If you've ever trawled YouTube for bass gear demos (and let's face it, who hasn't), chances are you've come across Gregor Fris's 'Bass The World' YouTube Channel which will have exposed to the immense bass playing of René Flächsenhaar. After watching a few videos of René playing numerous exotic basses, I was struck by the depth and variety of grooves he could demonstrate with seemingly effortless ease. I reached out to René during my recent trip to Europe and we caught up at local music school/studio/store Noisy Rooms in René's current home of Berlin, Germany. During our chat we discuss René's bass journey, his influnces, what it takes to be a working musician, gear and what it's like to be a YouTube star
Be sure to check out his YouTube Channel:
As well as Bass The World:
Bass Lessons Melbourne:
David Searle is a Melbourne based luthier who hand-crafts incredible instruments with a wide variety of tone woods and design aspects.
In this interview we talk about what to look for in your first bass, tone woods, scale length, designing your own custom bass, active vs passive and a whole lot more!
Be sure to visit the Melbourne School of Guitar Making website to find out more!
Jon Wilson is one of Adelaide's finest bass players and music educators. With a packed gigging schedule and healthy work ethic, Jon sets a strong example for any bass player to follow. In this interview we learn about his beginnings as a player, his thoughts on breaking into a scene, the importance of musical diversity, teaching and also some great technique tips.
Dave is one of those players that really can do it all, from blazing fusion chops to tasty, reserved singer/songwriter supporting lines and everything in between. As enthusiastic about bass playing and music as he's ever been, it was a blast to hang with Dave and get to learn more about his bass journey and his take on being a sideman in today's current music climate.
Dave Anderson is a bass player with over thirty years' experience performing and recording in a wide range of genres. His credits span a range of world class artists in jazz, R&B, pop, folk rock, fusion, world music, and more. His recent work includes associations with Bill Evan's Soulgrass, Blood Sweat & Tears, Art Garfunkel, Bob Baldwin, Smokey Robinson, Special EFX, Kate Taylor, and others. His numerous past credits include Regina Carter, Joe Beck, Marion Meadows, Warren Hill, and many others.
Born out the 90's acid jazz scene in London, Neil shared the stage with the likes of Jamiroquai as part of the pioneering group 'Mother Earth. A fellow F Bass player, Neil has a great ear for tone as well as being a superb groove player with some insane chops up his sleeve. In this video we discuss his 'bass journey', including his early basses and influences, as well as his writing process and what he believes are good qualities for any bass player.
Jonathan Maron is probably best known as one of the founding members of NYC outfit Groove Collective, as well as his iconic playing on the Maxwell cut 'Ascension'. However, after spending some time with him jamming and talking it quickly became apparent that there is so much more to Jonathans playing and approach to music than meets the eye/ear. In this interview we discuss a myriad of topics including his early influences, tone, Meshell Ndegeocello, his gorgeous sounding Yamaha bass, playing with Mark Guiliana and so much more.
Be sure to check out his website:
Ben Wicks is the guy you call when you need a tight, tasty, experienced roots & blues bass player with killer tone and a pro attitude. Sporting a beautiful custom P Bass made right here in Melbourne and over 20 years experience backing some of Australia's top blues and rnb acts, Ben is no stranger to touring and has played some of the country's premium festival stages. In this interview we get deep into the thinking behind his choices in gear, specifically is custom P Bass, as well as some thoughts on the current live music scene, music education and much much more!
Laura Mvula has taken the global pop scene by storm in the last few years, with entrancing melodies, complex African rhythms and cutting edge sonics, it would be a challenge for most bass players to comfortably find their role. Karl Rasheed Abel fulfills the bass duties flawlessly, with a deep understanding of jazz, rnb, neo soul and Afrobeat, Karl manages to not just fill out the bottom end, instead his basslines enhance the music and at times are all that is required to tell the story. It was fantastic to hang with Karl and chat about his influences and approach to playing bass in Laura's band, as well as his time spent in Berklee College of Music and why so many of us end up with a P Bass in our hands.
Michael League, bass player for Snarky Puppy, Bokante and Forq, is a modern master of the instrument and one of the hardest working band leaders around. Comfortable in a number of genres on electric, upright and key bass, Mike is not only a world class musician, but a prolific composer, record label executive and all round expert in the modern music industry. It was truly and honour to get to sit down with Michael while he was in Melbourne for two shows with Snarky Puppy and it was great to hear him talk about running a band like Snarky Puppy, the current state of the industry, his vintage P bass, thoughts on gospel music and much more!
Now based in Melbourne, Lauren is a professional double bassist and educator. Her hugely popular YouTube channel features virtuosic performances of double bass solo repertoire. Lauren has studied with many notable bassists such as Craig Butterfield and Jeff Bradetich and is renowned teacher in her own right.
It was great to sit down with Lauren and talk about her journey as a musician, career paths, overcoming nerves, youtube and much much more!