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Rana Ross: Feature Interview

Discussion in 'Features' started by TalkBass, Mar 23, 2004.


  1. TalkBass

    TalkBass News Poster

    Mar 12, 2004
    <center><b>Rana Ross: Maximum Bass</b></center>
    <p align="center"><b><i>Interview
    for TalkBass.com by John C. Smith</i></b></p>
    <p align="center"><b><i>Editor's Note: This feature was published on TalkBass.com in October of 2001. Rana Ross passed away in May of 2003. Rana was our first feature on TalkBass.com, and am proud to archive this in memory of her.</i></b></p>
    <p><a href="http://www.talkbass.com/html/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=34"><img src="http://www.talkbass.com/images/featureindex_ross.jpg" align="left" border="0"></a>If you're wondering about who's going to be in the vanguard of players when
    we're more seriously into this millennium, let's consider (in addition
    to the obvious) whose careers are on overdrive and just about to blossom
    big-time. We can all "name names", and yes, most bassists will
    still be into Jaco, Stanley, Victor et al, but there are some outstanding
    players that will attract a lot of attention very soon and may well end
    up on that influential list.</p>
     
  2. TalkBass

    TalkBass News Poster

    Mar 12, 2004
    <p><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Enter Rana
    Ross, recently featured in BASSICS magazine. She and her band Sinboy have
    been getting rave reviews in LA, and the recorded works are a trip to
    experience. Via cyberspace she gave me some of her time to answer some
    questions I've been wanting to ask her for some time now….</font></p>
    <p></p>
    <p><b><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">J.C.S.:
    Tell me about some of your bass influences.</font></b><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"><br>
    </font></p>
    <p><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"><b>R.R.:</b>
    All of my bass influences started with my Mom Anne. When I was a kid she
    turned me on to Sly and the Family Stone, Zeppelin, Stanley Clarke, Earth,
    Wind & Fire. So I grew up listening to HER favorite records. <br>
    As far as my OWN "Bass" influences....well.everyone. I really
    do get something from everything I listen to, and my listening habits
    are eclectic and diverse. I have listened INTENSELY to: (in no specific
    order)... Victor Wooten, Marcus Miller, Les Claypool, Pino Palladino,
    Bootsy Collins, Rocco Prestia, Jeff Berlin, Jaco, Billy Sheehan, Anthony
    Jackson, Geddy Lee, Fernando Saunders, Flea, Fieldy (Korn), Alain Caron
    Currently in my CD player now is: The new "System of a Down"
    (they are amazing), Primus' "Antipop", both Radiohead's "OK
    Computer" & "The Bends", Rob Zombie Remixes, Korn "Issues",
    Macy Gray, Sublime's Greatest Hits, NIN, Yo Yo Ma's Bach Cello Suites
    <br>
    </font></p>
    <p><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"><b>J.C.S:
    Have you ever taken or given lessons?</b> </font></p>
    <p><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"><b>R.R.:</b>
    Both. But I must profess, I really don't have the patience it takes to
    be a really great teacher. For a while, I taught privately and out of
    a music store here in Los Angeles. But here comes the Good Stuff.......
    </font></p>
    <p><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">I have studied
    Bass Guitar with the best. <br>
    I've studied bass with Gary Willis, Jeff Berlin, Nathan East, Joel DiBartolo
    (upright player in Doc Severson's Band from the old "Tonight Show
    with Johnny Carson"), Alphonso Johnson (who once let me sit in with
    Carlos Santana during a rehearsal), Alexis Sklarevski (human slap metronome
    machine), Hilliard Greene (for Upright), <br>
    </font></p>
    <p><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"><b>J.C.S.:
    Do you have a standard practice regimen? </b><br>
    </font></p>
    <p><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"><b><img src="../images/ross2.jpg" width="158" height="239" align="left">R.R.:</b>No,
    not really. I DO practice my Upright everyday lately, because it's pretty
    new for me, and I also need to build up the muscles that you use for bowing.
    It's so much different. I could play 5 or 6 string for hours, but right
    now, a half hour of strait bowing on the upright is Killer on my right
    hand. I love it, I'm always up for a challenge. <br>
    Of course, any practice of the bass (electric or upright) ALWAYS involves
    using the metronome. I think that it's wasteful of your time to practice
    without the metronome, so you should always keep one handy. I also subscribe
    to the technique of starting Really Slow on the metronome and then moving
    up little by little. I actually start ridiculously slow. That in itself
    is good practice, because it's sooooooooo slow, that your timing must
    be really on to anticipate the next beat. <br>
    I also take breaks when I'm in full practice mode, so I don't get burned
    out. Stop, put the bass down and take a 5 minute break. I also take breaks
    when recording in the studio. It just clears my head. </font></p>
    <p><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"><b>J.C.S.:
    You endorse several gear manufacturers.........your Hohner endoresment
