Tim Commerford's comments in this month's BP mag

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by DaveDeMarco, Aug 4, 2003.

  1. DaveDeMarco


    Apr 25, 2003
    Baltimore, MD
    I'd like to get some feedback on the following Timmy C comment from his interview this month. He was talking about all the great players no one's ever heard of:

    "But if you get too networky and start becoming like a session cat, you might prevent yourself from getting into a great rock band."

    I'm interpreting this as him saying that if bands see you as a guy who sluts around with numerous bands, they may be wary of hiring you.

    First, I'd like to know everyone's interpretation of his comment. Second, do you agree or disagree?


  2. Atshen


    Mar 13, 2003
    Grim Cold Québec
    To me, it's a studio/live thing. If you get into the session scene (that's doing studio work for various artists/projects/movies/etc.), that might take all of your time so you couldn't be able to be in a full time band. That's how I understand his comment.

    I guess it all depends on your preference: live or studio. I've had very limited studio experience, but I know I prefer playing live. I'm not saying you can choose, you'll always have to do both unless you are in a garage cover band (as I am right now).
  3. 20db pad

    20db pad

    Feb 11, 2003
    I been everywhere, man...
    None. At all.
    In terms of high profile bassists, the careers of Lee Sklar, Pino Palladino, Hugh McDonald, Doug Wimbish, Mike Porcaro, Tony Levin, and Daryl Jones prove this point dead wrong. It happens often in local scenes with unknowns as well.

    Of course, this depends on what you personally consider "great" and what you consider "rock". In my estimation, all of the above have had solid session careers as well as being in great rock bands at one point or another.

    Personally, I take everything I read in BP interviews with a grain of salt in most cases. Fame, notoriety, and success are not always indicators or guarantees of competence and musical ability.
  4. DaveDeMarco


    Apr 25, 2003
    Baltimore, MD
    That's my thinking as well. The mere fact that a guy like Chris Chaney got the gig w/ Jane's Addiction would prove Tim's comment to be a little too biased. I didn't agree with many of his opinions in the article, but the fact that he's higher on the food chain than I am, made me give his comment some thought.

    The juggling of session/freelance cat alongside being a band guy is something I've been working on for years now. From the "purist band cats" I occasionally encounter some flack, indirectly. It always perplexed why these guys are down on guys who make a good living playing music F/T with a diverse roster of acts. Maybe it stems from insecurity. Dunno........

    Thanks for the comments, guys.
  5. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    That whole interview made me think a whole lot less of him as a person, and a bassist.

    He doesn't use a pick because he plays "Bass, not guitar".

    It's these close minded inDUHviduals that make being progressive with the bass non-existant.
  6. 20db pad

    20db pad

    Feb 11, 2003
    I been everywhere, man...
    None. At all.
    Looking at BP lately, it seems there's some sort of rabble-rousing comment in every issue for the last couple of months. I guess stirring the pot sells more magazines.
  7. DaveDeMarco


    Apr 25, 2003
    Baltimore, MD
    Agreed. He seems to have some notoriety issues. And how about that Bret Micheals pouty lip thing on the table of contents photo?

    Now I see why he was so hesitant to give the interview. He shoulda kept his mouth shut.

    I do dig his playing though.
  8. waxlabltabler


    Aug 24, 2002
    Is there any more to this story?
  9. phxlbrmpf


    Dec 27, 2002
    What an idiot. This isn't the first time I've heard about him spouting bull in an interview.
  10. Fran Diaz

    Fran Diaz

    Mar 28, 2002
    Santander, Spain
    I can understand what he means: When you think about your band as an ongoing and lasting project in your musical life you usually don't want "pros" that can quit the band if they find a better gig. IMO that's what Tim C means.

    keep groooovin'
  11. maxvalentino

    maxvalentino Endorsing Artist Godin Guitars/ Thomastik-Infeld

    From my own experience, I can say that bands are hesitant, for the most part, to hire session players to join their band(s). There are a number factors involved in this. First, there is some intimidation in that someone who does sessions most likely has a firm grasp of theory and parctical harmony, reads, and is versed in a number of various musical styles. This alone can be quite intimidating to players who do not possess these skills.

    Most bands also want a member to be their's first and foremost...some even liken it to be "married" to the band.

