Echoreyn-of-Athens-button-rounded-homepage Echoreyn-of-Athens-button-rounded-about Echoreyn-of-Athens-button-rounded-Concert-Picks Echoreyn-of-Athens-button-rounded-venues youtube Facebook-icon twitter

Friday, May 20, 2011

Interview with bassist Phil Scheidt

Here at Echoreyn of Athens, we've been big fans of local band Tealvox for quite some time. Naturally, then, when their rockin' former bassist Phil Scheidt made the permanent move to Atlanta, we just had to find out what he was up to. Here's what he had to say.

Echoreyn: So you recently moved to Atlanta. What are you doing with your music there?

Phil: I drive all around the greater Atlanta area to rehearsals, auditions, recording sessions, and shows. I drive back to Athens at least once a week to teach or to perform back in the Classic City. When I am not driving or working, I am practicing or networking. All in all, I’m just trying to further establish myself into the music scene and make a living as a self-employed musician.

E: Are you involved with any bands in the city?

P: I sit in with five or six different groups, but currently there are two artists I am working with the most. One is Bill Hart, who is an Atlanta-based Canadian-born jazz fusion guitarist. I play in his trio pretty regularly. We are currently recording his next album. We are headed down to Jacksonville next week for the Jacksonville Jazz Festival, and in June, we are headed to Venezuela to play at some of the bigger South American jazz festivals.

The other is Athens-based songwriter Connor Pledger. Connor hires me to play in his trio. I really love his music. It’s been described as acoustic-funk and folk fronted by dynamic vocals. Definitely worth checking out. We travel all over Georgia, and are currently planning some tours for the summer. Dates will soon be announced.

E: What type of music background do you have?

P: I have been playing music for about seven years. I grew up right outside of Athens in Oconee County. I had my first bass lessons at the Athens School of Music when I was 15, and I played at local churches and in garage bands several years until I started school at UGA. I wasn’t feeling fulfilled at UGA because I wasn’t doing what I love, so I transferred to the Atlanta Institute of Music. That was one of the best decisions of my life. I improved more in the year I spent there than the previous six years on my own. While I was in school, I played bass in local Athens band Tealvox, with whom I got acquainted with a lot of the Athens music scene. I graduated from AIM in September 2010, and since then have been a full-time, self-employed bassist. I perform, work in recording studios, teach, and travel locally and internationally as a hired bass player.

E: What bands, musicians, styles, etc. do you count among your influences?

P: Since I was a little kid my dad has played old big-band and traditional jazz on the record player. People like Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra, Duke Ellington, and Louis Prima. That has always stuck with me, I think, and helped me appreciate the jazz language at an early age. Since then, [I] have looked at the newer generations or jazz, such as Miles and Coltrane, then the fusion music of the 70s toward today.

In addition to jazz, I am probably most influenced by funk, Motown, and rock. The time in have spent in Athens has definitely helped me to love and appreciate rock. I also enjoy folk music a lot to, and some of the folk fusion players like Bela Fleck, Edgar Meyer, and Chris Thile.
A few of my most influencial bass players: Marcus Miller, Victor Wooten, Jaco Pastorious, Pino Pallidino, and James Jamerson.

I also really enjoy the rhythms of Afro-Cuban and world music.

One of the things I love about music is it has so many different flavors. I love trying them all and enjoying their variety.

E: Where would you like to see yourself in the near future? What are your goals with regards to your music?

P: This next year, I would like to see my business grow and have the opportunity to be more selective with which gigs I decide to take, as well as improve my selection of bass equipment. I would love to tour to the West Coast and Europe in the next few years. Ultimately, my goal is to be the best bass player I can possibly be, so I hope to see myself grow musically and continue to be thrown into new musical situations.

E: Well, thank you very much, Phil, and good luck on your journey! Readers, if you would like to check out more from Phil Scheidt, you can visit his website right here.

No comments:

Post a Comment