philosophy:
I’ve seen a man get rich playing the blues,but I’ve never seen a rich man play the blues.

Most Amazing Gig so Far:
Well , probably when I was at the University of Miami… I was playing a music convention with the Concert Jazz Band in front of Ron Carter, Rufus Reid and Will Lee, and we played a Jaco composition that featured me on an unaccompanied bass solo!

Dream Gig:
Any gig where I can play my music the way I hear it… and not be told to turn down! ha!

Best NAMM Moment:
Well, this was the funniest… I was playing solo bass @ the Kahler booth and was interupted by a  full mariachi band that came out of nowhere and started performing right next to  me and my little amp! Needless to say, I was upstaged.

Most Embarrassing Moment on Stage:
I once tried to do the 80’s move where you throw the guitar over your shoulder and catch it as it comes around your back.Well my bass never came all the way around, it flew off my shoulder and bounced across the staged. Fortunately it was a headless graphite Steinberger bass and did’nt even get so much as a scratch! But the rest of the band just stopped with their mouths open staring at me…very embarrassing!

Favorite Tip to Share on Traveling With Your Bass:
Be nice to the Flight Attendants…VERY nice

What Would You Be Doing If You Weren’t A Musician:
Pumping gas…oh wait unless you live in New Jersey, as all gas stations have been self-serve for many years now….guess I’d be screwed..ha! No, I’d probably be teaching either English or US history, I did really well with both of those subjects in high school and college.

What You Can Look Forward to From Me This Year:  
More touring with Gary Hoey Band, clinics for Warwick Basses, a guitar camp in Greece with Ron Thal (guitarist for Guns n Roses) and another release of more solo tracks to add to my existing solo bass CD “Let’s Hear It!”

Find Me Online:

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