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Rick Barrio Dill, Here comes Trouble! – Bass Musician Magazine, September 2015 Issue



Bass Musician Magazine - Sep 2015 - Rick Barrio Dill

Rick Barrio Dill, Here comes Trouble! – Bass Musician Magazine, September 2015 Issue…

Vintage Trouble is a band that approaches music the hard way – they work hard and play even harder. Following the release of their independent debut, 2011’s The Bomb Shelter Sessions, the group toured incessantly, which as their reputation developed, found them getting the coveted opening slots for The Rolling Stones, The Who and most recently AC/DC. When touring at that level, what musician would want that to stop? And so, the shows kept coming.

Four years later, the band returned to LA to start work on their long-awaited sophomore album 1 Hopeful Rd. [Blue Note Records]. Powered by the aggressive yet still grooving drive of bassist Rick Barrio Dill, the Don Was-produced album – a wicked bassist in his own right – features the band’s unique brand of smooth soul, crackling blues and hell-bent boogies.

Currently doing promotional rounds for the new album, Barrio Dill is enthused for their upcoming US headline tour… but he also reflects on the band’s singular position:

“It’s funny, they say that you have your whole life to write the first record and then 6 months to work on the second but for us, it was the opposite! I don’t think we stopped at all since that first gig which happened three weeks after we all got together and became a band!”

Rick Barrio Dill-Bass Musician magazine - 1

Photo, Adam Kennedy

Can we start at the beginning? I know that there was a flurry of activity that led to a wealth of material for you guys even before you recorded the first album.

In LA, we started off playing residency gigs where we would have to cover three one-hour slots and to do that, a ton of material was written right away in those first six months. And ultimately, The Bomb Shelter Sessions was just us getting the first ten songs down on tape! We had the next ten songs ready to go a couple of weeks later!

Did any of that material get performed live?

Yes, some of it was played in LA and then when we started spending more time in the UK, we would play some of those songs in our headline shows there. When we began playing opening slots for The Who, those would be half-hour sets so we naturally focused on songs from The Bomb Shelter Sessions. But we had been carrying a lot of material, a lot of really, really strong material for the last four or five years.

Vintage Trouble toured for a long time solely on the strength of the debut album. Were you itching to get back into the studio to record those new songs?

(Laughs) When it came time to do this record, they almost had to force us to get off the road to go record! I don’t even know if we would have stopped touring if it wasn’t for Don Was and this opportunity with Blue Note. We ended up turning down a lot of stuff and forced ourselves to get off the road. Once that happened, we found we were sitting on a bunch of songs; I wanna say 25-30 songs. While we were working on those songs during pre-production, we went through a bit of a creative spurt that had built up while we were on the road and ended up with another 10 or 12 tunes! So out of those 37 or 40 tunes, we had to, thanks to the help of Don Was, choose to get it down to 25, get it down to 15 and ultimately, the 12 that we chose for this record. There’s a lot of material that’s still not on this record (laughs)!

How much of that new material made the final cut?

I wanna say that a third is brand-new to us and then 2/3’s of it was material we’d been carrying around.

How do you approach being in the studio?

We’re a live band and I look at recording as to how I might look today if I got a haircut. Take a picture and that’s how I would in that moment. But a few days from now, I’d look a little different. So the songs are going to sound different from how we recorded them not three months ago because we’re constantly changing. We don’t play to clicks; we never have a set order for things. Adrenalin plays an important role in what we do… that’s what keeps it fresh.

What role does the bass play in such a stripped-down setting?

Most of the time, I view the bass as rhythm guitar and traditional bass at the same time. We are a big-sounding group – Nalle (Colt) is a brilliant lead guitar player and some of his guitar lines can be like horn parts and Richard (Danielson) is playing percussion and drums at the same time and Ty (Taylor) is such a powerful vocalist and his phrases dance in between what the instruments are playing.

Any challenges to roping in the band’s natural intensity in the studio?

