If funky bass is your thing, you’re not going to want to miss the Freekbass CD release party this Saturday at the Mousetrap. Hot off of the release of ‘Everybody’s Feelin’ Real,’ and a tour with Particle, the band is primed to put on an evening worth remembering. As a bonus, the first fifty people to buy tickets to the show will be given a code for a free digital download of the new album. I had a chance to sit down with The Freek to ask about his recent Kickstarter campaign to fund the album and what to expect from the live show.
Mojo: How did you get started playing bass?
Freek: I actually started off as a drummer. I started messing around with the guitar a little bit. Long story short, in fifth or sixth grade there was a jazz band from a college that came down. We had an assembly at our school and there was an electric bass player. I happened to be sitting right in front of him and the image is burned into my brain. He had a red SG bass, I remember that really well. The thing I remember about that is that the tones that were coming out of the bass at the low end. It was a combination of the rhythm and the sonics that were coming out of the bass and it was like a spell put on you or something and I got sucked in from that point on. That was the instrument that I knew I wanted to and had to play.
Mojo: Can you talk a little bit about your recent Kickstarter campaign?
Freek: It was amazing. My management kind of talked me into it. It is always a little awkward when as an artist you are asking people to donate money to what you’re doing but it ended up being so above and beyond what I expected. It’s like everyone becomes part of the project. It is a really amazing feeling. It is like having two or three hundred executive producers on the album and everybody gets emotionally invested.
The way Kickstarter works is that they create this mini personal social network for the album and the next thing you know you have this group project going on with really good vibes and karma. I didn’t know when we started this but once the campaign ends, you continue your relationship with those people. You have an army of intense people who support what you do. It is an amazing thing and I highly recommend it for musicians and any artist with any kind of vision who wants to get other people involved in their vision too.
M: How was the process of making the new album? How did you get so many people to collaborate?
F: There are two drummers on the album who play with me a lot. One of them is Chip Wilson and one is Big Bam, both have been performing with me live over the years. Razor Sharp, the keyboard player played with Parliament Funkadelic, him and I have been doing stuff. He lives in Cincinnati as well.
When we did this album, I talked to the producer of the album, a guy named Duane Lundy, a great great producer. We were talking about what we wanted the album to sound like and I said I would like it to sound like the feeling I got when I listened to old Sly and the Family Stone records or very old Funkadelic records and he said if you want to create that same feeling, then we have to record it the same way they did. What he meant was, the way to do everything these days is Pro Tools style with overdubs. We set up all live in the studio and started tracking all of the tracks; the bass, the drums, the keyboard all live. If one person messed up, we started at the beginning again. Some days we would be there for 8-10 hours a day and maybe get two or three songs down at the most because we wanted to make sure the sounds were grooving. With all of the albums that we’ve done in the past, I’ve had a hand in the engineering. With this album it was all Duane and I just got to play bass and write and be creative and think about the music and it was really nice.
F: Well, we have been rehearsing like crazy for this. Right when the digital copy came out, we went off on a tour with the band Particle around the northern Midwest to get geared up for these CD release shows that we are getting ready to do. I am really excited. I haven’t played out a whole lot this year. I’ve been doing festival dates here and there but not really club dates, so with the new album out, I’m getting ready. The Particle tour came at the perfect time because it got the whole band prepped for us to go out and do shows. This particular show (at the Mousetrap), we are doing something special where the first 50 people who buy tickets to the show are given a free digital download of the new album. We’ll have physical copies for sale at the show too.
M: Have you played the Mousetrap before? What do you think of the place?
F: Yes, many times. I love it. There is always a good buzz there and a crowd of regulars that always seem to come through. It is a really special place. The first time I played there, I don’t even know if they had a stage yet and every time I go there it keeps getting bigger and bigger and bigger and is more like a concert venue. It is exciting to see how that club has grown. With touring a lot, bands on the road always compare clubs. The more as you tour, you are hearing the word, “Mousetrap.” It doesn’t matter what part of the country you are in from Iowa to Florida to Montana, you’re hearing that word. It is getting national recognition now for touring bands.
The Freekbass CD release party is Saturday, May 31st at the Mousetrap. Tickets are available at the door. For a preview of what to expect, check out the video for, “Victoria Thunder,” below.