Exclusive Interview with Osiamo artist Michael Krysh at Frankfurt Musik Messe 2013

For those of us who don’t know please tell us a little bit about your musical background?

I play bass and guitar since 1982. I started on bass but have been going back and forth. I have always done original songs, very rarely covers. For me it’s a personal expression and I try to enjoy it has much as possible.

What musical musical projects are you working on right now?

Right now I’m working on my own original tunes that I hope to play bass and guitar live utilizing the Mooer Looper pedal when it comes out.

What role do you feel musical education plays?

I was not formally taught because my parents did not want to be a musician. I did it anyway. I had just some teachers from here and there to learn the basics. I spent years listening to albums etc… Young people today have so many choices to learn. There are so many schools out there with so many people graduating with a diploma but they all kind of sound the same to me.  I miss the personal individual sound in people’s playing these days.

What do you see for the future of music?

That’s a very tough question. Personally I think an artist has to learn to do everything themselves. There is no possibility to sell a record that will pay the bills. Do everything on your own. Make a proper web site. Promote yourself. Record yourself. Then go out and play live. You can’t rely on anybody else anyway. So just do it. Make a thing, market it. Just do it!

Why do you use all Osiamo products?

Well I use the UltraStrap because you gave it to me and I love it! The Pickboy Picks are the only alternative to the old picks I used to use that are not available any more. I have 2 more Mooer that I love. The Mooer Green Mile is a transistor overdrive that gives that “tubeness” to the tone that no other pedal at even for double the price can deliver. And the Mooer Trelicopter is perfect as well. They are small and a great ‘go to session’ solution. The R.Cocco are simply the best. Just the best!


Exclusive interview with David Ullmann

David Ullmann R.Cocco artist

1) Tell us about your musical background?
I first started playing guitar because I heard The Beatles, and I wanted to play music just like that. Growing up I played a lot in rock band and clubs around New York City. Later, I got more interested in improvised music, especially jazz. I thought it was cool how you could spontaneously create something with other people, communicating through music. I decided to pursue a music degree and eventually graduated from the New School jazz program, where I got to study and play with some really great people.

2) What are you working on now?
This past summer I released my second album, Falling. It’s with this quintet of fantastic players and all-around good guys. We’ve been playing around the east coast for the last few months, and the album has gotten some nice reviews, so I’m pleased with the result. I’ve also really enjoyed working with the quintet, so now I’m thinking about doing a follow-up album with the same group, but maybe with a bit of a different sound.

I’m also finishing up a new recording featuring a septet, playing all original compositions. I’m looking forward to releasing that record sometime in 2013. Also, a horror film I scored called “Happy House” recently had its first screening at the Orlando Film Festival.

When I’m not playing or composing, I’m doing marathon training. Since the NYC race didn’t happen this year, I’m excited to be running the Miami marathon in January.

3) What is the role of education in music?
Through learning about music and becoming a better musician, I really “learned how to learn,” I mean the process of getting better at something and developing a skill. I think everyone should learn how to play an instrument. Aside from the joy you get from playing music, you also develop a discipline that you can apply to anything you do. For instance, training to run a marathon!

I’ve been teaching music and guitar for many years, and I continue to learn from my students. By teaching something, you learn more about it and appreciate it more. One of the amazing things about music is that there’s always more to learn.

4) How do you feel about the current ‘state of the music industry’?
These days there are so many avenues and opportunities to present your music, to get it out and heard, it’s exciting. Now a musician doesn’t have to rely on a record label to be able to promote their own music. On the other hand, I still mourn the loss of record stores. In some way we’ve lost the human and physical element of discovering music. I used to find so much great music that way, just being able to visit a local record shop and talk to someone to learn about what’s new and innovative… you just don’t have that option anymore. I hope in the future there will be a way to bring the human, social element back into music. Maybe jazz is a genre that can make that happen.

5) Why do use R.Cocco Strings?
I like R.Cocco strings because of their balance and precision. When I put them on, the guitar really opens up. It sounds and feels better, so it’s more fun to play. I use them on my Strat for playing live rock and reggae. The tension and response feels great and it sounds super clear… I can get a really nice funk tone, as well as a big, searing sound for solos.

Reggie Washington Workshop/Concert @ Zagreb Guitar Show 2012

Reggie Washington R.Cocco artist
Reggie Washington, R.Cocco artist, is a special guest of this year’s Bassmasters Series at the second annual Zagreb Guitar Show. Reggie will appear on the 25th of October in Zagreb’s VIP Club. He will present his workshop in the afternoon and perform in the evening with local musicians. Stay tuned for more information about Reggie’s workshops and performances.

