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Bass Summit

A Global Bass Special Feature Article

Victor    Wooten

~The Man Behind the Reputation~

as interviewed by one of Canadaís most prominent bass players

Orin  Isaacs 

Editors Note: Now this is a long one, but a great one, so bookmark this page.

You are gonna want to come back to it till youíre done.  

Victor Lamonte Wooten, Grammy nominated for his third solo album ĎYIN YANGí, brilliant melodic bassist for Bela Fleck & the Flecktones and accomplished solo artist, sits down for a chat with Orin Isaacs, fellow bassist and band leader for Canada award winning comedy and talk show OPEN MIKE with Mike Bullard. Two powerhouse musicians talking about Victors new album and his life as a groundbreaking bass player.

 


 

Global Bass Magazine (as represented by Orin):  So you travel with your family? 

Victor (as represented by Victor): Sometimes, when I can.  

Orin:  Being on the road so much, how does your family deal with it?  

Victor: It starts with having a partner that understands you and can deal with it and function alone. Thatís a necessary ingredient, and luckily I have one of those. Ever since weíve known each other, weíve traveled. She travels sometimes with the theatre, a childrenís theatre, and they go around from school to school. She loves her Ďalone timeí, but also the members of the band like it when sheís around and my little girls around. It just adds that female presence to the bus and it adds a lot of fun. Not every trip, but a lot of the time they come with me and I love it! 

Orin: Letís go back to a ĎShow of Handsí, right, did you ever expect that one would end up being such a groundbreaking album? 

Victor: Well, I guess I could say that I knew that it could be because I knew that I had never heard an album done in the way that I had heard it in my head. I had been thinking about this record for many many years.  

Orin: You spend your whole life coming up with your first one, and nine months coming up with your second.  

Victor: Exactly, so I had been thinking, I knew I wanted my first record to be a totally solo bass record. Over the years I didnít know how to do it because I knew I had to make it listenable. How do you make a person listen to one instrument for 30 or 40 minutes? I just had to figure out how to do it. So I think it was back in 1983 I just sat down with a friend of mine and an ADAT, just to start recording things. I hadnít planned on that becoming the record at the time. I was just trying to get to get some ideas down, to see how it would work. But as I started, the ideas just started flowing. I had ĎClassical Thumpí as a demo that I had started recording back in `87Ö 

How do you make a person listen to one instrument for 30 or 40 minutes?

Orin: I was going to ask you how ĎClassical Thumpí came about?  

Victor: It just kind of happened with exercises really, that I was using to practice these techniques. It started from there back in `87. At that time I was listening to a lot of Yngwie (Malmsteen), Steve Vai, Billy Sheehan. A lot of these rock guitarists and bassists who were mixing the classical stuff with it. The only way I could play that stuff, besides the tapping that they would do a lot of, or Sweep Picking, was to use this new thumb technique. So I started using this technique through major arpeggios and things like that.  

Orin: So if the record came out in `96, you were doing this a decade before it even came out? When I first heard it, I wasnít even playing at that time. I had put it down to produce and itís not till I actually got this show (Orin is bandleader for the Canada's award winning talk show Open Mike with Mike Bullard) that I picked up the bass again. But in the middle of that is when I heard ĎShow of Handsí. When I heard that record, I thought ĎOkay this guy is redefining what bass guitar can be in this day and ageí. Thatís when I got hip to Victor Wooten. So Iím thinking ĎSo that leaves this record as a documentation of everything up to that pointí. 

Victor: Right exactly, thatís the best way Iíve ever heard it put. Yeah, itís a documentation of a lot of things up to that point, produced as a solo performance. 

Orin: So that creates the next questionÖWith your second album, What Did He Say?, did you feel that you were under a lot of pressure?


On ĎA Show Of Handsí: ďÖitís a documentation of a lot of things up to that point, produced as a solo performance.

