Category: Articles

Mark Egan & Arjun Bruggeman “Dreaming Spirits”

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Mark Egan & Arjun Bruggeman: Dreaming Spirits Album Cover

Mark Egan & Arjun Bruggeman “Dreaming Spirits”

Article by Eric Larson, © Copyright 2018 FretlessBass.com

This new release from Mark Egan and Arjun Bruggeman, featuring Shane Theriot, gets better and better the more you listen. Originally intended to be a bass guitar and tabla album, the project evolved to include guitar and more. Mark Egan was as generous as always answering my questions about how this project and trio came together, giving me thorough details of the project and the players that contributed. There is plenty of beautiful fretless bass work, and the complimentary styles that flow between the musicians are impressive. Read more to be brought behind the scenes of this unique project.

Basses – Mark Egan
Tabla & Drums  – Arjun Bruggeman
Guitars – Shane Theriot

FretlessBass.com: How did this trio and project come together? What was the initial concept for this album, and did it change along the way at all?

Mark Egan: I met tabla player, drummer and percussionist Arjun Bruggeman in 2008 when we recorded and toured with master Kirtan singer-chanter, Krishna Das. Arjun is a world percussionist and session recording artist …continue reading »

Remembering Doug Lunn 1954 – 2017

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Doug Lunn Fretless Bass www.fretlessbass.com

Remembering Doug Lunn 1954 – 2017

Article by Eric Larson, © Copyright 2018 FretlessBass.com

On January 30, 2018 fretless bass player Doug Lunn would have turned 64 years old. Sadly he passed away February 11, 2017 after a battle with cancer. A close family friend reached out to me to remember Doug, and to look for any info that I might be able to contribute, as he was planning to put together a website celebrating Doug’s life and music. I was surprised, but also honored, to find out that FretlessBass.com was one of the few (if not the only) websites that had published the bio that Doug had sent me nine years ago. I was also shocked to find out that there was no Wikipedia page created for Doug.

Doug Lunn Fretless Bass www.fretlessbass.com
Doug Lunn playing fretless bass

Doug Lunn specialized in the 5-string fretless bass. His contributions to music were extensive, playing with top artists that include Bruce Springsteen, Mark Isham, David Torn, Andy Summers, Sting …continue reading »

Interview: John Taylor – Duran Duran – Past and Present

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John Taylor Duran Duran

Interview: John Taylor – Duran Duran – Past and Present

Article by Eric Larson, © Copyright 2017 FretlessBass.com

In the 1980s Duran Duran took the radio waves, television sets, and the world by storm. Platinum albums, Grammys, and multiple music video awards followed their gold record debut. Tens of millions of album sales and sold out venues worldwide became the norm for the newly dubbed “Fab Five”. Though some may have predicted that this band would not escape the ’80s and continue this kind of success, the band has shown decade after decade that they were here to stay, proving the point in 2015 with the Top 10 release of their latest album Paper Gods, and the multi-year, continually extended, world-wide tour that has supported it.

I spoke with bassist John Taylor during the recording of Paper Gods. He spoke by phone from his home in Los Angeles, California, on business in the US, away from the London recording studio for a brief moment.
…continue reading »

Interview: John Taylor – Duran Duran – Past and Present: Part 2

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John Taylor Duran Duran

Interview: John Taylor – Duran Duran – Past and Present: Part 2

Article by Eric Larson, © Copyright 2017 FretlessBass.com

<< Click here for Part 1 of the interview

I directed this part of the conversation with John Taylor of Duran Duran to their latest album and reflections on career longevity. At the time of this interview Taylor had no idea that their project, still being formed in the studio, would be a Top 10 hit in the US, the UK, and multiple other countries. He had no idea that the album would get rave reviews and worldwide attention. And he had no idea that the tour to support it would continue two years after the album release, with multiple tour extensions still happening.
…continue reading »

Tony Levin Interview – Sting & Peter Gabriel 2016 “Rock Paper Scissors” Tour

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Tony-Levin-Sting-Peter-Gabriel-tour-2016-01

Tony Levin Interview – Sting & Peter Gabriel Tour 2016

Article by Eric Larson, © Copyright 2016 FretlessBass.com

 

