BASSiSTS
JEAN-JACQUES BUBNEEE, STBANGEEBS
f yo u 're ever invited to the
Stra n g le rs' rem ote stu dio in the
m iddle of S o m e rse t, you 'll w itn e ss
the sig h ts and so u n d s of a
th o ro u gh ly m odern o rgan isa tio n .
Th e co m p le x is surrou nded by
m a s s iv e fie ld s - and the q u ick e st
road there p a ss e s through a bizarre
tollbooth, w h e re dead -eyed lo ca ls e m erge and dem and
m o n ey - but o n ce yo u 're there, you enter a zone
co n ta in in g a full reco rding stu dio, rehearsal ro o m s, a
sp a cio u s m a n a ge m e n t and record co m p a n y o ffice and
plen ty o f friendly staff.
H ead a c ro ss the courtyard to o ne of the rehearsal
ro om s w h e re a particu larly m a ssive , d istorted b a ss
tone is ro cking the rafters, and you'll e nco unter Je a n -
Ja c q u e s B urn el, a se rio u s-lo o kin g ch a p w h o lo o ks
like he co uld beat you up qu ite e a sily if he w an ted to.
Settled dow n w ith a cu p of tea and his sp a n kin g n ew
Sh u ke r sig n a tu re P -B a ss on h is lap, thou gh, J J (as
w e'll call him and save the w riter's typ ing fin ge rs) is
the epito m e of affability, lau gh in g at the m any exp lo its
that he and his band have endu red over the d e ca d e s
and d isc u ssin g his gear w ith great en th u siasm .
N o n e o th e r than Flea o f the R e d H ot C h ili P e p p e rs,
a m an w h o k n o w s w h a t tricky b a ss playing is, o n ce
d e scrib e d J J a s the b e st b a ss player in the w orld.
W ith that in m ind, w h e n he p lu g s the Sh u ke r into
the ta sty -lo o k in g A sh d o w n rig behind him , w e a s k J J
if he ever fin d s so m e o f the S tra n g le rs' b a ss parts
te ch n ica lly ch a lle n g in g .
"S o m e tim e s, yes," he replied, d e m o n stra tin g a
tricky line m ade up of d e sce n d in g triplets, "bu t that's
u su a lly b e c a u se they c ro s s over the rh yth m s o f the
v o ca ls that I sin g . Funn ily eno u gh , that w a s one
of the re a so n s w h y Jo n Sh u ke r and I d ecid e d on a
m uch lighter body for m y n e w b a ss. I prefer to stand
up rather than sitting do w n w h en I'm re h e arsin g,
I
BASS tUITAB MAGAZINE
021
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