MonoNeon And The Purple One: Sonic Exploration At Paisley Park…
Recently, our good friend here at Bass Musician Magazine, Dywane “MonoNeon” Jr. Got the call of a lifetime. The legend himself, Prince, had taken notice of Dywane’s unique and original musical stylings and wanted to see it for himself. Flash forward a little time later and Dywane has been fully immersed in the Purple One’s band and the Paisley Park experience. He sat down for a bit to tell us how it all went down.
BMM: So tell us from the beginning how Prince got in touch with you?
MonoNeon: I got an email asking, “Do you want to come to Paisley Park to jam?”… and of course I said YEP… haha! When I got there I was asked to play bass with Judith Hill. We did some shows at Paisley and opened for Prince at the Fox Theater in Detroit.
BMM: What was your mindset going into this?
MonoNeon: I really didn’t have a different mindset going to Paisley Park, I was in my usual vibe and thinking for everything… and that was, I just wanted to play!
BMM: What has been the most important thing you have learned so far from your trips there?
MonoNeon: Be ready for anything!
Prince is always reaching for something higher than before in the music, and for me that is super-inspiring! Embracing the moment and letting the moment flow through all the possibilities. The vibe is meticulous but experimental as well… and it’s funky!
BMM: How much creative or playing freedom do you have while there?
MonoNeon: There is a lot of freedom, but I had to learn the songs first… the time to stretch-out will be there.
BMM: What gear have you been using there?
MonoNeon: I have been using an Aguilar rig, Dunlop Super Bright strings, Digitech Whammy pedal, a fuzz pedal, and Dunlop Bass Wah.
BMM: Who have been the players you have had the privilege of working with alongside Prince?
MonoNeon: Well right now I’ve been playing with the guitarist from 3rdEyeGirl and the drummer from one of his old bands.
BMM: Are you working on newer or mostly a classic Prince catalog?
MonoNeon: We have been playing everything… the classic hits, new songs from his latest albums, and sometimes improvisational jams that may turn into songs.
BMM: What is the general etiquette of working on that level?
MonoNeon: Learn songs and more songs quickly. I have to make sure my ears are always open; I don’t want to be left behind when something is thrown at me or when the spirit of the music is going higher.
BMM: What does the future store for you and the Purple One as of now?
MonoNeon: I’m not sure. I’m just grateful for what has been happening for me playing with Prince, it’s an endless learning experience!