    I do quite a bit of session work, and also am a "hired gun"; a bassist for hire. I do sometimes get asked to join bands which hire my services, to which I graciously decline.
    Many band members are intimidated by the varied styles I can play, my reading abilities and such, and are sometimes quite put off that I demand to be paid for my services (they do get a lot for this pay, though).

    At this stage in my career I really do not want to join a band...or at east be in a single band. I have played in as many as seven bands at a single time, and, yes, this does cause scheduling conflicts, but in the case of such they are most welcome to hire a replacement in my stead, or simply fire me.

    I don't see this, as you so colourfully put it, as "slutting around". I make my living playing music. I feed my family, pay my mortgage etc. from revenue I generate with my skills as a bassist. Relying upon a single band or project to fullfill my finacial needs and requirements is simply not practical.
    Artistically, I find it both more challenging, demanding and fullfilling to play in numerous projects and styles than to be locked into a single project/style.

    It is interesting that most rock bands strive to maintain a single, consistent line-up, with all of the commaradire that entails, while most jazz bands are comprised of a floating rotation of members; whoever is available for the project at a given time. While this may detract from the "us vs. them" team-mentality which is so endearing to rock bands, it does tend to create an extended family or community of musicians who continually support, recommend and help each other. I frequently get gigs (live and studio) from other "session cats" who need a last minute sub...and I frequently reciprocate. All in all, I much prefer this to being "locked" to a single band.

  12. jerry

    jerry Too old for a hiptrip Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    Your right Max! If you need the income from music to live, you have to be very flexable and gig with whoever you need to. But there are some bands that are so special because they did grow up drinking the same water and had a unified vision....U2, Live, E-Street band, Stones etc. But I also agree it usually just in the rock idiom.
  13. DanGouge


    May 25, 2000
    Hmmm, that could be an editorial decision. I mean, the way you paste together all the quotes you get from interviews can really alter how a player is perceived. In the Tim C. interview, the first thing that they mention is how he's criticizing Geddy Lee. Makes him come off as a bit cocky and egotistical I'd say. Later in the article he praises Geddy as a great influence, but you've already got that first impression of him.:meh:
  14. misterk73


    Apr 11, 2002
    Flagstaff, AZ
    I haven't read the Tim C interview, but didn't find his comment to be all that offensive. Personally, I don't see how a session musician with a busy schedule could do a band justice. (Then again, I've never played in anything but small-time garage/basement bands who have had to put in a lot of time and effort to get results, musical and otherwise.)

    On another note, Dave's comment quoted above caught my attention: Is Chaney "just" a hired-gun bassist brought in to fill an empty slot in Jane's Addiction-1, or did he actually collaborate with the band and co-write material for the new album?
  15. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    This is well stated.

    You've all heard that quote: "Don't quit your day job". Almost always said derisively. But, one has to take the paths that satisfy their curiousity, and/or goals. It's not "slutting around" it's "pursuing opportunities of one's own interest", IMO. And usually, with experience, you develope skills to deliver professional results in live or studio arenas. Most likely, the best experience (in one's particular field) is the "most" experience you can get.
    There seem to be fewer bands these days that can continually "dominate the charts", regardless of the musicianship. But that musicianship/professionalism can always come in handy elsewhere in the industry.
  16. bassmanjones


    Feb 23, 2002
    Boston, MA
    Yeah, I noticed that too. The only logical explanation is that he was just kidding in the beginning. Otherwise he's not intelligent enough to remember what he says 15 minutes prior.
  17. What exactly did he say, regarding Geddy? I oughta pick up this issue, I was always a fan of Timbob's music.
  18. Caeros


    Jul 24, 2002
    Branford, CT
    He's joking about how Geddy stole his idea for using distortion. It's a pretty obvious joke.

    I really liked the interview, IMO it's more interesting to hear an interview from a "character", someone with strong opinions, than someone with very bland, conventional ideas. I bet if they had ever interviewed Jaco we'd all probably be bitching about what he says.
  19. Prahainspring


    Oct 22, 2002
    New Jersey
    I had my friend read the interview after I was done to find out what he thought, and he said exactly what Caeros said.
  20. Corbis

    Corbis Guest

    Feb 19, 2003
    Wamego KS
    I read somewhere that he helped write the new stuff. He also said how the original Janes Addiction wanted to be a real band again.