Victor:  No, I havenít felt any pressure yet, because I have lots of ideas that I still have gotta get out. Now I have the opportunity to do it! The opportunity and even the finances to do it. Basically what I am saying is, that I havenít run out of ideas yet.  

Orin: That's a scary thought! You hurt everybodyís feelings with A Show of Hands, you came out with a minimalist approach with that one, and you took it up one level, one notch with What Did He Say. You put some drums in there, but you didnít really go full out. And then when you came in with Yin Yang, itís seems that at that point you were saying ďOkay, let me give you the full out production record and a full out vocal record, all in the same package. So Iím wondering ĎWhen does this guy stop?í

Victor:  Not yet (laughs)  

Orin: Could you touch upon the Yin Yang philosophy for the people who donít know much about it, and how you ultimately incorporated that philosophy into the records. 

Victor:  The Yin Yang of course, meaning opposites, in my head, itís a way of recognizing or saying ĎYou are what you are, only in relation to what you are notí. You canít be tall unless a short person shows up. You canít be thin unless a fat person shows up. So in other words all the parts are needed, you know, we spend a lot of time talking bad about this or that, and not realizing that it is Ďthatí that is allowing you to be Ďthisí. Everything is needed, so thereís room for all of it. Yin Yang just kind of says that perfectly.  

Orin:  I love the track where you actually sing the verses and how all the opposites fall in. Letís go back now to ĎBrother Johní, where were you writing that from? 

Victor: The way that song came about was that it was written from stories that my Mom and Dad used to tell us growing up about John Wooten. John Wooten was an actual man who could really eat the way it says in the song! The story about him was somebody asks him if he could eat a huge watermelon, and he said ĎHold on and Iíll be backí, and he went home, `cos he said he had a watermelon that size at home and he wanted to see if he could eat that one first before he came back and ate this one. So he actually ate two of them that size! These were actually legends of this guy who could eat so much. My Dad is a great singer, and the style of singing I like to hear him most is that old Southern Gospel style. I donít even know what they call it, but he sings it so it sounds kinda jumpy. So I wrote that song just so I could have a way for him to sing his style and tell those stories about John Wooten. I thought it would be funny and he would get a kick out of it.  

Orin: Youíre pretty free as to what you put on your records 

Victor: Yeah, because I do the records firstly for me, meaning Iím doing exactly what I want to hear, exactly what I want to say. So I am being very very honest with my music. 

Orin: That takes a lot of courage to do that because ultimately youíre not making the records just for yourself. The creative process is one thing, but youíre not just keeping it and holding it in your basement. You putting it out for the whole world to hear and that takes a lot.  

Victor: Well thank you. My idea is that if I am truthful with the audience and more people can understand and stick by me, I think it will touch more people. I think I can touch more people with honesty than with a character. When Iím performing on stage or I am performing on a record, itís me.  

But, let me say another thingÖI have the luxury of having another band to also put music out with. See The Flecktones put music out and thatís another part of me, and because thaband has kind of a major record deal, we travel

If I didnít have The Flecktones going on maybe I would have to focus a little more on how I can make more money with these records and maybe I wouldnít have the luxury of being real honest. Some people really canít do that. If you make that record like Iím doing, maybe itís not gonna sell so much. Maybe you would have to figure out how to get the money flow going so that you can go back and do your real artsy thing.  

Orin:  Right, I hear you. Iím gonna get into that in a sec. Now I want to touch on the Yin Yang album itself. So I would like to fire off a bunch of questions and I would like you to fire back the first thing that comes to your mind.  

You have an instrumental and a vocal record in one release, why? Why wouldnít you break `em up and extend them over time?

Victor: Well I thought it was the best way to demonstrate the Yin Yang concept. It can almost make it a novelty. But my original idea was to release the two CDís separately. At separate times, a couple months apart. The record label talked me outta that. They said ĎYouíll just be competing with yourselfí. You know when you put a record out, youíre fighting for press. Youíre fighting for a magazine to do an article and they didnít want to have to do that fight twice. Just months apart, that made sense to me. So I said Ďletís just put `em out togetherí.  

