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Reader Spotlight: Eric Messihi

Eric Messihi

Meet Eric Messihi, a bassist and Berklee grad who keeps busy playing and teaching music. Originally trained on piano, Eric heard Primus and that was that.

Eric is this week’s No Treble reader in the spotlight. Here’s his story…

Bio:

Eric graduated from Berklee College of Music where he earned his BM in Bass studies and Professional Music. While at Berklee, Eric studied musical concepts of Jazz, Pop, Blues, and World music under the tutelage of world-class musicians including Whit Brown (Oscar Peterson, Dizzy Gillespie), Danny Morris (Bo Diddley, James Cotton) and Anthony Vitti (Sammy Davis Jr., The Drifters). Outside of class, he honed his skills playing with a number of local acts including the Anthony Viscounte Orchestra, The Lydia Fischer band, and local Metal heavyweights, For Sleeping or Jumping.

Since graduation, Eric has collaborated with many musicians in various genres. He has toured nationally with acclaimed artists including the Disney Stars Bridget Mendler, and Zendaya. His collaborations have led him to perform at multiple world-renowned festivals including SXSW Music Festival, CMJ Music Marathon, and Montreal Pop. Most recently, Eric has performed as lead bassist for the Broadway Musical workshop of August Rush. Additionally, Eric has contributed to multiple studio projects.

Location:

Brooklyn, NY, USA

Day gig:

When I’m not playing out, I’m either working as a busser at The Grey Dog Coffee Shop, or Teaching Piano, Guitar, Bass, and Ukulele through jessandfriends.com

Years experience:

11 years

Bands & Gigs:

I’ve been playing for a number of bands for the past few years. I just recently got off a one month residency with singer/songwriter Mike Hubbard, and currently I’m performing with local throwback soul outfit Em & The Fates, as well as Neo Soul artist Daj. I’m also in the beginning stags of writing my own material. It’s new and a little scary, but really exciting at the same time!

Gear:

  • 2006 Mexican Fender Jazz (Heavily Modded)
  • 2014 Custom Richie Baxt Fretless
  • Orange BT 500
  • Hartke 2X10 Cab
  • Boss TU-3
  • Solid Gold FX Beta OD
  • Fuzzrocious Demon King Distortion
  • Big Ear NYC Betty White Fuzz
  • EHX Micro Pog

Why I play the bass:

I grew up taking classical piano lessons. My parents owned a baby grand piano and justified it by making sure all of their kids learned how to play it. I took lessons from elementary school through my freshman year of high school, but classical music was never really my interest (up until recently) and I stopped. Almost immediately after I began listening to Primus. I had never heard anything quite like Les Claypool beating the crap out of his Carl Thompson before. Once I got my first Ibanez starter set I was hooked.

My bass superpower/claim to fame:

First and foremost, I do my best to listen and work harmoniously with the other musicians I’m playing with. When everyone is just shredding full force, the music doesn’t get a chance to be effective, but when everyone is harmonious, it’s the best feeling in the world.

I also take a lot of care with my tone. I find that I’m not inspired if my tone is off. I’m constantly tweeking my play feel and gear/pedalboard to get exactly what works for the moment

My influences:

James Jamerson, Pino Palladino, Stevie Wonder’s left hand, Colin Greenwood, Sting. I’ve always enjoyed bassists that have played exactly what needs to be played. I think that’s the biggest challenge for bassists: taste and self control.

Video:

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