Tuesday, November 26, 2019
THE DEEP END SERIES : MIKE / GRAVEHUFFER
It was the first instrument I learned, I taught myself how to play by listening to my favorite bands, and learning their songs. I still can't play you more than one or two scales, I always stayed away from taking lessons from someone. I should've took a few lessons to start off, then went off on my own. I thought it was too hard to learn most songs right off, so I started writing my own songs first. Which helped me out in a way I guess. I fell in love with the bass, I love the job that you have when you play bass, I like locking in on something and tearing it up. Sometimes it feels like time is slowing down, kinda like when you crash on a bicycle or skateboard, it feels like it's in slow motion....that's the same effect that playing fast and being locked in does for me. My bass is therapy. My bass is a extension of my soul at times. My bass is a Vehicle, to fuckin' outer-space!
2.Do you think it is unfair or just lack of knowledge bass gets so little credit?
I think bass gets it's props from the right people. Maybe not from outsiders, But band people get it, and big music fans get it. The bass makes you move your ass. If one member is sucking though...then everyone hears it..But the bass seems to be the instrument that everyone bags on, like Rodney Dangerfield, no respect. But if it stops, you miss it. .. when it comes to doing something like a band with others, you have to really be tight with the other members. you don't have to be best buddies, but having respect for each other, working together, you can make all the parts come together as one big ass-whomping thing...all members are equally important. If there's a weak link, It will show, and if your not totally invested into the music, that will show too.
3.What kind of bass do you use? Model , color , year , And why
2017 USA Fender P-Bass. White. Maple neck. I have always wanted a bass that would outlive me, so I can pass it down to my son. I choose white because of Dee Dee Ramone and Sid Vicious (my two bass heroes as a beginner) I went with the maple neck cause it seems to have more of a snap to it than a rosewood neck. As soon as I plugged it in, I knew it was the right bass for me. I used to play a Ibanez BTB and liked it a lot. The Fender has less frets, so I have to bend some notes up on a song or two, but I am not complaining. I am about to put a brass nut on it, so that I can play some bigger gauge strings. I am playing strings that are too light, and they tend to get floppy when we tune down to "B" on some of our songs...I also have an endorsement from Spectraflex cables and S.I.T. strings, Still looking for a bass that can out play this P-Bass though, so no guitar endorsement yet.
4.Tell us about your amplification
5. With all of that being said do you feel tone is an important thing for bass?
Yes...Tone is very important to me, I looked for years to find the distortion I have now, I could hear in my head what I wanted but couldn't find it. I find it hard to get into what I am playing if I am unhappy with my tone...I also used to play a clean sound, just plugged right into my head, no pedals at all. Now I have a small pedalboard with a tuner, distortion, and a noise suppressor. Pedals and gear are only part of it though, I really think that most of your tone is in your hands...the attack you have, the way you slide into notes, the lines you choose, It's all ingredients that make your tone.
6.Do you prefer 5 strings over 4 string?
I play a 4 string, I tried a 5 string a few times, but it always seemed like the strings were too close together. I haven't ran out of notes playing on 4 strings either, lol...now there’s like 8 string basses out there, crazy. It's all what you like I guess, cause I have seen some people playing the shit out of those big basses.
7.Who is your favorite bassist?
That's a tough one to answer, hmmm...I can't just name one, It has to be a few...Jaco Pastorious, Mike Watt, Shane Embury, Danny Lilker, Cliff Burton, Geezer Butler, There's a lot more, But I was only supposed to name one...
8. Who is your least favorite bassist?
All of those basser’s that play half speed and don't pump those notes out, and look bored...If your heart isn't in it...then fuck right off. Play something else, or book shows, maybe run sound if you want to still be in the scene. Don't get up there and drag your feet though.
9.Why do you think women seem to be attracted to playing bass?
I don't know, I have seen some girls killing it on guitar a lot too...there are definitely more females in the band scene lately, More power to them. Keep it up Ladies!
10. What bassist dead or alive would you like a private lesson with?
Jimmy Garrison, or Billy Cox. Both had amazing drummers and had to connect those crazy beats to someone that was from outer space...one being John Coltrane...the other Jimi Hendrix.
11. Bonus question
Bobby Doll , Nikki Sixx , Les Claypool , Billy Sheehan which is more ridiculous and why
I saw Les live, he is a badass, I think he draws a lot of his style from the Residents...Bobby Doll and Nikki Sixx can fuck themselves, not a fan at all...I have to go with Billy Sheehan though, I used to have his bass VHS in the 80's, and would try to learn that two-handed technique. It's more "precise" than the looser style of Les. Both are complete badasses though