On the Yin Yang album~ĒMy original idea was to release the two CDís separatelyĒ.

 Orin:  Well itís a great record. What would you say is your favorite cut off that record?

Victor:  If I had to had to pick a favorite it would have to be ĎKaila Speaksí, the one where sheís talking by herself and then we added music to it.  

Orin: How long did it take you from the conception of that actual song to itís finish. Also, was it hard to make it work? 

Victor:  You know, I donít really know as to whether it was hard to make it work. I donít really know because I didnít even know it was gonna work until it was done. We were just doing it in the hopes that it was gonna work. The first thing I did was piece together what she said. Just her talking. I would find long phrases that would work and then I would have to add in other phrases till I got it to the actual length that I wanted. The next thing I did was that I went in and learned it basically. Phrase by phrase I took my bass and played along with her. That took a few hours and I just put myself into it so much that I donít even know how long it took.  

Orin: So when you start working on a concept like that, do you just keep on going until youíre done, or do take a break from it, coming back the next day?

Victor: Usually for me I canít just stop in the middle, once Iíve started. There were times, and that song was one of them, that I just stayed at the studio and let everybody else go home until I was finished.  

I actually kept my brother there too, Joe, who played the keyboards. He had to fly out the next morning but he was gracious enough to stay with me ALL night until his plane had to leave. Iím not really a piano player and his harmony knowledge is better than mine is anyway. So together after I got my bass part doubling her vocal track, we were able to match this chord with that phrase. 

Orin:  How old is Kaila now?  

Victor:  Sheís 2 and a Ĺ now. 

Orin: Does she come to you now and say ĎDaddy, play my songí.

Victor:  Exactly. She loves it. The one she really likes is the other one. (ĎKaila Rapsí on the Yang disc)

Orin: The one where she kicks it off. 

Victor: Yeah, she loves that. She knows the whole beginning of it and sings along with it and then she dances. My daughter, she can hear a groove man. When the tune starts going she starts bopping, she really loves that song. So she will come up to me and say ďPlay ĎKailaís songí  

Orin:  So sheís really into it. Now another one you did that was wild that everybodyís been talking about was 'Pretty Little Lady'. I didnít get it until I read into it. I was just listening to it and wondering ĎWhat is using on his voice?í. I didnít realize that you had sung it in reverse, then reversed it again to make it sound like it was recorded forward. That is totally gone. Now I was thinking that this guy is either totally gone or his mind is somewhere else. How does a person come up with something like that?

Victor: You know, I donít know, I really donít know, but I remember sitting in the chair, I was at home actually, and that idea hit. I do a lot of overdub stuff at home, so I was just sitting around and I thought ĎOh, I wonder what that would sound like?í and I went out, got my little Lexicon Jam Maker, I knew that would play in reverse, I just plugged a Shure `58 mic into it and started learning it backwards a phrase at a time. I thought Ďthatís kinda coolí.  

Orin:  At the end of the day, how long does something like that take?

Victor: Ummm, to do the whole song, which was really just two verses, my guess would be about three hours.  

Orin:  I figured it would be more like three days, or even three weeks! 

Victor:  Oh no, one sitting. 

Orin: So your creative process is pretty quick. Would you say that your ability to go from a concept to a finished product is fairly fast. 

Victor: Yeah, I do know that compared to most people, itís very fast, most people I work with. Itís because I put full confidence into my ideas, where a lot of people come up with an idea and either they talk to someone about it and that person tells them how stupid it is. So they talk themselves out of it, before they even fully think about it the idea, they say ĎWell, it may not workí and then they start thinking about how theyíll feel if it doesnít work, whatís this person gonna say?Ö 

Orin:  They start putting their limitations thereÖ 

Victor:  Exactly, if it doesnít work, I donít care. If you hear it and you donít like it, I still donít care. Well,  I do care, but it doesnít affect who I am. Because my idea doesnít work doesnít make me any less of a person. So I go into this idea fully, which is usually why I canít stop until itís completed. So these ideas, these vocal ideas, I do `em in one sitting. I just canít get myself to get up `cos  itís not done yet. 