Sometimes, we listen back to a take and think, “Ok we’ve got to strip back”. Ultimately, I think when we do get to that place, that’s when we realize that we’re onto something, where we can relax and let the parts speak. There’s no question that you feel the pressure that you have to cover ground and it took us a little while to understand there are times when you have to do that and times when it’s ok to let things breathe. Of course it is possible to go too far and then you have to back up (laughs) and start stripping away! We’ve always called it “devolving”. That’s why I say sometimes we’ll have a version of a song and you listen to it a year later and we’ve learned things about it that are either less or more than was needed based on repetition or playing it in front of people. That’s the beautiful thing about music, and letting it be organic – it never has to be the same; you should be able to learn from it all the time and change accordingly.

Photo, Neil Kitson

Photo, Neil Kitson

What is something that you have learned from the past five years?

One of the things that we learned early on, and that we constantly get reminded of, is that music is how you affect people. It’s almost as simple as that – can you affect people? You can shoot fire out of the drums (laughs), you can do all kinds of pyrotechnics, you can jump around, you can do all kinds of shit but at the end of the day, nothing beats the power of playing a song and watching it connect with people. Literally, people have cried and fell down in front of us over a song like Nobody Told Me. Or they’ve come to a show and they’ve tattooed the lyrics on their back because a friend of theirs committed suicide and they used a song like that to pull them out of it. Or a song that makes a call to action like Not Alright By Me.

Continuing on this track, is there a song on 1 Hopeful Rd. that holds that appeal?

Absolutely, one of the songs that I love is called Run Like The River and its basically, about the world around you that will tell you what you can and cannot do. And ultimately, if you stay strong to your vision or what you believe on the inside, and don’t listen to a lot of those adversarial voices, in the end, you can triumph.

No pun intended but the message behind that song seems to run deep.

From a self-empowering standpoint, we’re older guys and there are a lot of people that have told us all along the way that “you should have hung it up” or “maybe you should think of doing something else”. And that just never seemed like an option. From a very young age there was never anything else that I felt I was supposed to be doing despite the fact that I could do a lot of other things if I had to. And I think that comes from not listening to anything other than yourself and trying to be as honest with yourself as you can. You know, if you’re Brett Favre and you’re 50 years old and it’s time to hang it up that’s one thing because there are physical limitations, that’s one thing but if you can still compete then who gives a fuck whether you’re 70 years old; if you can still put up your best and you still feel ok and you still wanna do it; fuck everybody else! I think that’s what Run Like The River is for us. So when you asked, “what is one thing that we pulled out of this the most”, that’s it – if you have a message that you can translate, that is so strong and unwavering, music is one of those vehicles that lets you put that across in a way that words really can’t.

There was a quote I read that I think was from Lenny Kravitz – or if paraphrased somebody else – but he said that “certain musical moments make you feel closer to the creator than at any other time in life, so when I’ve felt those, I want to keep chasing those as many times as I can before I die”. And I get that! That was a profound lesson to learn – to learn what the pull is; the draw to do this. There is nothing is stronger than the will to create music.

Current gear list:

I have used Aguilar amps and cabs forever. My rig consists of the DB 750 with the DB 412 cabinet in Boss Tweed. I used the DB 410 and DB115 cabinets for years but recently switched to the 412. Since we play in such close proximity to each other on stage, the 412 allows me to not have to play very hard to get a full, powerful tone. For these large, outdoor stadium shows, the DB 412 turned on its side changed my life a bit! I also have Aguilar’s Tone Hammer 500 head as my backup.

My basses are two reissue Fender P basses. I have a ’57 reissue P with a maple neck and a Fender American Design Experience RBD Custom 62’ reissue. Both basses have Aguilar AG 4P-60 pickups in them and are strung with D’Addario Chromes flatwounds gauged 50-105.

My pedal board consists of the Boss TU-3 tuner and the Aguilar AGRO for overdrive.

For more on Vintage Trouble check out:





Bass Videos

Ricky Phillips, STYX Bass And More – February 2024



Ricky Phillips, STYX Bass And More, January 2024

Ricky Phillips, STYX Bass And More…

This Week’s Top 10 Basses on Instagram

I have always been a huge Styx fan. Their music kept me awake during countless nights studying and gave my imagination a place to escape when I had a moment to take a break. 

