Phil Lesh interview

Phil Lesh interview

Postby RiverRat » Wed Jun 15, 2011 7:06 am

Part 1:

http://www.bassplayer.com/article/lesh-more/mar-08/34333

Part 2:

http://www.bassplayer.com/article/anthem-tone-phil/mar-08/34335

Part 2 sheds some light on Phil's modulus basses, it answers a question I had about Seanc comments in this thread... The 2 Modulus basses that Phil is currently using are NOT the same basses he used with the Dead. These basses appeared sometime in 2000 before the Phil and Friends summer tour.

Old bass:

Image

New basses:

Image

Image
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Re: Phile Lesh interview

Postby Rusty the Scoob » Wed Jun 15, 2011 9:08 am

Bingo - that's the interview that makes me think of him primarily as a 34" scale guy, and a big reason why I put Bartolinis in my custom bass.

Interesting tidbit about the center detent on the master volume. I ended up with one on the master volume of my reissue Starfire just by coincidence and I really like it. It helps that it has super hot output... even with the volume in the center detent position it's hotter than most other basses, so I run it there most of the time, with the option of boosting the hell out of the signal if I want.

Phil decided it was time to upgrade with a brand-new Quantum 6 bass.

Certain characteristics had to be the same as his previous Modulus basses. The scale had to be 34", even though 35" is a Modulus standard; it needed 26 frets; the neck had to be 3-1/4" wide at the 24th fret; and the body needed to be extra-wide. “Phil feels an extra-wide body looks more normal,” says McNall. “Plus, he played Alembics for many years, so he’s used to that shape.” Lesh chose a gorgeous piece of figured walnut for the top and figured chechen for the fingerboard. The neck and body will have a clear satin finish, another new twist. He chose an ABM bridge (stock Quantum 6’s have Hipshot bridges).

Phil’s previous Quantum 6’s had EMG pickups, but when trying out some alternates, he fell in love with Bartolinis. The new Quantum will have a Bartolini NTMB circuit with five knobs: volume, blend, bass, mid, and treble. (Phil doesn’t like the stacked knobs standard on the NTMB.) He also asked for an unusual detent on the master-volume control, although that presented serious problems for the Modulus production team. Although Phil’s previous Quantum had piezo pickups, he decided they’re too much of a headache to include in the new bass.

Since Modulus had to dig up the old mold for Phil’s neck and work up some new tooling, the company decided to make four of the custom basses. Lesh will get two (his main bass and a backup), the Doobie Brothers’ Tiran Porter will get one, as will Mike Gordon of Phish. At press time Modulus was working overtime to complete Phil’s basses in time for some June shows with Bob Dylan.

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Re: Phile Lesh interview

Postby RiverRat » Wed Jun 15, 2011 10:00 am

Rusty the Scoob wrote:Bingo - that's the interview that makes me think of him primarily as a 34" scale guy, and a big reason why I put Bartolinis in my custom bass.


I don't think the Bartolinis stayed in them for very long, both basses have EMG's in them now.
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Re: Phile Lesh interview

Postby FretfulDave » Wed Jun 15, 2011 10:10 am

I would imagine it is a typo... either that or we are reading a 10 year old interview...

Between benefits and other gigs with his band, Phil Lesh & Friends, the energetic, affable musician—who turned 60 in March—sat down with us at his small Marin County office.


but you have to remember how old I am. I was born in 1940


I believe Phil turned 70 this March, not 60.
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Re: Phile Lesh interview

Postby strumminsix » Wed Jun 15, 2011 10:39 am

FretfulDave wrote:I would imagine it is a typo... either that or we are reading a 10 year old interview...


I think that is the case. I was told of Phil's interior rhythm at about 5 years back from someone who read that article. I sent it to him last week and he said that's the one!
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Re: Phil Lesh interview

Postby ugly rumor » Wed Jun 15, 2011 10:49 am

Interesting article. His approach to playing is exactly what I have been explaining in some of my controversial posts. VERY nice to be validated by Phil, of all people!
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Re: Phile Lesh interview

Postby RiverRat » Wed Jun 15, 2011 11:15 am

FretfulDave wrote:I would imagine it is a typo... either that or we are reading a 10 year old interview...