Orin: I was expecting to hear it would take way more time. Maybe that goes to show why youíre at the level your at and most people arenít.  

Victor:  You know I think itís because of the way I think. I have total confidence in myself and itís very different from ego. I can have as much confidence in someone else. I donít think that I can do what no else can do, I know that I am doing what other people wonít do for whatever reason. But I donít see myself any better than any one else, but I just do whatís in my head.  

Orin: While we are on that train of thought, Iím gonna jump a little bit. Do you ever have people who think they can think like that? Meaning, they think they can have an open ended idea but they canít really follow it through. Do you have people that  actually hate you because of it?   

I have total confidence in myself and itís very different from ego.

 Victor: You know the way I grew up, Iím good at things. Especially physical things. Iím good at sports, umm, if I see you do something, whether or not Iíve done it, I can almost repeat it right back, once Iíve seen it done. Itís just the kind of person I am. You can imagine being a kid and being like that, being good at sports, you know, better than a lot of people your age, and people can start to get mad at you about that.

Orin: I was just gonna say that, I was gonna ask you if you get Ďplayer hatedí at all. You must have guys, theyíre working it out in their basements or wherever theyíre playing, then they try and test you on it. Or do they know better?

Victor:  You know, as a kid I can remember instances when that happened, people would bring things and say Ďhereís something you canít doí or whatever. At that age, I had to prove them wrong. I had to show them ĎYes I caní, and nowadays I donít think like that.  If you think I can do something, or you think I canít, you know, thatís your thinking, not mine. I donít have anything to prove to people anymore.  

Another thing, I know there are people out there doing loads of things I canít do. There are musicians who can hear the way I wish I could hear, that can play the way I wish I could play. Thereís tons of that out there. 

If you think I can do something, or you think I cant, thatís your thinking, not mine.

Orin: Are we talking about the bass? That brings me to another questionÖWho inspires Vic Wooten?  

Victor:  I would give you lots of names, but Iíll tell you what I am gonna do, I am gonna keep it to bass players. Just to keep it simple.  

Orin: If you were the starting guard and you had to retire, who would you feel confident that could fill in that space.  

Victor:  Oteil Burbridge is one of the first names that comes to mind and the reason being is because he has that relentless kinda way of thinking about music that I do. Now he has a very high level of confidence about himself. But he may be even more understated about it than I am. I donít know if most people even know the way that Oteil can play. This guy is amazing. I know this because I have known him for about 20 years, but heís great.  

Now I love different bass players for different things. Thereís a bass player in New York city called Mike Pope, who can play like I have never heard anyone play through BeBop changes the way this guy can play on the bass. Now I wish I could do that, I mean I really wish I could.  

Orin:  So you arenít sitting there thinking Ď Iíve done all I caní, Vic can learn. Youíre always striving for that next level.  Vic, youíre a confident guy.  Did you expect the level of notoriety youíve gotten? 

Victor: I think if I were to have thought about it, I would have to say Ďyesí. But I really canít honestly remember thinking about it that much. I can remember as a kid always seeing Stanley Clarke and Steve Swallow and those guys in the polls in things like that. Looking at it and thinking thatís cool and these are my favorite players and things like that. I donít know if I ever thought like that, that one day ĎIím gonna be #1í  

I can tell ya I didnít think like that.  

Orin: Even though you were doing things at an early age that no one else was doing.  

Victor: Well I was, I think I can say, without it sounding like an ego thing, that I think I was. See my 4 brothers are older than me and they just pulled me along. When I was 5 we were out gigging. We did this tour with Curtis Mayfield when I was 5 or 6 years old. We opened some shows for War. You know, so age 5 and 6 I thought I was a grownup musician. I donít remember though, thinking so much that ĎOne day I was gonna be at the topí, or that people were gonna know who I was. My Mom would always tell it that ĎIt doesnít matter if people know who you are, it doesnít matter what people say about what you do, itís about where you are with yourself.  