    has been going for 9 years, I believe. That's incredible loyalty, Rana!
    <br>
    What's so special about these products?</b> </font></p>
    <p><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"><b><img src="../images/ross3.jpg" width="223" height="182" align="left">R.R.:</b>Actually,
    I've endorsed 2 companies for 9 years each, Hohner Basses, and Labella
    Strings. They both make great products, but furthermore, I'm treated with
    respect by these companies, and I see them as part of my extended family
    now. Nine years is a long time, yes. But they stuck with me when I went
    through the leaner years, when there wasn't a gig to get, because they
    BELIEVED in my talent as a Bassist, and spokesperson to represent their
    company and products. Like any close business a&r relationship, we
    work together to perfect their products, and at the same time, get me
    the exact things that I need. <br>
    My first full page color Hohner ad came out in the last edition of BASSICS,
    and I believe that it's a great thing for the company. Lots of people
    don't know about these basses, so I guess that they'll find out now. FROM
    ME!!! <br>
    I just signed on about a year ago as a FULL SWR endorsee, but I've been
    using SWR cabinets all my life. I believe I bought some of the first Triads
    and Goliath Jrs. <br>
    Still have them, in fact, the Jr. is my practice cab. at home... <br>
    I love the SWR sound, it's totally part of MY sound, tonally, I'm a big
    fan of mid-range, but at the same time, I want that heart-jerking bottom
    end. I get everything that I need with my SM900. Great EQ's. You can just
    tweak and tweak all day...it's so much fun.....I am presently using a
    Goliath Sr. cabinet, but SWR just came out with the "Megoliath"
    (isn't that a great name?), which is what I plan to add in accordance
    with my Goliath. <br>
    Other companies that I endorse are Digitech (presently, I'm using the
    BP8 Bass Valve Preamp), and this is a company that I used to buy the equipment
    from. I used to use the Digitech IPS33B Smart Harmonizer midi'ed in my
    old rack, and when the BP8 came out, I bought it. Of course, I have signed
    on as an endorsee since then, and I'm looking forward to newer products
    and working more closely with this company and my rep. there, Paul Muniz.
    <br>
    I am a full endorsee of EMG pickup's, (again, have used them all my life)
    - in fact, I just signed on with them recently also. LOVE ACTIVE SOUND......
    <br>
    I also use a Budda Phatbass distortion Pedal, which is bad-ass, and represent
    them as well. <br>
    I have also signed on with Aquilar, for their preamps, infact, I had one
    just put into my new Hohner Prototype, but I haven't gotten it back from
    my guitar man yet. <br>
    Am I forgetting anyone??? <br>
    </font></p>
    <p><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"><b>J.C.S.:
    I believe you've recently gotten into playing an upright......is it a
    permanent switch or just another weapon for the arsenal </b><br>
    </font></p>
    <p><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"><b>R.R.:</b>Yes,
    my new baby is my Jack Read Custom Electric Upright. What a trip!!! <br>
    I've been wanting to play electric upright for a long time now, and I'm
    knowledgeable about stringed instruments because I played cello for so
    long. But for the longest time, I could NOT find anything that I could
    play, because my hands are incredibly small. So, as much as those other
    companies make great electric uprights, it didn't help me....Then came
    Jack. We worked together, and I told him exactly what I wanted and needed
    out of my upright, and sure enough, he made the most gorgeous and most
    awesome sounding instrument that you have ever seen or heard. Thank God
    my bowing technique is still in tact, and for the record, I use a cello
    bow on this upright. It's just better for my hands and the size of this
    particular instrument. <br>
    No, not a permanent change, just more weapons for the arsenal, although
    I can see myself really expanding musically on this instrument. <br>
    </font></p>
    <p><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"><b>J.C.S.:
    What do you look for when trying new gear? </b><br>
    </font></p>
    <p><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"><b>R.R.:</b>Very
    good question.... <br>
    There are alot of factors that draw me to a piece of gear. <br>
    a) I have to like what it does and foresee it's function somewhere useful
    in my playing, whether it's for the studio or a live show, which are of
    course, two totally different animals. <br>
    b) It HAS to be user friendly. <br>
    c) It has to be able to withstand the abuse of touring and not die on
    me. <br>
    d) Sometimes, a company will come up with something that's so totally
    tight, new and different....I like those kind of things too. <br>
    e) I don't particularly care for very HEAVY things (cabinets aside), but
    otherwise, I like to be able to know that I can lift it. Does that make
    sense? <br>
    f) The Company. If it's an endorsement situation, I want to know that
    they are behind me as much as I'm behind them and their product. It really
    makes a difference with me to work with people I really, really like.
    <br>
    </font></p>
     
