John Taylor on Mick Karn

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John Taylor on Mick Karn

Postby sisterlondon on Thu Oct 30, 2008 4:24 pm

This was posted on Ask Katy at the duranduran.com site. For the ones that don't know, it's the section where fans can send questions to the DD guys. And lately John mentioned Mick:


October 19th, 2008

This question is for John if you could pass it along. Hey John I read the article in Bass Player magazine that you were on the cover of. The article was explaining the difference between a fretted and frettless bass but I don’t quite understand what it was telling us. Is it the difference in sound? The bass guitar is my favorite instrument to listened to so I was hoping you could put it to terms for me. Thanks for all the great music you guys bring out to us fans. Oh by the way you look great on the magazine. Thanks, Teresa

“All orchestra instruments are unfretted. The violin, viola, cello and double bass. I guess the guitar was the first instrument to have frets, but I’m not certain. Then at some point in the nineteen-fifties, Leo Fender (again I’m guessing) decided to produce an electric bass guitar that you could hold- and put frets on it. Up until that point, any music you might have heard with bass on it, big band jazz, blues, symphonies etc., the bass you hear would have been an upright double bass, without frets.

Basically, having frets makes the instrument a whole lot easier to play. The frets ‘pinpoint’ the note for you. A player has to be a lot more precise with his fingering on an unfretted instrument. As for sound differences, an unfretted bass has a more elastic sound, the notes tend to wind into one another. The consensus is that Jaco Pastorious is the greatest of the fretless bass players (check out his work with Weather Report or on Joni Mitchell’s ‘Hejira’). I was a fan of Mick Karn’s work with Japan (esp. ‘Quiet Life’,and ‘Gentleman Take Polaroids’) and he inspired me to play fretless now and again. You can hear me playing fretless bass on “Lonely In Your Nightmare” from RIO and “The Seventh Stranger” off SEVEN AND THE RAGGED TIGER.

I played fretless live on the reunion tour when we played “Tiger Tiger,” but honestly, it’s not my favourite way of playing. Other than achieving a particular stylistic effect, I would rather play fretted. JT”
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Postby Bridget on Fri Oct 31, 2008 5:04 am

I really hope a lot of DD fans will check out Japan's albums, if they haven't already. Cool to read that John mentions Mick and Japan!
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Postby billster on Fri Oct 31, 2008 5:51 am

wonder why he didnt dig tin drum?
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Postby karnsculpture on Fri Oct 31, 2008 1:18 pm

I think "Quiet Life" and "Polaroids" influenced DD more than "Tin Drum"; I don't see JT not mentioning the album as him saying he didn't like it.
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Postby sisterlondon on Sat Nov 01, 2008 8:41 am

Yep, I think the same. DD were beginning when the 2 he mentions were out, so I think that those influenced them more. That's all I understand too.

When John was djing in a radio station (Steve Jones's show, when Steve was on Xmas hols), he played Quiet Life. I think he also mentioned that that song was played a lot at the Rum Runner :)
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Postby Nath on Sat Nov 01, 2008 12:01 pm

I never understood why there was any titles of JAPAN on the cd "only after dark" ?

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Postby billster on Sat Nov 01, 2008 12:34 pm

I always imagined Nick Rhodes to be really relieved when Dave went brunette, so he could rip off the look wholsale. he wore it well, mind.
Funny how similiar they used to look and how different they now look.
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Re: John Taylor on Mick Karn

Postby Q Quarters on Tue Mar 09, 2010 7:50 pm

Of course we all know why DS didn't want to produce Duran Duran, don't we :wink:
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Re: John Taylor on Mick Karn

Postby karnsculpture on Tue Mar 09, 2010 7:57 pm

We'll be able to hear why for ourselves when the special edition of "Duran Duran" comes out - it is going to include the demos Japan will have heard.
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Re: John Taylor on Mick Karn

Postby proggrl on Thu May 27, 2010 9:56 pm

That's very cool. I will have to find the interview with Gavin Harrison (Drums - Porcupine Tree) where he mentions our Steve as an influence. :D
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