this page : michael manring / kevin chown / virgil donati / bobby rock
MICHAEL MANRING Into The Soul - By Matt Cafissi
Michael, tell me about your last album.
My last album is called The Book of Flame and it's my first record for the
Alchemy label. Previous to that all my solo albums were on Windham Hill. As
with all my solo albums, it has both ensemble pieces and solo bass music.
Although I was quite lucky to have a number of great musicians play on the
album, I spent most of my time working on it alone. I was able to put most
of it together in my home studio and this allowed me to work a little more
slowly and be more reflective than I had on my previous albums. My friend
Henry Kaiser said he feels it's my most personal recording and I think I
agree. For me, music is a wonderful way of processing ideas and emotions and
I think the music on The Book of Flame reflects the ideas and feelings that
were in my mind while I was working on the music. It's a little hard to put
into words, but I'd say some of the things that were on my mind were
religion, society, the decay of our culture, the kinds of things we believe
in and the sadness I felt over the death of my close friend Michael Hedges.
Where is now Alex Skolnick? Other collaborations with him?
Alex is currently living in New York where he is studying jazz and playing
with an East Coast version of the Skol Patrol, among other things. I still
live in California, so we don't see each other as often as we used to.
However, we will be recording another Attention Deficit this fall, which I
believe takes us to your next question.
The Attention Deficit Project is buried or...
Attention Deficit is very much alive! We're all pretty busy with other
projects, but we're quite excited about the possibilities for the group and
we have a lot of ideas for this new recording. We are hoping we can do some
live playing, too. We've had several offers, so with a little luck you'll be
hearing more from us in the future.
The problem of all musicians is: great mega techniques but without
"heart" ... you don't have this problem ... true?
Thanks! I do feel it's a problem in some music. Music is an enormously
complex art form. To master it takes a lot of dedication and there can be a
tendency to focus on the technical aspects without acknowledging music's
expressive and spiritual nature. Actually, I feel that there is a lot of
very good music out there that is mostly technically oriented and I often
enjoy listening to it, but what moves and inspires me the most is when an
artist has developed his or her technical ability as a tool for better
expressing something beautiful or meaningful about the world we live in. In
my view, technique can either be liberating or confining, either wings or a
prison. Of course, some artists try to avoid technique entirely and
sometimes come up with some amazing results, but I feel that can be a trap,
too. I try to focus on developing technique as a way of freeing myself from
the confines of cliché, limitation, convention, triviality and
Jaco Pastorius ...
Wow, that's a big one. Jaco was my biggest hero when I was growing up and I
consider myself quite fortunate to have had the chance to study with him
briefly in New York in the early 80's. It was a powerful experience for me,
but more personally than musically. I had already learned a lot about his
music from spending so much time listening, transcribing and studying it, so
what I got from the lessons was more about who he was and how that related
to the music he made. He was a complex person, both heroic and tragic, of
course. Meeting him was enthralling, disturbing, frightening, enlightening,
confusing and exhilarating all at the same time. It helped me to begin to
face my own musical personality and to think about what direction I wanted
to go.These days actually, I don't listen to Jaco that much. He was a great artist
and I know his inspiration will always be part of who I am. But for me, that
's more about the past and these days I'm more interested in the present and
the future. There's so much more I want to do with this instrument!
KEVIN CHOWN The New Master - By Matt Cafissi
Kevin , your musical future?
Currently i'l living in Los Angeles and working with many differents bands , performing live and also recording studio . I'M CONTINUING TO WORK WITH MY GOOD FRIEND JEFF KOLLMAN ON MANY DIFFERENT THINGS, AS WELL AS FUTURECOLLABORATIONS WITH MIKE TERRANA. I'VE ALSO COMPLETED A RECORD WITH MAGNITUDE 9 THAT WILL COME OUT NEXT YEAR. I'VE ALSO BEEN WORKING ON SOME MUSIC FOR TV AND FILM HERE IN THE US. THAT IS AN AREA IN WHICH I'M MORE INTERESTED. I HAVE BEEN PERFORMING AND TOURING WITH A GREAT BLUES SINGER AND GUITARIST NAMED PRESTON SMITH LATELY.
I have see many collaborations, from Pop to Rock, from Jazz to Metal ...
your favorite type of music to play?
I LOVE IT ALL, AS LONG AS THE MUSIC IS GOOD, AND I'M MAKING IT WITH PEOPLE
THAT I LIKE. I GUESS MY PERSONAL FAVORITE IS JAZZ, BUT I REALLY DO LOVE AND
ENJOY PLAYING ALL KINDS OF MUSIC. AS MENTIONED, I'M CURRENTLY PLAYING a lot OF BLUES!!
Your "Freudian Slip" is a great album, different from the other Metal Bands
like Artension and Edwin Dare ...