  3. TalkBass

    TalkBass News Poster

    Mar 12, 2004
    <p><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"><b>J.C.S:
    Do you find it easy to switch between 4, 5 and 6 string instruments?</b>
    <br>
    </font></p>
    <p><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"><b>R.R.:</b>
    Well, actually, I haven't played a fretted 4 string for about 9 years
    now. I do play a fretless Pedulla Buzz 4 string which I usually tune down
    to "D", but otherwise, I would have to say the 5 string is my
    main staple always. ALWAYS. <br>
    To me, a six string is really a different animal, you can do things chordally
    on a 6 that cannot be done on anything else as effortlessly, and also
    solo wise, it's all the more fun, with so many possibilities. I usually
    do not use the 6 string live because it is heavier to wear, and I feel
    that I cannot put on the show visually that I want to with so much extra
    weight on my shoulder. For studio, definitely. <br>
    </font></p>
    <p><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"><b>J.C.S.:
    Any thoughts/plans on performing or recording solo? </b><br>
    </font></p>
    <p><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"><b>R.R.:</b>
    Solo....No, not really, not yet. <br>
    I do forsee somewhere down the line putting out a kick-ass instrumental
    release, and get all of my favorite guys to sit in and play on it. <br>
    I would have to start making my wish list of players now, I'm sure they
    would come and play if I asked them really nicely.... <br></font></p>
    <p><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"><b>J.C.S.:
    How do you see the Internet in regards to your self-promotion (and that
    of Sinboy)?</b> <br>
    </font></p>
    <p><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"><b>R.R.:</b>
    The Internet, has been/will always be - instrumental in everything in
    our lives. It's revolutionized society in a manner I don't think any of
    us have ANY idea of. <br>
    As for me, it's done nothing but great things...remember, your computer
    is your friend. <br>
    No really, if it wasn't for online promotion, I might not be doing this
    interview now. Really. <br>
    Whether I am doing it myself, or if it's my publicist (Steve Levesque
    at www.luckmedia.com ), or the TALKBASS site, people are hungry for information,
    and can share that information across the planet in a split second...
    <br>
    And when this interview is posted on your site, you will have readers
    who will go there because they know me and also readers who will hear
    about me for the first time. Then they send the link to another bass player,
    and so on and so forth. It brings people of like minds together. <br>
    I would dare to say it's the greatest promotional tool ever, and I am
    eternally grateful for the response that I've gotten online. <br>
    </font></p>
    <p><b><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">J.C.S.:
    When people ask me about Sinboy, I describe the music as sexy, primal
    and violent......how do you describe it? </font></b><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"><br>
    </font></p>
    <p><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"><b>R.R.:</b>
    Violent....hmmmm, I've never heard that, I like it, it's cool... <br>
    I think that sometimes people see a photo of me and they are blown away
    because they don't expect me to be playing such hard music. <br>
    I describe SINBOY as "Extreme Rock". Sexy? Very. Very Sexual
    lyrical content. Primal? Definitely. I feel primal playing it onstage...even
    in rehearsal. <br>
    Isn't it great to do what you LOVE to do for a living.....???? <br>
    When I'm asked what the music is compared to, I believe that it's easy
    to say it's like a Female Fronted NIN, with some Zombie, Prodigy and Portishead
    thrown in for good measure. <br>
    </font></p>
    <p><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"><b>J.C.S.:
    And how do you see bass in a band situation? Do your share writing and
    arrangement duties?</b> <br>
    </font></p>
    <p><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"><b>R.R.:</b>
    This is TalkBass here, so let's be real.... <br>
    The Bass is the anchor of the band. <br>
    We bassists can create the vibe, keep the groove, make people move. The
    bass is an EXTREMELY important instrument, and I say "F*** YOU"
    to anyone who thinks that bass players are frustrated guitar players.
    They are sooooooo wrong, they don't have a clue what they are talking
    about. <br>
    Have you ever been on the search for the PERFECT groove line for a certain
    tune...??? I mean,...perfect... It's not the easiest thing, is it? <br>
    But when it happens, you know it, and everyone else feels it, and that's
    what the bass is all about. Getting the listener or the audience to FEEL
    you. Some of the best tunes are the ones where you remember the bass line,
    i.e. Anthony Jackson's line in the old soul tune "Money" by
    the O'Jays... <br>
    Remember...? <br>
    All one needs to hear is that 2 bar phrase - and you know the song...Actually,
    I believe that Anthony and THAT bass line were instrumental in changing
    the <br>
    copyright and publishing laws to include "certain" bass lines
    to receive a part of the writers share of the publishing. Yeah Anthony....!!!!
