Hey Shredder (bass edition)

7 questions for the low end


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Freekbass by Michael Weintrob

Sometimes a name nicely sums things up. Such is the case with Freekbass, whose moniker instantly alerts one to his roots in low end sorcery in the tradition of Bootsy Collins, Larry Graham and other superhero bassists. In fact it was the Rubber Band man himself who gave Freekbass his stage name. However, even without the direct anointing, it doesn’t take long for anyone well versed in funk-lo-pedic knowledge to recognize this Cincinnati born as a natural at cosmically dappled space rock grooveology. A regular on the festival circuit, Freekbass is dazzle on two legs, adding flair and fire to whatever he lays his instrument to. He’s released educational DVDs, released a quartet of quality solo releases, collaborated with legends (George Porter Jr., DJ Logic) and quality freaks (Dead Kenny Gs), and is soon hitting the road again with Freekbot, his collaboration with DMC USA DJ champion and producer Tobotius (find dates here). When other players see Freekbass head to the stage they almost always grin, suddenly alert and ready to get into shit, splashed awake by a player who doesn’t sleepwalk through any musical engagement.

Favorite effects pedal? Why?
Electro-Harmonix Q-Tron. Besides the filtering, it helps to “define” a note in the mix – lots of bottom, yet the note still pokes through.
Tastiest bassist — i.e. not just soloing but also overall playing — currently working four-strings?
George Porter Jr. and Nick Daniels & Tony Hall from Dumpstaphunk.
A bass solo I never get tired of listening to is:
More of a groove, than a solo – “Natural Born Killers” by Dr.Dre & Ice Cube – sickest line/groove ever.
Preferred brand of axe?
Fender P-Bass
John Paul Jones, Paul McCartney or James Jamerson – which one gives you the biggest bass boner? What makes them SO sweet?
Jamerson hands down. Bass lines with that much melody and that much pocket are the One.
One lesser-known bassist folks should check out is:
The late Mark Adams from Slave. “Slide” in one of the baddest bass lines ever written.
What aspect of being a bassist always makes you happy?
Being a drummer that can play notes