??? I'M NOT SURE WHAT YOU MEAN......IF YOU MEAN THAT IT CONTRASTS GREATLY TO THOSE KINDS OF RECORDS, YES IT DOES. LIKE I SAID IN THE PREVIOUS QUESTION, I DO PLAY MANY DIFFERENT KINDS OF MUSIC, AND I NEVER CLOSE MYSELF OFF TO ANYTHING. THAT'S WHY I HAVE BEEN IN QUITE A FEW BANDS...... I FELT THEY WERE GOOD OPPORTUNITIES TO MAKE GOOD RECORDS WITH PEOPLE I LIKE.....HOWEVER WHENYOU RELEASE YOUR OWN RECORD, IT'S DIFFERENT. YOU HAVE TO MAKE A STATEMENT OF WHO YOU ARE WHEN IT HAS YOUR NAME ON IT. ON "FREUDIAN SLIP", I WAS ABLE TO FUSE THE DIFFERENT STYLES THAT I PLAY.....ROCK, JAZZ, BLUES, LATIN......AS THEY ARE ALL PART OF MY MUSIC PERSONALITY, AND INCORPORATE MANY DIFFERENT PEOPLE FROM THE DIFFERENT MUSICAL WORLDS IN WHICH I LIVE INTO INTERESTING COMBINATIONS. I HAVE WRITTEN A MILLION THINGS SINCE THEN, MOSTLY IN THE
JAZZ/FUSION STYLE AND PLAN ON RELEASING SOMETHING IN THE NEXT YEAR OR SO. I HAVE MY OWN STUDIO AND WRITE AND RECORD CONSTANTLY. IT WILL PROBABLY BE AVAILABLE ON THE WEB ONLY, AS AN MP3 DOWNLOAD. WATCH MY NEW WEBSITE, KEVINCHOWN.COM FOR DETAILS.
In my opinion one of the best bass player in the world is Michael Manring ,
what do you think about this great artist ?
MICHAEL IS ONE OF THE GREATS, NO DOUBT. I HAD THE HONOR OF PERFORMING WITH HIM AT THE 1999 NAMM SHOW HERE IN LOS ANGELES. HE DOES THINGS THAT NOBODY ELSE WOULD EVEN THINK OF, LET ALONE TRY. HE, VICTOR WHOOTEN AND BILL DICKENS ARE PUSHING THE BASS TO IT'S LIMITS.......I ALSO ENJOY ANTHONY JACKSON, MARCO MENDOZA, ABE LABORIEL, PATITUCCI, FLEA, JACO, MARCUS MILLER, JAMERSON......ANYONE WITH A DISTINCT VOICE. I ALSO LISTEN TO a lot OF NON BASS PLAYERS, AND I HAVE TO SAY, MOST OF MY MUSICAL INSPIRATION COMES FROM THEM.....MICHAEL BRECKER, PAT METHENY (WHO I HAD THE PLEASURE OF SEEING TOGETHER IN LIVE PERFORMANCE EARLIER THIS YEAR IN WARSAW, POLAND WHILE ON TOUR), HORACE SILVER, SCOTT HENDERSON, MILES DAVIS........
In your opinion, Internet is the future of Music Business ?
YES, THE NET IS THE FUTURE OF THE BUSINESS. I HAVE BEEN NETWORKING WITH AND SELLING MUSIC TOO PEOPLE THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN IMPOSSIBLE TO REACH ONLY A FEW
YEARS AGO. IN FACT, I HAVEN'T PUT OUT ANYTHING NEW IN THE LAST FEW YEARS PURPOSELY, AS I WANT TO SEE HOW THINGS COME OUT AFTER THE NAPSTER CASE HERE IN THE US. I AM NOT IN FAVOR OF FREE DOWNLOADS. MUSICIANS AND WRITERS DESERVE TO GET PAID FOR THEIR WORK. THE COMPUTER GEEKS WHO CONSIDER MUSIC SIMPLY "INFORMATION" WHICH SHOULD BE FREE TO EVERYONE ARE MISSING THE POINT. I THINK THE BEST SOLUTIONS ARE GOING TO BE BASED AROUND SUBSCRIPTIONS, NOT FEE-PER-SONG SITUATIONS, AS THAT IS TOO CUMBERSOME. FOR INSTANCE, A POSSIBILITY WOULD BE THAT FOR $25 A YEAR, YOU COULD SUBSCRIBE TO MY SITE, ACCESS EVERYTHING THAT I'M DOING, DOWNLOADS, ETC......ON AN ONGING BASIS. THIS IS SOMETHING THAT I'M CONSIDERING. IN FACT IF ANYONE IS READING THIS AND FEELS THIS WOULD BE SOMETHING THAT THEY WOULD BE INTERESTED IN, LET ME KNOW. THE LARGE AMERICAN RECORD COMPANIES ARE MISSING THE POINT TOO HOWEVER.......
