Eight (and a half) Questions with bassist Christopher Willett
1 TNFTV: How have you adapted musically to the current pandemic environment, distancing, no gigs, etc?
CW: I took a break from playing for a few months initially, but eventually got back into practicing, and several musician friends couldn't wait to play as well, so we made an effort to write songs and record remotely. After a while, we started rehearsing together, taking some careful measures. One of my bands is close to completing an EP that we'll hopefully release by the end of the year. My other band is also writing new material and we will be streaming some live performances soon.
2 TNFTV: How many basses are in your “stable” right now and which one(s) are you favoring?
CW: My current main basses are certain models of the Fender Jazz, Fender Precision, and Rickenbacker 4003. My personal favorite right now is a relatively new Fender Ultra Jazz bass - it's a beast!
3 TNFTV: Why were you drawn to the bass and what keeps you committed to that instrument?
CW: I started off playing guitar in high school, but in college, all my musical friends needed a bassist, so I switched so I would be more in-demand. But it wasn't a grudging switch. I had already been getting into the playing of Flea and Les Claypool and other great players for a while. I came to love and enjoy bass playing and its role in a band.
4 TNFTV: What artists are you listening to for pleasure?
CW: I've been listening to The Strokes, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Deftones, Tool, Nine Inch Nails, Blue Öyster Cult, Queens of the Stone Age, and several musical theater soundtracks (Murder Ballad, American Idiot, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and a few others).
5 TNFTV: Have you ever had a brush with a celebrity?
CW: When I was working at Waldenbooks in 2006, Carter Beauford (drummer for Dave Matthews Band) came in and made a purchase. I got him to sign a Wheel of Time book I had been reading. 6 TNFTV: What is the earliest musical memory you can recall that made a significant impact on you?
CW: From an early age, my parents were cool enough to try to get me into various instruments. I tried violin, piano, tuba, and a few other things. But the one that finally clicked was when my dad rented a green electric guitar for me from Music and Arts. I was immediately mesmerized by being able to sorta play stuff by The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and R.E.M. - plus I loved how loud I could get with the tiny guitar amp.
7 TNFTV: John Entwistle or John McVie? Norwood Fisher or Robert Trujillo? Paul McCartney or John Paul Jones? Fieldy or P-Nut?
CW: John Entwistle. Robert Trujillo. John Paul Jones. P-Nut. 8 TNFTV: Are you a “cook at home” kinda dude or take out/carry out?
CW: I mostly do take-out or delivery. I'm not much of a cook. 8.5 TNFTV: Any TV/movie viewing recommendations?
CW: My current favorite TV shows are "The Boys", "Raised by Wolves", "The Haunting of Bly Manor", and "The Mandalorian". As for major films, I really liked "Tenet" - most confusing time travel movie EVER, but it keeps you thinking, and that's part of what I love about it; I can't wait to see it again. "The Invisible Man" was excellent. There are a lot of decent low-budget horror films on streaming too, like "Relic", "The Lodge", and "The Rental". I also really liked "Bill and Ted Face the Music"- it's a silly movie, but there's so much sincere joy to it with regard to music that it made me smile the whole time, and we certainly could use some lightness during these difficult times - my favorite part is Jimi Hendrix jamming with Mozart, so funny!