Adds Reggie,

One of my workshops is entitled “Anatomy of MY Groove”!
Here’s a brief synopsis:

“Anatomy of My Groove” is an open discussion & analysis of the concept of Groove.
Everyone’s groove is different depending on where you come from, what you’ve listened to over your years. These things have an effect on your playing. These & other factors have an influence on how you conceptualize all music too. I’ll briefly speak of “My Groove” then;
1) Everyone will first explain where we come from
2) What music we’ve listened to in our early years of development to now

We’ll also analyze the finer points of what makes up a groove & use them together in real time. Not only for bassists; this is open to ALL musicians who want to find their groove !

Let the grooves fly!!*

Peace out;
Reggie W.

Tomas Doncker’s “Power of the Trinity” project-live in Central Park, NY

The Power of the Trinity is a play written by the late New York playwright Roland Wolf, adapted and directed by Alfred Preisser with original music composition by Tomas Doncker. The play was performed six times in July and August at Springfield, Central and Marcus Garvey Parks. The above video clip includes highlights from the Central Park performance on July 31 as well as special cast interviews!

Find more information about Tomas Doncker here : www.osiamo.com/Tomas-Doncker

Find more information about R.Cocco strings here : www.osiamo.com/rcocco

Exclusive Interview with Andrew Lauer

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!

Reggie Washington Interview

Artist Spotlight

Can you give a brief retrospective on your musical background?

My parents were avid music fans and gave us the opportunity to learn an instrument; my brother Kenny (drums), my sister Yvette (violin/viola) and me (cello/bass). My father had a huge record collection and played music every day before and after work. I excelled in my private studies and got scholarships to study with highly regarded cellists and bassists from the American Symphony and New York Philharmonic Orchestras. When I switched to bass (age 12), I studied with Paul West (jazz) and Victor Venegas (Latin/Afro-Cuban). At this time a young Marcus Miller was coming to my house to learn about jazz from my brother. I became a “sponge” listening and learning all genre of music.

When I got in my 20’s I started playing out on the streets of New York during the day with a band called “Moment’s Notice” and hitting the jazz club jam sessions and after-hour bars to get my gig and road chops together. I wanted to learn and play all the tunes in the Real Book! Saxophonist John Purcell recommended me to drum legend Chico Hamilton’s band in 1982.

From that start I’ve performed/recorded/toured with Lester Bowie’s Mini-Fantasia, Kenny Kirkland, Mike Mainieri & Steps Ahead, Steve Coleman & 5 Elements, Branford Marsalis & Buckshot LeFonque, Roy Hargrove’s RH Factor, Jean-Paul Bourelly, Don Byron, News from the Jungle, Screaming Headless Torsos, Meshell Ndegeocello, World Saxophone Quartet, Cassandra Wilson, Ute Lemper, B-52s, Chris Joris & Bob Stewart to name a few.

What do you have going on presently in your musical journey?

My 2nd CD entitled FREEDOM on JammincolorS Label! I’m very excited about it! I’m hoping this CD will present listeners with a complete idea of me and some of the things I’m about.

I’ve noticed over the years that in today’s music business it’s getting more and more difficult to express yourself and be true to yourself and your art. This is where the title came in. It was my “FREEDOM” to play with whom I want, play the music I want to play and be happy doing it as well as creating a strong CD!

Check out our website www.jamminocolors.com for more info, future concerts, tours and workshops!

What is the role of education in music?

Education is super important.

It just depends on who’s the “giver” of the information. The way I was educated is almost non-existent now. Those nurturing places (jam sessions, weekly workshops, older musicians, etc.) are now gone or are so expensive a lot of talented kids just can’t afford it. Gigs are so scarce that older established musicians don’t want to give info to the younger cats because some of them don’t seem to care about the heritage/history of the music and are only thinking about making some dollars!

What do think of the current “State of Music”?

It’s harder than ever to do what we do. I won’t point fingers; but we need to all get on the same page (promoters, club owners, managers, artists and the music media) to save and revive the art! In the immortal words of Rodney King, “Can’t we all just get along?” Or else we’re headed towards “virtual concerts” & “hologram acts” on our stages!! That will indicate the beginning of the end! I personally won’t let that happen as long as I can breathe and have the Most High’s gift of music in my heart and soul! I just WON’T groove w/a hologram!!

Why do you use R. Cocco Strings?

It was always a great fit for me, my bass and the music I was doing when I was with Richard Sr. back in 1995. Nothing much has changed. I still desire top quality, craftsmanship, superior tone and durability. R.Cocco strings fits the bill for me… again!

Editors Note:

Reggie’s second CD, “Freedom“, can be found at Jammin’colorS.

And here is a new Youtube video about Reggie’s new release:

Dario Deidda Interview

Artist Spotlight

For people in America who don’t know you can give us a brief background on yourself?

I’m an electric and upright bass player. My father was a pianist and jazz music lover as were my brothers. My entire family started on piano. I changed over to bass when I was 15 years old.

Who have you played with?

