Global Bass Online November 2000
Check out the GiveAway from BASSIX Studio
One of the things we most like to
do at Global Bass is give the up and coming bass player a chance to show what he
can do. It would be very easy to fall into the trap of only featuring the very
famous. Sure, any magazine staffed by people with any smarts at all is going to
feature articles with the likes of Jeff Berlin, Tony Levin and so on. It’s
only good business. But we also think that we should be in the business of
making room for the next generation of player.
Every issue we’ve had so far and
every issue we will ever had will of course feature stars, but we will also make
some room to show you the people we think deserve to be featured, artists that
deserve your attention. Simply put, that is how you help construct the next
generation of heroes. So with that in mind we would like to present a few
articles for your entertainment. Keep in mind that some of these guys and girls
have never been interviewed before, so they may not come across with the
glibness of the pro interviewee, but time will fix that.
Our first player in this months
group is Carlos Soto, a young bassist/composer from Los Angeles.
A short while ago we received 3 albums from Carlos, all containing some
strong composing skills, a lot of humor and a great deal of gifted playing that
Carlos has put together enough
music to fill a whole evening in performance. His playing is solid enough and
with enough showmanship to make you want to sit down and really listen to him.
If any of us were to walk into a bar and see someone of Carlos’ ability, most
if not all of us would stay for the whole gig. Often taking the role of melodic
and lead player with his music, most bar owners and frankly, any non-musician in
the audience would never even miss a guitar player. Who does anyway?!?
We’ve presented a few questions to Carlos to give you a better idea of what makes this man love his bass the way he does. His notes to us told us that he is at his very happiest when he is working on music consisting of only bass. Sounds pretty reasonable to us!
Global Bass: In your bio it refers to long periods of time in practice, can you give us an idea of how old you were when you actually started playing bass?
started playing bass when I was around 15 years old. I chose the instrument
because at that time I didn’t know any guitar chords, so guitar wasn’t an
option. Being musically self taught I just found the bass an easy thing to play.
GB: What kind of bass did you start on?
was a four-string Weston Pantera.
GB: In your photos, there is a double neck Carvin bass
featured. It appears that the major difference between the two necks is that one
has a tremolo bar, otherwise they both seem like
4 string fretted necks. Is there anything I am not seeing in this photo
that differentiates the two necks?
there is quite a difference between the necks on my double neck Carvin. The
higher neck is a 4 string fretted with an added tremelo bar. I added the tremelo
because it seemed rare to see one on a bass, though I really find it quite
useful. The lower neck is a 4 string fretless with lines. I am able to keep both
necks active at the same time, both live. This is very cool when connected into
two separate amps using two separate voicings.
GB: You also mention a six string. Who makes that one?
I also use a six string custom
made Ibanez Soundgear.
GB: What is it
about the SWR system that appeals to you? What system do you use?
appeals to me about the SWR system is that it defines a wide variety of
soundscapes for any musical style.
GB: You refer to the fact that your bass influences are amongst the very best bassists in the world and that you feel that is very important. Who would these influences be?
influences vary depending upon the type of music we are talking about. For rock
it’s Billy Sheehan, Funk it’s Victor Wooten, for New Age; Michael Manring,
for fusion; Gary Willis. Actually the list really is endless.
GB: What do you feel you’ve gathered from
your Influences that has helped your career?
I gathered from all these bassist is the musical freedom to avoid being put in
the situation where I have to hear, “You just hold down the bottom”.
GB: In the bio there is mention of
playing your bass like a piano. Can you tell us a bit about that?
my very early days I spent a couple of years just playing with the bass on my
lap. I would video tape myself doing this so when I first auditioned for bands
all they could talk about was the acrobatics. Basically, it was all just pure
fun to me.
GB: You are currently playing in Da Vinci's
Cradle, tell us a bit about the role you play in the band. As a melodic bass
player, moving past the traditional
role of rhythm player, does your band include a guitarist and a keyboardist?
Da Vincis Cradle my situation is that I concentrate upon complimenting the
melodies in the song first. This is because I have to work around vocals,
guitar, keys and drums. With my own solo project Tribus, anything &
GB: Do you
have to arrange songs to accommodate your style of bass playing?
don’t try to arrange anyone else’s music around my playing style because
that doesn’t always work very well. In a way I am being a little selfish. I
have had people ask me if I can actually play the Blues, thinking I am only able
to play triplets or that I am just a Shredder. That is not the case.
GB: In the
past we have all butted heads more than once with a guitarist or a keyboardist
that wanted to chastise us on the 'correct' way of playing bass? Has this
happened to you?
yes, my fellow musicians have also done that.
GB: What style of music does Da Vincis do? Do you work often?
Vincis is a part time project. I spend most of my time with my own project, Tribus.
GB: Do you
play any of your own songs from your three albums plus the new one you are
working on now with Da Vinci's Cradle?
Tribus is an entirely different situation. One doesn’t crossover to the other.
GB: Have you ever performed live with just yourself and perhaps one other musician?
I have, with my drummer Voyce McGinley.
national television show performance is your bio
was a Latin entertainment show called ‘Sabado Gigante”
GB: There is
definite growth in your song writing skills with each progressive album. How
does this newest effort, "Too Late...The Damage Is Done" fit into the
natural progression of your music?
view each album as the opportunity to move into new concepts.
To bring what I am going for to different styles and experimentation. On
the newest one I am working with an excellent guitarist by the name of Alex
Florens. It is shaping itself into something rather interesting!
GB: How you
ever pursued airplay with your music, or do you hope to see that in some time in
I have but I am also very selective. There are always many factors to take into
GB: In your notes
to Global Bass you mention that you are at your absolute happiest when you are
playing an instrumental song using nothing but the bass. Please go into a little
about why you feel this way?
me, bass is a beautiful sounding instrument with a unique voice, more than
capable of entertaining an audience all by itself.
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