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Photo credit: Lora - and JBruno
Here is an interview with great Nick Douglas bass player for Doro. He has played with many bands: (currently or previously) EBE, AMERICAN TABLOID, CHRIS CAFFERY, DEADLY BLESSING, SHARLOTTE'S WEB, MIKE ROCKET and BLAZE BAYLEY.
AngelDevil: Hi Nick, how is life at the moment?
Hi AngelDevil, things are good. I've been quite busy singing vocal tracks on some new material I've been working on. Really excited about it. I've been very motivated lately as I'm trying to get done as much as I can before I start traveling with Doro in a couple of months.
AngelDevil: Tell me about your latest solo album called "Though The Pane". I really enjoyed your songs, really does stir the soul.
Thanks. Glad to hear that you liked it. It's actually pretty old now. It was originally released back in 2001 in The States and 2006 in Europe. I intended it as a being an outlet of some of my earlier influences without holding back or trying to steer it in any particular direction. Mostly it was material that I could not use in Doro or other bands I was working with at the time which is how I knew that I had to make my own record. It was recorded sporadically over the course of a couple of years. Some of it was recorded at home, some in hotel rooms or in studios. It was hard work, educational and a lot of fun all at the same time.
AngelDevil: Are you working to some new material?
Oh yeah. There a some songs that are already finished. I'm just waiting on a few more songs to be ready so I can release them all together. It is taking so long but I've been quite busy with touring and other projects these past few years.
AngelDevil: Which is your favourite bass model and why? What you believe in the fundamental technical know of a great bassist?
I don't really have a favorite bass as each instrument I own has it's specific thing that it excels on. With Doro I usually use a Warwick Buzzard LTD. It was custom made by the Warwick Company (which I am an endorser of). I love it. It has a fantastic rock tone and fits well in the Doro sound. A while back I had a brief conversation with Rudy Sarzo (Dio) about electric upright basses. That is something I'd like to explore more.
As far as what makes a great bassist: well, music is like a language. The better you can speak it, the more you can do with it and hence the more power you have as a musician. Know how to communicate what you mean musically. It's equally important to be a good listener! When playing live I mostly listen to the drums and in a way, I try to become part of the drum kit. I like it when bass and drums are locked really well and it's what I usually strive for.
AngelDevil: When you compose music, where do you start from and what kind of equipment do you use?
As far as starting a song goes, inspiration can really come from anywhere. Usually any strong sense of emotion (be it happy or sad) can ignite a song idea. Sometimes songs seem to write themselves within a few minutes and sometimes it takes months to finish an idea.
Equipment-wise, my home studio is very small but I tried to get the things that fit me best. For vocals I have an AKG C414B-XLII microphone going into a Seventh Circle N72 preamp. AKG mics have always worked well for me. Also I have a Yamaha P-80 digital piano that I use mainly as a midi controller as well as various Gibson, Fender and Warwick guitars and basses. Everything gets recorded into Logic Pro 8 recording software on a Mac except for live drums which (at this time) were recorded at a studio in Philadelphia through various mics going into API preamps then into Pro Tools.
AngelDevil: Are you involved in some bands right now?
Oh yeah. When I'm home from touring with Doro I try to play out as much as I can. Since the middle of 2008, I've been playing for a Philadelphia based band called American Tabloid. It's a cover band that mostly plays classic rock. Johnny Dee (from Doro) plays drums. We have a lot of fun. The other members are Carrie Walsh (vocals) and Gregg Tripp (ex-Octane) on guitar. Also I play with EBE from North New Jersey. Harrison Young is the band leader and writer. He's very talented and writes great songs. We've been recording a lot lately.
AngelDevil: Who are musicians you have never worked with but with whom you would most like to?
Wow, that'd be a long list! Well, I've always wanted to collaborate with Anneke Van Giersbergen (formerly of The Gathering, currently with Agua de Annique). She has a agonizing quality to her voice that I find to be beautiful. I' ve never met her though. Hopefully someday.
AngelDevil: From your years in Doro, what would be your personal highlight?
There's so many fond memories (and sad ones too). I could write a book. It's hard to pick just one thing. Well...recently, when we got off stage at Doro's 25th Anniversary show, we were each handed a gold record for Doro's Für Immer DVD. I was totally surprised, and had no idea that would happen. It's the first gold record I ever received so it was a very special moment for me. We've worked so hard on making that DVD and the fans replied with their appreciation. I have them to thank.
AngelDevil: What does playing mean to you?
Love. The medicine of hard times. The celebration of life. The reason I'm here. The comfort to the troubled soul. The witnessing of people joining together. The smiles on their faces. The ability to say what cannot be said in conversation. The expectation of something but getting so much more. Knowing that I'm doing something that can last longer than me. Music is like my saviour. I don't know what I'd do without it. This is a great question.
AngelDevil: Which was the best experience you got with a live show?
Basically any show where the band is really doing great is like a best experience.
But three specific experiences instantly come to mind:
1. Recently, it was Doro's 25th Anniversary show. Especially when Rudolf Schenker and Klaus Meine came on stage with us to play two Scorpions songs. I grew up listening to these guys and here I am sharing a backup vocal mic with Rudy!
2. Playing at a big festival years back (can't remember which one), it was my birthday and Doro announced it to the audience. 30,000 people wished me a happy birthday.
3. On Doro's 2000 tour of the U.S. with Dio, we played at the Universal Ampitheater in Los Angeles. Gene Simmons of Kiss was backstage in our dressing room after the show and he told me I was a good performer.
AngelDevil: What’s life on the road like for you? What kind of thing do you like to do in your free time?
Life on the Road= Fast food and no sleep =) No wait, it gets better!
Sometimes touring is the only lifestyle that makes sense to me. Priorities are very different when you're on the road. You don't have all the comforts you do when you're home and so you have to find ways to deal with that. There is little or no privacy. It's not for everyone. But it's a small price to pay when you get to perform and see the world while doing it. On my free time I like to go out to eat and have good conversation among friends.
AngelDevil: Do you have a dream tour, somebody that you’re just dying to go out with?
I would love to just do an arena tour in The States. I think Heaven And Hell and us would be a good bill.
AngelDevil: Which quality would you say is your strongest, the one that makes you who you are, that defines your special personality?
The ability to observe, learn from, surrender yourself to, and respect other cultures around the world. There is no education like travelling and it makes you more aware of who you are and where you come from. Ultimately I realize that we are all not really that different.
AngelDevil: Who would you like to say THANKS to? And somebody who you would like to thank from the bottom of your heart, somebody who inspired you, or somebody who helped you in your career?
This would be a very long list to do it right. So many people have affected my determination to pursue music as a career. It's not really fair to mention just a few people so to all deserved, please forgive me as I make this very short and incomplete list:
Yael for giving me the strength and confidence I needed. Doro and her former manager Alex Grob for giving me a chance at that audition back in 1990. My Dad for making me realize that it's a vast world out there and worth seeing. Also thank you to my former bass teachers Ralph Deal who introduced to the instrument and to Patrick Pfeiffer and Jerry Jemmott who made me see music in a whole new way. I'll never forget it.
AngelDevil: Ehy Nick a quick question, how tall are you??
6'-41/2" or about 1.95 meters.
AngelDevil: WoW! Something I didn’t ask while your fans would like to know about you?
I'm not sure if this is at all interesting but I'm more inspired by winter, rain and clouds than summer and sunshine.
AngelDevil: Thanks Nick for this interview, it was a great pleasure to me!!!
You are more angel than devil to me!
Thank you once again for asking some very good questions. It was fun. Hope to see you on tour. Love