Meet Clint Warren Falconer, a bassist hailing from South Africa who has overcome a lot in life. Clint not only makes his living playing bass, he has a great outlook on the role of the bassist.
Clint is No Treble’s reader in the spotlight for the week of November 11, 2013.
I was born the 19th of September 1984 in Johannesburg South Africa. Unfortunately both my parents died at a very young age and by the time I was 4 my grandparents adopted me. I grew up in the south of Jhb (mostly mining side of Jozi).
In high school I started developing a real love for music. I decided to play bass and when I spoke to my uncle he said he would help me out, he bought me my first bass (a Washburn) and organized for me to go for lessons with Carlo Mombelli. This changed the way I saw bass and music forever, and I planned to go to the National School of the Arts in Joburg. I got in, but after a year decided I needed another place to improve my bass playing. I choose what used to be know as Pretoria Tech (now The Tswane University of Technology), probably South Africa’s best jazz course. I studied there for five years under some amazing musicians such as Kevin Davidson, Marc Duby, Johnathan Crossley and Johnny Fourie. Unfortunately I never finished studying because my girlfriend at the time (now my wife) became pregnant with our first child, so I had to find some paying work. That’s when I got the Dan Patlansky gig which has been my main source of income for four years.
The first album I recorded with (20 stones) Dan was rated in the top ten releases worldwide by Blues Rock Review. In 2012, I also decided to start my own band just to let loose with my playing and get some of my musical ideas out there (Clint Falconer and the TerraZAR. On Friday the 13th this year my twin girls were born, Aila and Hailey.
Norkem Park, Gauteng, South Africa
Bands & Gigs:
I’m a full time session musician in South Africa, and I have played with some of the country’s top artists, including Elvis Blue. I have also had the privilege of playing with some great jazz players (Kevin Davidson, Roland Mosses and others) but the majority of my work comes from the blues/blues-rock scene here. I am the full time bassist for South Africa’s biggest blues artist, Dan Patlansky. I will be on my first ever European tour with Dan this year. I have also played with some other of the country’s top blues artists such as Albert Frost and The Black Cat Bones. When I’m not busy doing session work, I also have my own solo project called Clint Falconer and the TerraZAR, an experimental Prog Funk band and we have just released an EP, All Hail The Bunny.
- Fender Precision Bass Special
- Mark Little Rocker 500 amp
- MXR Compressor
- Boss OC3 octave pedal
- TC Flashback x4 a Delay pedal
- A custom built octave up fuzz pedal by Craig Amps called the Fremen Fuzz (this is my baby)
Why I play the bass:
I wanted to be in a band, but I wanted to be the coolest person in the band and bass players always seemed very cool. Also my uncle was a bass player and the coolest guy I knew.
My bass superpower/claim to fame
I would say my bass superpower is knowing the role of the bass player in different genres of music and to play accordingly. I can’t go pulling out my slap chops on a slow blues, or putting outside lines into a pop song. Our role as bassists is different depending on what we’re playing.
I also groove like a dead horse, but my wife would definetly say FIFA.
I try listen to a wide scope of music, so it’s quite diverse. One of my lecturers once told me “it’s our jobs as musicians to find the good in all music, if it’s been put to CD, it has a place in this world”.
My influences include Carlo Mombelli (a crazy Jazz, Avante Garde, mad scientist bass player here in South Africa), Michael Manring, Les Claypool, Tim Commerford, Oteil Burbridge, Gary Willis, Francis Rocco Prestia, Jaco Pastorius, Jonathan Crossley (a South African guitarist and a huge influence to the way I see music), Sting, Larry Graham and John Cage. The list could go on…
More on the web:
Photo by Sean Brand