Bassist Josh Myers, Bass Musician Magazine Q&A
Bass Musician Magazine Q&A with Bassist Josh Myers…
- Josh Myers
- Winchester MA, currently based in Brooklyn NY
Current Bands I Play With:
- Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds
- Heather Christian & The Arbornauts
- Kinan Azmeh’s Cityband
Former Bands/Artists I Have Played With:
- The Defibulators
- Andy Friedman
- Kenny Werner
- BIG WORDS
- Skye Steele
- Homestead Band
- Laila And Smitty
- Sad Red
- Cosmo D’s Sauce
- Gerald Cleaver’s NiMbNl
CD’s I’ve Released/ Been a Part Of:
- Josh Myers Quintet – Walls Red
- BIG WORDS – Chimera
- Homestead Band – Homestead Band
- Sad Red – Elder
- Sauce – Ricardo, Move!
- Heather Christian & The Arbornauts – Cabinet
- Harmonically and rhythmically, I try to justify everything I play with my roll in the band. The bass has a lot of power; since we’re so low in the frequency range, weird notes we play can create upper harmonics that clash with midrange instruments and vocals. So while there are always times to play melodically, I try to pick those spots based on what everyone else is playing. The basses I play tend to just have one tone knob, so I change that a bit from song to song but most of my sound and attack comes from my right hand. Playing close to the bridge gives me more of a bright attacky sound, and playing over the neck gives me a sweeter rounder sound.
- In high school I was a guitarist, but so was everyone else. Some friends and I got together to jam one night and I picked up a bass that was lying around. We played “Sunshine of Your Love” for about two hours straight and by the end of the night I was hooked. I still play guitar and piano from time to time, but the bass feels like home.
- Paul Simon
- Fiona Apple
- Pino Palladino
- Paul Jackson
- Earth Wind and Fire
- Afro-Cuban music
- Tower of Power
- Tim Lefebvre
- I like it all.
- Basses: My main bass is the neck of a 1975 Fender P-bass on the body of a 1980s Korean-made P-style bass. I also play a 1961 Silvertone made by Danelectro and a 2001 Michael Glas upright, All 4-string.
- Amps and Other Gear: For large venues I use an Aguilar AG500 head with a GK 1X15 cab. However if you see me at a small club in New York you’ll probably hear me through my trusty GK MBS-III, a 10 inch speaker with a lot of power.
- Sometimes as a bass player you have to act as traffic cop for the band.
One Piece Of Advice For Other Bassists:
- We have a lot of power, and we have a lot of responsibility. Choose your notes carefully, they effect the rest of the band more than you think.
Favorite Quote or Life Philosophy:
- If you want to be in the right place at the right time, be everywhere all the time.
Most Amazing Gig so Far:
- Playing with Kinan Azmeh at the El Genaina Theater in Cairo in June 2012, soon after the Egyptian revolution and in the early days of the Syrian revolution. Kinan is a world-renowned Syrian clarinetist, and there were many Syrian refugees in the crowd, as well as many Egyptians who felt free for the first time in their lives. It was a warm breezy evening in an outdoor theater, and the energy was beautiful – somber and complicated.
- Paul Simon’s band
Most Embarrassing Moment on Stage:
- Missing my HUGE entrance on the final song of the set because my tuner pedal was still turned on. It’s happened more than once, sadly :/
Favorite Tip to Share on Traveling With Your Bass:
- Aside from investing in a Monocase in case you have to gate-check your instrument, board as early as possible to make sure there’s room for your bass on the plane. When the gate attendant asks for passengers with special considerations to board, that means you. YOU ARE SPECIAL.
What Would You Be Doing If You Weren’t A Musician:
- I suppose if my arms fell off and my voice stopped working I’d have to think of something else to do, but I have never in my life considered another path besides music.
The Question No One Ever Asks Me, But I Have Been Dying to Share:
- You: “Can I sublet your apartment while you’re away?” Me: “Yes.”
What You Can Look Forward to From Me This Year:
- New record releases this fall from Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds, Heather Christian & The Arbornauts, and Kinan Azmeh’s Cityband, and shows all across America. Check out sistersparrow.com/tour and follow me on Twitter (@docthunder) to find out where.