I had the immense opportunity to chat with STYX bassist Ricky Phillips for our August Cover in 2017 and follow his projects as time passed. Now, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to catch up with Ricky as he has been super-busy over the past six years. 

Join me as we take a deep dive into the band’s most recent album “Crash the Crown” and EP “The Same Stardust”. Ricky shares some insights into the herculean team effort behind the scenes and the musical process that keeps them ever so busy and how he has updated his sound. 

Without further ado… Here is Ricky Phillips!

Photo: Jason Powell

“Crash of the Crown” lyric video

“Reveries” lyric video

“Save Us From Ourselves” lyric video

“Sound the Alarm” lyric video

“Too Much Time On My Hands” Zoom video 2020

Visit online:
FB & IG @styxtheband

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Bass Videos

Jeff Pilson, Foreigner Low End – January 2024



Jeff Pilson - Bass Musician Magazine - January 2024

Jeff Pilson, Foreigner Low End – January 2024…

Those of us who were around back in the 70’s remember how certain songs on the radio resonated with us. It turns out that many of these iconic melodies came from Foreigner and they were part of our personal soundtracks! 

After all these years, the band is going as strong as ever with Jeff Pilson firing away on bass midstream into a 2-year farewell tour. 

I am excited to be able to bring you all the details about Jeff’s musical Journey, the farewell tour in progress, how he gets his sound and his plans for the future.

Cover Photo: Krishta Abruzziini / Video Photos: Krishta Abruzzini, Karsten Staiger, Gina Hyams

For more news on FOREIGNER and upcoming Farewell Tour dates, fans can visit:
Also on FB @officialjeffpilson

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Bass Videos

Rodney O’Quinn, Rockin’ Hard Through the Years – December 2023



Rodney O'Quinn, Rockin’ Hard Through the Years – December 2023

Interview With Foghat Bassist Rodney O’Quinn…

Rodney O'Quinn - Bass Musician Magazine - December 2023-v2

Many rock fans have enjoyed music by Foghat, who originally formed in London back in 1971.

Over the many decades of playing, the band members have changed, leaving behind only Roger Earl as the only original member. Bassist Rodney O’Quinn left the Pat Travers Band and joined the group in 2015 and has been laying down the low end for this iconic quartet keeping the Foghat legacy alive. With a new album titled “Sonic Mojo” which dropped on November 10th, the band is as busy as ever and there is lots of very tasty music to come.

Join me as we learn of Rodney O’Quinn’s musical journey, how he gets his sound, and his plans for the future.

Jake Coughlin
Video Thumbnail, Tom Apathy
Photos used in the video: Kerry Quinn, Chuck Lanza, Kim Granger, Kenneth Strohm, Jake Coughlin, Jay Jylika

1st Single from Sonic Mojo – Official “Drivin’ On” 

2nd Single from Sonic Mojo – “She’s a Little Bit of Everything Official Video

 “Road Fever”- California Mid State Fair – Paso Robles, CA – 7-27-22

“Stone Blue” – Rodney O’Quinn Bass/Lead Vocals – Don Odell’s Legends – Woonsocket, R.I – 10/15/22 – The Stadium Theater

The Earl’s Court – Season 2, Episode 7: Funny Guys 

“I Just Want to Make Love to You” – CasinoRama – 6-9-23 

FOGHAT “Somebody’s Been Sleepin’ in My Bed” – Mohegan Sun, Uncasville, CT – 1/28/22

“I Just Want to Make Love to You” – California Mid State Fair – Paso Robles, CA – 7-27-22

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Bass Videos

Suzi Quatro, Eternal Powerhouse – November 2023



Suzi Quatro, Eternal Powerhouse – November 2023

Interview With Bassist Suzi Quatro…


It is always exciting to have the opportunity to talk to an artist who has been prolific for decades.

Suzi Quatro has been rocking our world since the sixties and has been super-creative as a bassist, musician, actress, singer, songwriter, author, radio show host and so much more. Most recently, Suzi released a new album titled “Face to Face” where she joined forces with KT Tunstall and together they are a force of nature. (See our video with Suzi about the album release)

Join me as we hear about Suzi’s musical journey, her many projects, how she gets her sound and her plans for the future.

