Interview with Chuck Jones of Dopapod at Aura Fest 2014…
What is your rig set up?
Amp- Orange AD200MK III, Orange 4X10
Bass – Moollon Classic P
Pedals – Boss TU3, Ernie Ball VP JR, Aguilar TLC Compressor, ElectroHarmonix POG 2(The rest of these i run through a Road Rage true bypass BIG FOOT 8) Aguilar Octamizer, Boss OC2, Zvex Basstortion, Moollon Sol fuzz (I also have a Boss EQ pedal in this chain that i use to boost some lows and roll back some highs), PigTronix Envelope Phaser, Moollon Chorus, Boss DD 7, Moollon Tremolo.
What’s the most innovative thing about your playing? Any different or special techniques?
Nothing that innovative, I suppose. I found things from other players that I liked and adapted some things into my own playing. Technique – I switch a lot between using my fingers and using a pick, depending on the desired sound.
I’m trying to always be conscience of my tone… That’s usually the first thing people notice about my playing.
I get a lot of comments on my use of pedals. It’s a solid blend of subtle tones and over-the-top ethereal whale noises. I’ll sometimes use my phone to loop voicemails I’ve received from Rob (Dopapod guitarist).
Who are your biggest musical influences, including bass players and others?
That’s changed over the years. At this point if I had to list a few (Bass Players)
- Tim Lefebvre
- Pino Paladino
- Paul McCartney
- Paul Jackson
- James Jamerson
I had a teacher at Berklee named Danny Morris. He really inspired me while I was there. Danny was the first one to really get me into Motown, Stax, Muscle Shoals and all that 60’s pop stuff.
How did you start playing bass?
I started in 8th grade. There was this guy in 9th grade named Mark Obayashi (I hope I spelled that right) who played bass, and I just thought it was the coolest thing ever. One day I was walking past a pawn shop with my mom, I saw a bass in the window, looked at her and said “Mom?… Will you buy me that bass?”
She responded with something along the lines of “What?… no.” I then explained to her that I had always wanted to play bass. After a few day of nagging her, I had my first bass and a gorilla amp; that was 15 years ago.
Do you play any other instruments?
Some guitar and drums. I end up sounding like a JDilla album when I play drums… sorta.
How did you become a part of Dopapod?
I’d been playing with Eli (Dopapod-keys) in another band called, The Actual Proof. As that fizzled out he started Dopapod as a duo, Keys and Drums. In 2009 Dopapod was picked to be on Berklee’s Jazz Revelation Records. I think that’s when he asked me to join.
Are you in any other bands or have any current side projects?
I have a side project, Called Mom And Dad. It sounds like Ween, Primus and Black Sabbath… its very strange. The genre we’ve related to is “Awk-Rock”. We just released our first album titled “Nice Missile”.
How has Dopapod helped you grow as a person and as a musician?
It’s helped me figure out what I like and dislike in my playing. I think now I’ve found a place as a back bone, but can also fit in some weird fills and sounds.
What do you feel is the biggest misconception about you as a bass player/bass players in general?
That slapping is the only way. Every time I hear “Slappa da Bass” I add a name to my hit list.
What is the craziest experience you’ve ever had as a bass player at a show or gig?
One time, a while ago, we were playing a house party and during our set a girl came up and put her hand down my pants and grabbed my package. That has not happened since. That’s the first thing that pops into mind…
What are some of your personal philosophies on life, the universe, music and everything?
Take a breath.
“Life is a journey, not a destination.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
Was this your first Aura Music Festival?
No. This was my third. Second since they moved to Suwannee.
What was your favorite part about Aura?
Really feeling like a part of it. Sometimes at bigger festivals you can feel like you’re lost in the mix a little bit, like a 10th grader a senior party… The staff and the fans at Aura really make you feel welcome.
What was your favorite part about your set at Aura? What are you most proud of?
Personally, I looped a goat sound during our second set that I was really proud of.
What is your favorite Aura memory?
I really enjoyed sitting in with Papadosio. I love sit-ins like that because I get so nervous before them, and after you’re like “Oh yeah! I can still play with other people!”
What are your favorite and least favorite things about the music scene and festival scene?
My favorite is… Fantastic catering
My least Favorite… Drug overdoses
What is your favorite part about interacting with your fans?
I love meeting people who actually LOVE what we do. Hearing nice things about your music or your own playing never gets old to me.
What advice would you give someone who has never heard your music before?
Give it a set… or two.
What advice do you have for someone who has never been to Aura or any music festival before?
Drink water. Make friends. Have fun.
Do you have any other festival plans for this year?
Yeah, we’re on quite a few. Wakarusa, Summer Camp, High Sierra, Blackstock…. Ummm… a few others.
Do you have any advice for aspiring bass players and musicians?
Transcribe and learn your harmony.
Any shout-outs you would like to give?
A bunch. For now it’ll be to Taylor the bass player for Turkuaz and my dog Sandwich.
VIDEO FROM AURA 2014