    Thank you, my brother. <br>
    As for writing and arrangement, SINBOY is pretty democratic. Yes, we are
    all part of the writing process, although Elysa writes all the lyrics.
    She's the singer, and she's gotta feel what she sings....so I have no
    problem with that. If I have a cool melody line or vocal hook for a chorus,
    say, she has no problem listening to me. <br>
    Because of the democracy, it probably takes a little longer for things
    to get done, because we all have to agree, we all have to think it works
    for all and that everyone is down with it. Needless to say, there's alot
    of ideas that are thrown away - but it's SUCH a good feeling to be an
    equal part of the writing process, I'm so thankful that I'm not someone's
    sideperson anymore. <br>
    </font></p>
    <p><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"><b>J.C.S.:
    Do you plan solos or "wing" them? </b><br>
    </font></p>
    <p><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"><b>R.R.:</b>
    I like to plan my solo's, in that I need to know in my head the general
    musical idea that I want to put across in that particular tune. There's
    not alot of "soloing" in SINBOY, but I do get my moments. So
    yes, I do plan them, because I want it to be as BAD_ASS as possible, and
    for a brief moment- shine, shine, shine. <br>
    Of course, as in any jamming situation, solo's get "winged".
    That's also alot of fun. <br>
    </font></p>
    <p><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"><b>J.C.S.:
    If you had your druthers, are there any people/bands you'd really like
    to play with? </b><br>
    </font></p>
    <p><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"><b>R.R.:</b>
    I am so passionate about SINBOY it's crazy, but, if I were to have a wish
    list of persons that I could work with/alongside - even in my dreams,
    it would be: <br>
    King Crimson, Metallica, Kid Rock, duets with Les Claypool and Flea (are
    you reading this LES & FLEA ???), Radiohead, Macy Gray, Puff Daddy,
    Eminem, Lou Reed, Annie Lennox, Rev. Al Green, Rush, NIN / Trent Reznor,
    Rob Zombie, Dr. Dre, Static-X, Cannibal Corpse, Steve Vai, Terry Bozzio,
    Whitney Houston & Christina Aquilara. <br>
    Is that diverse enough? <br>
    </font></p>
    <p><b><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">J.C.S.:
    How's the biz treating you? Is it worth the time and effort? </font></b><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"><br>
    </font></p>
    <p><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"><b>R.R.:</b>
    I'm one of those people that LOVES Music so much, I would never choose
    to do anything else. Ever. <br>
    So asking me if it's worth the time and effort.... I mean, YES, it's worth
    the time and effort if you are true to your art, your bass, your belief
    in yourself as a person and as a player. I think that if all those things
    are in order...life will end up treating you well. <br>
    It's ALL GOOD. <br>
    </font></p>
    <p><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"><b>J.C.S.:
    Having put in years of work, your career is really starting to take off.......where
    do you want it to take you?</b><br>
    </font></p>
    <p><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"><b>R.R.:</b>
    EVERYWHERE...!!! <br>
    I want to travel the world, play for audiences from every nation and move
    them, keep getting better and better as a bassist (one is always growing...)
    <br>
    In the future, I know that I want to score films. Definitely. My singer
    and programmer from SINBOY, Elysa Grey and I have already spoken about
    scoring music for film. <br>
    We would be like the young, female version of Danny Elfman...just as talented...,
    and some would say prettier too. <br>
    </font></p>
    <p><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"><b>J.C.S.:
    Any major tours coming up? Will you go international? </b><br>
    </font></p>
    <p><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"><b>R.R.:</b>
    Not on my calendar right now at this moment. We still need to go through
    all the steps that a new band needs to go through, but people are digging
    us so hard....it seems that the label executives are always following
    us....It sure has our attorney Kim Guggenheim busy. <br>
    </font></p>
    <p><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"><b>J.C.S.:
    Lastly, any advice for TalkBass people on how to "make it" as
    a professional player? </b><br>
    </font></p>
    <p><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"><b>R.R.:
    </b>Yeah..... <br>
    ~First you live... <br>
    ~And then you die... <br>
    ~And in-between... <br>
    ~KICK MAXIMUM ASS...!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! </font></p>
    <p align="center"><i><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">For
    further details and information on Rana, visit her site at <a href="http://www.bassgirl.com">http://www.bassgirl.com</a>
    </font></i></p>
    <p align="center"><i><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">There's
    also some killer links to MP3s and the site for Sinboy. And, as she says,
    it's all good.</font></i></p>
    <p align="center"><i><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"><br>
    John C. Smith<br>
    smithrey@senet.com.au</font></i></p>