Tony-Levin-Sting-Peter-Gabriel-tour-2016-01

 

We caught up with Tony Levin while he was on tour for the Sting & Peter Gabriel 2016 “Rock Paper Scissors” Tour. This is a unique tour with Sting and Peter Gabriel sharing the stage with a mixed group of members from both of their long-time touring bands. Tony was very generous with his time, as always, and gave us some interesting insight into the tour setup from his unique perspective, including some information on his legendary, road-worn equipment.
…continue reading »

Tony Levin Interview – New Album From LEVIN MINNEMANN RUDESS: “From the Law Offices of Levin Minnemann Rudess”

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Tony Levin Interview – New Album From LEVIN MINNEMANN RUDESS: “From the Law Offices of Levin Minnemann Rudess”

Article by Eric Larson, © Copyright 2016 FretlessBass.com

LMR - From the Law Offices Of
Levin Minnemann Rudess – From the Law Offices Of

It was an honor to catch up recently with Tony Levin, the legendary bassist, who is an extremely busy man. Tony was the first bassist to answer our “Fretless Questions” many, many years ago, and has always been very approachable and friendly to FretlessBass.com. We can’t thank him enough for taking the time to tell us about the new album from LEVIN MINNEMANN RUDESS: From the Law Offices of Levin Minnemann Rudess.

FB: I’ve been listening to the new album from LEVIN MINNEMANN RUDESS: “From the Law Offices of Levin Minnemann Rudess” which was released July 15, 2016. I am very impressed! Much thanks for letting me listen to it pre-release.

How does the writing and recording of this album compare to the last album?

Tony Levin: We took a lot more time on this album, for the writing process. Partly because we were all on the road much of 2015, with various tours. Also, we’d got a sense on the first album of how the other players would react to the pieces, and so, at least in my case, …continue reading »

MuteMath Bassist Roy Mitchell-Cárdenas – A Brief Interview

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Roy Mitchell-Cardenas playing fretless bass guitar

MuteMath Bassist Roy Mitchell-Cárdenas – A Brief Interview

Article by Eric Larson, © Copyright 2016 FretlessBass.com

Mitchell-Cardenas-Roy-01

If you have never heard MuteMath I suggest that you check them out. I was first told about this Grammy nominated band from New Orleans by a friend of mine. I had never heard of them. I listened to “Chaos” and “Break the Same” from their MuteMath album and immediately purchased it.

This band is phenomenal, but being a drummer and bass player, the rhythm section caught my attention immediately. Darren King is an unbelievable drummer with amazing energy and creativity, and a real showman. But I was really impressed with bassist Roy Mitchell-Cárdenas. …continue reading »

Sting’s 8-String Hamer Explorer Fretless Bass – The Police

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Sting Police 8-String Hamer Explorer Fretless Bass

sting-hamer-05
Sting playing his Hamer Explorer 8-string fretless bass live (click to enlarge)

 

One of the nicest fretless basses ever made, in my opinion, is Sting’s red fretless Hamer 8-string Explorer bass with maple neck and unlined fingerboard, circa 1980. I don’t believe there is much known about this bass, but from various pictures it does appear that he played it live a few times. …continue reading »

Pedulla Guitars 40th Anniversary Interview With Michael Pedulla

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Pedulla Guitars 40th Anniversary Interview With Michael Pedulla
Article by Eric Larson, © Copyright 2015 FretlessBass.com

Michael-Pedulla-headshot

For the past forty years the sound of Pedulla basses has been embedded in music of all genres. From Anne Murray to Eagles to Kiss. From Lynyrd Skynyrd to Elton John to Brooks & Dunn. From Mark Egan to Tim Landers to countless other players, Pedulla basses have been heard all over the world. If Michael Pedulla hadn’t combined his love for music, woodworking, and engineering in a small guitar shop near Boston in 1975, who knows how that music may have suffered? How would the musicians have been different, lacking the unique inspiration of a Pedulla, had he not committed his passions to building the best basses possible without compromise? Fortunately, as we enter into the year 2015, answers to those questions are not something to be pondered. …continue reading »

