Bass Player Magazine understands the importance of our instrument's evolution and progression, and felt that I was the right musician to for this honor pedals and effects oriented issue. Yes, I have a website called Pedals and Effects, have been incorporating heavy effects usage in my playing since the early 90's and own over 500 pedals but I think the choice came off of my passion and devotion to pushing the bass guitar further into uncharted territory.
What I said in the interview but didn't seem to make the edit, is that I really hope our instrument's presence in modern music doesn't diminish in today's musical environment. I have seen a lot of hip hop, pop and rock acts perform without a bassist, either opting for synthesizers, backing tracks or just an elimination of bass all together.
During the middle of my tenure as the bassist of Mars Volta, I saw the music scene become heavily driven by low end sounds of 808's, bass synthesizers and two or three piece bands that eliminated my instrument's role. I took it as my mission to show other bassists what I saw as the future of the bass' role in bands. The electric bass could do what the synthesizers were doing, and that was hitting the subs at venues with as much sub impact as anything being used in it's place. This is where effects come in. I started to run pedals in a way that I had not seen except in guitar roles and in applying this use to bands I was in, I was able to transform what I was hearing as traditional bass, into what I saw could be the future of the bass and that was the same function but different sounds.
Hence after over 20 years of experimenting, Bass Player Magazine, bass players and several other bassists' resources started to help push the revolution into the mainstream and now bassists are making an entire new mark for our instrument. Whether it is bass players like Tim Lefebvre for David Bowie's Blackstar record, Simon Francis' playing for Ellie Goulding or Thundercat, bass sounds are getting tweaked and keeping things fresh.
Now I am not proclaiming this all started because of me, but I do believe I helped make effected bass more accepted in today's music. I put down wild bass sounds from my first record with The Mars Volta to the very last, my solo effort Vato Negro, and even a lot of Big Sir records...not for the sake of being different but because I wanted something else in the low end. Something I felt I had not heard.
All of this could not have been done without the incredible help of the companies who have supported this journey over the years. Whether its my 15+ year relationship with MXR, Digitech, Ampeg and Ernie Ball to the newer companies that help support my free website, Pedals and Effects, like Earthquaker Devices, Red Panda, Godlyke and Warwick, all of my development is in debt to these amazing companies. Without their contributions, I would have been working at a snail's pace and my bass sound would be stuck at half the distance it is at now.
Thank you to all the readers of Pedals and Effects and the bassists all around the world who see that I am doing this as an artist but also as a person fighting for our instrument and lastly thank you to Bass Player Magazine for seeing the value of my mission and awarding me it's cover of the May issue that is in stands right now!