Canadian Musician

JAY WALKING

Jason Raso


Brad Cheeseman!

Promo 4

 

One of my primary goals for Jay Walking is to feature Canadian bass players. Well, this week we have a dandy! I have a real soft spot for Canadian bass players who lead their own bands! Toronto’s Brad Cheeseman is a bass player on the rise with Brad Cheeseman Group and the Brownman Electryc Trio.

 

JR: When did you start playing bass and who were your early influences?

BC: I’ve been playing music for most of my life but didn’t start playing bass until I was 16. After playing guitar in a few high school bands, I decided to pick up a cheap 4-string and switch instruments for one project… I’ve been playing ever since! Some of my biggest influences early on were progressive rock bassists like Geddy Lee and John Myung, as well as guys like Les Claypool and Flea. It wasn’t until several years later that I started getting into jazz and discovered a whole new world of great musicians that have influenced the path I’m on now, such as the wonderful Rich Brown.

JR: At what point do you feel you came into your own as a bass player?

BC: I think that, over the past few years, a sound has started to take shape that I would call my own. There was a moment a couple of years back when I was listening back to recordings from a gig and was surprised to hear that I sounded how I wanted to sound, rather than just a combination of the things that I was working on at the time. It takes time to synthesize your influences and practice routines into a singular voice so it’s reassuring to hear it come through as something definitively you. I don’t know if I’d say that I’ve really come into my own yet, but I’m gonna keep working towards it. As long as I can keep moving forward, I’m happy.

JR: What are some upcoming projects you are excited about?

BC: I’m looking forward to a bunch of festival dates this summer with several bands (including my own band, the Brad Cheeseman Group, and the Brownman Electryc Trio). There aren’t any particularly big projects in the works right now so I’m just hoping to play as much as I can and spend some time writing some new music. More info on where I’m playing can be found at www.bradcheeseman.com.

JR: Which non-bass player has had the biggest impact on your playing? 

BC: This is a tough one to narrow down. All of the musicians that I’ve played or studied with over the years have definitely helped (and continue to) shape who I am today. Beyond that, I would say that Robert Fripp was a big influence (especially early on) and there are an endless amount of great musicians that I listen to who keep inspiring me to be better. In general, I just try to keep my ears open because there’s a lot of good music out there with lots of things to teach us.

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