5 Questions: Alan McAdam

If you live in Dublin, chances are you've hear Alan McAdam play bass. He's a hard working musician from the land of U2 and Thin Lizzy. And he's hitched his cart to singer/songwriter Steve Duffy Raw. Steve, Alan and the rest of the band just put out a new record and they're touring locally to support it while it simmers and pops on Spotify, iTunes and the like.

We got a chance to talk to Alan and hit him with our 5 Questions:

1. Did you pick bass or did bass pick you? When, why, and how?

I was about fourteen years old when I was first introduced to electric bass. My dad picked up an old Ibanez telecaster bass from a car boot sale which he bought for himself with the intention of learning how to play, however that never happened. Instead me and that Ibanez both became good friends. I always remember as a kid that bass just resting against the sitting room wall and not getting any attention just wanting to be played. Once I hit fourteen I made a connection with that bass and my dad sent me for some bass lessons. I guess you could say it picked me because it was always in our home when I was growing up, so it just seemed like the right thing to do. The rest is history as they say.

2. How would you describe your sound? How did you develop it?

I would describe my sound as minimal and melodic. With Steve Duffy Raw I am using my Fbass AC 5 fretless classic and my Fodera Imperial. Both are fantastic basses and sound amazing through my Epifani Piccolo 999. The Piccolo sounds amazing at any size venue and weighs almost nothing. It has become part of my sound because of the beautiful tone that it gives me and because it is easy to carry around.

I developed my sound by listening to all the giants of bass when I was a young man—Pino [Palladino], Larry Graham, etc—listening intensly to what they were playing and not playing. The rest of my sound development has come from 30 years of playing different styles and genres. I feel like I am constantly learning and evolving as time moves on, trying to become a better bass player and human being.

3. Tell us about your experience playing with Steve Duffy Raw.

Its been a very positive experience playing with Steve Duffy Raw, both in the studio and live on stage. Steve is a fantastic vocalist and musician and it's been very enjoyable playing his material. Steve has a brilliant musical mind and I am constantly learning from him as a musician. It also helps that we work well together and are good friends.

4. What are you listening to lately?

I'm listening to Stevie Wonder, Songs In The Key Of Life. Nathan Watts is the man. Sly and the Family Stone and Mr Brian Bromberg—I really love this guy, incredible bass player.

5. What have you got coming up?

Just released the single Tippy Toes worldwide on iTunes and other digital outlets. The Rebounder EP, an acoustic driven collection of songs by Steve Duffy Raw, will be released on the 1st of December to download worldwide. In Your Forgiveness, the second single of the Rebounder EP, will be released in Feburary 2017.

Nick Epifani