Orin: With that thought in mind, at this stage of the game, are you happy? Or would you love a little bit less or like a lot more? 

Victor:  All of the above. I do want more, there are things that I want to get rid of, but I am happy at the same time.  

Orin: What would it be that you want more of?

Victor:  I would want to learn how to blow through Beebop changes like Mike Pope can, also I would like to bring our music to more black people. Now I hope that doesnít come out wrong, but our audiences are mostly white people. I love it, I mean, I love that they love what weíre doing, but I also wold love to bring it to more black people, people of color, I guess you could say. Thatís one thing I would love.  

But with all the talents that I have, how does that benefit you? What does Joe Blow on the street have to benefit because I am talented? If Joe Blow canít benefit, what use is it? So I am always searching, which is one of the things that I am doing with the camp this year.  

Orin: Letís talk about that. How did that come about.


 

Victor: Eight years now Iíve been taking classes in Wilderness Survival Skills, basically how to get back to the earth. How to stop destroying Nature and how to relearn the things that our ancestors knew. The things that the animals still know. The animals they thrive out there on their own. They donít have a grocery store, they donít have computers, they donít have an educational system. But they thrive, they get their own food, they make their own houses, they sing their own songs.  

They really flow with Nature, because they see themselves as part of Nature. They just are, where we see ourselves as separate. So Iíve been taking classes from some people and Iíve learned some amazing things, even some of the simple things like how to make fire with sticks. How to track animals, how to look at an animals footprint and say ĎThis animal is left handed, weighs this much, his head is turned this way, he stepped here because of this or that. Thatís amazing to me. Itís things that our ancestors knew because they had to. Weíve gotten so far away from that.  

Orin:  You could have done this for years on your own, how did you come to incorporate that into your other passion? Did you just decide you wanted to share this with other people?

Victor: Yes, thatís part of it. These are two of my passions, Music and Nature.  But also I realized that the way some of these teachers would teach and the things they taught, I realized that I do that musically. Thatís the same thing that happens on the band stand. I started realizing, these are the same lessons I would teach if I were teaching a group of musicians. I thought after a few years that this is a way I could teach both of these things. I do wish people could get back to Nature, and if they had just a little knowledge and the opportunity of seeing some of the things I have been able to see, they would lead themselves back to Nature.  

If you just know things like for example, this leaf you see everyday on a tree, tastes like spearmint gum, how many kids would like to know that? Thatís great stuff to know. There just a lot of it and weíre just gonna relate that to music through Nature. Iím gonna show some of these tools that I learned about Nature and how they relate to music. This is also so we can study music from a different angle.  

Iím gonna show some of these tools that I learned about Nature and how they relate to music.

Orin:  Do you relate that nonĖlinear thinking to how you got to where you are today?

Victor: Oh, most definitely. Absolutely, itís because my thinking process is different than most musicians that I have met. Thatís what I really want to get into at the camp, is how I think about music. Not that my thinking method is superior or any of that, thatís not my point, but it is different than most people, most conventional thinking.  

Orin:  Iíve gotta give you your dues, thatís why you do things the way you do. Second last questionÖDo you ever have just a bad show, a bad day where you just hafta say ĎDamn, I was not on!í  

Victor: Yup, quite a bit. I say quite a bit for me, which is probably less than most people. It doesnít mean I donít have a lot of shows where I play horribly, Iím sure I do, but I kinda gauge my success differently than some people might. 

Orin: In what way?

Victor:  Okay, when Iím on the stage I am up there for myself, to put myself in front of the audience. Thatís a big part of it, it has to be, but also I have to realize that the audience is a big part of why I am there. Now itís sorta like a company, where you have to please your customer first. And as a company, if youíre customers are not happy, you either find new customers that you can service, or you have to change your product. Okay, so when I am on stage, I realize that a big part of why I am there is also to please the public.  

