HIT CHANNEL INTERVIEW: June 2011. Hit Channel had the luck to contact with one of best bassists of our time, Nick Fyffe. Nick replaced Roger Glover in Deep Purple’s recent Europe tour. He ‘s also playing with TheNewNo2 among others. Nick is always busy. Read below the interesting things he told us:
How did the tour go? How surreal was touring with such a legendary band as Deep Purple?
The tour was fantastic. Yes, it was pretty surreal being onstage with Deep Purple. At first it was thought that I’d do just two shows, maybe four,I wasn’t expecting to do the full three weeks. It became a little more normal to be doing it as the tour progressed but now that I’m back at home and doing other gigs, it seems crazy that it ever happened at all. I’ll certainly miss it!
I know you didn’t do any rehearsals for this tour.Did you feel terrified when you played your first show with Purple in Heraklion,Greece?
I had a couple of weeks to prepare. I was very aware of having no rehearsal so I had to make sure i knew the tunes and arrangements inside out. Playing the set at home is one thing but then walking onstage to a large crowd with the band is another. I wanted to be familiar enough with the tunes that they became subconscious so i could deal with the nerves a little better. I was incredibly anxious before the show but once we got started i had a ball.
Who are your influences as bassist?
I’m influenced by everything I hear. My big thing when i started learning the bass was funk music so i loved Bootsy Collins and George Porter Jnr of the meters. Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers) was a big influence on me too. Aston ‘Family Man’ Barrett of the Wailers has an amazing sound and feel but the guy who blows me away the most is James Jamerson (Motown Records). He’s a genius. It’s not always technical ability or musical knowledge that I find inspiring though. Often it’s just a players feel, sound or attitude.
I’ve been involved in a charity event for the past five years. It’s called The Sunflower Jam. Each year we’ve had an amazing collection of artists come and perform. Robert Plant came and sang the first year. Playing ‘Good Times, Bad Times’ and ‘What Is And What Should Never Be’ with Robert Plant, Ian Paice, Jon Lord and Bernie Marsden (ed:ex-Whitesnake) was pretty incredible!
You recently recorded again with thenewno2.Do you enjoy playing with them?Are you happy by the recognition thenewno2 have received from fans and press?
I went out to LA to record with TheNewNo2 just before I did the Deep Purple tour and Dhani (ed:Harrison,The Beatles’ George Harrison’s son) will be over here next week to finish off the album so I’ll be recording some more. I haven’t really been aware of reaction from the press. I just haven’t given it much attention but the feedback from fans has been fantastic. I’m so pleased that Dhani has received recognition for doing his own thing. I can’t wait for the next tour. The last one was a lot of fun. It’s nice to be involved in a project that’s autonomous. There are no A&R guys turning up and trying to steer it into whatever direction they think is right.
You have played with many great musicians. Is there anyone you’d like to play with, and hasn’t happened yet? Maybe with Thom Yorke (ed:Radiohead singer)?
I’d be happy to stand in for Colin Greenwood if the chance arose. There are so many people I’d love to play with. The list is endless…
I’m always looking for new music to inspire me. A lot of the time though i’m listening to music i have to learn for gigs. I have a show with Pixie Lott this weekend, an album to record for Nikki Murray, then TheNewNo2 and then I have a gig with Don Airey’s (Deep Purple keyboardist) band and then The Sunflower Jam. I haven’t been listening to enough new music recently as I haven’t had time. Quite often I’ll just find a song that grabs me and I keep listening to it over and over almost obsessively because it makes me feel a certain way. I’ve just been doing that with Imogen Heap’s ‘Hide and Seek’ and Gnarls Barkley’s ‘Who’s Gonna save my Soul’.
How much technology helps to your work (recordings,pedal effects,etc)?Do think the analog sound has more ‘soul’. ‘Full analog’ recordings are a trend now (The White Stripes,Electric Wizard). Mike Vennart from Oceansize told me the analog recordings are “too much time consuming and time spending»..
I’m definitely a fan of analog. I use Pro Tools and Logic in my studio at home but am getting a lot more into recording synth parts with hardware analog synths instead of using soft-synths and mic’ing up an amp instead of using software amp simulators. I prefer to fiddle with an analog synth than to stare at a computer screen, clicking with a mouse. I do enough of that already. Technology is amazing now and i use it but it’s easy to get lost in it all. The best records were made before digital recording came along.
You played five shows in Greece. What do you like the most here?
The sunshine…and the haloumi (ed: Greek-Cypriot traditional type of cheese).
A big “Thank you” to Nick Fyffe for his answers and to Kathie Rallis for her help!