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Interview with Bass Legend Glenn Hughes

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Interview with Bass Legend Glenn HughesInterview with Bass Legend Glenn Hughes

Think of California and you think of brilliant color and bright sunlight. Think of a breed and it’s all about bloodlines and brotherhood. Put the two together as California Breed and you have the most exciting new band of 2014.

Built around the foundation of legendary vocalist-bassist Glenn Hughes and drummer extraordinaire Jason Bonham, with the addition of the 23-year-old newcomer guitarist-singer Andrew Watt, as Hughes says: “California Breed is real Rock’n’roll – but made for right now.”

Hi Glenn. Let’s talk about your latest project, California Breed. Firstly I would like to ask, where did the name come from?

When we were trying to come up with a name we decided to look at the lyrics of our songs and maybe there’s a word there that will trigger something. So I went through it and there was interesting stuff,  but then I came across “Solo”, which is a bonus track, the line “California breed acceleration,” kind of a fast-moving California dude, which kind of I am, been living here for so many years. It is about the sun, the energy and this collaboration that happened in California,

How did Andrew Watts come along for the ride?

At the Grammy’s in February of 2013, my dear friend Julian Lennon was having a party, and he introduced me to this young guitar player named Andrew Watt. I meet many people in the industry, and I hear a lot of demos, but there was something about this kid that struck me. I called him and asked, “Can you come to my house next week for a jam?” He came to my house, and in that one day, we wrote two songs, “Chemical Rain” and “Solo.” The following day Jason was in town, so we went to a studio, and we recorded some material. They were great, but they were not complete songs or ideas. We realized then that there was something good there and maybe we should get together once a month in LA

What were you thinking about as far as a particular sound for this new group called California Breed?

Black Country Communion broke up in late 2012; Jason (Bonham) and I decided we would continue. We actually decided that we want to do something together while Black Country Communion was still going on. We wanted to form a new breathtaking new band. First, we decided that we want to keep it organic. What I mean by that— NO SYNTH!!!

Glenn Hughes-2-california breed 1What was the song writing process for the album – is it a collaborative thing? Are you the main songwriter, or are there one or two main songwriters?

Everything started during my first meeting with Andrew. We wrote the first two songs together. When you complete two songs in one afternoon and it sounds so cool then it means that there is something there. After that it was mostly collaboration. I will come up with an idea that I will introduce to the band and then everyone will add something until it is complete.

Is there someone you would consider a mentor?

My mentor has always been my dear friend Stevie Wonder. I’ve been a big Stevie Wonder fan since the late 60s. I met Stevie in the early 70s, and he took me in the studio. Stevie was really helpful to me. I thought it would be a really important lesson to see in what way he was interacting with people.

Let’s talk a bit about bass. How did you come to play the bass guitar?

I was at school with Mel Galley, Trapeze and Whitesnake Guitar Player. He joined a band, so when their bassist left in ’68, he asked me if I would be interested in switching from guitar – my first instrument to bass. I really wanted to play with him, so I bought a bass from the bass player of that group and I started to play. So my first bass was a ’62 Fender J bass.”

Glenn Hughes-1-california breed 2What recording represents your best work – as a bass player?

There are so many songs Andreas. I keep re-inventing myself.

What gear do you use on tour and in studio?

I use an Orange AD200 Bass MK IIII always like that vintage bass sound I had in the early Trapeze days and it is such a comforting feeling to hear those tones coming out of this amp. For cabinets I use a 1 x 18 or a 1×15 with a 4×10.

What are your main effects? 

I also love effects. I have this DigiTech bass synth wah bass envelope filter. I use two of them – one for that left-handed Mini Moog sound, that low-end bass Moog – and then I use one that’s more of a neutral wah, very sort of groovy. I also use an octave bass with a light distortion.

What about your bass guitars? What is your favorite bass?

Andreas, I own hundreds of basses, however my favorite one is a 65 p Bass sunburst. This is the bass I used in most of my recordings as well as live performances.

Any tips or advice for other musicians?

Love everything you do and always do everything you love to do. This always produces great results.

I know you recorded a lot… Any studio recording advice?

Always listen to the music. Do not just start playing. Make sure you take into consideration the way you will play each note, the length of the note and the dynamics of each note. How soft or how loud will it be performed. I do not like many hammer-ons. I like clean and clear Long Notes. Also, everything should be an enjoyable experience.

What would you consider the highlight of your career thus far?

I always like to push the limit. And the most important performance of my career is the one I am about to do.

We are running out of time. So, anything else you want to add?

I would like to close this by saying that bass is a true art form. It blends the rhythmical groove with the actual harmony. Things you should consider are where are you going to play the note on the neck. Then, how are you going to play the note. Pay attention into the articulation, the duration, the tone as well as the space between each note.

Thank you for the interview Glenn. See you at the California Breed Show.

See you at the show Andreas.

Visit online at www.glennhughes.com and www.californiabreed.com

 

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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