Between benefits and other gigs with his band, Phil Lesh & Friends, the energetic, affable musician—who turned 60 in March—sat down with us at his small Marin County office.


but you have to remember how old I am. I was born in 1940


I believe Phil turned 70 this March, not 60.


Correct... the article mentions getting the new basses ready for the summer tour with Dylan, that was 2000. The article confirmed for me what my eyes had been seeing for 10 years... that the basses he's been using weren't the wide bodied ones he used with the Grateful Dead.

Also confirms that the bass he is currently using is a completely new bass, most likely one of the 2010 TBX reissues.
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Re: Phil Lesh interview

Postby Rusty the Scoob » Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:00 pm

ugly rumor wrote:Interesting article. His approach to playing is exactly what I have been explaining in some of my controversial posts. VERY nice to be validated by Phil, of all people!


Assuming this post is partially directed at me, I'll ask you to elaborate on exactly which parts you feel validate which points. Because I honestly don't see what you're talking about.
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Re: Phile Lesh interview

Postby Rusty the Scoob » Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:04 pm

RiverRat wrote:
Rusty the Scoob wrote:Bingo - that's the interview that makes me think of him primarily as a 34" scale guy, and a big reason why I put Bartolinis in my custom bass.


I don't think the Bartolinis stayed in them for very long, both basses have EMG's in them now.


That makes sense. I prefer EMGs in arenas and Barts in bars. Man, I need another bass.
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Re: Phil Lesh interview

Postby ugly rumor » Wed Jun 15, 2011 8:13 pm

In the first part, after the question, "In your current band, do you ask the other musicians to focus on what you are doing?", Phil's response is a very succinct way of explaining what I try to achieve.

I would have copied and pasted had I been able to get that to work.

Directed at you? You are and have always been one of my favorite people in this forum. That was solidified by you sending me unsolicited copies of the James Booker sessions. If we have a disagreement or misunderstanding, I feel that it is legitimate; i.e., without acrimony. I have an incredibly difficult time getting other musicians to understand my approach. You at least disagree with it, which means that you do in fact understand it. That is a lot more than many others.

It's all good!

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Re: Phil Lesh interview

Postby Rusty the Scoob » Thu Jun 16, 2011 9:56 am

Ah yes, that is a good paragraph!

In your current band, do you ask the other musicians to focus on what you’re doing?

I encourage them to do what I do—listen to everything, and work with anybody and everybody who has something interesting to say. That’s what I look for in a musician: someone who’s willing to suspend that role-playing mode. I don’t want people to play lead guitar or rhythm guitar or keyboard; I want everybody to play lead and rhythm. I’ll do the same thing, and so will the drummer. What you then have, when we open up the songs or do a prelude or epilogue, is a web of melodic and rhythmic ideas.


It's really tough to find players who aren't Deadheads or at least jazz musicians who understand the concept of role morphing.

Playing Phil is always a balancing act between being melodic and filling the traditional bass role. Even if you aren't trying to copy his lines exactly it helps the band if you can copy his activity level - weave all the big melodies you want to under Ramble On Rose but never under One More Saturday Night, for example.
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Re: Phil Lesh interview

Postby caspersvapors » Fri Jun 24, 2011 8:37 pm

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Re: Phil Lesh interview

Postby Phil Lesh101 » Thu Jun 30, 2011 8:05 pm

RiverRat wrote:Part 1:

http://www.bassplayer.com/article/lesh-more/mar-08/34333

Part 2:

http://www.bassplayer.com/article/anthem-tone-phil/mar-08/34335

Part 2 sheds some light on Phil's modulus basses, it answers a question I had about Seanc comments in this thread... The 2 Modulus basses that Phil is currently using are NOT the same basses he used with the Dead. These basses appeared sometime in 2000 before the Phil and Friends summer tour.

Old bass:

Image

New basses:

Image

Image

I always new the basses were somewhat different BUt i thought The Were the same, But The Colors Are Different On The Basses Thats What Gave it away To Me
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