I have played with a lot of jazz players such as Dave Lieberman, Mulgrew Miller, George Coleman, and Carl Anderson. My first solo album in 2003, “3 From The Ghetto”, was a jazz trio CD.

What are you doing now musically?

I am playing (maybe too much) many projects with other people as a sideman. Finally for the first time my brothers and I have a CD coming out in the next few months. We played all the instruments! I have many other CD’s coming but not under my name.

What about the future?

I am thinking about my 2nd album. I think maybe it may be a solo bass CD with some overdubs and some drums, kind of like Django but with bass. It will have all styles of music on it, not just jazz because I love pop music too.

What is the state of music right now?

In Italy it’s one of the worse places because it’s very impossible to find producers to do original music. I think it’s the same all over the world right now. I hope in the future it will be possible to hear ‘good’ music on the radio and on television. On television you never see good music any more.

Why do you use R. Cocco Strings?

They are the best strings in the world. Not just for the sound and touch but also the because of the owner. He is an artist. He continues to evolve and improve the strings. It’s never enough for Mr. Alphonso Annecchiarico. He never thinks about the price first. He thinks about making the best quality strings. That’s a true Artist!

Editors Note:

Darrio’s first CD, “3 From The Ghetto“, can be found on iTunes.

And here are some Youtube videos featuring Dario:

Jeff Allen Interview

Artist Spotlight

Tell us about your musical background?

Well going all the way back I played clarinet back in the 2nd grade and learned to read pretty early on. By 7th grade I discovered the group Kiss and then started playing electric bass at the urging of my friend the great rock-n-roll drummer John Webber. We never put on the make-up but I started learning those riffs along with songs by Van Halen and Black Sabbath. That snowballed into playing upright bass and eventually got into and graduated from Julliard. Now here I am, a season Pro some might say!

What’s going on for you now?

Right now I’m on tour with a German violinist David Garrett who does a classical/rock crossover thing. I’m thrilled to be working. We’ve been in Scandinavia, London, Paris and now here in Italy. Back in New York I’m subbing on Broadway and doing a fair amount of TV and commercial session work. I’m just doing all the things a musician has to do to make a living these days.

Where do you see the future of music going?

It’s a very exiting time. More artists have control of their own destinies. You have to do more administrative work. It’s less about somebody else doing it for you. You have to be willing to work harder and travel. I’m not a naysayer. I don’t believe in the doom and gloom. Just because the record companies are crumbling doesn’t make it bad for music. It’s quite the opposite. How you get your music to the people is the trick, whether in the corporate environment on not. That’s still the thing!

What role did music education have on your career?

Well, in a nutshell it helps to know what you’re doing and sometimes it helps not to know. It helps if you can read and play in different styles. If you play different styes you makes yourself more valuable in different ways. Obviously you can make more money. It’s good to know when to step up and when to stay in the background. Having an education has been helpful. Sometimes you have to forget about you ear training class at Julliard. If you are channeling the energy of an 18 year old guy playing in his garage you leave that at the door.

Why do you like R.Cocco bass strings?

I love to use R.Cocco strings. They last forever. I use them on my many different basses. Those instruments sound like they are supposed to sound. With R.Cocco strings I get the sound that’s in my head. That’s helpful.

Vashon Johnson Interview

Artist Spotlight

For those of us not hip to the Vashon Johnson Experience please give us a brief overview of your musical history?
I am a multi-faceted musician and bass player. I have had the fortune of having a wide variety of musical experiences, from Black American Music Legends, to Broadway, to Pop and R&B, to Big Stage Artists such as Miley Cyrus. I’m Happy to say that I have a very “versatile” resume and have had a very broad musical career.

What projects are coming up for you in the future?
I am currently writing and working on a solo/collaborative effort with Lenny White and others.

What do you think of the of state of the music industry?
Speaking predominantly a sideman, I can say that there is not as much work as there used to be. There are also a lot more really good players out there now. I’ve had the fortune of developing good relationships with some of my predecessors and mentors and we have these conversations from time to time. They share the same sentiment. I think technology is also a factor – a lot of “todays” music doesn’t even require musicians and it seems that a lot of times we as musicians are dealing with people who are not musicians and are therefore less inclined to think musically when it comes to live music and the well being and prosperity of musicians.

How important is music education?
Music education is very important. I think it’s important to continue to educate and inspire generations to learn how to play instruments and be musicians. As I said earlier, technology has had a dramatic impact on the music industry, all the way down to sidemen who are no longer needed for session work. I think education is a good way to keep music alive so that musicians can continue to be inspired and not only create music, but also be able to play music.

Why do use R. Cocco strings?
R. Cocco strings let my Bass be itself and me be me. They feel like a natural extension of my bass. With so many factors involved in achieving my sound (amps, speakers, etc.), I’ve found R. Cocco Strings to be “honest” and make for one less obstacle when striving to create music with my bass.