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TalkBass Welcomes Mike Flynn / Victor Wooten Audio Interview

Discussion in 'Features' started by paul, May 6, 2004.


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  1. paul

    paul Staff Member Founder Administrator

    Jul 20, 2000
    Texas
    It is my pleasure to introduce London-based bassist/journalist Mike Flynn (www.munkio.com) to TalkBass.com! Mike has an impressive resume as a music journalist and as a bassist - and I'm very pleased that he has volunteered some of his time to write future front-page content and feature interviews for TalkBass :) I'd like to thank Mike for allowing TalkBass to link to the following interview he conducted with none other than Victor Wooten:

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    <img src="http://www.talkbass.com/images/wooten.jpg" align="left">
    Victor Wooten: Audio [.mp3] Interview
    By Mike Flynn​
    Excerpt: I couldn't miss the chance to interview Vic and ask him about his playing with the Flecktones and his solo recordings that had just seen him release 'Yin Yang'. We had a great chat and then did a spot of shopping around Camden which I think was a bit of an eye opener for him! I had no idea where or when I would get to run the interview as it didn't really fall into a saleable category for the e-commerce website I worked for. So as soon as I had my own site up and running I edited some of Vic's music in behind our conversation (recorded with a digital mic onto Mini Disc) and this is what I got.
     
  2. TalkBass

    TalkBass News Poster

    Mar 12, 2004
    Victor Wooten: Audio [.mp3] Interview
    By Mike Flynn​

    It was after a Doug Wimbish clinic at the old Bass Centre in Wapping in 1991 when I first heard Victor Wooten. I had missed my train home and having befriended a fellow bassist and his girlfriend they kindly offered me the sofa to crash on afterwards so I could enjoy the rest of a fantastic demo by Doug. Back at their flat in Hackney my new pal sticks a cassette in the deck (yes this was when we all preferred tapes to Mini Discs, and no one had even heard of MP3s) of the first Béla Fleck and the Flecktones album. Well you can guess the rest, but suffice to say when 'The Sinister Minster' solo hit me I was dumbstruck with this totally new approach to plucking the bass that was so effortlessly demonstrated on this track. So began my interest in Vic's playing, which kind of coincided with some of the 'flamenco slap' stuff Doug had been wowing us with that night, but it was Wooten who took this to an amazing new level.

    So now, unbelievably, thirteen years later, Vic's a world renowned superstar, who's style has become common currency among a host of other plucking innovations that have sent the sonic possibilities of the bass in all directions. And yet there is something that distinguishes Wooten as not just a technical miracle-worker; the bass has been in his blood since day one, music literally flows through his every pore, the man can make you laugh, cry or jump out of your seat with a single note and you can guarantee that it'll be so deep in the pocket you sometimes need a torch and a magnifying glass to find it. To say that the man is just a technically gifted bassist is to miss the point of his holistic musicianship. To simply learn his chops is to negate the immersive learning and life experience Wooten has attained through literally decades on the road and thousands of hours of playing in a band, and most importantly, in front of an countless thousands of people. In short he connects directly with his audience and then takes them on a journey.

    So with all this in mind I couldn't believe my luck when the Flecktones signed to Sony and with some serious money behind them finally ventured to the UK for a string of four gigs in a week during May 2001. The Sony connection was fortuitous because I had begun to carve myself a small niche as a music journalist for a music dotcom in London and I had become good friend with Adam Seiff, the still head of jazz Europe and the UK. I couldn't miss the chance to interview Vic and ask him about his playing with the Flecktones and his solo recordings that had just seen him release 'Yin Yang'. We had a great chat and then did a spot of shopping around Camden which I think was a bit of an eye opener for him! I had no idea where or when I would get to run the interview as it didn't really fall into a saleable category for the e-commerce website I worked for. So as soon as I had my own site up and running I edited some of Vic's music in behind our conversation (recorded with a digital mic onto Mini Disc) and this is what I got.

    Victor in person (as some of you know) is an extremely down to earth guy. I was very impressed with his laid back, relaxed attitude to life, (very similar to my own) and how he channels this is into the economy of motion that underpins his playing, in other words not saying more than you have to while using the optimum amount of effort. However after an incredible gig, where the band really did their utmost to impress and that actually finished with 'The Sinister Minister', (Vic going stratospheric with his solo spot), I met him backstage and felt almost speechless at what I had just witnessed.

    Vic sat panting on a battered couch completely exhausted at the effort he'd put into the show. I think that says it all really and every time I have heard or seen him since, he's improved. This interview just caught him at a certain time and place, I hope you enjoy it.
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    MP3 Link: Download
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    Visit Mike Flynn's webpage at: http://www.munkio.com/
     



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