As the great Meek Mills once said, “There’s levels to this shit.”
While this idea exists in all facets of nature, it’s immediately made apparent and clear when one goes from hearing (almost) any other bassist, to hearing David Pastorius. The nephew of legendary jazz/fusion bassist Jaco Pastorius, David has carried the torch in a way that even he probably could not have anticipated.
When we first heard David’s bass remix of Tech N9ne’s seminal track “Questions”, we knew something special had just landed in our laps. Fast forward nearly a year and the master of four strings is headed out on the road with Tech N9ne’s Band Of Psychos Tour.
Amid all the excitement and anticipation surrounding David’s arrival and subsequent rehearsals at Strangeland Studios, we were able to talk to him about what this upcoming tour means for him and for you, the fans.
From interviewing you before I know this is something that you and Tech have kind of talked about a little bit here and there before and it’s something that you’ve really wanted to do, that being perform with Tech on stage. Now that it’s a reality what’s going through your head?
I’m just grateful and happy man. I think it’s awesome. It’s kind of funny and kind of crazy because as long as I’ve been a fan and having that idea originally way back with the “Questions” song, it’s just kind of cool that it turned into all this. I’m just happy and grateful. That’s all I can say.
It’s crazy how an idea can turn into something.
Yeah I’m stoked for him to actually reach out to me to do that. It’s a big opportunity for me.
What was your immediate response once you got the call that said you were on the bill?
Oh God! Well I’m a paranoid kind of guy, a “I’ll believe it when it happens,” kind of thing. I mean I know that it’s legit, but in the music business so many things can happen at any moment. I was super excited but I make myself nervous sometimes. I was just like “I hope this happens. I hope something doesn’t fall through for some reason.” I’m just stoked it’s happening.
You’re going to be playing hip hop. How do you see yourself putting your own little flourish or musical touches on the material besides just playing the notes that are already in place?
First off I’ve played in hip hop bands before, actually two. There was one, this band called The Nature Kids out of Florida, we were opening for Cypress Hill like way back in the day and it was a bad ass band but nothing ever happened with it. There was another called Made In China which is too like kind of rap. So I’ve kind of have been playing that kind of music for awhile.
What you see in the “Questions” video is kind of like me soloing and stuff. That’s not the way I expect to play live unless there’s a spot for me. I joke around all the time and tell people when they’ve seen all the flashy stuff, I say “Yeah, I play bass too.” Two totally different things. I know where to lay back and if they want me to do my thing or give me a spot I’ll do that, but other than that I’ll just play the songs. I’ll add a little touch or flourish here and there. If they want me to be more busy I’ll do whatever you know? A lot of it with hip hop, with live bands it’s all about the breaks and catching breaks. To me that’s very important.
What do you mean when you say that?
There’s a lot of breaks, at least when I’ve done it before, there will be a verse, verse, verse and then there will be a bad ass stop where the whole band stops, or little breaks where they hit at the same time. Things like that. That’s what I’m interested in doing, but it’s whatever. I’m sure I’ll put my own little twist on things, you know what I mean? I know there’s a lot of laying back too though. It’s all about the overall sound of the band and just supporting the band.
Do you have any songs that you’re hoping you guys perform?
I think “Riot Maker” would be bad ass. “Little Pills” would be cool. Honestly it’d be cool to do some stuff that isn’t necessarily the rock side of it.
But to hear it with some new instrumentation?
What do you look forward to the most about being on this tour?
Just getting to play man. I’m working a day gig right now so it’ll be nice just to get out for a little while and just tour and play and do what I love to do. Play bad ass shows and hang out with the guys and get to know everybody a little better.
Knowing that this is the first time that he’s toured with a band how does it feel to be a part of that?
Kind of surreal but awesome. I’m honored that he would even think of me.
You’re sharing the stage with Tech and Krizz but also Alien Warr and Tyler Lyon. Have you looked into any of these guys?
Yeah I’ve looked into both of them. They’re both awesome. I think it’s going to be a killer band.
Alien said he might double-pedal it up for you but he also might not anticipate you holding it back like you just mentioned either.
Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, and I’m not going to be trying to step on anybody. If they look at me like “Hey, throw in some shit here.” I want to make the band sound good, you know what I mean? If they want that I’m all over it.
From talking to Alien Warr he seemed really psyched to play with you. It seems that there’s going to be some awesome chemistry there. Being that this is the Band of Psychos that you’re in, what do you think is the most psychotic thing about you?
(Laughs) That’s a hard one man. I’m not really psychotic. Maybe back in the day but I’ve been sober for about 13 years. I was pretty stupid when I drank but I don’t really do anything too psycho right now. Maybe the way I play? I don’t want to sound too cocky or anything like that.
I’d venture to say that what’s psychotic to me is that you learned bass without an amp for your first couple of years.
Yeah, but that’s a good thing I did that actually.
What kind of relationship have you developed with Tech over time that’s led up to this?
I’ve met him a few times. We don’t really talk too much. A little bit on the phone we’ve talked and it was more from like a peer than a crazy fan that does Tech N9ne bass covers. That he would even consider me a musical peer, it’s awesome. Some of my buddies are Strange Music fans and they were like “You should wear a Strange Music chain in the video” and I was like “No way I’m doing that!” I want to play with him. I don’t want to put myself in fan mode. I’m just glad he digs what I do. I feel like, from what we’ve got, we haven’t talked too much but it’s nothing but mutual respect. I’ve been a fan for a long time so it’s pretty awesome that we get to hang out and jam together.
Anything you want to say before we close up shop?
I just can’t wait to get on the road. I’m stoked. Thank you Strange and everybody there for all the love you guys have shown. I plan on getting out there and killing it.
What do you think of David Pastorius’s bass playing?
Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.