Tell us about your musical background?
I started playing bass at the age of 19, so very late. At 17 I started to play a little guitar because my mom’s roommates were musicians. There were 2 guitar players and a drummer. One of my roommates had a bass too, just for fun, not really serious playing. He played a little groove in between the metal stuff. So I tried his bass and thought that Instrument is the bomb. He showed me something and he called it slapping! I was totally impressed!
After a while the drummer Alex Landenburg (Stratovarius, Anhilator, Axxis…) came to me and said, “dude, let me tell you something, stop playing guitar and play bass, you know why? The guitar looks like an ukelee on your sexy body!” At that moment I was shocked but he was right! I am a bass player! I look like a bass player, I played guitar like a bass player so I’m a bass player! 🙂
He gave me alot of CD’s, Tower of Power, Dream Theater, etc.. but one CD he gave me, I was so on! It was a CD called Vital Tech Tones! At that moment I didn’t know that the man playing bass was Victor Wooten. I wanted to know how he did this fast slap stuff, so I practiced day and night! My roommates were getting crazy, but it was their fault!! 🙂 After a while I had my own double thumb thing.
After that year of full hard practicing, I started playing in a lot of big cover bands im Germany! Then I worked with some bigger artist in Europe and the Persian market. I met my mentor, Thomas Eich from Tecamp and visited and demo’d at my first NAMM Show at 23. So after just 4 years of bass playing, believe me, that was one of the biggest moments in my life!
What are you working on now?
Got a few new things going on right at the moment. My 2 new bands are called JUNO17 and 21 Octayne!
Juno17 (June The 17th) is a German Pop project with a big producer in Germany, a major deal, so we will see what’s going in here.
21 Octayne is our German chickenfoot! It features my ex-roommate Alex Landenburg on drums, Marco Wriedt (Axxis, Jeff Scott…) on guitar and the singer Hagen Grohe! He is the singer of the legendary Joe Perry from Aerosmith! This summer I have a few festivals and a tour. I’m also still working on my solo album, I’m taking my time with that but I think I’ll finish during the coming year!
What is the role of education in music?
I hope I get this right! I think, this role is important but on the other side, I think not. I didn’t have a teacher! I was alone! My mom was at work! I didn’t study bass. But now I have a few students and I always tell them to put their life into the bass! Get the education of life because that’s you and that’s your sound! I can show you stuff how to play something but maybe your not able to play it because that’s my life! Be your own teacher and you’re good… and when you need help, call me!
How do you feel about the current ‘state of the music industry’?
I discover new artists everyday and some are really good and go totally back to the roots! We got a Boy from France, Ben l’Oncle Soul. He is the boooomb!!!
The industry is totally fallin down but I do see more people in concerts! I love to see people in front of my stage. I want to perform for them! Of course they are buying my CDs or downloading my music but I want them in front of my stage, I want to see their faces…
Why do use R. Cocco strings?
I use them because they are really The Best Strings in The World!! And I love this friendly family feeling with Alfonso! I got that with every company or distributor I work with! Yeah, business but on a friendship way. I hate this formal business, when you ‘yes sir’ and there ain’t No Talking Shit with each other!