buddy had the DVD
Animals Should Not Try To Act
Like People,
and we were so into it that we would ride
around on our bikes reciting the DVD commentary
to each other. So I bought a Squier bass for 100 bucks
and I really wanted to play like Les Claypool. Since
then I've tried to learn every stringed instrument I can
get my hands on. I have a Schecter Stiletto five-string
coming as part of my endorsement deal with them,
and I have a fretless Carlo Rebelli that I got for like 200
dollars, plus a huge white upright bass, which is lovely.
I have a video coming out where I used that upright
to play Cliff Burton's bass solo 'Pulling Teeth' from
Metallica's first album.”
He adds: “For the upright bass I just use a mic, about
a foot in front of the bridge. It's the only mic I've ever
owned. Recording is really all my buddy Fluff. I just
send him DIs of my tracks, and he does a great job and
sends it back to me and I throw him the money. I used
to do all the mixing myself but I'm not good at that
type of stuff, and it's so time-consuming for me”
He adds: “I have a few sponsorships with
instrument companies coming up, which are nice. I
have a video out with Dean Guitars for an ML-shaped
ukulele. I have an affiliate link so when people buy
one from there, I get a percentage of it. I also have
a relationship with Schecter Guitars, who made me
custom eight- and nine-string electric guitars, and I
play bass too. I'm happy to play any piece of wood with
strings on, basically! The way I see it is that all strings
are gonna act the same way: how a string vibrates is
not going to change from instrument to instrument,
no matter how many strings are on it or how long they
are. Once you get a good grasp on a guitar and a bass,
you can move onto pretty much anything after that”
Ah, but has he taken the ultimate step and tackled
the Chapman Stick yet? He laughs: “I've been getting
people saying 'You gotta play the Chapman Stick'
for years now, on a daily basis. I would really love
to, especially with the overwhelming number of
asks. Anyway, whatever the instrument is, I'm really
fortunate and I do appreciate my position. Making
money with music the traditional way is now almost
entirely dried up, unless you're an insanely famous
musician who tours all the time, because people aren't
buying records like they used to. I tell people that I'm
hardly a musician from a business standpoint: I'm a
Youtuber. It's more about the videos. Selling my own
music is not even 10 percent of my income.”
Scallon appreciates that this new way of surviving
as a musician may seem like fantasy to some people.
“Even people my age don't get it,” he nods. “I always
need to explain how I do it. It's confusing, but the
younger people are, the more they get it. It's like the
Wild West right now. We're making it up as we go”
He also understands that there's a long way to
go to reach the top of the video playlist, globally
speaking. “The biggest Youtube channel is a guy called
Pewdiepie, who has 34 million subscribers. He literally
makes millions of dollars a month, just from playing
video games. It's insane. Maybe I chose the wrong
thing. Perhaps when I was a kid I should have been
playing video games instead of guitar!”
Rob's channel: www.youtube.com/user/robs70986987
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