Growing 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?
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: 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!
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
5/24 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!