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Bassist Mike Sarkissian, Bass Musician Magazine Q&A

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Chevonne & The FuzzName:
Mike Sarkissian

Born In What City:
New Hyde Park, NY

Current Band(s) I Play With:
Chevonne and The Fuzz

Former Bands I Have Played With:
Carleigh Jade
Victoria Herrmann
The Better World

CD’s I’ve Released/ Been a Part Of:
(That actually matter…)
Fire At Will- Chevonne and The Fuzz

Describe The Way You Play Bass:
Hard, rhythmic and to the point. I wouldn’t consider myself a fancy bass player by any means, but I like to think all of my parts mesh well and compliment everything else in the song. My friend Kevin Walters (drummer for Those Mockingbirds) once told me he feels like I’m a drummer trapped in a bass players body. I think that’s because I’m more focused on bass drum hits and drum fills to line up with as opposed to the more melodic approach.

What Made Me Decide to Play Bass:
Growing up my brother Steve, from the time he was six years old, was playing drums. Excuse me, owning the drums. He is hands down one of the most talented people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing, playing with, and in this case, being related to. My cousin Nick, who’s mainly a self taught guitar player, Steve and I wanted to start a band and you know, revolutionize music like every other twelve year old out there thought they would do. The bass was the missing link, so who better than the drummer’s brother to play bass? With some previous training on piano and Steve teaching me drums over the years, I picked up pretty quickly and instantly fell in love.

Musical Influences:
I’ve been subjected to all types of music over the years, which I think is one of the best things that could have happened to me. Classical with my aunt, 50’s doo wop with my nana, disco with my mother and everything from Latin to Metal with my uncles, has made me have such an appreciation for all types of music. But if I had to specifically name people they would be Alex Katunich (Dirk Lance) formerly of Incubus, Flea, Jaco Pastorius, Verdine White of Earth, Wind & Fire, Ryan Martinie of Mudvayne and Mark Klepaski formerly of Breaking Benjamin.

Favorite Musical Styles:
Anything that makes my head bob and anything progressive.

My Bass(es):
Warwick Thumb 5
Music Man Stingray 5
Music Man Stingray
Music Man Sterling
Fender Precision Bass

My Amps and Other Gear:
Ampeg SVT Classic
Ampeg SVT 410 HLF
Fender Rumble 350 2×10 combo
Tech 21 SansAmp Programmable Bass Driver
Ashdown Lomenzo Bass Hyper Drive
Mark Bass Compressore
EBS OctaBass
Dunlop 105Q Cry Baby Bass Wah
Ernie Ball Volume Pedal
Boss TU-2 Chromatic Tuner

Best Bass Advice You Ever Received:
Simple and cliche, but stay in that pocket, man!

One Piece Of Advice For Other Bassists:
Surround yourself with exceptional musicians and try to learn, understand and listen to every instrument in your band. If you have time, jam on a guitar for a bit or have your drummer teach you some stuff. Being able to know exactly what’s going on with each instrument will make you be able to write the best lines for each part. And remember, we’re not lead guitar players. So there’s nothing wrong with just pumpin out quarter notes every now and again. However, we’re arguably the second most important element of the music (drums take first, sorry guitarists). So be creative, be experimental, don’t be afraid to hit a wrong note and just lock in with that drummer!

Favorite Quote or Life Philosophy:
“When life give you lemons, just say ‘F*#$ the lemons,’ and bail.”
-Paul Rudd

Most Amazing Gig so Far:
I had the opportunity to play the Highline Ballroom in NYC a few years ago. Great stage!

Dream Gig:
I don’t care what city, what venue, who we open for or who opens for us. I just want to see Chevonne and Chris hold their microphones to the crowd and watch every face there sing our songs.

Most Embarrassing Moment on Stage:
I played guitar in a hardcore band in high school (surprising). There was a measure break in one song where the other guitar player and myself would throw our guitars around our bodies and catch them right as the next part came in. Well, in that first break, my wireless system went flying off my strap and the body pack just burst into pieces. I made a quick recovery, but then the same thing happened to the other guitar player later in that same song. Pros.

Favorite Tip to Share on Traveling With Your Bass:
Let’s face it, no one wants to show up to a gig looking like an amateur. We all want to show up looking like “the real deal” with our stacks of amps and triple tiered pedal boards. Now you just look impractical. Travel light, bring only the necessities for that particular gig and don’t be afraid to bust out your 2×10 combo, even though the guy after you is running two 8x10s.

What Would You Be Doing If You Weren’t A Musician:
Bartending at good old Restaurant L in Allendale, NJ.

The Question No One Ever Asks Me, But I Have Been Dying to Share:
The first album I bought: Millennium…Backstreet Boys….