So that means that sometimes I may have let go of my own self and become more of what I am not really. To please the audience, or I could just try to force myself on the audience, but usually that doesnít work. So there may be some nights where I have to sling the bass around my neck more than I really want too. (Laughs). Even doing it once maybe, because sometimes I donít feel doing that every night for 10 years.  

But if the public is really asking for that, then maybe you just hafta do it. So what I am getting at is that part of what gauges my successful nights is how do I connect with my audiences?


 

Also, how well did I play? But the thing is that the audience doesnít know whether I played well or not, most of the time. Because I could play the exact solo thatís on the Sinister Menace record, that came out in 1990, I could play that same solo 10 years later and please the audience, but that may not really be playing well for me. Maybe now, 10 years on, I can play 10 times better than that. If I can only play that well, then maybe I didnít play that well for now. But maybe the audience will still be pleased.  

So thereís a balance between pleasing the audience and pleasing myself. When I can get those two to line up, then thatís a great night!  

Orin: Now in The Flecktones, your brother Futureman (Roy) plays with you, other than that, do you guys collaborate? 

Victor:  Yes, but not a lot. Not a lot because, The Flecktones are 90% of our musical output right now, so when we are apart, we are not doing much musically together. I may end up doing more with my other brothers. 

Orin: To wrap it all up, do you ever plan to get into other ventures, like producing other artists, composing for TV, film, etcetera?  

Victor: Man, I hope to do all of the above, I really do. Iíve had some pretty bad experiences with producers, my brothers and I when we were recording a record up in New York, went through a pretty horrible deal with a well known producer at the time. That kinda made me say that Ďone day if I ever get to produce, I wanna make the artist happy. I wanna work hard at getting the artist's sound, not just putting my sound on top of their music. We kinda live in a day and age where itís about the producers. ďWho produced it? Oh, Babyface, then itís gotta be good!Ē. Or you hear a song on the radio and you say ďOh, thatís PrinceĒ or ďOh, thatís BabyfaceĒ and not that thatís bad, but sometimes the producers sound is more than the artistís sound.   So that would be a challenge to me, and I am all about challenging myself. Could I do it?  Could I hear the difference between this microphone and that microphone? All the things that producers have to know. I am currently working on my chordal knowledge, my music theory and things like that.  I didnít grow up knowing a lot of stuff like that. I could hear it, but I didnít know the names of all that. So I am working on that, and I believe thatíll help me with production and charts and things like that. And also movie scores, `cos two of my friends, Marcus Miller and Stanley Clarke are both doing a lot of that.  

Orin: Yeah, Stanley was one of my first influences so I am all up on it. Marcus is running things in New York, so youíve got one in L.A. and one in New York, and Nashville is a hotbed right now. I wanna know ĎIs Vic gonna control that end of the spectrum?í. 

Victor (Laughs)  Yeah, Marcus and Stanley stay out of Nashville! No, but I really do hope to get into all that. But another reason is also so I donít have to tour as much as I am right now. Holly and I are gonna have another baby in January, and itís just not fair to travel as much as I do. So if I can find out ways to generate income so that she doesnít have to work unless she wants to. So I am looking for ways to do that.  

Orin: Well I think that about wraps it up Vic, it was a very cool time. Iím glad I got a chance to pick your brain a little bit. 

Victor:  Well I appreciate it man, I also wanna say itís great to see you being a bass player and a band leader on TV and all that, thatís really amazing, thatís a big thing because, I donít know if our country (the U.S of A.) is ready for that kind of thing yet, I really donít.

Orin:  It is an amazing thing, the coolest part of the gig is that I  get to a level where I get to meet so many great people, like yourself. October 27th, 1998***, I will never forget it! And to have it on a national level. Itís great, I never thought I would be writing articles or doing any of that. I never thought I would be doing that 5 years ago.  

