Wednesday, January 19, 2011


I asked my friend, Mark Anderson, bassist and singer of Psychodelix, a few music related questions

Here's a couple videos of him

Why did you pick up the bass?
I love music and wanted to create my own and bass was a rockin instrument and not too hard to start playing.

How did your bass style / skills develop?

PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE its really the only way. I took a couple lessons from Mr. Vork, I had a book I read through and learned stuff, a lil youtube, and a lot of expiramentation and listening to music. The most helpful thing I used to do was go into my room at night in the winter, turn the lights off and just play for long stetches.

Tips for other bassists:

Stick with it, no one starts out as a master, its sounds lame and cliche but practice a lot and work hard and it'll come together, dont be afraid to fail a bunch at first. Close your eyes and learn your notes too.

What bassist most influences / inspires you?

Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers is my fave, he's incredible, I dont play a lot of slap but I look way up to him. Same thing with Mark Lee. Influences I like Skillet's John Cooper, him being a frontman/bassist, his mannerisms and stage presence are awesome. Sting's gotta be mentioned, Duff MacKeagan, Tim Haines of Stryper, and Joel Bruyere, he plays for TFK, my favorite band and his style is similar to mine. I finger pick and pluck 90% of the time.

How would you describe your songwriting style?

Honest and emotional. I write about stuff I've gone through and things that make good songs.

What advice would you give to songwriters?

Write about your experiences, dont try to be someone else. I find I usually write best when I'm really angry, sad, or happy, theres a connection there. Also write a ton, the first stuff usually wont be that good but it develops and improves over time.

he also added:

Rock on ya'll      

Donald: how would you answer those questions (as geetar/keys)?

So here it is...

Why do you play you're instrument?
why keys? it was kind of a fluke really. I got a toy keyboard from alco and that's what got me started.

why guitar? one of dad's past girl-friends gave me a blue guitar. I started playing it about half a year after getting it.  I would do a lot of hammering but I used a piece of glass to do it.  ( I don't recomend doing this.  It's just one of the things I did.  It left scratches.) Getting an electric guitar later inspired me a lot.

How did your style / skills develop?
PIANO:  piano lessons were influential. I started imitating classical music. I was jamming my own stuff since the beginning, and also practiced scales. Later on I tried to bring percussion / drumming influences into my playing. (example some of the more chaotic stuff and the dissorderly part of Second Spider, some Paynesville teens might be familiar)

GUITAR: Yngvue Malmsteen was semi-influential. I imitate him a little bit some times. I try to use drone tones with guitar a little bit (playing one string all zero's while the other one moves up in down) The effect is reminicent of the Zither, an old folk instrument. Convinient fingerings are always nice. I would jam a lot.
The guitarist of the B-52's ( played a guitar with the middle two strings removed and a bizzare tunning ) inspired me to play with weird tunnings and inspired the creation of the grunge guitar.  Sunny Landreth inspired me to play around with the guitar slide. (though I'm not super skilled with it as of yet.)

Tips for other piano players and guitarists:
PIANO: I used to have some hard candy when I practiced piano. I guess it was a little incentive to practice or somethin' like that.   It would probably be helpfull for parents trying to get your kid to practice.
GUITAR:  Having a good guitar teacher helps.

BOTH: learning what notes are where is beneficial. 

4. Guitar: Adrien Belew is my favorite guitarist.

Composer: Mike Oldfield is my favorite composer (he play's bass, guitar, piano and more)

Keyboards: Steve Bays of HHH (but his keyboarding style was more flashy in the old days. now he's more of a vocalist / songwriter)  The keyboarder of Wolf Parade. 

songwriting (lyrics) style:
 punk-ish grung-ish alternative. 

Advice for lyric writing:
Think about how another band would write it (I overheard that one from Dan, my guitar teacher)
Read other band's lyrics to see how they do it.  And of course listen to the music. 
I like to make lyrics rhythmic and catchy.  The Kills are very good at this lyrical style.

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