Chuck Wright - Ace Of Bass
RockUnited's Vesa covers all the basses...
When did you start playing bass and what where the reasons you chose this instrument?
My first instrument was a toy organ that my mother bought for me when I was 7. You played chords with your left hand by pushing buttons and you played a single note melody with your right hand. When I was a teenager I was asked by some friends in the neighborhood if I could play bass. I played a little bit of guitar and I wanted so much to be in rock band having just seen Woodstock so, I said "yea, sure, that only has four strings right?" I begged my mom and she bought me a Fender P-Bass. My hands were too small for that beautiful instrument and I was really into Jack Bruce of Creem at the time so I traded it for a Gibson EBO. My first band was called "Black Snake". The important thing to remember here is that this changed my path in life. At the time I had been in a military academy for 9 years and was being groomed to go to the Air Force Academy. I was a Captain at my school and I was second in command of the battalion but....my blood just boiled when I had my bass on and was rocking out. I asked my mom to let me become a musician and leave the military behind, well, with the Vietnam War going on, she was very enthusiastic about this change. The guys I played with were much older than me - I was 14, they were 17 to 19. This was ok because I was and am a pretty big guy plus I had a place to rehearse. We'd play the Friday night high school dance after the big game then Saturday we'd play a college fraternity party. Usually at U.C.L.A. or U.S.C.
Do you play other instruments?
Yes, I love playing drums a lot (see photo below with Slash on guitar and Matt Sorum singing) but I also play guitar which is the instrument I do most of my song writing on. I dabble a little on keyboards. I love the grand piano.
What kind of gear do you use in the studio and does it differ from your road gear much?
Yes, it does differ. Live I go for a big rock stage sound with Ampeg 8x10 cabinets and Ampeg or Gallien Krueger heads. Mainly for me of course and the guys in the band. The house sound usually takes care of the audience. In the studio it's very different and depends on the style of music I'm recording. I've used my Specter bass the most and I run that through a Sans amp or the new Bass Pod by Line 6. It really does sound like your pushing an SVT to the limit if you want that sound.
How many basses do you own?
I haven't played anything that beats my black Specter (serial # 1001) I got it in 1987...so I really never got into having an arsenal of basses. I have 5 different ones now. I do play fretless as well.
On what album did you do your best bass playing in your own opinion?
That's so hard to pinpoint. I think the short bass solo called "Bass
Case' I did on Quiet Riot QR3 was pretty interesting. I had 12 bass tracks going on
that piece all doing different textures and parts. I.E. Chords, tapping, harmonics,
fretless, octiver etc.
6. Who are your favorite bass players?
Jack Bruce, John Paul Jones, Stanley Clarke, Jeff Berlin, John Entwhistle and of course Jaco Patorious!!
What would be your advicefor someone interested in starting to play bass? For instance, how much money should one spent on the first bass?.
It seems good bass players are hard to come by so go for it!! You can pick up a good Fender P-Bass for $250 around here and a small practice amp for $100 or so. So it's not that expensive to get started. Well, not like being a keyboard player anyway.
There are a lot of jokes concerning bass players. What is your favorite one?
I don't really know any jokes but I have heard an insult before. "What do you know...you only play 4 strings!!" [Ed: I guess we oughta send some to Chuck...he'd never talk to us again though!]
If you could put together "The Ultimate Band", who would invite to play with you.
Ok, how can I answer this without leaving out any of my good friends that are all killer players...hmmm...so with his in mind I'll pick non-living players.
Jimi Hendrix on guitar
The obligatory question about Finland: What do you know about our country? Have you ever visited, and if so, how was it?
I have never been lucky enough in all my world travels to go to Scandinavia. I would love to visit but not in the winter. I'm sure you'd understand this. [The Viking Dept. of RockUnited: No! You wimpy beach bums of California! A nice couple of days in the deep winter would be an experience you'd never forget. It would make men out of you! :)]