Canadian Musician - March/April 2023 - Page 53

SINCLAIR : Well , it ’ s funny . Rob Baker from the Hip and I grew up across the street from each other . And so , we ’ ve known each other since we were zero , literally . And he got an electric guitar for his 13 th , maybe 14 th birthday . We were always listening to records together , his older sister ’ s record collection and my mom ’ s record collection . And he got an electric guitar and said , “ We ’ re going to make a rock band and you ’ re going to be the bass player .” And that ’ s really how it started . Within the next week , my mom and dad bought me a crappy old Fender P copy , and a Traynor amp . And we were bashing out [ Rolling ] Stones songs and Clash songs in the basement . I kind of fell into it accidentally but found something that I was really drawn to . I love playing the bass ; there ’ s really nothing like it . Like I say , I grew up listening to , you know , lots of Motown and I ’ m actually a Monkees kid , I ’ m a TV kid . And so , you learn after the fact that when your skull is still soft — listening to Carol Kaye , “ Duck ” Dunn , and James Jamerson — it hammers that sense of groove and that sense of musical economy right into your head , like this is how the bass is supposed to be . This is how it ’ s supposed to interact with the drums . This is how it ’ s supposed to leave the holes for the melodies and then pick its spots to shine , and then move back into the weeds . I just came by it almost instinctively , playing the bass .
FRANCIS : I just love the ability to lead the groove . It ’ s all about the groove for me . There are different things that I like about different instruments . But I really love the versatility of the bass . I started
playing upright bass first before I started playing electric bass . But I really love the ability to weave in between notes . I love the fact that the upright bass doesn ’ t have frets . I love that there ’ s so much expressiveness and when you play the bass , you can also feel those notes that you ’ re making , because it ’ s just such a large instrument . I love the ability to lead the band without actually using my hands . If I ’ m the one leading the group , they can follow me but then there ’ s also other
techniques that I use to lead the band in that way . I ’ ll have a foot tambourine or something like that . I ’ ll have various hand signals . And I also love that with a high energy performance band , like the Angelique Francis band , I love the ability of the bass to really create
rhythms that make people move and dance . On the electric bass , I love slap . It ’ s just so much fun . I love the punchiness of it . And I love that there ’ s
so many different things that the instrument can do that break the bounds