Joseph Patrick Moore – The RockTronix Interview

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Joseph Patrick Moore – The RockTronix Interview
Article by Eric Larson, © Copyright 2015 FretlessBass.com

JPM_RT_CDAlbumArt

We first contacted Blue Canoe Records ten years ago, and in 2007 bassist and label founder Joseph Patrick Moore was gracious enough to participate in our “Fretless Questions interview”. Moore’s musical journey started at the early age of seven, when he studied the alto saxophone, followed by drums in his school marching band. But during his sophomore year in high school the electric bass took hold of him and has held it’s grip ever since. Moore attended the University of Tennessee in Knoxville with a concentration on electric and double bass, majoring in classical studies and jazz performance, and then transferred to The University of Memphis. By 2003 Moore founded Blue Canoe Records where he continues his career as professional musician and label owner.

After many different solo albums and collaborations over the years, in September of 2014 Moore released the rock ensemble known as The RockTronix, featuring Wayne Viar on drums, Chris Blackwell on guitar, and JPM himself on bass. Though this is primarily a rock album, it has a nice variety of styles represented, making it a very interesting album, giving the listener many different experiences and variations in a solid group effort. From driving hard rock, to reggae, to blues, to funk, to flat out jams, there is something for everyone on this album. Amazing solos from every band member throughout make this an album to play loud, over and over again. …continue reading »

Mark Egan Interview – “About Now” Album, Tour, and More – Part 2

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Mark Egan Interview – About Now Album, Tour, and More – Part 2
Article by Eric Larson, © Copyright 2015 FretlessBass.com

Mark_Egan3-600

I recently interviewed Mark Egan, focusing on his latest solo album About Now, and also covering some new projects that he is working on. This particular project was released in the spring of 2014, and features long time collaborators Danny Gottlieb on drums and Mitchel Forman on keyboards.

This is Part 2 of the interview where we focus more on the songwriting process itself. …continue reading »

Jaco: A Documentary Film – Produced by Metallica’s Robert Trujillo

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Jaco: A Documentary Film – Produced by Metallica’s Robert Trujillo
Article by Eric Larson, © Copyright 2015 FretlessBass.com

jaco-film-01

Jaco Pastorius was arguably one of the best bass players to ever live, if not the best. Metallica’s Robert Trujillo is producing a long overdue documentary film on the late great Jaco, and has started a pledge campaign, through PledgeMusic.com, to raise funds and complete the project. Robert considers Jaco to be a hero and one of his biggest influences, and he has formed a very special relationship with some of Jaco’s family members. Robert tells a story of …continue reading »

Mo Foster – A History of His Fender Jazz Fretless Bass

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Mo Foster playing fretless bass guitar

Mo Foster – A History of His Fender Jazz Fretless Bass
Article by Eric Larson, © Copyright 2015 FretlessBass.com

Mo-Foster-London-Bass-Guitar-Show-2014-600x600

I have been in touch with the legendary bassist Mo Foster recently. I was telling him that I was a bit of a fretless bass collector, but assured him my collecting was not an addiction (I can stop any time I want to). His reply was perfect, “There is a concept known as Guitar Acquisition Syndrome, or GAS. It is a question and an answer: Q – What is the correct number of guitars? A – One more than you have already. Luckily I don’t suffer from it — the only instruments I have are the ones I play.”

The discussion started when I asked about his gear, and what fretless basses he has and uses. He told me …continue reading »

Pedulla Guitars and Basses Celebrates 40 Years

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Pedulla Guitars and Basses Celebrates 40 Years
Article by Eric Larson, © Copyright 2015 FretlessBass.com

Pedulla-Announces-Limited-Edition-40th-Anniversary-Bass-Guitars-02

I’ve been working with the fine folks at Pedulla Guitars to learn more about their basses, and to learn more about their story. This year, 2015, happens to mark their 40th anniversary in business. The story is a very interesting one, starting with Michael Pedulla in the early 1970’s making banjos and guitars as a new luthier in the Boston area, and switching to building basses after being in the instrument repair business for quite some time. One of my favorite stories is …continue reading »

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