A long overdue interview, that I should have posted a LONG-ass time back. A lot was going on back then. But now it’s here. Rejoice, MARCO RODI fans!
1. Why the bass? Do you see the sound as ‘limiting’?
I didn’t really “Choose” to play the bass. It kinda came to me. When I was 15, I wanted to learn how to play electric guitar. So me and my friend went to the music store to check out the guitars. I then saw a 4-string instrument. I asked my friend what it was and he said: “It’s a bass. It’s like a guitar but instead of playing “diiiiiiiiiiii” you are playing “douuuuuuuuuuuuuu”. I found it pretty cool and bought a cheap Ibanez bass and a cheap amp. I loved it.
I don’t find the sound limiting. Nothing is limited unless you set your own limits.
2. Do you try to make the bass sound like something that it is not?
Well for me, the bass is only a tool, like any other instrument, that let’s you express words you can’t say. Some people can think that it’s a groove instrument, others can think that it’s the drum’s best friend and others can think that it’s a slapping machine. You decide for yourself. I don’t really “try” to do anything in particular except to experiment this 4-string instrument in my purest emotions to push the boundaries of the instrument. To make look the bass like a fun, upfront instrument.
3. What is your approach to practicing? Do you have any fixed regimen? Or do you ‘wing it’ every time?
I discipline myself to play each day in a fun, constructive and cool way. The number one reason I play the bass is for fun. I love it so much. So when I practice, I improvise with my loop pedal, I jam on top of my favorite songs, I learn a song and change the bass line, I slap and tap, I experiment weird tuning, I write, I practice my solo bass compositions, I put a cheap drum track and lay down a fat groove with a cool solo etc.
Nothing is limited unless you set your own limits
4. How and why did you start doing solo bass? Is it something you always want to pursue aside from your regular band Metazon?
When I was 19, I was walking in my school and I saw a poster of a talent contest. The rules were that you had 10 minutes to perform any form of art possible on stage. I decided to do a 10-minute bass solo. So for 5 months, I locked myself in my room hours per day to write this 10 minutes bass solo. I was getting inspired by Victor Wooten, Flea, Pastorius, Manring, Stuart Hamm etc. I won the competition and I was getting offered to play at tons of bars and clubs in Montreal. So I kept writing, 15-20-25-30 minutes of solo bass content. I found it so much fun. Because not many bassists choose to do so. It is a real challenge to be able to keep the audience entertained with only your 4 string instrument.
I will always pursue solo bass. No matter what project is going on in my life.
5. Your new band has come up with your debut album. Tell us about it and describe the sound of Metazon.
Metazon is my crazy funk jazz soul hip-hop groovy band. The band consists of 5 musicians who each bring a completely different musical sound and influence. I bring the funk-rock, the pianist bring the jazz, the drummer bring the gospel-soul and the 2 rappers bring the hip-hop. When you mix all this, you have a pretty cool 3 piece band with 2 mc’s on front. We just released our 12 track full record on our own label. The album is called World Class Buffet and you can check it out right here: http://metazon.bandcamp.com
6. How did you compromise your ‘in your face’ live sound in the context of Metazon?
In Metazon, I dont try to play weird harmonics or loop bass solos. I first try to groove and to funk everything up. When the groove is set up, I add my own personal style by adding some cool funky experimental notes here and there.
There is a pianist and rappers who are doing other melodies. I cant play what I play when I solo bass because it will sound way too busy and it won’t even be groovy. When I solo bass, I have to play the bass drum guitar vocals solos on my bass. When I play in Metazon, I have to play the funky groovy madness.
7. What is YOUR vision for where the bass is going in the future?
Crazy bass players will continue to experiment this instrument. Bass is the youngest instrument in the gang. Drums existed with the dinosaurs (Percussions), piano and guitar existed thousand of years from now… and bass? Only 60 years. It is young and fresh. I think people in the future will recognize the bass as a solo instrument just like the piano or the guitar. It will continue to groove in bands but the solo approach will be a lot more developed.
8. Being only 25, you’re a big inspiration to bass players all over. So tell us, WHY should we pursue the bass?
I don’t think you all HAVE to pursue the bass. Just pick up the instrument that you are the most confortable with. If it’s the harmonica, pick the harmonica. If you feel confortable playing the trumpet, just do it. Just pick something you are passionate, excited and confortable about.
9. Signing off, tell us about your future projects.
I have a lot of funk-hipHop projects going on which I can’t really talk right now. I have a lot of shows planned up in Montreal and I am currently writing a full new 30 minutes solo bass set. I will do a couple of solo shows in Vancouver, Toronto and Quebec city in the upcoming months. And this summer, I will start the production of my upcoming 2nd solo bass record.
Marco Rodi reviews HERE.
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