David Pastorius on Tech N9ne and Marleaux basses

Bassist (with a famous uncle) speaks to FBPO about his career – past, present and future

By Mindy Rochwerg
November 26, 2014

Bassist David Pastorius might be the nephew of, arguably, the most famous electric bassist in the world, Jaco Pastorius, but he’s certainly got his own style. David, in fact, has recently been touring with rapper Tech N9ne, who has earned a spot on Vibe’s “Say What? A History of Rappers We Can’t Understand” list.  Pastorius recently spoke to FBPO’s Jon Liebman about working with Tech N9ne.

“Tech N9ne (pronounced “Tech Nine”) is not your typical rapper,” says Pastorius.  “He’s way outside the box. If you sat down and listened to a lot of his stuff, he’s definitely on a different level, musically, on a different level lyrically.  But his music is definitely top notch.”

One can only imagine how it must feel to step out into the world as a bass player, when your name just happens to be Pastorius.  David, however, just shrugs it off.  “It’s really never been a challenge to me,” he says.  “Maybe I’m lucky,” he adds.  “I just don’t worry about it.  People are going to like what they’re going to like.”  Pastorius acknowledges how it surely would have been a lot more difficult if he were a Jaco-style player, but, to put it bluntly, Jaco’s music just didn’t have a big impact on him.  “It wasn’t on purpose,” David says.  “I just gravitated towards pop and rock and metal bands and players like Flea, Robert Trujillo, Les Claypool, guys like that.  No disrespecting Jaco, but he wasn’t one of my original influences.  In a way, that probably worked out better for me.”

Liebman pointed out that Tech N9ne’s style of music is very different from that of Uncle Jaco and asked David what the elder Pastorius would have thought of what he is playing now.  “I think he would have loved the fact that I’m doin’ my own thing,” he responded.  “I think he would appreciate it a lot.  He wasn’t an elitist.  It may not be his style, necessarily, but he would appreciate the fact that, you know, someone’s out there tryin’ to do their own thing. I think he’d be totally cool.”

As for equipment, Pastorius used his trusty Marleaux 4-string bass on the Tech N9ne tour.  David says the Marleaux basses “look really cool and the sound’s amazing!”  He added that playing Marleaux basses “inspires” him.  He then proceeded to comment on the great number of tonal options they offer.  Pastorius says he also admires Artisan basses, Hartke and MarkBass amps and DR strings.

As for the future, it looks like there will more Tech N9ne stuff coming up for Pastorius, who is also finishing up his third album with his own band, Local 518. Pastorius hopes the new album will be out within a couple of months.

David is also excited about the upcoming documentary film, Jaco, which is being produced by Metallica bassist – and huge Jaco fan – Robert Trujillo.  David recently watched a prescreening of the film, which he called “awesome.”  He’s also proud about being on the Jaco soundtrack on a song with Tech N9ne.

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