What You Can Look Forward to From Me This Year:
Releasing “Fire At Will” with my musical brothers and sister, Chevonne and The Fuzz…and possibly a poorly lit sex tape.

Find Me Online:
Website – chevonneandthefuzz.com
Facebook – facebook.com/chevonneandthefuzz

Bass Videos

Interview With Bassist Ciara Moser

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Interview With Bassist Ciara Moser

Bassist Ciara Moser…

Ciara and I sat down for this interview a few months after the launch of her debut album, “Blind. So what?”

Blind since birth, she is a powerhouse of talent; she is not only a professional bassist, but also composes music, and is a producer and educator. I am just blown away by her talent and perseverance.

Join me as we hear about Ciara’s musical journey, the details of her album, how she gets her sound, and her plans for the future.

Visit online:

www.ciara-moser.com 
IG @ moserciara
FB @ ciara.moser

Photos by Manuela Haeussler

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Bass Videos

Interview With Bassist Travis Book

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Interview With Bassist Travis Book

Interview With Bassist Travis Book…

Bluegrass music has had a very solid following over many years and I am always happy to hear from one of the pioneers in that genre.

Travis Book plays bass for the Grammy award-winning band “The Infamous Stringdusters” and has recently released his first solo album “Love and Other Strange Emotions”. As if he wasn’t busy enough, Travis also hosts a podcast, Plays a Jerry Garcia music show with Guitarist Andy Falco, and is constantly gigging locally in his neck of the woods.

Photo, Seyl Park

Visit Online:

www.thetravisbook.com
www.thestringdusters.com
FB @ TheTravisBook
IG @ travisbook

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Bass Videos

Interview with Malcolm-Jamal Warner

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Interview with Malcolm-Jamal Warner

Malcolm-Jamal Warner…

I am pretty sure that everyone is aware of Malcom-Jamal Warner’s work as an actor. What may be less known is his work as a director, poet, musician, and most importantly for us, a bass player. With four albums of his own, Grammy nominations and wins, as well as a sizable amount of ongoing live gigs, Malcolm is dedicating a serious amount of his attention to his music.

Join me as we hear about Malcom’s musical journey, projects, his gear choices, and plans for the future.

Here is Malcom-Jamal Warner!

Photos: Dwain Govan @dwain_go / Conrad Montgomery Mckethan @eyeconimages

Visit Online:

malcolmjamalwarner.com
IG @malcolmjamalwar
Twitter @malcolmjamalwar 
Facebook: Malcolm-Jamal Warner

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Bass Videos

Interview With The Labex Funk Project

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Interview With The Labex Funk Project

Interview With The Labex Funk Project…

Time really flies when you are having fun! Just over a decade ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing Michel “Labex” Labaki for our July 2013 cover.

At that time, much of our conversation concerned his personal approach to bass playing and his techniques. Fast forward to now and I am pleased to discover Michel’s new endeavor, the Labex Funk Project.

Join me as we meet the band:
Kynion Lanier on vocals
Pablo Batista on percussion
Jake Brightman on Guitar
Daniel Gonzalez on Drums
And Michel “Labex”Labaki on bass

As a bonus, we have the band’s producer Phillippe Dib in on this video chat as well.

Here is the Labex Funk Project!

Visit online:

michellabaki.com
www.facebook.com/MichelLabexLabaki/
www.instagram.com/michellabaki
www.youtube.com/c/MichelLabaki
FB @LabexFunkProject
IG @ Labex Funk Project

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Bass Videos

Interview With Bassist Tony Newton

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Interview With Bassist Tony Newton

Bassist Tony Newton…

I am always learning new details about Bass history when I get the opportunity to talk with seasoned players like Tony Newton. Tony, a Detroit native, came up in the golden years of Motown and laid down the low end for countless performers and studio sessions; he has performed on over 25 gold and platinum hit recordings.

As time went by, and the whole Detroit scene dwindled, Tony relocated to LA where he worked a busy schedule, even going back to school to learn about music theory and composition.

Over the years he performed on many historic hit recordings and tours with Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson(music Director), the Temptations, Aretha Franklin, The Funk Brothers and more, as well as working with veteran rock guitarist, Gary Moore in the British group G-Force.

Presently, Tony is super busy and on the verge of releasing a movie titled “Mars Quest” among his numerous other projects.

Join me as we get to enjoy all the history and knowledge that Tony has to share along with the details about his new Signature bass from BITE Guitars named “The  Punchtown Bass”.

Here is Tony Newton…

Photos: Mary K. Brand, Mitch Snyder, Haneefa Karrim, Hans Adamsen

Visit Online:

tonynewtonmusic.com/
FB @ TonyNewtonMusic Artist
YTB @ antoniotonynewtonmusic

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