Victor: I donít know if you know it or not, but I think you are gonna create a lot of opportunities for a lot of people. I use you as an example a lot of the time, when I am giving a lesson or just talking to people, about what can be done. What avenues are available for bass players? `Cos a lot of people who are just starting out are saying ďWhat can I do as a bass player?Ē They only look at the avenues that we have right now. They donít look ahead. 

 Letís see if I can explain itÖmeaning, at one time a bass player as a bandleader for a talk show wouldnít even come into the picture because that doesnít happen! You gotta set your sites ahead of the page. You canít keep set on where things are right now. Soon as you get there, youíll be able to see much further ahead and thatís where youíre gonna wanna be.

 

                                   


 Some Notes on Victor WootenÖyou can visit Victors rather incredible website atÖ 

http://www.victorwooten.com

 


Tons of great photoís and info, samples, lessons, anecdotes, positive thoughts, news on his many projects including the new Vital TechTones album VTT2 as well as the new Bela Fleck and the Flecktones release ĎOUTBOUNDí on SONY/Columbia Records. Thereís also info there on the BASS CAMPÖstories about each of the 20 tracks on YIN YANG and so on. 

Some Notes on Orin IsaacsÖ


 

****On October 28th, 1998 Victor Wooten was a guest on the Canadian television show on which Orin Issacs presides as bandleader. It was a chance for two monster bass players to not only meet toe to toe, but also capture that moment from the show in a great instrumental song on Orin Isaacs first solo CD, ĎWhere Iím FromĒ.  

You can contact Orin atÖ  

orin@mocamusic.com  

                                                  or visit his website at...

http://www.mocamusic.com/

 Editorís Note: I really enjoyed handing over the interview reins to Orin on this one. There is a part of me that wanted to be the one talking to Victor, but to tell the truth, one thing I learned a while ago is to Ďhire upí. What I mean by that is thisÖif you want a job done really well, of course, do it yourself. But if you want & need a phenomenal job done, sometimes it is best to just get your ego out of the way and Ďhire upí.  

ĎHiring upí is when you find someone who is better at the job than you are and delegating them the task. In the case of Orin Isaacs, I knew I was leaving this task in very capable hands.

He told me that he wanted to go at this interview from a different angle. It would have been easy to talk about string gauges, amps, the Yin-Yang basses, but Orin wanted instead to take a different approach. He want to find the man behind the music, he wanted to help us see not only what Victor does, but why he does it and how he thinks.  

I think that Orin did a better job than I would have ever done.

One of the things that I find most amazing about Orin is the complete lack of arrogance about his playing that he has integral to his personality. Like Victor, he is confident but not arrogant. 

What Orin doesnít seem to truly realize is that he is in most if not all ways already in the league of player that Victor is. Victor knows this, as do I, but Orin has the typical Canadian modesty that I am gonna beat out of him!   Just kidding! 

However long the gig with the Mike Bullard Show is there, Orin will be found 5 days a week ripping his band through some great fusion tunes and songs of all sorts, for that matter. He will, as Victor says, be a shining example of what us skungy bass players can achieve, just as Victor is.  

Orin also plans a second solo album soon, that if I have my way, will tear up the charts, forcing him to face the fact that he is not only gonna turn some heads, heís gonna have to deal with the fact that he is just going to have to tour. So donít be too surprised to see him coming through your town one day in the not too distant future.  He is a powerful bass player and a force to contend with. Youíre really gonna want to be there. 


Warren Murchie

Editor

August 12, 2000

 

P.S.   One last noteÖin setting this interview up on the page and looking for a title for the article, I fought long and hard for a headline. Not because it was particularly difficult, Victor is an outgoing articulate guy with lots of great opinions. Itís just that the nudge in me REALLY wanted to call this article ďWOOTEN TOOTINí ď.  

What stopped me?  It just really came down to the fact that I had no deep wish to get thumped out twice, once by Vic and once by Orin. Probably a third time too, by you.

 W.M.

  

 

                                  

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