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BASS2BASS w. Stefan Lessard (FONZ)

BASS2BASS w. Stefan Lessard…

Stefan Lessard (Fonz) along with the rest of his band, (you might have heard of) Dave Matthews Band, has what any musician wishes for: fans who stick and grow with you, making your live-show part of their life-routine, as often as possible. I was lucky enough to see a show of theirs last Summer, in a venue of about 25,000 folks. They took the vast expanse and made it feel like a small, intimate club gig, where everyone was involved in the moment.

Lessard’s solid grooves and “on-purpose” note choices, make him the type of bassist who lets the music breathe, naturally. He gives other band members a pocket to lean into. Lessard is one of the secret weapons in DMB and a tonefarmer of sonics on bass. (And a great Twitter-follow to boot!) He is a treat to hear, see live and a pleasure to talk to. I feel very lucky to have him as this month’s guest in BASS2BASS!

STEFAN LESSARD (FONZ) – BASS2BASS with FREEKBASS

What band or artist would you like to record and tour with pre-1980?

DUKE ELLINGTON, on my upright, that’s my #1.

If you were to create your own music venue with your name on it, where would it be in the world, and describe how it be different, inside or outside.

NYC unless we start moving to Mars, then I want it on Mars. How will I make it unique? I’ll use cutting edge technology and design a room that can become anyplace. Like VR except without the goggles. I’m picturing a 10,000 seat theater that can make you feel like you are watching the show on Mars, in a jungle, top of a mountain, basically, the room can change the feel of where you are watching the show from. It could simulate other famous venues also!

What melody, from any song, would sound great with the bass guitar playing it, and what pedal would you use to enhance the sonics?

Well there are so many but I particularly love jazz ballad’s performed by Miles Davis. When working with melodies on the bass “Summertime” from the Album Porgy & Bess is one of my favorite melodies.  I love my Miles Davis Omni Book. As far as pedals, I would play this with my fretless Modulus 6 string, through Hofner’s “Sound of the 60’s” pedal.

If you could give the beginner-bass-player version of you, a bit of advice about playing the instrument, what would it be – based on what you know now?

Get a strong idea of what NOT to practice and how to NOT waste time whenever you pick up your bass to practice. I am still working on the best way to maximize practice, I made a lot of excuses when I was younger about not practicing and even at times wore it as a badge, “practice, naw, I don’t need to practice we play live so much!” I was not thinking beyond my muscle memory bass “parts”. I would tell my younger before having kids and a family self to practice every chance you get!! Time is a gift. It would have made my life a lot easier NOW if I had been given that advice back then.

What superhero would make the best bass player ?

More God than superhero Thor would make an amazing bass player. Confident and solid in his convictions and with almost a full knowledge of the Universe, He carries around a hammer to lay down the law, sounds like the bass player to me.

Photos: Rodrigo Simas

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