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The History of Steve Lawson?

Discussion in 'Ask Steve Lawson & Michael Manring' started by TaySte_2000, Mar 4, 2004.


  1. TaySte_2000

    TaySte_2000

    Jun 23, 2001
    Manchester, UK
    Endorsing Artist: Mojohand, Subdecay, Overwater, Matamp
    So Steve I'm pretty sure no one has asked about what first started you on the road to Bass.

    So here are my questions:

    What was your first bass?
    What was you first fretless?
    What drew you to a fretless in the first place?
    Who was your first Bas hero?
    and anything else that is appropriate

    If any one else wants to add their answers as well alway intrested in fellow solo bassers starting off points.

    Cheers
     
  2. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    first bass - a £25 SG copy, that I stuck the note names along the top of. It didn't help at all, but did mean that I removed all the laquer when I took the tape off. I then broke the G string and didn't know you could get new strings, so had it tied round the bridge for months!

    first fretless - Modulus VJazz - was sent it to review for Bassist mag in about 1997, has it shipped straight to the studio where I was recording at the time with a gospel artist called Chris Bowater, pulled it out of the case, plugged it in, tuned it up and started recording! There are a couple of highly suspect intonation moments on that record... ;)

    What drew me to fretless? Getting one - before that I was so in love with Pino's playing that I thought all I'd be able to do with a fretless was try and sound like him, so I didn't bother getting one. Then I got one, and it all changed. I fell in love.

    First bass hero - well, back in the early 80s I wanted to be John Taylor, but that was more because of his mullet than his bass playing. After I got a bass, the first guy I was obsessed with was Chris Squire from Yes. So I guess that layered bass solo of his on 'Fragile' has a lot to answer for... ;)


    any other questions are most welcome.

    Steve
    www.stevelawson.net
     
  3. TaySte_2000

    TaySte_2000

    Jun 23, 2001
    Manchester, UK
    Endorsing Artist: Mojohand, Subdecay, Overwater, Matamp
    Have you ever thought of doing internet lessons via a web cam like Gary Willis is now doing.

    I'd be interested in a lesson or two million. Lord knows I need 'em.

    Extra questions.

    When did you buy your first pot of nail polish & why?
    Do you ever feel inadequate in your playing if so what do you do to over come it?
    Why would you ever ever ever want a mullet?

    Thats all for now.

    BTW saw the thing you wrote in Bass player about Namm and I thought it was very well done. I tend to find lots of little mistakes and things in that mag you know spelling and such. They should hire you to do interesting reports and artist interviews.

    Hands up who agrees with me.

    (Give me an email address and i'll let them know myself :D )
     
  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Funnily enough the thing that got me wanting to play bass was seeing Chris Squire live in 73/74 about the time of the release of their YesSongs album - which I still listen to now for nostalgia!! ;)

    So - the bass solo was fantastic live - but wasn't layered at all - he was playing it all on one bass and live looping hadn't been invented really.

    I only heard Fragile in the last few years and I was really disappointed in The Fish - nothing like as exciting as the live version I experienced as a callow youth!! ;)
     
  5. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    er, it's a thought - it's not something I've considered really - I really enjoy the interaction with a student via proper face to face tuition, and I'm not sure that would still be there if it were via webcam. I guess I ought to get a webcam and see how it feels...

    nails - when I was about 14. Probably cos I was a fledgling Goth... :)
    inadequate? only when I messed up a session, or blew an audition, which has happened a couple of times. To overcome it, I started playing solo - no more auditions! :D

    Glad you liked it - writing is a weird thing. You tend to get people who are great writers but without the insider knowledge needed for a geeky bass mag, or enthusiasts with great knowledge by not much in the way of journalistic training. I think BGM is getting better - there are still journalistic faux pas, but there are in most specialist mags. I'm just very lucky that my girlfriend is a fantastic sub-editor and writer for national magazines so taught me about what not to do - my early articles before she edited them were terrible. After she edited them, I sent them off to Bassist, and most of what I wrote ended up on the page exactly as I submitted it... :) made me look like a genius, but it was mostly down to her. I did get better though... ;)

    Steve
    www.stevelawson.net
     
  6. TaySte_2000

    TaySte_2000

    Jun 23, 2001
    Manchester, UK
    Endorsing Artist: Mojohand, Subdecay, Overwater, Matamp
    Just a few more I promise.

    Would those elite flats you use give me that piano like tone i'm after on both my ric and my jazz?

    Whats that pre amp your using now adays? and special features it has over others and what sort of price do they go for new?

    If i was gonna drop £1500 on a fretless 6er what would you recomend? I was thinking a 'Status' but I think that may cost more than I'm willing to spend.

    How much do you think your accugroove sig will be going for when they are released?

    There we go thats me done till I can pester you some more.

    :spit:

    Thanks for being informative :bassist:
     
  7. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    To be honest, I've never quite understood what people mean by 'piano-like tone' - given that no bass I've heard sounds like a piano... but assuming it's something to do with sustain and clarity, I dunno... there, that was helpful! Piano strings are roundwound, so I think flats are probably going to get you further from your quest rather than closer... Maybe getting a 60" scale bass and hitting the strings with felt mallets will help... ;)


    >>>Whats that pre amp your using now adays? and special features it has over others and what sort of price do they go for new?<<<

    Which one? the one in the bass or the rack mount?