Here is Suzi Quatro…

Suzi Quatro & KT Tunstall – “Truth As My Weapon” (Official Music Video)

“Shine A Light” music video (from the upcoming album)

“Bad Moon Rising” music video (from 2022):

Bass-Solo / Live in Prah? 1979

Glyserine Queen / Bass solo – Tampere Finland

Follow Online:
IG @suziquatroreal
FB @Suziquatrorocks
TW @Suzi_Quatro

Video – Andrew Whitton
Cover and Header Photo – Courtesy of Suzi Quatro

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Bass Videos

Zach Fowler, Not Just Laying Down the Low End – October 2023



Zach Fowler, Not Just Laying Down the Low End - October 2023

Zach Fowler, Not Just Laying Down the Low End – October 2023

I have been hearing about Zach Fowler’s bass playing since he was in New Mexico. Now, based out of Nashville, Zach is very busy laying down the low end, acting as musical director, writing songs and producing music. He has been very active doing studio work as well as touring with LoCash.

Join me as we hear about Zach’s journey, how he gets his sound, all the details about his new Lakland bass and his plans for the future.

Here is Zach Fowler!

Photos Credits  – Cover, Allee Visuals / In Video –  Matthew Allen, Max Muehlhausen

Typical, run-of-the-mill, slap happy bass solo taken during LOCASH’s performance at the Suwannee River Jam in Live Oak, Florida on May 4, 2018.  Video was shot by David Lehr.

This was part of a series of acoustic performances filmed at the famous Blackbird Studios in Nashville.

LOCASH performs a song from “The Fighters” album called “Shipwrecked.”  This was filmed not long after I joined LOCASH, and I’m using a Carvin PB5 plugged straight into the board via a Countryman DI.

LOCASH performs “One Big Country Song” at the Grand Ole Opry in May 2022.  

We performed the song along with Opry House Band, and the performance was in conjunction with The Beach Boys’ first performance at the Opry (which explains why we’re wearing leis around our necks). I used one of my two PRS Grainger 5-strings plugged directly into the Opry’s house rig, which is made by Aguilar.

One of only two times that I’ve recorded myself playing bass.  

I arranged John Legend’s “Ordinary People” for solo bass, and used my PRS Gary Grainger 5-string plugged into a Gallien-Krueger PLEX preamp.  I added a little reverb in Logic to give it a little ambience.  I recorded this right after the COVID shutdown happened.  I’m not too big on recording myself playing bass, so this was somewhat of a rarity, but considering my job had shut down, it felt like a good outlet to keep my name on the radar.  There’s a little gratuitous slapping in there, but mostly because I didn’t have an arrangement for the bridge section that I liked, so I just let loose.

During my time in Albuquerque, I was blessed to perform on two albums by a progressive rock trio by the name of Illustrated Man.  

This song is off of their second album, “Zebra Hotel,” and is coincidentally called “Zebra.”  I recorded this song using a Fender 5-string Precision Bass plugged into an Avalon U5 direct box.

I was with a band called The James Douglas Show for eleven years.  

We put out four studio albums, and this track is off the final album we put out called “9.”  The track, called “Can’t Stop,” was written by our guitar player, Jesse Martinez, and produced by Mike Cee.  As is typical with a lot of R&B tracks, I overdubbed a bass track over an already-existing synth bass line.  I used a Carvin JB5 run into an Avalon U5 direct box.

“Kissing a Girl” is a track off of LOCASH’s album, “Brothers.”  

We recorded a live version of the song at a venue in Minnesota during soundcheck.  The video was shot by David Lehr, and the sound was edited and mixed by our production manager at the time, Evan (“Turbo”) Owen.  It was negative 12 degrees outside in February, which explains why most of the people in the band are wearing beanies on their heads.  I used my main road bass on this track, my white PRS Gary Grainger 5-string, plugged into my Gallien-Krueger PLEX preamp, then into a Radial FireFly direct box.  I used a little bit of compression from my Origin Effects Cali76 compressor pedal, as well as a little bit of added chorus effect from an EBS UniChorus pedal to give it a little bit of a fretless sound.

Follow Online:
IG @zachfowlerbass
FB @ groovemaster82

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