Guy Day: Interview with Bassist, Dino Villanueva! (Giveaway too!)


Mermaid CarleneGrowing up on the Las Vegas strip, every weekend I watched my mom dance to her favorite local bands.  Wherever the bass player was stationed on stage was where the ladies crowded around.  Mom says that’s because the bass man is the beat for all the dancers. Dirty and low-down—complimentary words, I assure you, for the incredible sounds that flow from these instruments.

It’s an honor & treat to have a man who masters the art of funk and soul, bassist, Dino Villanueva, in the pond with us today!  He was a real sweetheart to answer my questions for our Guy Day segment.  After all, musicians are often the subjects of our stories.  How many bluesy, guitar-strapped-across-his-back heroes have strutted across the pages?  How many punk rock, attitude-served-up-on-a-prickly-stick heroines have been written to deconstruct the poor boy next door?   Dino Ham n Yam 2013 019

What can I tell you about Dino?

He hails from the great state of Texas, plays bass for Casey James, was flattered to be invited to the pond and is a Very Good Sport!

Please enjoy our interview~

Carlene: Hi Dino! Thank you so much for being our guest “Guy” today.  I’ve seen you perform several times and there’s a good reason your fans keep coming back for more.  As a musician, how do you decide how much to keep for yourself on stage and how much to share with the audience?  Or is that never a question?  (I kind of like being able to hide in my writing but you’re up there on stage, definitely more exposed.)

Dino: As a musician, it definitely helps to be connected to your audience. I personally like to give as much on stage to the audience while we play. After all, they are the reason why we are there. It’s a great feeling as a musician to share the same energy and emotion with the crowd. There’s no better feeling to see the crowd having a blast because you’re giving your all as a performer.

(Seriously friends, catch a show, find him on YouTube—Dino gives his all each and every time.)


Carlene: Do you as a musician have similar contrasting feelings about the evolution of music into the digital age as authors do with their books?  Comparing holding a physical record or CD in your hands—something you made—to knowing the benefits that digital media offer as far as ease and speed of sharing your work with listeners/readers?

Dino: I believe that the digital age has definitely changed the way people view/purchase music. Before the digital age, the focus was on an entire album, whether it be in the creation or the buying. While the focus on creating a great album will never change from an artist standpoint, the digital age has shifted the focus towards “singles.”


Carlene: I’ve never played a bass guitar but I imagine it feels something like when you hit a baseball with an aluminum bat and that vibrating feeling zings your flesh, even to the bones.  Am I close or entirely off?  Can you please describe that feeling?Dino Villanueva Belpre Ohio 023

Dino: Playing the bass is very similar to playing the guitar. The strings are thicker and requires a little more dexterity in both your hands.


Carlene: Is there anything special you do before or after shows to help take care of your hands/fingertips?  It seems like playing the guitar could be rough on that tender skin.

Dino: Not really. We do get callus fingertips from playing but that is actually a good thing!


Carlene: What are your favorite bass solos?  A couple of mine are Tony Kanal on “Hella Good”, everything by Aaron Mills (Cameo), and Kings of Leon’s “Charmer”.

Dino: Anything by Victor Wooten is on my favorites list. He’s an amazing bass player and one of the players I aspired to be as an up and coming bass player. Check out his version of “Amazing Grace.”

I also tend to listen and appreciate all bass lines played. It’s a way to “study” and become a better player. After all one can never stop growing as a player.

(I checked out a version on You Tube…Holy Cow!  How is that finger work even possible?  This commenter got it right—“Before Wooten played this, it was called Grace.”  Thanks for the great find, Dino!)

I hope these help!



Carlene: Dino, this was awesome!  Thank you so much for taking the time to have this conversation with us!

Friends, connect with Dino on Facebook / Twitter / His Website

And if you’re in these areas, go see him play live!

5/17  Graham Central Station, Oklahoma City, OK

5/18 Crawdad Days, Harrison, AR

5/23 Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar, Syracuse, NYDino Chesapeake Jubilee 052012

5/24 The Ice House, Lewiston, NY

5/25 The Pepsi Roadhouse, Burgettstown, PA

5/26 Fed Live, Harrisburg, PA

5/27 Bottle and Cork, Dewey Beach, DE

5/31 The Bluebird, Bloomington, IN

Click here for the full schedule of shows!


To celebrate books, music, and our special guest, check out today’s sweet giveaway:

-A copy of Victor Wooten’s book, The Music Lesson: A Spiritual Search for Growth Through Music (paperback or Kindle—winner’s choice)

-A copy of Casey James CD (cd or mp3—also winner’s choice)

So be sure and leave a comment!  I’ll  pick one random winner from the comments on Sunday, May19, at 10pm Eastern Time.  Good luck!


