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!

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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: