Paul TurnerPlayed Bass on Annie's solo tours.
Paul Turner, bass player and newest member of Jamiroquai joined the band in April 2005. Born in Sunderland, England, he's been a full time professional musician since 1987. After auditioning with the band earlier in the year, Jay offered Paul the gig. Before joining Jamiroquai Paul spent two years recording and touring the world with Annie Lennox. He's also played gigs with Omar, Mica Paris and urban jazz funk band "Down To The Bone", which has had great success in the States. Tina Turner, George Michael, Annie Lennox, Tom Jones, Kylie Minogue, Ronan Keating, Heather Small, Natalie Imbruglia, Belinda Carlisle, Emma Bunton, Lucie Silvas, Will Young, Mica Paris, Omar, All Saints, Terri Walker, Lewis Taylor, Carleen Anderson, Lamont Dozier, Lulu, Lighthouse Family, Basement Jaxx, Punjabi MC, Jakata, Rob Dougan, Afro Celts, Stuff, Roachford, Lyden David Hall, BBMak, Gareth Gates, Phixx, Liberty X, S Club 7, Alistair Griffin, Geri Halliwell, Hear'Say, Donny Osmond, Emma Holland, Take That, Boyzone, Peter Andre, Mis-Teeq, Honeyz, B*witched, Damage, Lene Marlin, Danni Minogue, Down to the Bone, Special EFX, Richard Elliot, Errol Brown, Climax Blues Band, Kid Creole, Bonnie Tyler, Edwin Starr, Ruby Turner LIVE EXPERIENCE INCLUDES Worldwide club, theatre and arena tours, including festivals, with many of the above. During the last two years this has mainly been with Annie Lennox thoughout N. America and Europe. Paul is currently on tour with Jamiroquai. TV, VIDEO & RADIO EXPERIENCE INCLUDES Live performances on most of the top music programmes worldwide, from Later With Jools and TFI, in the UK, to Late Show With David Letterman and Tonight With Jay Leno in the US. Live event broadcasts such as Live 8, N. Mandella 46664, MTV Music Awards, Party In The Park and "house band" for Princess Diana's Concerts Of Hope. Video credits include nine No.1 full live concert releases Interview GL Hi Paul, welcome to Bass Tech UK and thanks for taking time out to do this interview with us. Firstly how did you start playing bass and who were you influences? PT You're welcome, thanks for the interest. I started playing at 14 and my first bass heroes were Andy Fraser and Jack Bruce. Other favourite bands included Hendrix and Zeppelin. This was when I lived on the Isle Of Man. I was shown basic technique and some scales by an older local guitar hero, with whom I formed my first band doing rock and blues. I did my first proper public gig when I was 15.As I joined more bands and became busy on the local pub, nightclub and hotel circuits I was doing more soul and funk type stuff. I was mainly playing covers or original tunes influenced by Chic, Level 42, Paul Young and 80s chart stuff. GL You have been playing with Jamiroquai on the Dynamite tour, How did you get the gig and what was your reaction when you did? PT I was called to audition along with about 10 other guys. I didn't really feel I did myself justice to be honest but the short (20 min) sessions were recorded and even though I was bluffing it they said they like the way everything felt.I was asked to go back (as was another guy) for a longer play. Unfortunately I couldn't make the second call as I was committed to a gig with Annie Lennox for Nelson Mandella in S. Africa. However it didn't work out with the other guy and I was asked to go back to Jay's when I got back to the UK. Rob (Harris Jamiroquai guitarist) had said to listen to every album as Jay likes to call from the entire back catalogue rather than a set. We jammed trough loads of tunes, some old ones and some new stuff that I hadn't heard, as well as some spontaneous grooves. Then Jay called the guys out for before returning and asking me if I wanted the gig. It goes without saying I very happily said yes! GL Did you also record on the album? If so what was the process. Ive always been interested how Jamiroquai songs come about. Does JK have charts/music written out for you or is it ideas in his head that you interpret? PT No I didn't play on any of the album. It was complete before the auditions. Although I know there wouldn't have been charts. He likes to sing ideas, especially of creative bass lines and then develop them with the band. It's also like that on the road as most of the songs are in a constant state of change. GL Did you have a formal musical education or are you self taught? PT Whist supporting the Steve Gibbons Band in the IOM, I met one of my longest and closest friends, Birmingham bassist Roger Inniss. Roger should me the modes and taught me more advanced stuff. He also got me a good study book so I could continue studying on my own. I moved to Birmingham in 87 and lived at Rogers mums house whilst doing deps to cover his ever busy schedule. I worked hard with my Real Book and on busking skills. This was an intensive learning period, as I would often arrive at jazz, function, blues gigs etc having to introduce myself and take it from there! I basically did as much as I could, playing with as many bands as possible and was lucky to find myself very busy. GL You have a great sense of groove from listening to your playing, any tips on how to lock into a groove? PT Thank you 🙂 Ever since I fell in love with music I have been moved by the emotion and feel of it more than anything else. As well as my main passion of Motown and funk I love the dynamic of a ballad, the pulse of a rock style 80s groove and the nod of funk 80s (Larry Graham style) through to swing and latin grooves. I genuinely LOVE music if it feels