Emon: Do you remember the first piece of music you’d heard as a child that had an impact on you? Why do you think it did?
Yossi: Deep Purple’s Fireball. I was 6 then and it totally rocked my energy. It was like speed metal, the first time!
Emon: What were you exposed to as a child in your house? In terms of books,television, movies, etc. Do you come from a musical family?
Yossi: My father played some folk and flamenco guitar, my mom was a singer who was listening to soul, rock and good music like Jazz Rock and Reggae, that came from my Caribbean side of the family, in France. But I grew up in Israel, so that by it self is an angle.
Emon: Why the bass? How did you find it, or how did it find you?
Yossi: I was a guitar player from the age of 4 and by the time I got to be 16 I was in a Funk/Rock band as the 2nd guitarist, but we couldn’t find a bassist for the first show, so I got a bass from a friend and became the bassist. It felt like home and I got great feedback from the crowd cuz I thumped the bass hard.
Emon: Can you talk about some of the difficulties you’ve had learning the instrument? What were you good at from the beginning and what were you struggling with? How did you overcome the latter?
Yossi: It was the thumb slap thing that I was very strong at. It took me very far around the world,and I had to make my basic bass playing become as good, if not better. So it took time, and lots of great gigs were I had to rise for the part. It’s a great way to learn, I find.
Emon: What aspects of playing the bass were you practicing a lot? Did you have a routine you went through? How long would you practice per day?
Yossi: I practiced slap a lot when I started playing bass; I wanted to be the best. That was during early 80s, slap was very hip back then. But then I saw some NY musicians and started practicing very deep, like all day. The bass was on me and I would go places, DJ, friends, and do many gigs. But the bass was always on me for that ear, and I got deep into scales, just to get the chops right and become faster.
Emon: What are 3 of the best tips you’ve learned:
a) from someone who plays the bass
Yossi: I guess how to control your hands and mind, that was Rael Wesley Grant. He is a very intense bass artist from NY.
b) someone who doesn’t
Yossi: Women, and dancing crowds. I started noticing women responding to the deep sound and how it made them move, and that is more real then any musician’s comment.
c) and from yourself.
Yossi: To play my self at the moment. It’s about the expression and delivery that a live person can still generate.
Emon: What was the first composition you wrote? How did you work through that process? Is the process much different now than it was that first time?
Yossi: I always wrote funk grooves, since I can remember. I would record my self, muti-tracking from tape to tape and such. All those years later I do the same thing, but this time on stage. But in the studio you can get into details. Technology today is so great that it is a much broader picture than it was back then, but it’s the same thing.
Emon: Your list of collaborations with other musicians is noteworthy. Why do you think so many of them – covering various genres – want to work with you?
Yossi: I love connecting with people on a musical level. Good musicians are always on that frequency. So as long as you send a clear vibe trough the music and playing, you will always get noticed and work with another good musician. (Concludes Friday with another video.)