Interview with adventurous German bassist Thomonic
Thomonic releases new EP "Solo With Myself" that symbolizes his uncompromising vision for jazz
Q: When did you start playing the bass? Who taught you?
A: I bought my first bass guitar in 2003. Just for fun. I already played the clarinet, drums and piano at the time (sometimes I even sang), but I wasn't really satisfied. It became more and more apparent that I had not found the right instrument up to this point. When I started playing the bass autodidactically it felt very good. I quickly got the impression: That's it! I just practiced and played without any pressure. I never had a personal teacher but, of course, many inspiring role models. I was not only influenced by great bass guitar players like Jaco Pastorius, Marcus Miller, Michael Manring, etc., but also by other musicians, mainly jazz guitarists like Pat Metheny, Mike Stern, John Scofield, and so on. To be honest, I wanted to be both a bass player and a guitar player at the same time. That (stupid) wish shaped my style of playing.
Q: You also have a background in dance and hardcore music. What is it about jazz that appeals to you the most from a musician's perspective?
A: My musical background is even larger but as a teenager I realized that jazz (in the widest sense of the word) is like a home for me. I really feel that kind of music. To me it has less boundaries than any other style of music.
Q: Have you found much success in Germany?
A: I just went public with my debut EP and got some nice compliments. I think that's not bad for the beginning. You have to be modest as a newcomer. I'm not a professional musician making a living out of playing the bass. I'm lucky to work as a musicologist at a university of music. Playing the bass is more like a hobby that touches my profession.
Q: Do you work with other jazz artists, too?
A: Not yet, but I have plans to do it extensively!
Q: Are there any other styles of music do you wish to explore in the future?
A: Oh, definitely! I'm interested in so many styles of music! I hope I can play them all in the future, from hip-hop to baroque music, from progressive metal to world music.
Q: Do you perform live often? Which do you prefer - recording in the studio or performing before a live audience? Explain why.
A: Up to now my live performances are quite rare. I do enjoy recording in the studio but of course I have to play more and more live shows to develop my style and to get stage experience. Believe it or not, I'm a shy guy.
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