Fusion is Awesome: An Interview with Scott Devine of Scott’s Bass Lessons
If you’ve ever looked on YouTube for some bass content, you’ve definitely seen Scott Devine. His channel, which he started in a spare room in 2010, grew to enormous proportions due to his incredibly helpful lessons and dynamic personality. Scott’s Bass Lessons has become the go-to online hub for bass lessons with courses John Patitucci, Gary Willis, Ariane Cap, Danny Mo Morris, Philip Mann, Michael League, and many more.
One aspect of Devine’s own playing that people latch onto is his use of gloves while he plays. As he often has to repeat, he wears them to combat the effects of focal dystonia, a neurological condition that affects your motor skills in your hands. The diagnosis almost led him to stop playing music, but he persevered. It did, however, impede his ability to play for long periods. As such, he never recorded his own album. Until now.
The Devine King Project, Vol. 1 is a co-led effort with guitarist Simon King, who wrote the music. The duo made the project to pay homage to (and possibly reinvigorate) jazz fusion, which they credit with shaping their musical personas. Devine and his Scott’s Bass Lessons crew filmed the entire recording experience, and it’s clear the bassist was having the time of his life. As well he should – the band they put together is a list of fusion royalty with saxophonist David Binney, drummer Gergo Borlai, percussionist Nate Werth, and keyboardist Scott Kinsey.
Ever the educator, Devine used the opportunity to record multiple podcasts on the album’s creation, his gear journey for it, and how he prepared for the sessions. Even more incredibly, he’s released a free book with all of the album’s tab and notation for anyone who wants to play along. Members of Scott’s Bass Lessons can access an in-depth video course where he takes you through how to play every track.
In this intercontinental interview, we discuss why fusion gets a bad rap, The Devine King Project, why fusion artists don’t get the recognition they deserve nowadays, how AI will affect music, and, of course, what they’ve got cooking up at SBL HQ.