THE BUSINESS IS GOING TO BE COMPLETELY DIFFERENT IN 5 YEARS, AND THEY ARE NOT ADAPTING FAST ENOUGH.... IN THE IDEAL WORLD (FOR THE ARTISTS), THEY WILL NOT HAVE AS MUCH CONTROL AS THEY HAVE IN THE PAST OVER THE INDUSTRY. THEY WILL ALWAYS BE THERE, AS THEY HAVE THE MONEY TO PROMOTE ARTISTS, BUT FOR NICHE GENRE'S OF MUSIC, SUCH AS FUSION, THE NET WILL BE THE ULTIMATE RESOURCE. I THINK IN THE FUTURE, THE LARGER MORE POP ORIENTED ARTISTS SUCH AS BRITNEY SPEARS AND THE BACKSTREET BOYS WILL BE THE ONLY TYPES OF ARTISTS THAT THE AMERCAN RECORD LABELS WILL BE INVOLVED WITH. ANYTHING CUTTING EDGE OR RISKY WILL BE ON THE WEB. I'M ALSO VERY EXCITED ABOUT NET RADIO, ESPECIALLY AS NEW PRODUCTS HIT THE MARKET THAT ARE BUILT SOLELY FOR THAT PURPOSE...... WHEN YOU CAN GET NETRADIO IN YOUR CAR WILL BE THE ULTIMATE TRANSFORMATION OF THIS
BUSINESS!! THE NET ALSO ENABLES ME TO REACH FANS THAT HAVE NEVER BEEN ABLE TO mGET MY RECORDS DUE TO PROBLEMS WITH DISTRIBUTION, SUCH AS YOU IN ITALY, AS WELL AS PEOPLE IN EASTERN EUROPE, SCANDINAVIA, CHINA, ETC...... SORRY THAT GOT SO LONG WINDED!!
VIRGIL DONATI Maximum Power - By Luca Gendusa
About your personal approach with music...is it natural or a bit studied?
It started out naturally. i embraced a musical life from a very young age,
before I even had a chance to know that it would be such a big part of my
being. I always felt a need to be surrounded by music. I always felt more
comfortable communicating through my music than words. Over the years I
have spent a lot of time sharpening my skills , and developing my
understanding of music. Therefore, I would also say my approach is
'studied'. Discovering, and understanding through hard work is a great
thing. it keeps you inspired, and evolving as a player.
I think your style is something unique : when you are in the composing process,you give more importance to metric or melody?
As a drummer, I tend to hear many interesting rhythms, which can be given a
life through composition. But I always try to be consciuos of melodic, and
harmonic structure as well. A composition contains all of these elements.
There's no need to deny any of these. Having had traing as a pianist has
also given me the harmonic and melodic perspective.
What do you remember about your early experience with Claudio Villa ? Did it influence your life or not?
Well i was only three years old at the time. I was actually playing in my
fathers band at the time and we opened the show for Claudio. I can't say I
remember agreat deal about him.
How important is the kind of Power and Intensity your style?
It's the way I like to express myself through my instrument. Of course, I do
play music that requires more subtle energies, and that can also be a great
experience. But having a fiery constitution, I feel like i have a lot to
give out to my audiences.
How does it feel to be the Greatest drummer in the world ?!!
I'll let you know....if I ever get there.
BOBBY ROCK Dangerous Beat - By Luca Gendusa
Bobby , your first solo cd "Out Of Body" is a great album with great songs
and great musicians ... one of my favorite records !!!
Thanks. Yeah, I still dig that record. Making it was a magical experience...
... and now ? Another Bobby Rock's solo album ...
Yes. I'm planning on hooking back up with Brett Garsed and Carl "The Fox"
Carter (guitarist and bassist on "Out of Body") to write and record a new one
sometime in early 2001.
Why no more collaborations with Garsed/Helmerich ?
I've been on the road a lot for the last few years, and they've both been
involved with other projects.
Tell me about Neil Zaza ...
Neil Zaza is one of the few touring instrumental rock guitarists in the US
right now. He has kind of this contemporary/early Van Halen kind of sound
with a ton of chops. We've done several tours together, and we have a live
record out called "Snap, Crackle and Pop...Live!" that's the result of our
extensive '97 tour. It's very in-your-face kind of material with lots of
Next projects in your ... mind ?!
I'll be doing (instrumental rock guitarist) Gary Hoey's new record first,
then my own right after. I'm also slated to play on Brett Garsed's debut
solo release, as well.
Bobby , the future of Music Business is ... Internet ?
Sure, I think the Internet will play a big role in the business from a
promotional/distribution perspective. But I also know that with it being so
accessible to anyone and everyone, it will continue to be a challenge to sort
out quality from quantity. Of course, as a hardcore fan of touring, I hope
live performance will play an even more important role in things than it has
lately. After all, seeing a killer live show and getting your head blown off
is still one of the most inspiring experiences there is!
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