29 thoughts on “Guy Day: Interview with Bassist, Dino Villanueva! (Giveaway too!)

  1. Awesome interview, Carlene! Dino, thanks so much for coming by the pond! I love what you said about giving your all during a performance and sharing your emotion and energy with the audience. That’s what we writers aim to do, too — it’s just not usually up on stage! Best of luck, and I hope to catch a live performance sometime.

    1. Hi Pintip Mermaid! So happy you enjoyed our interview. I love what you just said about us writers aiming to give it our all as well! Great point 🙂

  2. This is your fault Mermaid Carlene. I just spent the past 15 minutes on YouTube, watching Casey James’ videos, looking for Dino (who is a hottie:), and OMG Victor Wooten?!!!!??? Have I told you the story about my misspent youth, working at a blues club in Chicago called the Wise Fools Pub, and my total, complete obsession with bass players? Seriously. So your GUY day, not only ROCKS, but memory lane, oh my, oh my….:)! Great post and it’s great meeting you Dino!

    1. You’re welcome Denny Mermaid 😉 And no, you never told me about Chicago…next mermaid get together I’m reminding you though! It’s official Dino, you’ve been deemed a hottie by the one and only Denny Mermaid 🙂 xoxo

  3. I’m from Chicago and on our corner was a nightclub. In the summer, with the windows open, I would hear the blues men playing well into the wee hours of the morning. Hooked me for life. Great interview and videos!

    1. Oh Mary Jo, I love the sound of that. I can only imagine what a sweet serenade those summer nights must have been. Glad you liked our interview!

  4. Thank you for the great interview with Dino! I loved all the questions and hearing about his music inspirations he is truly a great player and always has so much fun on stage! My fav bass player!

    1. Hi Suzette! Welcome to the pond and I’m so glad you enjoyed your fav bass player’s interview! It was cool learning about Victor Wooten. Love making new discoveries on great tips 🙂

  5. Hope this makes Dino an honorary merman! The ripples in your pond will be dancing to the beat from now on with this memorable short interview! More please! 😉

    1. Hi Mom! I think this does officially make him an honorary merman! Love that. Haha, hope he’s okay with it 🙂 Thank you so much for stopping in and thank you also for taking me to see all those bands when I was a kid. I love you 😉

  6. Absolutely fun! Thank you to Carlene and Dino for introducing me to a new bassist. I’ve never done a music hero, tho. Or heroine. Is it time to channel this idea into my writing???

    1. Yes Susan Mermaid! I would love to see what you come up with Madame Storyteller 🙂 Glad to introduce you to Dino! He’s great 🙂

    1. Hi Kathleen! You crack me up. I’m so glad you swam by to catch Dino’s interview. Even though I know you were being funny, I am glad you asked that. I encourage people to support their favorite artists but to do it in a kind and respectful way. And it never hurts to just ask. You never know…I’m sure there’s a lot more sweeties like Dino out there willing to say yes 🙂 Hey–I CANNOT wait to see you this fall!!!! xoxoxo

  7. Hey all my fishy friends, I just wanted to share with you that Dino sent out a few really nice tweets yesterday thanking us for inviting him to the pond and hoping we all enjoyed his interview. I think I can safely say We Did! I believe he’s on the road right now so let’s all wish him safe travels and rockin’ shows!

  8. We have a winner! Announcement coming soon once she is notified 🙂 Thank you so much to everyone who swam by and hung out with us this weekend. Hope to see you back in our waters real soon 🙂

    1. I got the book and CD today!! Thank you so much!!! I can’t wait to read it!! And guess what I just saw Dino Thursday on the 16th! He was great as usual he always has a smile when he plays and is so interactive with the crowed!! I was front row and Dino even gave me one of Casey’s guitar pics!! He’s such a true talent and so humble if u haven’t already u guys must catch a Casey James show! ! 😀

  9. Dino is such a nice guy and amazing bassist! Love seeing perform and getting his groove on! Thanks for the interview!!!! Love seeing him out on the road with Casey James!

  10. Dino is AWESOME! One of the best bassist I’ve ever heard! He’s so kind and interacts with his fans before, during, and after each show! Always SMILING and giving the crowd his All! Casey James is very lucky to have him. That’s FO SHO! Can’t wait to see them all rock the stage May 31st in Indiana at The Blue Bird! I Loved the interview! Just thought I’d swim by, and give you a reply!

    1. Well we Mermaids LOVE that you swam by Lisa A, and enjoyed the interview and showed some LOVE for one of your favorites! Have a fantastic time at The Blue Bird and again, thank you for swimming in the waters with us 🙂

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