    The one in the bass(es) is a U-Retro - made by E-Pro/East Electronics - the controls are vol, blend (wired to work in passive mode as well), mid freq/mid cut/boost on a stack and bass and treble stacked, with a active on/off switch and an 8K boost push/pull on the treble pot. It's a great sounding pre, very versatile, adds loads to my sound when I need it, and gets out of the way when I don't. I've got one in each of my 6s, and will eventually get one in the 4 string as well... :)

    The rack mount pre is a Mindprint EnVoice - german made voice channel - three band parametric EQ, and a tube compressor. Similar ballpark to a TL Audio 5051, but in a 1U rack. It's currently with Chris in Bass Centre being repaired, as some capacitor or something blew before I went to the states. It's a great sounding pre, and the compressor gives an amazing slap tone... New they are about £450-500 I think - mine's the older version, the new one is tweaked, and looks great.

    >>>>If i was gonna drop £1500 on a fretless 6er what would you recomend? I was thinking a 'Status' but I think that may cost more than I'm willing to spend.<<<

    Status basses are lovely, that's for sure. If I was spending that kind of dough though, I'd probably see if I could find a second hand Sei bass. check the inventory at www.thebassgallery.com - failing that, with the dollar being worth more as recycled paper than it is as money at the moment, it's probably worth looking online in the US as well and seeing what's out there...

    >>>How much do you think your accugroove sig will be going for when they are released?<<<

    No idea - though knowing AccuGroove, it won't be 'that' much more than the passive version. It's still as the development stage - we're making sure we get it right - so a lot depends on the unit cost of the power stage and how much extra work is involved in building it. But just as an insight into the AccuGroove mindset, when they switched to Neodymium speakers, instead of bringing out a more expensive range, or upping their prices, they soaked it up themselves, left the prices where they were and see it as part of the ongoing process of providing the best bass cabs they can build. We like that.

    I had my first gig with my Passive 110s on Saturday - unbe-frikkin'-lievable! truly remarkable sound.

    Steve
    www.stevelawson.net
     
  8. TaySte_2000

    TaySte_2000

    Jun 23, 2001
    Manchester, UK
    Endorsing Artist: Mojohand, Subdecay, Overwater, Matamp
    so what sort of felt mallets would you recomend.

    I had read you were using that U retro what do you think to the foot pedal version instead of the in bass version. You know with having 4 basses it's much cheaper to get one pedal than 4 pre's and fitting.

    Thanks
     
  9. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    I think the Retro footpedal would be a great solution if you want to have it available with four basses! very smart idea...

    Steve
    www.stevelawson.net
     
  10. TaySte_2000

    TaySte_2000

    Jun 23, 2001
    Manchester, UK
    Endorsing Artist: Mojohand, Subdecay, Overwater, Matamp
    Checked on that whole buying things in american lark because my Dad is over there so might be able to smuggle me back some gear ;)

    That pre amp you have the Mindprint Envoice MkII is only 329 quid or so.
    Echoplex if around 5-600 quid but not sure if this is a good price.
    lots of gear which is quite tempting.

    So a couple of gear related questions have you tried an aphex bass exciter pedal or the 204 rack thingy.

    Is there a J-retro web site with english prices the dudepit only has US prices.

    should i get a DL4 or double me money and get a echoplex smuggled back? Which is gonna be the most musical inspiring and make me wanna continue playing with it.

    Cheers

    P.S. I expected more people to be asking you questions about your history.
     
  11. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    Hi Steve

    Echoplex - £5-600 is a pretty fine price for the black-faced EDPs if it includes the footcontroller. If it's a white-faced one, you'd have to then upgrade to Loop IV if you want the extra functions (double speed/half speed and some new insert thingies).

    J-Retro pricing - www.j-retro.co.uk - there are contact details on there, talk to John East. He's a top bloke.

    Haven't tried the Aphex stuff, cos I've never liked exciter circuits on anything. It doesn't seem to be a musical addition to the kind of sound I'm looking for. I know there are other guys who swear by them, so obviously worth trying out if you get a chance.

    The Envoice for 329 is a good price, if it's the new one, though I'm not sure how neccesary it would be in your set up... You'd be better off putting that dough towards the EDP.

    Cheers!

    steve
    www.stevelawson.net
     
  12. TaySte_2000

    TaySte_2000

    Jun 23, 2001
    Manchester, UK
    Endorsing Artist: Mojohand, Subdecay, Overwater, Matamp
    yer new black faced edp from musiciansfriend actually works out about 450ish w/o pedal. very very tempting.

    The envoice is the new one, brand new from MF again with usb port and everything. I was only leaning toward it because it's quite cheap for a high end pre and it would work as a audio interface for my computer.

    BTW rejoining my music school so I can play with more musicians other than guitarists and a drummer.
     
  13. Justyn

    Justyn Supporting Member

    Jun 24, 2002
    Richmond, VA
    Notice how the talk immediately shifts to the Echoplex?

    Ever wonder why that is, why Steve's past remains so shrouded in mystery despite the repeated probings of his fans and students?

    For over a year now I've been camped in Stately Steve Manor disguised as an unassuming table lamp and my staunch commitment to journalistic integrity has resulted in the following report.

    And, it must be said, some wicked leg cramps.

    Stay tuned for Steve Lawson: Exposed-Pt.. 1