BASS2BASS w. Robert Mercurio – Galactic…
All Funk is universal, yet where you grab your funk (and your bass playing) from, always leaves a blueprint on how that voice will echo. Robert Mercurio, along with his partners-in-groove, Galactic, has worn his roots in New Orleans on his sleeve, while stretching that regional sound into something that reaches far across musical borders.
When I first started touring with one of my first bands, Shag, Galactic was playing a lot of the same venues we were.
I remember seeing their posters everywhere, and when I finally heard them, I was mesmerized by their musicianship and execution of the funk. Mercurio’s bass playing has been one of the staples of that unit. He is now also stretching his musical horizons as a producer on many projects, something which seems to be in the blood of many bassists. It’s my privilege to have interviewed one of the bass players on the touring circuit, leading the way.
I hope you enjoy this month’s BASS2BASS article with Robert Mercurio.
The year is 1975, and you can choose any current band to tour and record with. Who do you choose and what do the history books write about that project?
Led Zeppelin – we would just be releasing Physical Graffiti and heading out on our world tour. I’m sure the history books would write “not sure what happened to this band…. the bass player isn’t as good as he used to be!?!?!” LOL.
Describe the bass effect pedal you’d like to see made, which doesn’t exist yet?
I love fuzz bass and I think it would be really cool to have a fuzz / overdrive pedal with EQ, sustain, solid state / tube switch, and a foot pedal so that you can control the mix of fuzz / clean sound. Not sure if there is already something like this, if there is, give me a holla!
You are asked to do a session with your favorite musician/performer. You get to either produce the track, write the song together, or play bass on the track with that artist. If you could only choose one of these options for the collab, which one do you choose and why?
D’Angelo – and I would choose to produce the session. It would be amazing for me to get to see behind the curtain on a session with him and his excellent band. I mean who wouldn’t want to produce a track with Pino Palladino on bass and D’Angelo on vocals!
Looking back at the 10 year old you, what advice would you give yourself about making a career in music, knowing what you know now?
Practice, practice, practice. I think that the formative years of playing an instrument are so important. I am very happy with who I am today, but sometimes I really wish that I had been that kid that had no friends and just stayed in his room and practiced all day.
What superhero would make the best bassist?
Thor for sure – that dude can bring the thunder like no other.