Nick Cody: Good morning, Adrian.
Adrian Knowles: Good morning.
Nick Cody : Good to see you here, with Music for the Head and Heart. So let’s start with a question that I ask a lot of people, which is, what do you really love about music?
Adrian Knowles: All right, what do I love about music? Good question. what I love about music is collaborating with other people. Music is a conversation and a language and shouldn’t be played solely by individuals, so communication.
Nick Cody : How long have you… I mean, you primarily play double bass. When did you start getting involved? Was that your first instrument or…
Adrian Knowles: Yeah, double bass was my first instrument. About the age of 11, I played on a 1/4 size double bass, which was really small. then, I sort of found my way into it, when I got interested in the bass guitar and worked out they were quite similar. So I worked out on that, and then came back to the double bass, and realised what it could do. It made more sense to me, having played a fretted instrument.
Nick Cody : I know that you’ve played a lot of different types of styles and different types of music. What are some of your favourite ones that you’ve been involved with?
Adrian Knowles: I’ve spent a lot of time as a jazz player. What really, I like in jazz, is the great American songbook. So classic, well written, standard songs, great melodies. I like playing those with singers. When I write, I write kind of in that style. I’m very interested in folk and acoustic music and what the bass can do in that.
Nick Cody : I know that you play a lot of different gigs, but out of interest, the question we’d like to ask people is, a memorable gig that you really enjoyed? And also, what’s one of the most strangest gigs that you’ve played?
Adrian Knowles: I think the most memorable, I love being… When we go down to London and play. There’s just something about the vibe, playing in Soho, Pizza Express Jazz Club, places like that. It’s very exciting. Proper listening audience, so that’s fantastic.
Adrian Knowles: Strangest gig? I’ve done some very strange gigs, but I once did a gig in a castle for about six people, but they were all very wealthy people. One of them, lying on the sofa in front of us, was Elle McPherson, the super model. That was quite surreal.
Nick Cody : I mean, I know you teach, you teach students as well.
Adrian Knowles: Yeah.
Nick Cody : So you’re starting from the ground up with kids.
Adrian Knowles: Yeah.
Nick Cody : What’s one of the biggest challenges for people wanting to get into learning to music?
Adrian Knowles: People try and find shortcuts and there’s no substitute for hard work and they have to practise. Some instructionals, particularly on the Internet, and elsewhere, suggest that there’s an easy way to do things, but there isn’t an easy way, but you can have a nice journey getting to where you want to be. But the other point of it is, and I use a comparison with running, because I do a lot of running, but the benefits to to your practise don’t materialise straight away. They materialise a month down the line. Running is so much like that, that the strength you build up comes a month later. It’s the same with whatever’s going on in your fingers or your voice.
Nick Cody : I know that you, similar to me, like, really like the great American songbook, but what would be like two songs that if you could go back in time, and if you’d written them, you’d love to have written them? And why those particular songs?
Adrian Knowles: I think, Hoagy Carmichael’s Stardust, which is, for me, the perfect setting of… Perfect amalgamation of lyrics and melody. Great melody, interesting harmony, harmony that takes you off in another direction. From a similar area, things like Rogers and Hammerstein when they wrote, If I Loved You, which does fascinating things with harmony, it goes outside what you’re expecting it to do, with diminished coats. They’re great tunes to play. Great melody. Great harmony. Great words.
Nick Cody : Excellent. And so finally, for people wanting to find out about your playing and to be updated with what you do, what’s the best way to get in contact?
Adrian Knowles: My Twitter handle is @runbass, which sums up the two things I spend time doing. And my website is www.adrianknowlesmusic.com, where you can read about what I do and listen to what I do.
Nick Cody : Thank you very much for dropping by.
Adrian Knowles: You’re welcome. I’m going to use the ditto pedal, loop pedal, just to set up a drone with the bass, and then improvise some lines over the top.