good. I love to develop a groove but am also very happy holding it down. Obviously whatever the music, it's down to listening to the others playing and singing whilst finding the pocket, pulse, dynamic, feel etc etc that help make the music dance. Obviously the main emphasis is how you play with the drummer and every drummer is different. Therefore it helps to have play with different drummers and learn to adapt your playing to work them. I don't really have rules on this. I prefer to let the drummer do their thing and fit my groove around that. I prefer the groove to feel relaxed and am not keen on it being rushed or edgy, but different drummers play in different areas of the beat and it's how it sounds collectively that matters. With Jamiroquai the tempos tend to be high and the grooves busy which can sometimes sound frantic. If so, I try to get the important elements in there, but aim at it still sounding cool and funky rather than it sounding like everyone's trying too hard. Actually, Roger pointed out a habit of mine years ago that I am aware I do and I think it helps...... me anyway! Whether it be an written/definite part or something I'm thinking up, I move while humming or imagining it until it feels good.However bad (and I mean the old definition of bad!!!) my dancing is, it helps me groove! I think if you really dig feeling a groove, you get there. After years of playing I feel confident that if I think something feels good then the listener will too. That doesn't mean I'm always happy with my playing though........ that's a whole other thing 🙂 GL Were you a little nervous having to stand in the same shoes as Stuart Zender and Nick Fyffe? PT I respect their playing with Jamiroquai and had the albums before getting the call. I've met both guys a couple of times in the past and they're cool and friendly. I'm also aware of the huge following Stuart justifiably developed through his playing on those records. Jamiroquai has always been a band where the bass has a prominent role to play and I want to meet that expectancy, full on, but no, I don't think of Stuart or Nick. Stuart and I were both playing in Omar's band around the same time, years ago and I've met him in the studio while I've done All Saints tracks. If I feel I'm playing well I'm happy, if not I'd be disappointed, regardless of who had done the gig previously. Annie Lennox has had the likes of Nathan East on bass, Will Lee came to the first gig of last years tour, I supported Marcus Miller when in Omar's band, Matt Garrison came to check out Done To The Bone when I we were in NYC. I think it's best to feel happy you're doing a gig and remember you got there by doing what you do best. Although I never take a gig for granted and am always trying to improve. GL What equipment do you use and why? PT On the gig I'm using my MusicMan Stingray 5 and two Jazz basses, a 66 and a 77. I've also just got an F 5 string which I think I'll be using. The Stingray cuts through on a big gig with its tight low mid. Like my Fenders it also has a lovely reminiscent sound for funk and disco. I love the fatter tone of my Jazz and P basses so use the Jazzes for some songs too. My amp set up is an Aguilar DB750 and 4x12 cab. I love this stuff. It's fat and warm but responsive enough for this gig too. I can get some front on the note without losing the warmth of the pre amp valves and the solid state power amp is nice and quick. It's also simple and old school in lay out. My gig pedals include a 70s Mutron, 70s Bass Balls, EH Micro Synth, Boss Octave, Bass Flanger, MXR Driver and Auto Q. At home I also have an Akai Deep Impact, MXR phaser, wah wah, Meatball, Cheese Source, Boss Bass Chorus. GL Do you play other instruments? If you do how has this helped you as a bass player? PT This is an area I'm frustrated with. I play guitar badly and that's it. When I was 18 my band used to rehearse at my parents and I'd mess about on the kit etc but have never practised. It would help because it all helps more understanding and guitar/keys obviously help develop your ears harmonically. 🙁 GL What tips would you give to any aspiring bass player? PT Learn other instruments! Love the the role of the bass in music. That doesn't mean you can't be creative or that you have to play to impress. It means counter melody, rhythmic and harmonic foundation. It may not be as easy as when I started playing, but more than anything try to play with others as much as possible and gig, gig, gig. GL What future projects are in the pipeline for you? PT Right now we're looking at a long touring schedule. I hope to be involved in some recording with Jamiroquai afterwards. I also hope to work with Annie Lennox again and continue doing projects for other artistes and producers. Who knows? One day at a time. GL Any modern bass players you are listening to at the moment or inspiring you? PT I love lots of players, most of those I listen to are players from 60s,70s & 80s. Jaco, Marcus, Pino, AJ, Jamerson, Mark Adams, Nathaniel Philips and lots more. I also like the upright playing of the usual suspects eg Ray Brown, NHOP, Gary Peacock, Patitucci More "modern" players, well Pino will always be a favourite and he's as current as anyone. But I guess you mean newer guys on the seen? I like Richard Bona's playing. There's loads of guys out there. GL Thanks again Paul and we wish you every success with Jamiroquai and your future endeavours. PT Your very welcome, I hope it's been of some interest. Good luck with the Bass Day too, I wish I could be there. Cheers Paul