Weathered live & studio session bass player, active and available to record and tour.
I have good gear, lots of experience and taste... but at the end what matters is that I play for the song, and I try to make it sound and feel great. I've worked in many different genres and styles of music from around the world, but I come from American and African based music.
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Interview with Joe Lewis, Bass
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I worked in a band where there was a good brotherhood for a while and the live and recorded work was fantastic, we did an album that still sounds great. I played bass, sang backing vocals and co-produced the album.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: A project demoing another colleague's jazz music, and I'm also working on my own tunes.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Not yet...
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: If there's a budget, then analog recording and digital editing and processing. If not, then digital makes sense but should not be abused.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I promise that... you will pay me! If I like it, then you will probably love it. :)
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: The variety.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: "Hi, how are you?" Great. :)
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: If there were one... I gues it would be that what I do "doesn't matter". Depending on the culture and place, bass is mixed and understood very differently.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What are they looking for? Do they have any preconceptions? Are they open? I also discuss my view of the song and the possible choices for gear and sound (basses, preamps, pickups, etc).
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: I've been privileged to play with great musicians in small formats where the bass can be heard in all of its texture. This brings depth and beauty to the sound and how the listener feels the music. My work colors the song not only with sound, but supports it with ryhthm, melody and harmony... in a less is more fashion. Last but not least, I'm flexible with prices and time, but not with quality.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Recording device, sure 57, acoustic bass, acoustic guitar and bongos.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: Been playing for 28 years, a pro player live since '92, a pro recordist since '97, been producing since, as well as recording jingles and composing for film. Mostly since '98 I've played roughly 2.500 shows with 40 different bands, recorded on 40 releases and still active.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Now,... why would I do such a thing? I really don't think I have a style, to be honest. It simply depends on what you're referring to... right?
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Anyone who wishes to work with me... and, why not? ...Oh, a "famous" artist you mean? ; )
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: If it's not in time or in tune, it makes the musical part arguable. Beyond this, only to desmistify: you can make great sounding music with really inexpensive gear, and also make really lousy sounding crap with abominably expensive gear.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: All genres and styles of (hopefully) good music.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: What I can hear and how I interpret it, as a function of my experience and taste. I'm a bass player, so I have a very strong musical director and producer vantage point already.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Hopefully taste and a sense of acomplishment.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Listen to the song repeatedly, analyze it and come back with conversation material and a plan to make a good sounding record. The rest is PR and work until it's done.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: Modest, with few but good pieces of gear. Computer, ProTools. NS10s.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Eric Serra, Vangelis, Hans Zimmer, Gustavo Santaolalla, Yann Tiersen, Peter Gabriel, David Byrne, Sting... George Martin, Joe Meek, Phil Spector, Tom Dowd, Mutt Lange, Daniel Lanois, Brian Eno...
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Live concerts, recording bass and vocals on albums and singles, producing songs, demoing artists, recording jingles, writing and producing music for film...