Artist Interview- Joseph Patrick Moore
BPU:. What inspired you to pick up the fretless later in your bass career?
JPM: The simple answer was that I couldn’t afford to purchase a fretless bass early on, even though I was always attracted to the sound of the fretless. I use to go to sleep with the DVD of Jaco Pastorius Modern Electric Bass for years. However in the mid 90′s, I finally purchased my first fretless bass and recently had a custom MVP 5-string PentaBuzz fretless bass built by Mike Pedulla.
BPU: What kind of relationship do you have with Rusty Holloway and Jerry Coker? Can you tell us what kind of influence did they have on your playing.
JPM: In High School, I took privately with Rusty Holloway at a local music store. In my senior year, Rusty recruited me to The University Of TN in Knoxville (where he was also the head of the bass department) and I continued to study with him for the next three years. It was at U.T.K., where I was first introduced to jazz educator Jerry Coker. I studied in several classroom settings with Jerry, as well as private improvisation lessons on the side. Jerry toured with Woody Herman, Stan Kenton and Mel Lewis. In addition, he was responsible for starting the jazz program at The University of Miami (along with Will Lee’s father). Former students of Jerry’s included Pat Methany, Jaco Pastorius, Mark Egan, Will Lee and many others. Both Rusty and Jerry are incredible players and teachers and they both brought there accomplishments with them and applied it to the their educational methods at U.T.K.. I talk with Rusty from time to time on Facebook, however I haven’t talked with Jerry in years. He retired the year I moved to Memphis. Both of these teachers (as well as many others) had a tremendous impact on me.
BPU: Can you tell us about To Africa With Love and the inspiration behind it?
JPM: I set out to make a record where the bass (coupled with vocals) was the driving force behind the overall landscape of the recording. I tracked multi-bass guitar parts and pretty much used the same rhythm section players throughout the entire recording. I also wanted to have moments that focused more on songwriting that featured vocalists with the bass in more of a traditional support role.This recording was one of the longest in terms of how long it took me to write/record/produce. Additionally, I set out to be the recording engineer as well as I really want to learn and better understand this craft. While I’ve spent a lot of time over the years in the studio (my projects and other artist’s), I had never spent to much time “behind the board” so to speak. As a producer yes, as an engineer no. All in all “To Africa WIth Love” was pretty much my baby from beginning to end. I ended up writing, recording, arranging, engineering, mixing and producing the overall project. Additionally I was also influenced/inspired by the electronic soundscapes of Imogen Heap and I wanted to capture some of that sound, coupled with more improvisation.
BPU: When did you get your first bass.
JPM: I grew up in the school band program and I’m also a supporter of “save the music” programs. I played alto saxophone from 4th through 9th grade, switched to drums in the marching band. At some point during those years, I sold my saxophone to get my first bass. It was a consumer level Ibanez with Fender Bassman amp combo. It was truly inspiring and at that moment, I knew I had “come home” or should I say, “found my voice” with the bass. I’ve never played the sax or drums since.
BPU: How did you start playing, and where did you study bass, or self-taught?
BPU: What where your inspirations and trials you ran into?
JPM: I was inspired by music around me. Growing up in the late 80′s and early 90′s I was attracted to Metal, Rock and later worked my way into Jazz, Classical and Blues. I also played and had the opportunity to work with many great artists and learned from those around me. And growing up in East TN (acoustic/roots music) and than relocating to West TN (Blues/Delta) gave me an interesting prospective on music. My culture, upbringing, friends, bandmates, teachers and others played a big role into shaping who I am today.
BPU: Who influenced you the most?
JPM: mmmm….I would have to say truly everyone I was around. I was in a band for two years with now famous rock producer Nick Raskulincz (Foo Fighters/Rush), Mick Murphy (My Ruin) and hung around Brian Bell (Weezer) among others. Those guys had a direct influence on me. We where all listening to the same music, writing and jamming often. This was an important time in all of our early developments as musicians. So to answer your question, I would say it was my friends and those I was hanging out with as well as the personal push from Rusty Holloway.
BPU: What type of music do you enjoy playing most?
JPM: All styles. I referenced the Jaco Pastorius Modern Electric Bass DVD earlier. One of the things I took away from that video, is to always keep an open mind. Every music does indeed have it’s own soul. I personally hate “music snobbery” of all types. I guess you would call me a jazz player with a rock background. However, I’ve played in a BlueGrass Band, Blues Band, Classical Symphonies/Pit Orchestra’s and in other situations. Every genre has it’s own set of challenges. While I love Jazz, I love all styles. In fact, I just recently purchased music from Death Cab To Cutie, BT, Moby, Pat Methany and others. I have a very eclectic taste in music and I hope all these influences will bring a fresh prospective to my voice and writing abilities.
BPU: What is your favorite piece of music?
JPM: mmmm…Like I mentioned, I like so many pieces of music and styles but I guess I would say the album “Bitches Brew” by Miles Davis had a significant impact on me. It helped bridge my rock world with jazz musicians. At that time, I submersed myself in jazz and chronologically/historically worked my way back to Jimmy Blanton with Duke Ellington and really wanted to understand the lineage of the bass (as well as other instruments and players). I try to stay on top of all the current guys and keep my ear out for new innovations and sounds.
BPU: Do you have a favorite album?
JPM:“Kind of Blue” by Miles Davis
BPU: Can you tell us about your gear?
JPM: I play a MVP Custom Pedulla Electric/Fretless (5 string), an NS Design CR4 electric upright and a Kohler double bass. I use Aguilar Amplification, Analysis-Plus cables and DR Strings. I have an assortment of pedals and recording gear. Complete list is available from my personal website.
BPU: What is the biggest thing to recommend any bass player at any level?
JPM: Get a private teacher and study with someone in your area if possible. The internet/youtube and whole host of educational resources such as musicdojo.com (started by Adam Nitti and I have a reading class available) is wonderful, however having someone in your area whom is respected, knowledgeable, open minded can help to motivate and provide one with constructive criticism. I would also say keep an open mind and be respectful to all styles of music and players. Music is music and great writers, players, entertainers, engineers, producers have made many sacrifices and paid a serious of dues with dedication to their craft that is worthy of being polite, even if it is not your cup of tea.
BPU: What types of strings and fingerboard combinations do you like?
JPM:I play a medium-light set of DR High Beams on my Ebony fingerboards. Additionally both the electric and fretless basses are neck-through instruments providing a great sustain and tone that I like as well. I typically keep my “action” fairly low due to certain techniques that I may employ, however on the CR4 and upright it is a bit higher off the fingerboard.
BPU: What do you look for in a bass?
BPU:What are your current projects you are working on?
JPM: I just finished a film score (only played bass on 2 tunes) and did most of the work on the piano. Currently however, I’m working on an EP that we’ll release titled “XYZ Factor”. Look for it in the fall. Additionally I have 3 other projects that I’ve started and we hope to announce those soon. Those will likely be released in the first quarter of 2012. For those interested, you can sign up on the mailing list or check my site often for more details.
Joseph Patrick Moore released “To Africa With Love” in 2010. The album confirmed to all lovers of great taste that Moore has a diversity of talents. Joseph Patrick Moore has worked with such familiar artists such as Stewart Copleland(The Police) Bruce Hampton, Earl Klugh, and Michael Tolche.
Adam Phillips ([email protected])