Hi everyone-Satchel here. As you can see, CAROLINE BLUE now has a new bassist-and guess what? We managed to get a short interview with him! Is that service or what boy howdy?! So ya wanna find out what the skinny is on the new CB bassist? Keep reading oh faithful one….
CB.NET– Tell us a little about yourself Azriel…we want to get to know ya better!
Azriel-I was born & raised in Upstate NY with a variety of musical tastes & influences, but the 1st time I saw Motley Crue, I knew I wanted to be a musician. First I wanted to be a drummer, for whatever reason, since Tommy had actually been the one who made it all look cool to me…maybe it was the rotating drum kit….So, I began taking informal lessons from drummers I came into contact with but less than a year later, I received my 1st bass, a four string, early 70s Kingston, as a gift. After that, I became a music fiend of sorts, and began playing keyboards & guitar in addition to bass. I formed & joined several punk bands influenced by Black Flag & The Misfits before forming The Venus Faith Asylum, which was my longest running single project. Frequent lineup conflicts caused the band to do little more than rehearse & record, playing only sporadic shows, and in the meantime, I began to do other things to stay in practice. I worked briefly with Krypt VI before co-forming The Prophecy, then continued in my nomadic fashion to cross genres, playing classic rock, experimental electronica, and punk rock (again) before joining Zadoc…and the Nightmare in mid-2003. It was while playing with Zadoc that I 1st met up with the CAROLINE BLUE camp & was contacted as a late fill-in for bassist Billy Pierce at the Utica Boilermaker in 2005. A few months later, the bass position opened up in the band & I was brought in to fill the void.
CB.NET-Hmmm, sounds kinda similar to your BIO….So, how do you approach your instrument from a stylistic standpoint?
Azriel– Style is not really something I think about too much, since it’s really something that develops as you play more & learn new things. I like to be a big, heavy thunder when I play, so I don’t opt for a lot of high end & slap-style notes unless it’s for accents. I guess I approach the stylistic end of things by focusing on making the songs the best they can be, whether than means I’m using blues scales or metal progressions, or whether I have to make sh*t up as I go along. I don’t think about what would make me look the best but on what does best for the song-either to get the point of the thing across or to push the general feeling. In my opinion, what does more for one’s skill level than anything is having the ability to bust out and do some completely insane riffing but instead holding back and playing the song the way it wants to be played.
CB.NET-Who influenced you the most in your choice of instruments?
Azriel-The biggest 3 influences were Cliff Burton (Metallica), Nikki Sixx (Motley Crue), and John “The Mountain Man” Walsh (200 Proof). It was a long while before I got into the work of guys like Dave Ellifson (Megadeth) or John Entwhistle (The Who), so these were my main influences in terms of style, performance, & technique. I’ve grown to appreciate very few “modern rock” bassist; Jeff Ament (Pearl Jam), in my opinion, is one of the best new bassists in the last decade, and is the last notable one in my book. But anyways, Cliff is the big one in my book, and because of him, I still harbor the fantasy of doing my own bass solo masterpiece someday. Nikki, however, was the guy who made me want to be a musician. I wanted to be having fun getting loaded and laid all day, everyday, then play a coliseum in the evening. John was one of my 1st direct influences & really taught me about consistency in sound. he was steady & had this pounding rock bass sound that blew my frigging mind. I wanted to play bass because it was consistent, because it literally drives the song. The drummer keeps the time, the guitar player takes the harmony, but the bass caries it all. That’s what appealed to me about it. That’s why I play it.
CB.NET-What’s your favorite part of playing music & being a musician?
Azriel-As much as I wish I could say the chicks, it’s actually being there onstage and blasting out songs and getting that reaction from the crowd that I like the most, not to mention my fondness for road trips short & long. I guess that makes me a natural of sorts, since I don’t get bored of the travel or too frustrated with all the little bullshit that one has to deal with when you’re a working band & you’re playing out…all the stuff no one really hears about, like promoters, managers, booking agents, and egos….
CB.NET-What do you hope to achieve with music?
Azriel-You know, I never gave that much of a shit for the whole “Oh I’m famous but I don’t want to be famous” viewpoint that arose in the 90s among the mainstream. Truth is, I want to be in a band that will make it to the top, that gets the album contract and deals and gets to play the stadium shows. Will it ever happen? Shit, who knows, but I won’t stop trying. I’ve been trying to get there since I was 14 . I’ve been dreaming about it since I was, like 6, and now I really know there is no better life for me than one that is out there playing music and making the albums & making the fans happy. But the truth is that as long as I know people out there are digging what we’re doing up there on stage, I’m perfectly happy with that.
CB.NET-Sounds like you’re gonna fit in with CAROLINE BLUE just fine! Thanks for the interview Az!